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Roasted Cauliflower


sammy
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Thanks for all the compliments! :wub: If only there were a hope of having any left for breakfast -- that would be a serious treat, indeed.

Yes, I just tossed everything -- sliced cauliflower, sliced red onions, and rinsed chickpeas -- together in a bowl with olive oil, seasonings, and salt, then out onto the pan and into the oven. The seasonings that time were left over from a Madhur Jaffrey recipe for "curry blend" -- I know there's a lot of dislike for standard "curry powder," which is indeed often lame, not to mention old and faded in flavor, so I don't buy it, but then it was called for in a crispy tofu recipe I really wanted to try... and then of course I wasn't going to go to all that trouble and not make enough to have left over. But then of course it is incumbent upon me not to let it go all wan like the storebought stuff, so I've been looking for excuses to use it. I think the ingredients were tumeric, cumin, fenugreek, coriander, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and chile.

I'm so very thankful for the chickpea suggestion; it's fantastic!

"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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Regarding the core, I've made the roasted cauliflower both ways, using just the florets and then using the whole kit and kaboodle and I think I will stay with the whole kit and kaboodle.  The core doesn't come out of the oven any different than the rest of the head and I like the efficiency (or is the proper word "frugality"?) of using just about everything on the head.  I even have a cookbook that has a stir-fry recipe to use the bottom leaves you normally throw away but I'm not going to take it that far.

Using my big ass Forschner knife, I just sliced the head into giant slices and zip zip zip, it was done.  There were "crumbs" and pieces where parts of the florets came off but they cook up the best, in my honest opinion.  And with this method, there is no need to do surgery while trying to cut off florets, etc. 

One odd visual effect is that the large slices do tend to look like slices of "brain" which I think could be a plus for those trying to get kids to eat it.  :wink:

Toliver, I do it the exact same way, core and all. Easy, fast, taste great and funny, all I could do was think of brains after slicing it. The crumbs are my favorite part they end up being more crunchy. This is my favorite recipe, love it. Last night I roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts. Yum.

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Redfox's dinner from last night sounded so good, I went out and bought a cauliflower and red onion. But, it turned out I don't have any chickpeas available (well, I do, but they need to be soaked and I was hungry). So, I just roasted the cauliflower and onion. It's still in the oven -- and it sure smells good. :smile:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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i am having dinner company on sunday and want to roast cauliflower.  one head between my husband and myself is always finished.  how many heads for 7?

Doing your math, I'd say 4 heads. Though, the way I eat this stuff, I'd make a head per person! :laugh:

I've been wondering about this kind of quandry. How do you prepare this dish for a lot of people? You'd have to have more than two racks in your oven to be able to cook a large quantity. Cook ahead and then nuke it once it's all done? Or throw it all in one of those large roasters and pray to Jim Dixon that it all comes out okay?

edited out one too many "kind of's"

Edited by Toliver (log)

 

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i am having dinner company on sunday and want to roast cauliflower.  one head between my husband and myself is always finished.  how many heads for 7?

Doing your math, I'd say 4 heads. Though, the way I eat this stuff, I'd make a head per person! :laugh:

I've been wondering about this kind of quandry. How do you prepare this dish for a lot of people? You'd have to have more than two racks in your oven to be able to cook a large quantity. Cook ahead and then nuke it once it's all done? Or throw it all in one of those large roasters and pray to Jim Dixon that it all comes out okay?

edited out one too many "kind of's"

I'd agree on the 4 heads unless you're serving several other sides, then I'd cut it back to 3. Also, depending on how big the heads are, you'll need at least 2 half-sheet pans to cook the 4 heads. You don't want to overload the pans--it'll reduce the quality of the finished product.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I only have room for two half sheets so I have pretty much decided that this treat will be relegated to garnish on a salad or pasta dish. All of my friends and family love good goodies too much to even attempt to make enough for them any other way. Fights and mayhem would ensue.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I don't think this is a dish you can cook ahead and nuke. The best part is the crispy edges which would go to mush in the microwave doing a reheat. You may be able to cook ahead and then recrip in the oven. I was thinking of doing this dish for 14 people but thought I would not be able to manage it. The wife and I ate one head tonight. What do you think, can you cook a bunch of this and then throw in a big 9X13 dish and put it back in the oven later to reheat? I may have to try a small batch to see if it can be cook ahead.

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I don't think this is a dish you can cook ahead and nuke.  The best part is the crispy edges which would go to mush in the microwave doing a reheat.  You may be able to cook ahead and then recrip in the oven.  I was thinking of doing this dish for 14 people but thought I would not be able to manage it.  The wife and I ate one head tonight.  What do you think, can you cook a bunch of this and then throw in a big 9X13 dish and put it back in the oven later to reheat?  I may have to try a small batch to see if it can be cook ahead.

