Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cauliflower Mash

Before I even start talking about this delectable side dish and how ridiculously easy it is to make, I just want to throw out a disclaimer. These are not, I repeat, not a substitution for potatoes. Come on people! You don't honestly believe that, do you? Sure you can whip them to make them look like potatoes. You can cook it so that it mashed into the consistency of chunky mashed potatoes but you aren't going to trick anyone actually eating it, that it tastes like potatoes. Because it doesn't. It tastes like cauliflower. And what, if I may ask, is wrong with something tasting like what it actually is? I happen to love cauliflower. Always have, always will. Sure, when I was younger, my mom would put a cheese sauce on it, but I still liked it. Now I eat a majority of it roasted. Sometimes I dip it in ketchup because someone once said it could replace French fries. No. No it can't. That was wrong information. It's still delicious with ketchup though.  Here's the thing: indulge occasionally. It's ok. Eat some French fries, have some cake. Just don't do it every day. Make your meals as chock full of veggies and healthy protein as possible in order to take advantage of nutrients that your body craves. And can we please stop trying to turn healthy foods into a substitute for everything? Please? 

Woah... Sometimes it's difficult for me to stop after I get started. So cauliflower. It's chock full of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and it's an antioxidant beneficial to detoxing harmful chemicals in our bodies. There is some belief that it can balance out some systems in our body which will help prevent certain cancers. That has become extremely important to me lately. It should have always been important though. You live and you learn you have the crap scared out of you. 

While doing my grocery shopping for the week, I noticed that organic cauliflower was on sale for $2.50. Organic. Cauliflower. $2.50. Say huh? Obviously I had to throw a head in my cart. What on earth would I do with this though? Well, I could hold onto it for a few days or I could serve it up next to a steak I was grilling up for dinner. I have gotten into this habit of dry rubbing my steaks with dried rosemary, garlic salt and sea salt. If you aren't on board with that yet, get there. Quickly. So I wondered what this cauliflower would taste like with this seasoning mixture. The answer is, off the chain. Does anyone say that anymore? Can we bring it back? No? I'm old. I'll stop trying to sound hip. Just showed my age again, didn't I?

Before I embarrass myself anymore using out of date phrases, I should just post this recipe.  Make it. Give me your feedback and leave a little comment telling me your favorite way to eat cauliflower!

Cauliflower Mash

1 head cauliflower, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons butter

Fill a large pot with water.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Add chopped cauliflower.  Boil for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a spice grinder (I use a coffee grinder) or mortar and pestle (you can certainly just chop up the rosemary but it will fly all over the place when you hit it with your knife so be prepared), break down the rosemary, garlic powder, salt and crushed red pepper.  Set aside.

When cauliflower is fork tender (10 minutes), drain in a colander.  Press down with paper towels to remove excess water.

Transfer cauliflower to a mixing bowl.  Add herbs, parmesan cheese, milk and butter.  Mash with potato masher until desired consistency is achieved.  I like mine with some texture.  You can also use a food processor or a food mill if you prefer a smoother consistency.

See how easy that was? Serve with your favorite protein and enjoy!  

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