Sunday morning found me motivated enough to head out the the Atwater Village Farmers' Market, a market small enough to quickly find parking and be easily navigated within 30 minutes from start to finish. Home within an hour including the drive there and back. I picked up some of the usual suspects; Brussels sprouts, garlic, an onion, this and that, and two large heads of cauliflower. I love creative things done with cauliflower when dining out, and Sunday late morning had me lounging around while watching boatloads of tennis. I fingered I didn't have that small flat screen wall mounted in the kitchen for nothing. Off to Epicurious my mind and fingers wandered.
I found a gorgeous recipe for Cauliflower Steaks with a 94% would make again rating with 38 reviews. That's a solid standing statistics wise with a decent sampling size. FTW. Bon Appetit 2008.
First, cut cauliflower head down the center into two large 1" thick "steaks".
Roughly chop remaining florets and cook to softness in a water and milk bath. Drain retaining one cup of the cooking liquid. Bake florets on cookie sheet at 250F until slightly dry.
Puree with cooking liquid in a blender (food processor) until smooth, set aside.
In an oven proof skillet, on stove top heat olive oil to sizzling temps, salt, pepper and add steaks searing both sides until brown.
Above see one side browned and flipped. I didn't use a skillet, I used one of my Le Creuset deep pans. I would use cast iron if I had.
Shove pan with browned steaks in oven at 350F until tender, about 10 minutes. Top with puree and garnish. Gorgeous.
I cooked this with 100% fidelity to the recipe and it was fantastic. I was pretty liberal with the salt and pepper. Next time, now that I understand the recipe (unlike this weekend's salmon rillette incident) I am going to mix it up. I think I will add something herbaceous or garlicky to the puree, and maybe even some dairy. Parmesan cheese, perhaps. But the actual steaks are perfect as is. The gorgeous sear on them adds that umami-caramelized quality we love on the outside of our steaks at Mastro's and BLT. This is definitely a recipe that will get heavy rotation this year in kitchen FST.