Friday, March 30, 2007

Cauliflower as Art, Well Not Exactly...... But How About As Mashed Potatoes?

Why am I thinking about cauliflower of all things? I guess I was remembering all the ways that parents try to disguise healthy food, so that their kids will eat it. We had a great trick or so I thought. We used to put broccoli, for example, on a platter in the middle of the table and tell our kids it was for us, that there wasn't enough for them and they wouldn't like it - it tasted like medicine. Well, that worked only a few times, before they were on to us. (I guess we shouldn't have waited until they were teenagers to do that.)

Then there was the time that we ordered dumplings...ssshhh they were LAMB dumplings...and I lied right to my daughter's face and told her they weren't (she detested lamb) and she NEVER forgave me. I don't really remember why it was so important to me that she eat these darn dumplings..but it was.

Talking about the putting different guises on food, here's a recipe I came upon when I was teaching a low carb cooking class. This recipe came as a complete revelation to me. Apparently, people who had been Atkins-ing it up knew all about it. This version of Cauliflower Disguised As Garlic Mashed Potatoes is truly amazing! EVEN IF YOU HATE CAULIFLOWER, I DEFY YOU TO HATE THIS. When served AS mashed potatoes to unsuspecting diners, they WILL NOT KNOW. They will just think you jimmied with your mashed potato recipe somewhat.

The recipe is almost perfect as it is, but here are three small changes:
  • BEAT IN the butter with the cream cheese, don't serve it with the cauliflower.
  • Don't bother with the bouillon (this isn't 1954) - use the half teaspoon of salt, which is called for in the recipe.
  • And use two WHOLE cloves of garlic (instead of the minced) and add them to the boiling water with the cauliflower and puree them together. The garlic comes out soft and sweet and gives the dish a gentle garlicky flavor. This is great idea when you're making normal mashed potatoes, as well.

One interesting thing about the method here is that you may use your food processor with abandon to puree the cauliflower. You would NEVER do that with potatoes. They would come out gummy enough to decoupage your Grandmother's entire dining room set.

Oh, one other thing...Don't substitute, replace or alternate anything else. The cream cheese is not to be reduced fat, the butter is not be anything but butter, and use real - right from the chunk - freshly grated Parmesan.

This is one of those few times when cooking isn't just a prelude to eating, it's truly magic. What's the magic? That you actually got those rotten kids to eat cauliflower...


Sheila said...

I love mashed cauliflower. I'm going to trick my husband. It's about time for another good trick.

Right now - he won't eat anything called casserole. So, I make a lot of "bakes".

He won't eat onions - So, everything is "shallot"

And he won't touch mayo - Enter "aioli"

I can't wait to try out the cauliflower! Thanks Sue!

Sue said...

You're funny. And you'll be sooo ready when you have kids!