One of this year’s food trends is items made with cauliflower. Area grocery stores carry cauliflower crust pizza and other menu items featuring the cruciferous vegetable. Here are two of the more unusual recipes that have gotten good reviews from people who have tried them.
These cheesy baked cauliflower fries are fairly time-consuming to make but, served with a spicy ketchup dip, they'd make a great party snack, according to allrecipes.com.
2 2.5-pound heads cauliflower
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for topping
4 cloves peeled garlic, crushed fine
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
Cut cauliflower into medium-sized florets and process in batches in a food processor. For each batch, pulse until pieces break down and continue processing until texture resembles rice grains. Transfer to a large pot. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until mixture is wet and soft, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat if it begins to brown. Remove from heat and allow cauliflower to cool.
Transfer cauliflower in batches to a clean cotton towel. Bring up sides, twist towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. For this recipe, you should have about 3-1/2 cups cooked, squeezed-dry cauliflower.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large rectangular baking dish with parchment paper, allowing ends to extend up over the sides for easy lifting. Lightly brush parchment with olive oil.
Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add crushed garlic, oregano, pepper, and cayenne pepper; whisk together. Transfer cauliflower to mixing bowl. Add shredded Cheddar cheese and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Mix thoroughly. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Tamp down and smooth out evenly.
Bake in preheated oven until deeply golden brown, about 1 hour. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 3 or 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat; lightly oil the mat.
Lift cauliflower out of pan. Slice in half lengthwise; slice each half crosswise into thin "fries," about 1 inch wide. Arrange fries on the mat so they do not touch; brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with a dusting of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Bake in preheated oven until deeply browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
This recipe from allrecipes.com promises all of the flavor of Chinese fried rice.
Cauliflower Fried Rice
2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sesame oil, divided
4 cups cubed pork loin
6 green onions, sliced
1 large carrot, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
20 ounces shredded cauliflower
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 eggs, beaten
Stir peas and water together in a saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook and stir until peas are tender and heated through, about 5 minutes. Drain and discard water. Heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Cook and stir pork in hot oil until lightly browned on all sides and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate. Next, heat remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil in the wok. Saute green onions, carrot, and garlic in hot oil until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower; cook and stir until cauliflower had a tender but firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir pork, peas, and and soy sauce into cauliflower mixture and stir-fry until mixture is hot and slightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Move pork-cauliflower mixture to one side of the wok; pour beaten eggs onto empty side. Scramble eggs until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes; stir cooked eggs into the pork-cauliflower mixture, breaking up any large chunks.
Readers are invited to submit 4 to 5 of their favorite recipes to enjoy along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to the Park Rapids Enterprise, 203 Henrietta Ave. North, Park Rapids, MN 56470 and they may appear in a future issue.