I've done it (reheated in the oven) and it's still really good...just not quite as good. :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Okay, I couldn't hold out any longer. I made the roasted 'flower tonight ($1.99 for the head, from FreshDirect). I was fully prepared to tell you all that I was underwhelmed and that you're all full of it.

But I can't say that because it was really very good. I'll be making it again. Thanks again, eGullet! You always come through.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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What do you think, can you cook a bunch of this and then throw in a big 9X13 dish and put it back in the oven later to reheat?

I've done it ahead, but just not reheated it. Instead, I served it at room temp with tahini sauce in a squirt bottle on the side. One of my favoriate salads at a local Lebanese restaurant is roasted carrots and cauliflower, served this way.

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Made the roasted cauliflower last night. Used a whole head. Just EVOO and salt. No pepper at home. Was thinking a sprinkle of parmesan would be nice, but we were out of that too. Anyway, it took a long time for the cauliflower to brown, but it was worth the wait.

Husband vacuumed it up within 5 minutes.... apparently cauliflower is one of his favourite vegetables. And the recipe is so simple - I've got to add this veg to my shopping list now :wink:

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Finally, after all of the oohs and aahs about it, I tried this tonight. The wife is on her low carb phase leading up to her surgery, so dinner tonight was a couple of big ass porterhouses, her baked cabbage (which she loves and it couldn't be easier. Cut a cabbage head in half, then quarter the half. Drape with bacon, 350 degree oven for an hour. Nice.), and I tried the cauliflower.

Wasn't really that impressed, to tell the truth. I cut about a half a head into florets, S&P, olive oil, a bit of garlic powder (I forgot to pick up garlic when I went to the store for steaks. mea culpa), and a dash of Tabasco, just because it's me, then onto a baking sheet @ 350. Took about 30 minutes, but I did get some pretty color on them.

There is a substantial bitter aftertaste that I couldn't get past. They weren't burnt, it's just the existing bitterness or earthiness that cauliflower has that I really don't like. It seemed to be enhanced. And it tasted nowhere near potatoes in any way shape or form. The wife likes it though, so I'll be making it again for her.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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I see a couple of things wrong here. did you read the the RECIPE?

It sounds like you used whole florets. First, you need to slice the florets about an 1/4 inch thick. (I do it a little thinner.) You will get these lacy looking things and a lot of gibbles. Put all of that in a bowl and toss it with olive oil until it is well coated. Salt lightly. Spread in a single layer on the sheet pan. I use a heavy aluminum half sheet.

Your oven wasn't hot enough and you didn't cook it long enough. In my oven, it goes for about 38 to 40 minutes at 400F and I have checked the oven so that is correct. You need to move it around and turn it about half way through.

It sounds like what you ended up with was sort of baked. Maybe that is why there is some residual bitterness. Although, I have to say, I don't usually detect a lot of bitterness in cauliflower. Maybe you got a funky one.

edit to add: Lose the garlic powder. That might be where you got the bitterness.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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SO finally found an enormous cauliflower at Wal-Mart (good thing, too, I was worried it would get to Cauliflower Smuggling), so it is definitely on the boards for tomorrow. Got everything -red onions,ceci, and fresh 3-day old (tomorrow) free range eggs. Now I'm debating for Indian or Greek seasonings?

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I was close to the recipe, but I did end up with about the same sized chunks. I sliced the bigger florets in half.

I get the bitterness in all kinds of vegetables. Cabbages, brussels, black eye and crowder peas, broccolli and cauliflower too. Maybe I'm a little more sensitive to it, I guess. I can take broccolli if it's steamed right, and if it's freshly done. If it's been on a steam table for 45 minutes, I have to pass. Maybe it's the sulfuric compunds that get activated with long heat.

My taste buds are wierd though. I can tast copper if I hold a penny in my hand for a minute. I can tell before anyone else when it's time for a restaurant to change the fryer oil. Maybe it's just me.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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I haven't ventured into adding seasonings yet but I will try it tomorrow with the onion and garbanzo variation. One thing to look out for is too much seasoning. The first time I made this I salted it like I would anything else. The stuff shrinks down so much that it ended up a tad too salty. Now I just very lightly salt and then adjust later after it is done. I am thinking that other seasonings will concentrate as well. I am also thinking of what kind of spice mix will "toast" well. I think that is one place where Roux got into trouble. (Of course, he could have read the recipe. :biggrin::raz: Sorry, I couldn't resist.) Garlic powder doesn't "toast" well. I get by with granulated garlic in my various BBQ rubs but it is in a relatively small amount and not as fine as powder. A few years ago I tried a rub recipe that had a lot of powdered garlic and it came out unpleasant on the pork I put it on. I am considering adding the seasoning toward the end of cooking or maybe when I take it out altogether.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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redfox's used a curry, and it looked good. I'm thinking that perhaps the powdered garlic in roux's might have contributed to some bitterness. I have some Spice Islands Greek that I truly like, and my healthy-food store's Indian mix that they make and sell bulk. It is fabulous, and contains much more ingredients than if I were to make my own. Ah, decisions, decisions.

