Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Cauliflower Steak Meme of 2008

Once I finally learned to roast cauliflower in the oven, I vowed never to cook it any other way.
Then, 2008 happened. The year we learned to slice cauliflower into "steaks" and brown them on both sides. It was suddenly everywhere.
What the hey. Thought I'd give it a try.
So happens we had some spectacular local cauliflower heads (from Swanton), fresh, sweet, young and tender. And we had half a loaf of my primordial attempts at home-baked bread.
Without even bothering to find a cauliflower steak recipe, I just waded in on my own. How hard could it be?
Not hard. They even cooked faster than I anticipated (I was thinking I might have to finish the cooking in the oven after the initial pan-frying; nope!).
When the cauliflower slices were hot and browned (and appropriately salted), I pulled them out and tossed bread slices into the same pan (using butter in both instances).
And then we topped these "sandwiches" with a pseudo-remoulade made from a blend of dijon mustard, mayonnaise, a good shake of hot chile powder, and a pinch of dried dill. Thinned with a spoonful of cream (and the cream really adds some oomph).
Now, I shouldn't rat out my husband. But he was crying. It was so good.


Moonbear said...

Bravissima maestra! I am so impressed.

Zoomie said...

That Cranky, he's such a sentimentalist!

tammy said...

That would move me to tears, too!

Marie said...

Oh my. That sounds so good, I almost want to fire up my oven despite the heat!

Anna Haight said...

Hmmm. I may have to try something that would move Cranky to tears!

Mary Coleman said...

That looks too good! Good old Cranky...he's not one to keep his emotions in, is he?!

el said...

Ohgosh. That is beyond gorgeous.

dancingmorganmouse said...

It looks mighty fine but I'm wondering if it's as good as a mushroom steak !

Rev. Biggles said...

Hmmmm, steak.

I just had a thought. Take the slice of flower, beer batter then deep fry. Make a cauliflower po' boy. I'm hungry.


Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

we did it, too:

down at the bottom, there's a photo and a link to the recipe on Epicurious that we used (which is much too fussy for Cookie and Cranky)

cookiecrumb said...

Moonbear: Don't be very impressed. It was utterly easy. I think we just got lucky with an ultra-tender cauliflower.

Zoomie: He thinks the ladies like it. ;)

Tammy: And then we found out how filling it was! Plenty. Give it a try.

Marie: No oven required! I did it in a pan on the stovetop.

Anna: Don't forget the butter. Butter is good for getting Cranky to cry.

Mary Coleman: He does so much of the cooking around here. Maybe he was just moved because I actually made this meal for him. :D

El: And the best part, we made this dish from stuff we had in the house. Necessity food, but gorgeous.

Morgan: Probably not as good as a mushroom steak; not enough umami. :(

Biggles: Cranky wanted to bread the slices. Men. Always tryin' to snarf extra carbs.
(Doesn't it look like brain on a bun?)

Anita: I know I saw yours, but I forgot. I think Catherine used a variant of the Epicurious recipe too. Thanks. xo

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have never seen cauliflower made and served this way - I'm salivating.

ccw said...

This reminds me of when I made a thanksgiving cauliflower 'turkey' for my vegan friend - a giant head of cauliflower, steamed gently first then slathered with a spice rub and roasted whole.
She was so ecstatic when i brought it out of the oven, "carved" it and sprinkled sunflower seeds over it with flourish (its been a while since she had something "carved" at dinner). The cauliflower still had a nice toothsome quality to it. We served it with cranberry chutney, mashed sweet potatoes (made with cashew 'cream') topped with deep fried chiffonaded swiss chard, and sauteed green beans to round out the vegan friendly celebration. It was so much fun and even the omnivores didn't miss the meat and diary!

Lannae said...


Did you see this NYTimes article. The local and local organic secret is completely out, and it is now "trendy". In the article, the author uses the term "lazy locavore" which I seem to be tending towards since I get my CSA delivered directly to my door.

Catherine said...

love your version! I must do these again, they were so good!

cookiecrumb said...

Patricia: It really jammed itself into my synapses when I first heard about it. I have no doubt you will give it a try. :)

CCW: I love your story. I might happily give up carving a turkey for one of your roasted cauli's.

Lannae: Oh, yes I did see it! We're "fashionable"! Ha ha.

Catherine: Have you waited this long to try it again? Eek! It's so irresistible. Go. Now!

Sophie said...

That sounds like such an awesome idea. A steak? That is too cool, I'm so curious now! :) MUST TRY!

cookiecrumb said...

Sophie: Get a nice, organic head if you can; it's tender and sweet. And, yes, you want to try this.

Sam said...

crying? that's all? This makes me want to turn all vegan again.

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: Oh, no! Then you'd have to leave out the butter and cream! No.