Monday, 30 September 2013

Chilled Cauliflower Purée

I recently inherited a copy of the book Clean and Lean recently, which is a really interesting read (thanks Cait).  Great recipes too, although taking the next step and actually doing the clean and lean program isn't quite on the radar just yet! Maybe one day... (or not - I just could not imagine giving up wine and bread for 2 weeks)

Reading the book combined with eating a chocolate cake make out of black beans led me to think about sauces, mayonnaises etc and whether there was a way to make them healthier (there's the tie in). The preservatives in a classic mayo must be verging on out of control. Also I'm becoming suspect of eating things where I can't tell what is in them (like tomato sauce...there are definitely no tomatoes in that stuff!) Anyway, back on to the topic, a while ago I made a pasta sauce that was mainly peas puréed and it was delicious. Tonight we had a bowl of cooked cold cauliflower in the fridge left over from the AFL BBQ (where my salad only made it to the half finished stage) and I thought it could be a chance to get out the stick mixer again for some more pureeing. 

Quantities could be varied and if you don't want a garlicky flavour you could cook the garlic first (or use less):

3/4 cup cauliflower cooked (boiled/steamed) and chilled 
1 clove of raw garlic crushed 
20 g butter melted 
Squeeze of lemon juice
Milk (a few dashes as required) to get  creamy texture
S & P to season 

Place all ingredients apart from the milk in food processor or in a bowl if stick mixing and blend. Add milk slowly until you get a thick slightly creamy texture. 


Suggested tips: do not use the same fork/spoon that you use to scoop up the garlic to taste test. A big dose of raw garlic is a bit of a challenge! 

We had it with a plate of stir fried veges and leftover chicken. The veges were stir fried with just olive oil and some salt and pepper (chicken not so healthy but whatever) and the CCP on the side (chilled). I tried and failed to do the swishing down the side of the plate so it just looked like a random cream coloured blobby sauce snaking around the plate. Tasted good though. 

Suggested uses for the Chilled Cauliflower Puree (CCP): 
1. Heated as a sauce (pasta, gnocchi maybe with veg?) although WB has clarified that it wouldn't be like a regular pasta sauce since it's not as creamy - buyer beware. 
2. On salad as a dressing
3. Heated on its own as a mashed potato replacement. 
4. Topping to a steak - replacement for something like mushroom sauce 
5. A layer in a lasagne 
6. As a dip with Kale chips (Gwyneth Paltrow-esque)
7. With crackers and cheese... 

Of course we taste tested the crackers and cheese with CCP combo (right) and although it doesn't have much going for it in the looks department it was delicious.  Rated a "very good" from WB.  I reckon with a bit of chopped parsley stirred through that would be a winner.

The Kale chips and CCP dip would definitely be a good combo.  With the raw garlic, cauli and Kale you would basically be getting healthier just by eating it.  Funnily enough a search of Gwyneth Paltrow (to see how her name was spelt) brings up a recipe for Gwynnie's Kale chips. 

So that's it. The best thing about this is that it would be super cheap to make in bulk - if you can get a cauliflower for under $2 the rest of the ingreds will probably be around the kitchen so that's a $2.00 sauce if you used it as a pasta sauce (noting creaminess comment above) with 0% preservatives - Jamie Oliver would be proud.