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I did read a recipe. There are several out there that people stand by. I really didn't do that much cusomization. They weren't too salty, they weren't too spicy, they weren't burnt...

My spice mixture was about 1tsp of salt, 1/4 tablespoon of black pepper (before my pepper grinder bit the dust so I added) 3-4 dashes of Tabasco, and just a couple of shakes of garlic powder (maybe 1/8 tsp? More for perfume thananything else). I added 1/4 cup of olive oil, and mixed it together like a dressing. Tossed the cauliflower in the mix, and stuck it on a pan.

Don't know how messed up that could be? Maybe I could have baked it a little hotter, but I still don't see how a higher heat and a time savings of about 10 minutes would make that much difference in the end result. This was on a dark colored non-stick baking sheet, BTW. The texture was fine, it looked good, but it still smelled like cauliflower coming out of the oven, and tasted like hot caulflower when it was done.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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The first time I made this I thought you all were rather "easy to please". But then I carefully made it again, as La Fifi describes and of course I am now addicted. From your description, FistFullaRoux, a quarter cup of oil strikes me as too much. I think that's what I did the first time and it was pleasant but just another vegetable. When I cut back the oil (and really sliced it 1/4 inch thin) I was sold.

But I refuse to pay $3 in-season in California for a head of cauliflower!

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Yep... If it isn't sliced thin it is just another cauliflower. I don't get it but it must be true. The SSB in me is wondering why this is so. I will have to think about it.

Mabelline... I am now sniffing at some Indian spice mixture that came from Penzey's. It was in a gift. The more I sniff it the better I like it. Can you tell what is in the Spice Islands Greek? That sounds good, too. You are right. Decisions. Decisions.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Awright--no hyperventilating allowed, folks---dehydrated onion and dehydrated garlic,'spices',salt, mint leaf...now, let me smell--ok--some oregano, and I tend to think dried lemon peel. I'm intending to slowly rehydrate it in the oil. Yep, that's the stuff I'll use. I think that flavor will blend with the poached egg.

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Finally, after all of the oohs and aahs about it, I tried this tonight. The wife is on her low carb phase leading up to her surgery, so dinner tonight was a couple of big ass porterhouses, her baked cabbage (which she loves and it couldn't be easier. Cut a cabbage head in half, then quarter the half. Drape with bacon, 350 degree oven for an hour. Nice.), and I tried the cauliflower.

Wasn't really that impressed, to tell the truth. I cut about a half a head into florets, S&P, olive oil, a bit of garlic powder (I forgot to pick up garlic when I went to the store for steaks. mea culpa), and a dash of Tabasco, just because it's me, then onto a baking sheet @ 350. Took about 30 minutes, but I did get some pretty color on them.

There is a substantial bitter aftertaste that I couldn't get past. They weren't burnt, it's just the existing bitterness or earthiness that cauliflower has that I really don't like. It seemed to be enhanced. And it tasted nowhere near potatoes in any way shape or form. The wife likes it though, so I'll be making it again for her.

I made this again tonight and instead of doing florets as I had in the past, I did the "cross sections of brain" 1/4" slices that are called for in the original recipe. I liked the dish before - I absolutely LOVE it now. Made all the difference in terms of the level of tenderness and browning/carmelization that was achieved on the cauliflower. I ate almost an entire head myself :blush:

I tossed the slices and nibbly bits with good EVOO, sea salt and fresh ground pepper and spread them out on two pans that were lined in aluminum foil and lightly sprayed with Olive Oil cooking spray. I put the pans in a 400 degree oven and tossed the vegetables about every ten minutes or so. Halfway through the cooking I sprinkled a bit of mixed ground spice on it (I honestly can't remember if it was Emeril's Essence or Trader Joe's Twenty One Seasoning Salute). I waited until all was browned and slightly crisp around the edges (approx. 40 minutes) and then took it out. It was unbelievably delicious. Could definitely sub for a more carbohydrate laden side dish. If vegetables tasted like this all the time, children would eat them unquestioningly.

I thank all of you for bringing this topic back to the fore. As I was enjoying my cauliflower this evening I was dreading digging up the topic again so I could admit the error of my ways in not following the instructions to the letter the first few times.

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
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Well, I still have half a head of cauliflower left. I'm willing to pull out the ruler and give it one more try, following the recipe to the letter. I already paid the 3 bucks for it, so I might as well try to eat it. I know my wife will if I don't.

Giving you all the benefit of the doubt. I'll report back. Might try it again tomorrow night or Monday.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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