Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kalyn's Twice Baked Cauliflower

I'm a fan of Kalyn Denny, a fellow food blogger of the highest order. I've mentioned her before, over at Kalyn's Kitchen, and her success with the South Beach Diet. So this was a recipe posted some months back, and since I'd tried another of her cauliflower recipes, the one with bacon and mushrooms, I was sure this one would be a winner too. She got it from The Low Carb Gourmet by Karen Barnaby.

The first time I made this I thought my DH was going to lick the baking dish. He thought it was that good. So last night, with me in a wheelchair in a cast with my fractured foot, and a cauliflower in the refrigerator, I suggested he could make this. It was a simple meal otherwise - citrus salt rubbed grilled pork chops, green salad and the cauliflower.

Well, let's just say the whole meal was a challenge for him. He's never been much of a cook. Put him behind a barbecue and he's king. And in front of the sink with a heap of dirty dishes, and he's a master. But put him in front of a recipe with a head of cauliflower, and he becomes frozen in place. He invited a friend, Bob, to come over and join us. His wife is out of town. Now Bob admitted he's not much of a cook, either, but he admirably made the green salad. I cut up the cauliflower, leaving tatters of it on the floor all around the wheelchair. But Dave was required to put together the rest of the vegetable dish. And you need to know that Dave didn't start the dinner until the doorbell rang.

Normally I wouldn't go into such detail about this, but I can only laugh about it. We didn't have any sour cream. I suggested plain yogurt, which we had. He forgot to add it. You're supposed to add the green onions to the cooked cauliflower. He put the green onions in with the raw cauliflower to boil/simmer, so it completely boiled off the flavor, I would assume. He couldn't find the cream cheese, so we used some of the Boursin herb cheese spread we had out as an appetizer. We had cheddar, so Dave grated that up with no problem. He couldn't find the Parmesan, even though I told him exactly what size plastic bag it was in the cheese drawer, so that was eliminated. And he'd completely cooked the cauliflower and added everything else before he remembered he had to prepare the bacon (in little frozen rolls in the freezer), chop it up and cook it crisp. Short 10-15 minute delay there. Where was I during most of this? My foot was aching, so I was laid out on the sofa 20 feet away with my leg elevated above my heart.

Dave reminded me of the phrase - a one-armed paperhanger. He kept saying the instructions weren't there on the recipe. He read it clear through - aloud I might add, but he was distracted, making conversation with our guest, trying to juggle getting things out of the refrigerator, thinking about setting the table outside, firing up the barbecue, getting the chops on the grill, me working the temperature probe, then him not overcooking the chops, keeping the temp in the barbecue at the right level, washing dishes in between (which he'd much rather do than cook), talking some more, with me piping in advice all the way through. (Welcome to the everyday world of cooking, my darling.) He got very frustrated - at me for giving him advice - and more likely at himself.

All I can do is laugh. He said, as we were finishing our meal (which was delicious, and Bob said the cauliflower was to die for), that he has a whole new appreciation for what it takes to cook even a simple meal! (YES!!!) This cauliflower dish is NOT hard to make. I assure you, it isn't. It just sounds like it from my description of my DH preparing it. He might beg to differ with me about that, but if you're even a basic cook, this will not throw you. And what it tastes like is those fabulous mounds of baked potato with all the trimmings. The bacon makes it, in my book, but you can reduce how much you use (recipe below shows less bacon than Kalyn's version). So, once again, thank you Kalyn.

Twice Baked Cauliflower
Recipe: adapted from one at Kalyn's Kitchen, a food blog, originally from The Low Carb Gourmet by Karen Barnaby
Servings: 4
1 head cauliflower
2 ounces lowfat cream cheese, or Boursin herb cheese
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup lowfat sour cream
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese -- grated
2 slices bacon -- cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut out stem and core from cauliflower, and cut into small pieces. Cook in large pot of boiling water until cauliflower is tender, but not overly soft. Drain well and mash with potato masher, leaving some chunks. Mix in cream cheese, butter, sour cream, green onion, Parmesan, and 3/4 of the bacon. Spread evenly in an 8 X 8 inch glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and reserved bacon. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Or heat in microwave for about 7-8 minutes, covered.
NOTES : Apparently this recipe came about from the South Beach Diet since it consists of a vegetable, fats, but no carbs. The original recipe called for double the amount of cream cheese, sour cream, onions, Parmesan and bacon. The only ingredients left as is are the cauliflower and the Cheddar cheese. This dish is very flexible - if you don't have every ingredient, just substitute. No sour cream? Use plain yogurt. No Parmesan? Use more cheddar. No green onions, cook up 1/2 cup of yellow onions, chopped. No cream cheese? Use Boursin herb cheese instead. Or leave it out.Per Serving: 239 Calories; 19g Fat (69.8% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 55mg Cholesterol; 472mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 2 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.To view a printable recipe, click on title at top.


Kalyn said...

I'm laughing my head off here. Although to be fair, it's not the easiest recipe you could possibly try if you were a *very* inexperienced cook. Thanks for all the nice things you said about me, I'm blushing a little. I do want to make it clear to anyone who reads it that this is not my original recipe. I adapted it from a recipe in The Low Carb Gourmet by Karen Barnaby, a great cookbook. I changed it a bit to make it a bit more South Beach Diet friendly, but really the credit should go to her! (Hopefully a lot of people have seen my recipe and looked for her book, which is so old now you can probably get it for a steal.)

Sorry again about the foot. Stay out of the kitchen as much as you can!

Carolyn T said...

Thanks, Kalyn, for the reminder. I've added in the info about your source for the recipe.

Stacey B. said...

Oh Carolyn, I just heard about your ankle. What a terrible thing to have happen. I love the story of D's cauliflower adventure in the kitchen. You neglected to mention what wine he was drinking. I'm sure it was something wonderful knowing D. Take care of yourself and we hope your ankle mends soon.