The Second Half

Anything goes. Within the bounds of propriety, of course.

Broccoli demon gets kicked out of cauliflower heaven: Day 4 — November 17, 2017

Broccoli demon gets kicked out of cauliflower heaven: Day 4

Alas, all good things must come to an end and this was one good head of cauliflower indeed! My grief is tempered by the gratitude I feel for the four excellent meals I squeezed out of it.

So, my esteemed readers, our cauliflower journey has come to its conclusion. In parting, I’d like to give you the recipe for one of my most favorite salads ever. In fact, this is what I usually end up making when I have cauliflower around. It will only set you back by a few minutes (when you exclude the time for steaming) and is a fantastic crunchy, creamy mixture I can never get enough of 🙂

Without further ado, here’s what you need besides the steamed cauliflower:

  • A cucumber
  • 2 or 3 tomatoes
  • Boiled eggs (I used three)
  • Parsley
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard

So, roll up your sleeves and cut the cucumber and tomatoes. The shape matters not as long as the pieces aren’t too chunky – just common sense really, you don’t want to use force to stuff them in your mouth. Then chop up the boiled eggs and add everything to the cauliflower, sprinkling with the parsley.

The dressing is the same we used on day three – mayo mixed with some mustard. You may have noticed that I rarely mention salt. I leave it up to you to decide if or how much you want.

And there you have it, the culmination of this cooking adventure. Granted, it didn’t require much in the way of utensil-wielding and pan-tossing skills, but that’s how I roll – minimum effort for maximum enjoyment 🙂

Thank you for accompanying me on this journey! I hope you gave some of these recipes a shot or at least enjoyed reading.

I’m off now to indulge in some mindless entertainment. Have yourselves a glorious weekend!

Broccoli demon outstays welcome in cauliflower heaven: Day 3 — November 16, 2017

Broccoli demon outstays welcome in cauliflower heaven: Day 3

Sorry, sorry, sooorryyyy! This series was meant to take a few days and be done with. Eyes will probably start rolling now, but I swear this is the truth: I got swamped with work, then went out of town for a couple of days and time just passed. In fact, I’m using a lull in the daily workflow to get this one finished and dispatched. Yep, I feel guilty, please don’t hate me!

So, let’s proceed. On day three of this cauliflower journey, there will be no cooking, just mixing stuff together. Well, apart from where you spend a couple of minutes to throw the cauliflower and carrots into the veggie steamer.

Here’s an interesting fact: for most of my life, I had no idea what tuna fish tasted like. I won’t start reminiscing about my childhood and adolescence, which were spent under an authoritarian communist regime. What I want to say is that many things were unknown in these parts, tuna included. Sure, we had fresh and canned fish, but no tuna graced supermarket shelves. At least the masses didn’t have it, the bastard commie elite may have gorged themselves on it.

The point of telling you this is to make it known that I have become a huge fan of tuna in recent years. No, I don’t start salivating profusely and acting strangely at the sight of it, but I do love it. Ergo, today you’re getting a recipe that features tuna. We’ll be having a salad of sorts, for which you need your cauliflower and carrot mixture plus the following:

  • Some canned tuna
  • Sweet corn
  • A cucumber
  • A few radishes (A spur-of-the-moment thing, saw them in the supermarket and thought it would be a good idea to throw some into the mix. My taste buds thought so.)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard

Do you even need me to tell you what to do?! Just in case you do, here’s the procedure: chop up the cucumber and radishes, add to the cauliflower, and then throw in the corn and the tuna. In another bowl, scoop up some mayo and mix with a bit of mustard. The quantities will depend on how much dressing you want and how mustardy you prefer it.

And here’s what you get for your efforts:

IMG_20171103_194135

Incidentally, I’m having another tuna-based salad for dinner today. Don’t worry, I won’t be forcing that recipe on you as well. In fact, my cauliflower head proved enough for four meals, so the next post will be the final in this series. Then I really need a change of theme or people might think they’ve stumbled across a cooking blog. Which they have not, I must point out.

Broccoli demon lingers in cauliflower heaven: Day 2 — November 6, 2017

Broccoli demon lingers in cauliflower heaven: Day 2

So, the Earth did its rotation thingy and a new day dawned on my cauliflower project. After the euphoria of day one, I felt like something creamy for the next round. My thoughts strayed to the two options I typically debate in my head: mayonnaise with mustard or blue cheese sauce?

Frankly, I stick with those because they are easy to make, especially the first one. I mean, you just mix mayo with mustard and you’re done! Sometimes I add a spoonful or two of yogurt, depending on what else is in the dish to keep it from getting too rich.

I decided to go with blue cheese sauce. Since that’s quite the extravaganza in my book, I thought, “What the hell, let’s go wild and throw in some mushrooms!” And that’s what I ended up with: cauliflower with mushrooms and blue cheese sauce.

