Friday, November 7, 2014

Chili roasted cauliflower

If you had told me the next upcoming script would have a giant flower headshot looming over the page, I would probably have given you a questionable look. I mean before I googled upon this  Purewow hopeful, I had no real obsession with the cruciferous root, mainly because I knew not that it could be consumed so efficiently, served so impressively, sans labor, other than taking it out of the fridge. A wholeness that made the call to my better side, you know the one that dons the halo.

And lets' face it, write-ups dedicated to vegetables sometimes elicit certain amounts of unexcitement, (bear with me, vegan stalwarts, I shall redeem myself towards conclusion) that too when a significant amount of time goes into prepping the subject of choice. What with fragmenting florets from stalk and cauliflower shrapnel invading every square inch of corner kitchen, is it a fallacy that not a single BFMK page is dedicated to the head sized flower food?

Not that I'm averse to cauliflower recipes. I actually enjoy them. But when it involves a tailoring process longer than the actual cooking time, it seems illogical to me in spending the half day I'd take to watch a few movies  for something that could, just might, possibly have a more swifter, approachable coda.

As a result of additional websearching it was no surprise to find a treasure trove of The Uncut, whole cauliflower heads roasted in varied flavor composites, each in their own way good, doable and just so laborsavingly commendable. This broad spectacle had me realize that some things, including food groups, are so much better, and way prettier when they are not tampered with as much as they are existingly set out to be.

The quick brushing of oil, savory pastes and powders assist in awakening our c. heart roast, making you a believer of how grand this veggie can be. Oven heat, combined with marinade render for outer crispiness and sears in the fantastic taste that weaves its way into the very core. Unbroken, bronzed cauliflower is quite the Beautiful One, and has my heart stop for more than a few beats. At this point, I smile. And smell the flower.

Not only is this a stunningly fierce dish, it is great advancement for a stealtheshowpresentation. Something that could impress the socks off all those vegetarian dinner guests who now have a good excuse to invite themselves over.

And go ahead, have it sing to your own tune. Feel like tandoori? Mixup pre made masala, seasonings and yogurt, spread/ smother onto the crown and make it an ode to your favorite Indian restaurant. Some thyme/sage, and it swaps in for this year's Thanksgiving roast (turkey lovers, kindly disregard the blasphemy). Perhaps cancel the night's takeout with a Chinese-esque soy/ginger/sesame glaze. There's ample room to transform and mold today's blueprint, astounding yourself with each new discovery.

Finally, I tried it soon after with an accompanying almost-gravy, a sidecar of sautéed onions, garlic, chili and a few tomatoes. That, combined with a dip of cilantro yogurt transcended the remarkable to unbearably fantastic.

Chili cauliflower is of the uberspectacular genre, one that has you reconsider each and every misconception of working with this veg's floretfilled head. 

There you have it, the true confession of a recovering sloth fragmenter and c. flower phobe

(Inspired By Purewow- thanks for showing me how to use my head;-)

  • cooking spray
  • 1 whole cauliflower, cleaned and trimmed of leaves and thick stem
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • salt
  • Preheat oven to 375° F. Oil a foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray/ or cooking oil.
  • Combine ingredients from 3 tbsp oil to salt in a small bowl.
  • Using your brush or hands smear the head of cauliflower with this mixture.
  • Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, until slightly browned on surface.
  • At this point, take large foil and lightly tent the cauliflower for the remaining 20-30 minutes or until soft when pressed with fork and top is well browned and crusted.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve as wedges with cilantro yogurt and/or white rice. 
You may wish not to foil- tent if you like the cauliflower well browned with darkened crust.
Cilantro yogurt is nothing but 1 cup yogurt, 2 tbsp finely minced cilantro leaves, salt pepper. Whip together these and serve alongside your roast. Recipe is also found at the end of this post.

I've been neglecting these glances to the past.
But we''ll overlook this misstep on my part and take it from here.
This time, last year  ~

Romans 8:18
Source: Duo Paradigms
"The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us."(NCV)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Besan (chickpea/garbanzo bean flour) laddoo

My appreciation for the sweetmeat far exceeds any other, a food boast I shamelessly proclaim, over and over on these pages. Be it dashed liberally with cocoa, caramel fudged into quaint tarts, creamed, flamed, fruited , it is the dessert species that manages to captivate not only the content writer, in this case myself, but also her sugarrushed readers, proof when reports along this ranking reach louder than most. Oh, I hear you. And I really don't think we could deplete the number of ingenious ways in which to showcase sugar.

So when dulcet delicacies level in charming presentation, tipping even with stupendously good flavor, I volunteer myself to bring those cases on. Take for example my past weekend, where I was mass producing 2 batches of specialed up morsels, most favorable to Indian palates, on my kitchen counter.

It was a few decades ago that mithai (mee-ttie)became a part of my vernacular. Indian for candy, this has probably been the most enamoring word in my native culinary vocab, one which I can't attach a single bad memory to.

