Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mashed Cauliflower and Cajun Parmesan Chicken

Let's have dinner! 

I got the original mashed cauliflower recipe from Albert Burneko at Foodspin.  He cusses a lot, but that's because he's one of those East Coast city boys who's trying to compensate for the fact that he actually lives there by choice.  Whatever--the dude can cook.  I've tweaked his recipe a little because that's how I roll.

I started with orange cauliflower, since it was on sale, tastes the same, and has lots of that Beta Carotene that us old folks need in order to put off the day when we run our Cadillacs into the side of a building because we didn't see it.  On top of that, you'll need whole milk, or heavy cream, or evaporated milk(which I went with).  Also, a heapin' helpin' of cream cheese, some black pepper, a whole mess of grated Parmesan and a couple of tablespoons of minced garlic because, garlic.  Preheat the oven to 400.

The first thing to do is shave all the leaves and trunk off the cauliflower(which I swear has been genetically altered to be fully half leaves and trunk), and then chop it up into sections, which will reduce your steaming time.  I realized, just before I started, that I did not, alas, have a steamer pot.  However, I do have an electric wok, a large pot screen and some water, so with a bit of redneck engineering, I had it steamed in a little under 30 minutes.

Now, let's toss our steamed cauliflower in the blender with the rest of the ingredients:  about a cup of milk, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, a dusting of black pepper, a pinch of salt and the garlic.  Blend to a smooth consistency and pour into a baking dish.  Break out some grated mozzarella or whatever cheese crust you fancy, and top your cauliflower with a layer of cheese, a bit more black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.  Bake about 20 minutes, or until the surface starts to brown and bubble.

(Sorry about some of the blurry shots--my camera's apparently decided to be slow on the uptake at random.) 

Now the Cajun Parmesan Chicken.  Ramp the oven up to 450, and break out your chicken.  I'm using tenderloins, but any Boneless Skinless Chicken Parts will do.  You'll need some grated Parmesan, some bread crumbs of some sort--Panko, Italian, Plain, whatever--and Boar's Head Remoulade, which I picked up at Fry's one day and decided I'd better do something with.

(Ignore the beer, it has nothing to do with the was what I was drinking when I put all this together.)  Mix equal parts Parmesan and bread crumbs.  Coat your chicken with the remoulade, dredge it in the bread crumbs, and toss it on a lined baking sheet.  Bake 15-20 minutes.

Jen gave it a thumbs-up, and we definitely have leftovers on the cauliflower, which will give us side dishes for the rest of the week.

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