Cauliflower in blue 🙂

All right then, you have your steamed mixture of cauliflower and carrots. You’ll also need the following:

  • A few mushrooms (I had five mid-sized ones)
  • A little butter
  • Parsley
  • Ground black pepper

And these for the sauce:

  • 100ml of cooking cream (mine came in one of those small cartons)
  • 50g of blue cheese
  • 50ml of milk

And…action!

Cut the mushroom up however you want and throw them in the pan, where the melted butter is sizzling and beckoning. My two cents: use as little butter as possible because there’s plenty of fat in the sauce. Of course, if your attitude to butter and similar fats is summed up by “the more, the better,” don’t let me stop you.

Once the mushrooms are cooked, turn off the heat, sprinkle with black pepper and chopped parsley and give the mixture a few good final stirs. Then remove the pan, take a deep breath and proceed with the sauce.

Did you notice how I gave you exact measures for the sauce ingredients? People who have read my recipes know that I have quite the disdain for precise quantities, but I’ve come to realize that sometimes you just have to do what you’re told. This sauce is a case in point. The first time I made it, my passion for blue cheese got the better of me and I plonked in the entire piece, which was 100g. I tell you, it was a massive waste of material as the sauce turned out too salty. I may or may not have cried in anger and despair.

Anyway, here’s how you make the sauce. Pour the cream into a pan and bring to boil while stirring. Add the milk and the mashed blue cheese and keep stirring until the cheese fully melts.

IMG_20171102_203501

That’s it! All you have to do now is mix everything together, give it a few minutes to settle and proceed to devour with gusto. I think I gave my cats a scare because I was practically growling while I ate. I probably sound disgusting…Maybe I should just keep some things to myself.

See ya soon!

Broccoli demon goes to cauliflower heaven: Day 1 — November 1, 2017

Broccoli demon goes to cauliflower heaven: Day 1

Those who’ve read my article on fruit and veggies know that I turn into a demon at the sight of broccoli, a fiend losing all regard for familial ties, any sense of propriety and basic human decency. Must-have-all-broccoli-no-touch-you-die…..that kind of thing.

While not as demented, my reaction to cauliflower may also seem unhinged. Domestic peace has endured due to the exceptionally fortunate fact that my son doesn’t much care for either broccoli or cauliflower.

What I’m going to do over the next few days is share with you how I consumed a massive head of cauliflower (not all at once, of course, I split it into several portions). These are concoctions I felt like trying out, but I won’t claim originality – it may very well be that some ideas have stuck during my frequent browsing of recipe sites. I don’t even know what to call them: some are neither properly cooked meals nor salads. What I can tell you for certain is that I found every single bite orgiastic!

To spare myself some keyboard clacking and your good selves reading time, here is something that unites all recipes: the cauliflower is steamed together with some sliced carrots and this is later mixed with the cooked portion of the meal. OK? So every recipe has this as its foundation. Quantities are entirely up to you.

Some of these combinations probably violate a rule or two or a dozen of proper cooking. I kindly ask you to note that I’m clueless as to said rules and I’m solely guided by my taste buds and intuition.

Now, let’s see what came out of my kitchen on day one.

Broccoli meets cauliflower in epic merger of near-equals 🙂

In addition to the steamed cauliflower-cum-carrots mixture, you’ll also need:

  • Some broccoli (I got the frozen variety because my store had no fresh broccoli right then and I couldn’t wait)
  • A cucumber
  • A couple of tomatoes
  • Chili pepper flakes
  • Cooking oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt (perhaps)

As I noted above, this is a hybrid of sorts. I may like veggies, but I’m not too keen on steamed ones; they are depressingly bland. But combine them with some stir-fried goodies and you bring a good thing into this world.

All you need to do is stir-fry the broccoli, adding the chili pepper flakes near the end. I love spicy dishes, but if you don’t, you can just use sweet pepper flakes. Mind the salt because the soy sauce has plenty of it.

 

broccoli flakes
Phase 1: broccoli done

 

And that’s all the cooking, I kid you not! I mean, involving heat and some stirring. Remove the pan, add the cauliflower and carrots and mix well. I suggest leaving this to cool before proceeding to the next step.

 

mixture
Phase 2: broccoli mixed with steamed veggies

 

Once the mixture has cooled down, grab that cucumber and the tomatoes and chop them up, in as small or as large pieces as you want, in whatever shape pleases you. Add them to the pan and mix carefully so as not to squish the tomatoes.

 

final
Phase 3: all done

 

What next? Just scoop some of it onto a plate, drizzle with soy sauce and tuck in!

I realize I’m excessively biased in this case, but I have to tell you I was stuffing my face to the sound of heavenly trumpets and angel choirs. It was all in my head, of course, and I plan to seek professional help. That said, I hope somebody is intrigued enough to give this a try and get back to me with a comment. Happy cooking, fellow broccolites and/or cauliphiles!

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