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Recipe: Pan Fried Cauliflower

I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge. My original plan was to make cauliflower mash with it. But that bored me. Instead, I broke out the food processor attachment for my stick blender and made a new (to me) thing.

Pan Fried Cauliflower

  • Cauliflower – 1/2 head
  • Olive Oil – 2 tbls
  • Butter – 2 tbls
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The trick here is to start raw cauliflower. Clean off the leaves and break it down into pieces that will fit in the bowl of your food processor. Break down the whole thing because for this, you can use all of the cauliflower, not just the fancy looking parts.

Grind it up until it looks like it has been riced. Depending on your machine, maybe about 30 seconds worth of grinding. Remove any pieces that didn’t hit the blades and put them in with the next batch. My food processor is pretty small, so this took me 3 batches for 1/2 cauliflower.

In your favorite pan, get some olive oil shimmering over medium high heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan with a solid pinch of salt and a few grinds from your pepper mill. Cook this, moving constantly, for about 5 minutes or until it is the consistency your like. Mine was done about like like aldente pasta. Add about 2 tbls of butter to the pan and once melted, let this sit on 1 side for a little extra time to get a bit of color. Careful, this will burn!

This was my first time making this and I can already tell it’s going to be pretty flexible. I added garlic powder and parmesan cheese to finish. Fresh garlic and lemon would be amazing I’m sure. Go crazy and do what you like. I still have 1/2 of a head left and think I’m going to try making that one risotto style. I expect it to be pretty challenging and will report back with the results!

Did you try this? Let me know how it turned out. Comments are open!

Recipe: Oven Roasted Chicken Salad with Yogurt Lemon Dressing

Been a while since I’ve posted here. Figure I should get back to it with a brand new recipe. This was exactly what I wanted and I think you’ll dig it.

Oven Roasted Chicken Salad with Yogurt Lemon Dressing

I’m writing this how I will make it next time, not how I made it this time. I was in a rush and skipped some steps.

Ingredients

  • 1 Chicken Breast, cooked and diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Avocado (optional)

Dressing

  • 1 cup plain yogurt. Greek works too
  • 2 cloves of garlic, but go nuts here if you want
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste, figure about 2tsp of each
  • 1tbls Olive Oil

For the dressing, assemble everything and mix well. If you can give this an hour in the fridge, that would be ideal. Seriously, I really like garlic, so I used 4 cloves because I’m crazy like that. You can adjust this to your liking.

For the chicken breast, cook this using your preferred method. I oven roasted tonight and for this application it works perfectly. But grilled would be equally amazing!

Another trick that I have recently learned is to pre-salt the tomatoes and drain them after about 15 minutes. Takes away some of the bitter and leaves less liquid in the salad.

Putting it all together
Mix up your veggies and your chicken. Toss that with about 2tbls of the dressing and top with sliced avodado to make it look fancy. A few grinds from the pepper mill wouldn’t hurt either.

Simple and quick and oh man this was good! If you make this, be sure to come back and let us know how it turned out!

Recipe Review: Cabbage Salsa

I have another recipe showing up soon, but today, you get this gem. Actually requested, it’s made with cabbage, vinegar and it’s boiled. Yea, I was equally skeptical until I tried it, which is why I’m writing up now. This one is from The Great Salsa Book and was shared with me. Which also means that now I’m going to have to have this book.

As seen above, served this with some thick cut pork chops and it was great. Equally good with a chip or a spoon! You will want to try this one.

Cabbage Salsa

Ingredients

  • Unseasoned Rick Wine Vinegar – 1 12oz bottle
  • 1c Water
  • 4 Serrano Chilies, sliced (leave the seeds you sissy). If they are big, you only need 2 unless you like it spicy!
  • 3tbls sugar
  • 1/2tsp Salt – I did 2 good pinches of Kosher salt here, about 1tbls
  • 1 20oz can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, mincend
  • 1 head of white cabbage, chopped into 1/2″ pieces

Stick with me here. Your whole house is going to smell like an ass factory, but the end result is really worth it. A quick note about the Serranos; handle these little guys with gloves, cut them first, put them into a bowl by themselves and then clean everything really well, unless you want everything that you cut with the knife and board for a week to be spicy!

Preparation
Into a large sauce pan, add the vinegar, water, serranos, sugar and salt. Bring this to a boil and reduce by half, about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook for 2 minutes, remove from heat.

Strain the mixture and save the liquid. Move into a bowl to cool and add back 2tbls of the reserved liquid. Don’t ice bath this! You can cool it quickly in the freezer in about 15-20 minutes.

