Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Experimentation: Cauliflower Steaks

Atwater Village Farmers' Market
Wells Fargo Parking Lot
3250 Glendale Blvd

Los AngelesCA 90039

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.


Rae said...

I've never heard of this method before. However, I don't like cauliflower. I want to but can't seem to develop a taste for it.

Food, she thought. said...

I love love love cauliflower when prepped the right way. Just plain steamed doesn't thrill me, but purees with flavors, used in place of or mixed with mashed potatoes, used as a cous cous, etc. Lots of yummy things to do with cauliflower.

Daily Gluttony said...

OMG this looks amazing. I actually have a head of cauliflower in the fridge...guess what I'll be making now? :)

Diana said...

I've had cauliflower on my brain all day courtesy of the amazing curried cauliflower I had at AOC last night. I can't wait to try to recreate that dish at home, but this one sounds amazing too! I think there will be a lot of cauliflower in my future. :)

Food, she thought. said...

Diana, I totally thought of you when I was making it. I *knew* you would love this's got that yummy seared flavor but is so healthy!

glutster said...


thanks. I love cauliflower and haven't ate it enough this year.

Kristine G. said...

what a unique and beautiful presentation of cauliflower. totally want to try this recipe just for the novelty-factor. p.s. i love epicurious, too!

Diana said...

I've done it, but without the yummy sauce. Good idea! I also like cauliflower done in a dry cast iron pan, then a touch o salt, pepper and olive oil at the end, a sprinkling of smoked paprika and toasted chick peas as a garnish!

the michelin project said...

I do love cauliflower, esp. as an alternative to mashed potatoes. Great idea!

Cucee Sprouts said...

What a vegetable this is. I love how versatile cauliflower is. I so tempted to try your recipe later this week (I have 3 heads of cauliflower waiting for me at home.) I will come back to your site and report on how your recipe turned out for sure! Would you like to take a look at my most recent cauliflower creation?

fel said...

I was looking for a cauliflower recipe and found the same recipe on Epicurious. Then I saw that you had done it and gave it rave reviews so BAM! That's what I'm cooking this weekend :)