Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sneaky Cauliflower Puree

Carnivores are we -- preferring a bloody steak or slab of fish to a side of greens.  But, in keeping with our New Year's Resolution # 7, to explore new ways to EAT MORE VEGGIES, we feel compelled to share this naughty (since calorific) but nice (it's oh so delicious, we guarantee) way of preparing the common cauliflower.

We've called this dish "Sneaky Cauliflower Puree" because you can sneak this under the noses of even the most conservative of eaters, by passing it off as mashed potatoes...Even children who profess to be veggie haters will go wild for this pureed concoction.  

Another bonus of this dish is that it's good if you're on a low carb diet or just trying to shake off those few extra pounds after the Holidays, as Marcy (inventor of this dish) points out:  "It's fabulous and you really can't tell that it's not potatoes!'

Best of all, cauliflowers are as beneficial as broccoli when it comes to their health benefits.  Both these vegetables belong to the family known as cruciferous veggies. These veggies are good for you because they are high in vitamin C and soluble fibre and contain multiple nutrients with alleged anti-cancer properties.

Marcy's Buttery Cauliflower Puree

2 small heads of cauliflower (approx 4lbs) broken into small florets
3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs flour
3/4 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
1tsp salt + 3/4 tsp salt
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch cayenne
1 egg
2 Tbs parsley
3 Tbs grated parmesan (optional)

Cook the cauliflower in boiling salted water for approximately 15 minutes or til tender.  Drain well.

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat.  Sprinkle flour over, whisk in until combined.  Cook over medium heat for a minute or two, then whisk in cream, salt, nutmeg and cayenne.  Remove from heat.

Transfer cauliflower and cream mixture to food processor and puree in batches, add egg and pulse until smooth.  Add parsley and parmesan.

Bake in greased 2 1/2 qt baking dish for about 30 minutes at 350.  Let cauliflower stand for 10 mins before serving (the puree becomes red hot and retains heat when baked, so let it cool a while to be on the safe side.)

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