Add the remain ingredients, stir to combine.

This benefits from a solid hour in the fridge to get cool and for the flavors to mingle, if not longer.

Vinegar, while making your house smell horrible, really knocks the bitter out of the cabbage. Instead of a salsa that tastes like cabbage, you get a salsa that is very hearty, slightly sweet, spicy and delicious! I will be making another batch of this for my Super Bowl festivities for sure!

Recipe: Chili Lime Chicken with Fried Brussel Sprouts

Came up with something, recipe-wise, that turned out good enough to write it up! Check the pic above. I'm calling this Chili Lime Chicken with Fried Brussel Sprouts.

Yes, that's right, I said brussel sprouts. And yes, you are going to eat them. And no, your house won't smell like an ass factory when you are done. Super simple, at least for this application. Here is what you neeed to do.

  1. Shred about 1lb of brussel sprouts. Use a knife if you have the skills, otherwise use your box grater or a finger removing machine. Put these into a bowl that can handle boiling water.
  2. Get your kettle going until the water is boiling or boil water on the stove. You are going to need enough to cover the b sprouts.
  3. Salt and pepper the sprouts, cover with the boiling water.

Let those dudes steep in that water for about 10 minutes. Don't stir them, don't shake them, just let 'em have that hot bath. Strain them, but leave them in the collander/strainer until needed to get rid of as much moisture as possible.

The rest of the recipe is simple. Quick note on the chicken. I'm a giant cheapskate, so I get whatever is on sale or cheapest at the store. For this application, I got chicken breasts with tenders and rib bones attaches. Do this and you can usually get 4 giant breast for about five bucks. Sure, it's extra work, but worth it.

  • 1 large chicken breast, diced. (about a pound of meat)
  • The brussels from above
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 zuchinni, diced
  • 1 tbls lime juice
  • 1 tbls chili powder
  • 1 tbls soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Light sesame oil or vegetable oil, about 1/2 cup

Add the lime juice, chili powder, soy sauce, salt and pepper to your chicken, toss to coat. If you can give this an hour, awesome. If you can't, that's ok too. Smart folks do this in a zip top bag.

Get a pan hot and add a some oil. To that, add your onions and cook them hot and fast until they get some color to them but are not burned. Add your chicken and cook until done. Add more oil if needed. Remove that from the pan and add your zuchinni and cook until done, adding salt and pepper to taste, more oil if needed. Add that to the chicken, add enough oil to the same pan to cover the bottom and add your brussels. Cook those until they get color on them. This will take a while since the water will have to cook off first.

Serve in a bowl, brussels on the bottom, chicken mix on top. The oil left over is really good as a sauce, so don't ditch it! You can go crazy and add some red pepper flake to this too.

Start to finish this took me 1/2 hour and cost about three dollars.

Remember gang, the drive through is a lie.

Recipe: Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Came up with this wanting to have a cold pasta salad. This was simple, quick and perfect for the warmer days of summer and spring in Arizona. I will be making this again. For this, I used chicken tenders instead of breasts for a quicker cook time, and the texture was what I wanted. If you want larger chunks of chicken, use breast.

Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1lb chicken tenders, grilled and chopped
  • 1/2lb pasta. Shells or penne would work best.
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced. Medium size
  • 1/4 red onion sliced thin
  • 2c cherry tomatoes, halved

Dressing

  • 4tbls lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1tsp dry mustard
  • 1tbls kosher salt
  • 1tbls dill. Fresh or dry
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 1tbls red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

If possible, assemble your dressing in advance to really let the garlic and dill come out. My method is to put everything into a mason jar, give it a good shake for about 2 minutes and park it into the fridge until needed.

For the pasta, cook al dente and rinse with cold water. Yes, it's ok to rinse your pasta in this case since it's getting used in a salad and you don't need the extra starch for anything. No, really, rinse your pasta. If it is going to have to sit for a few minutes while you prep everything else, toss it with a bit of olive oil to keep from sticking.

Assembly

Add everything to a good sized bowl. Add the dressing about 1/4 cup at a time, toss to coat. Keep adding dressing until you think there is enough. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.

Additions

Of course ideas come after completion that could have been added. A rib of celery, finely chopped, would have been nice. Peas, blanched and chilled, would have been fantastic as well. I would also recommend using fresh dill if you can, even chopping some into the salad before toss to really punch up the flavor. Skip the cheese on this, you'll find it's not needed.

To be honest, the pasta could even be skipped. It was just what I wanted tonight. It really hit the spot!