Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter Harvest

Boooo. Two whole posts in 2011. C'mon already - let's get this puppy back in gear!

Now that the holidays are over, I'm thinking fresh. Not "juice cleanse" or "tofu-palooza" fresh, but I haven't been to the Milwaukee County Winter Farmer's Market in about two months so I'm starting to crave some tasty winter veggies. Which, in Milwaukee, means root vegetables or something from the cabbage family. I have a few subscriptions to food magazines and I'm pretty sure at least 2 or 3 have included a Cauliflower Steak recipe this month. Not sure what they're trying to do with that, but I definitely don't need to pretend my cauliflower is steak. Cauliflower is awesome all on its own - whether it's roasted until nutty and crisp around the edges or smooth and creamy in a soup. One of my favorite recipes is from the West Town Tavern in Chicago and involves horseradish, mustard and cream. Which is never a bad thing.

Cauliflower Gratin

2 heads cauliflower
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced, peeled shallot
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tablespoon Grey Poupon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Chop the stems fine and reserve separately. Blanch the florets in salted, boiling water until tender. Drain, shock in ice water and reserve.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and saute the shallots until very tender. Add the chopped cauliflower stems and the cream. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until stems are very soft. Puree in a blender and season the cream with the Grey Poupon mustard, the horseradish, nutmeg, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Mix the seasoned cauliflower cream with the florets. Butter a pan 9"x13"x2" and scrape the cauliflower into the pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese evenly over the gratin.

Bake 350° about 20-25 minutes until the top is golden and the gratin is bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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