Where encounters with honied confections, laced with edible silver and gold, dripping in ghee, tastefully arranged in just the right amount of sugared dozens, made my mouth water and waistline increase at alarmingly fast rates. This was my once upon a time, though, when I was fortunate to live within walk distance of the bakery that housed suchmentioned delights. The ten minute stroll combined with a decades-younger metabolism balanced perfect to my grazing through a few couple rows of roundbite desserts that I will introduce to you today. How time changes *sigh* These days  stealtheating is accompanied with stipulations like "cutting down carbs", "sweets in moderation", things I am highly incapable of doing. Thus, life goes on.*and sigh again* 
Having never even half attempted  Indian mithai, my feelings were that this type of perfecton should not be tampered with and left to suffer at amateur hands. It's when  pinterest had me glance over  the few 100 10 boards,  that I could finally wrap my my dense head around a possible desi confectionmaking future(?). The visual forcing had me dream my part in playing the fierce laddoo whisperer.

Anytime, before this sequence and you had told me you've never tried laddoo, I'd  head you on out to the nearest Indian grocer/baker/cafe/grandma to try a first bite. But now, since we're here, and  you've never experienced the luxury, and myself being the generous host I shall ever be, this very discourse will be your source shining light onto one of India's most highly favored indulgences, something you will thank me for later.

Laddoos are round sweet desserts. Mithai made from grains, grams, fruits or flours familiar to the Indian's daily speak, varied and colorful as the region's imagination. Oftentimes these are roasted, fried or steamed, and mixed with ghee and sugar, wheeled in with flavorings/seasonings, all needed in its uncomplicated coming together. A roll here,  a roll there, with  the combination of any these will bring about fantastic forms of spherical love. 

Today's ball of confection is of a more traditional realm, a stalwart laddoo, used for national celebrations as well as welcoming babies into the world. Besan laddoo, is basically made with  groundbesan, better known as flour of the garbanzo bean. Many recipes suggest this be the coarser type flour, a variety harder to find here in these Southwest U.S parts. And since I had not the slightest inclination to disregard the 5 lb "regular" fine yellow-powder-in-a-bag, from the pantry, my laddoo assembly would rely on just that. 

A swift four steps are probably what will entice you into beginning this simplest fix to satisfying your sweet tooth. A teeny offset to this here effortless layout is an inevitable 15 minute penance in front of a heated stove. Hence, a nopainnogain philosophy will help you stand ground as you slow roast and transform yellow dust into beautifully dotted amberlush grain, the finale that signals in the best airperfume, guaranteed to last for a solid 2 hours. 

A flow of an ample amount of sugar is followed by the clarified butter that lends these charming nuggets their binding fudginess, as well as the addictive melt-in-your-mouth smoothness. Take into account that not dropping a few finished miniglobes into your mouth within the time you clear through a whole batch will be quite an impossible task. 

Finally, the grace note that  lovely laddoo ends on? Not that it needs further gilding, but being free of gluten, and a fantastic energy snack pulls in several bonus points to paleo/pure/healthful arguments. Surely, it puts my mind to ease, as I powerfeed myself the last few, running through end sentences of this enoughsaid laddoo editorial.
Rolled to half inch. Could be taken to exactly an inch. Liked the smaller version better. They resemble mini pumpkins, don't they?

(Adapted from here. Thanks Turmeric n Spice!)
  • 1 cup besan/chickpea flour/garbanzo bean flour
  • ¾ cup raw cane sugar or granulated sugar
  • a pinch cardamom powder
  • ¼-¾ cup ghee/clarified butter
  • ¼ c pistachios/ cashews/almonds for garnish
  • Place flour into a large nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat.
  • Using a wooden spatula/spoon continuously stir flour around the insides of pan so each grain cooks through and reaches a light amber (not dark brown), giving off a real nutty scent.  (I had flame on low and it took me 20 minutes).
  • Stir in sugar. Mix together with the cooked flour for a minute. Take off heat. Add cardamom powder and combine all ingredients well.
  • Add 1/4 c ghee,  stir and combine, adding in more, up to triple the amount until the ingredients are moistened and bind well, without being greasy. 
  • Wait until besan mixture is cooled and roll into 1/2 to 1 inch balls.
  • Garnish with either crushed or whole pistachios, cashew, almonds.
There was nothing meaningful in using organic raw sugar, just that I happened to have a 2 lb bag ready to use for such an occasion. You could make adjustments on the sugar quantity to personal taste. Also the raw cane sugar can be swapped out for superfine sugar if a smoother texture is desired.
We all know free time is priceless. A calendar's blank spot, the afternoon free of phone alerts, clean floors and an empty laundry basket*aahhh* are the rarest of treats. These welcome breaks are my cherished interludes where relaxation/ refreshment, that which a million spas together can't assure, come from the Giver of Rest.  His company is nourishment and energy, granting a tired body respite, breathing peace to an anxietyburdened mind and shoring restoration to the very wearied soul. In this quietness, with confidence, I can let it be. All is well within me.
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Exodus 33:14