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Cooking Cauliflower

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Chef Hill, your replies to my queries have been most helpful. I'd like to ask you one more question. I must confess that if offered a plate of cauliflower and anything else, I'd choose the "anything else". But my wife loves cauliflower. Because she is my principal customer, I'd like to cook this veg competently and make it interesting. I have been steaming it without inspiration. Would you please share with us a recipe or otherwise improve my education for cooking cauliflower?

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I always cook cauliflowwer in florets so that the thick stalks don't need to be considered when judging the cooking time. Like all members of the cabbage family there is an element of rankness in the smell and flavour and this combines perfectly with spices like cumin, cinnamon and coriander so I'd be tempted to cook the cauliflower, drain it, then dust with some combination of middle eastern spices and finally brush with light sesame or olive oil before cooking out the extra ingredients with a short spell under a grill or in the oven.

As ever the disadvantage of giving some robust treatment to any side vegetable is that it has a direct effect on whatever else is sharing the plate at the same time so this need to be considered.

Otherwise you may like to consider deep frying the florets. Boil them as before then make a batter from flour, olive oil and water, whisk an egg white and fold this in before coating the cooled florets and deep frying. These are fine as a warm start also especially with some garlic and tomato confection by way of sauce

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my favorite way to cook cauliflower is to cut the head into florets and then cook it slowly in pot with just enough cream to cover about 3/4 of the florets, a little salt and white pepper. When soft I puree and pass the cauliflower with some of the cream. You can serve it just like a potato puree or add some more cream or white stock of your choice for a true to veg soup.At my last restaurant I used the puree as a base for mac n cheese instead of a heavy bechamal sauce just adding a couple types of cheese and thining it out with stock and the redundant truffle oil. It was always a big seller.

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For those on a low-carb diet, blueapron's method with cauliflour makes it a delicious substitute for puréed potatoes.


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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That was the thinking behind the idea. So many customers nowadays request no carbs. One customer demanded no white veggies on their plate claiming that they have no nutritional value. We took it more like a challenge than a demand and sent them the cauliflower,but on a seperate plate. After the initail shock that we were still going to do own own thing had passed the server came back this time with a request for a side to go at the end of the meal.

The mac n cheese way is the only way I can sneek a veg into my nephew's stomach!

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