Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cauliflower Overload

So ultimately the purpose of creating a blog for myself was for recipe maintenance and distribution amongst my more "kitchen challenged" friends (you know who you are) asking for some of my stolen or slightly original creations. By no means do I consider myself an expert when it comes to culinary stylings, but I will try anything once and tend to have unique taste pairings. On more than one occasion by more than one person, my appetite has been compared to that of a pregnant woman's. Since I vehemently deny that pregnancy could ever be the culprit, I instead attribute it to an early penchant for original combinations. Though far from classy, my early classics were Cold Hot Dogs dipped in Apple Sauce, Mustard on Oreos, and Tortilla Chips dipped in Vanilla Yogurt. The salty-sweet combination matured into a love of Peanut Butter Burgers, Hawaiian Pizza, and Chocolate Dipped Bacon.
But anyway, I'm getting entirely off track here as my latest meal has absolutely nothing to do with the above. Last week, after what seemed like an eternity of busy schedules and take out food, I finally was able to cook. My initial idea though had grown simply from steak and cauliflower (in my attempt to cook on a budget and use what's currently in my fridge)to an entirely new concept. I had four days of meal planning as my schedule kept being pushed back, so once I finally found the time and motivation to cook, I really went for the cauliflower overkill. Ryan and I both agreed that they meal together was good, but each separate piece was great. So I will implore any that decide to try the following to learn from my mistakes as you might in a choose your own adventure book & turn to Page 26 instead of Page 14, which thinking of it, I really need to get because those things rock.

First, I had a SIRLOIN strip type steak (eh, I'm so not good on remembering the cuts of meat, particularly steak) in the fridge since it was on sale at my Ralph's.
Since it was on sale, I figured it would be best to do some sort of marinade to avoid the potential toughness of the meat, plus I wanted extra sauce for the next part of my meal. Using a few I found online as a point of reference I made the following
1/4 c. honey
3 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 flank sirloin steak

Mix all the ingredients through garlic powder well. Po
ur over meat in small casserole or pan and spoon extra juices on top of steak. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour or more to marinate. Broil Steak for about 4-5 minutes on each side in casserole dish in oven, or until desired doneness.

Another aspect of this meal was the cauliflower rice. Despite my intense love of all things carb, I also recognize the need to get rid of the "Relationship 10" lbs gained over the last year and a half while blissfully ignoring my ever tightening pants. This was actually a very nice addition to the steak and worked very well with the juices. I think if I ever make this again, I will keep the steak and faux rice and substitute the rest with a salad.
3/4 head of fresh cauliflower

Olive Oil or Cooking Spray to taste

Salt & Pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan (optional) to taste
Lightly pulse the cauliflower in a food processor so that it resemble
s the consistency of rice. When the rest of the meal is almost ready, lightly saute the cauliflower bits with some cooking spray or olive oil, and seasonings. I also put a bit of Parmesan for taste. Serve under the steak, the extra juices from the marinade really complement the faux rice.

Next up is the ham wrapped asparagus and cauliflower steaks. These are not highly complicated so I will spare you the detailed recipes. I will say, that in the future I fully plan on making the ham asparagus in place of one of my favorite sides/appetizers, bacon wrapped asparagus. It provides a similar flavor with very little fat as I just used just half a thin slice of low fat ham to wrap the spear and secured with a toothpick. I did use a little olive oil, salt, and pepper on the asparagus prior to wrapping, but you could spray with pam for less fat. The cauliflower steak was 2 sections cut from the same head used above for the "rice". I essentially seared the cauli-steak to brown the outside. Both the asparagus and steak were baked together at 325 degrees F for about 30 minutes. You could adjust the temperature to whatever your needs are, I wanted to take Sammy-Pants on a walk so that's what I did while it cooked.
In the end it resulted in a reasonably pleased and well fed boyfriend, a "happy to eat the leftovers" Chance, and a lesson in overthinking & overpairing meals.

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