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Recipes

Vegan Cauliflower Steak Dinner

Vegan Cauliflower Steak Dinner
As a personal chef in Chicago. I spend a lot of time in homes and kitchens that are brand new to me. This means anything is possible. I have always found keeping things simple and using the best ingredients possible yields the best results in unfamiliar territory. Simplicity does not mean basic - simplicity means balance. Specifically, I am talking about salt, fat, acid, texture and temperature components. So, we are going to create a dish you would find in an upscale restaurant using only 5 ingredients or less for each recipe. I partnered with The Spice House in Chicago which has a huge selection of herbs, spices, blends and salts. I chose 4 spices that work well with each other and incorporate 1 in each dish. 

Recipe by Frank Kwiatkowski

Ingredients

Preparation Instructions:

Please note, this recipe has four different parts. The rice and pickled shallots can be made ahead of the cauliflower.

For the cauliflower steak:

Trim the cauliflower and cut off both edges being careful not to cut off too much. Then cut the cauliflower down the center so that there are two equal pieces of steak.

On a small sheet tray with a rack drizzle the olive oil on both sides spreading evenly. Season with salt and paprika. Marinate for 1 hour.

I marinated this in a vacuum seal bag for 1 hour, but a zip-lock or food saver works just as well. In a large pan heat olive oil on high and sear on both sides for 7-10 minutes. If the cauliflower needs more time to cook you and toss the pan in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

For the cauliflower puree:

Cut the florets from the cauliflower and place in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, curry, and salt and mix until everything is well incorporated. On a small sheet tray with a rack line up the florets and bake at 400 F for 45 minutes or until tender. Place in a blender and add the olive oil, salt and water until it becomes smooth. Be careful not to add too much water. The puree should be the same consistency as vanilla pudding.

For the pickled shallots:

Slice the shallot lengthwise and reserve. In a small bowl mix the remaining ingredients together and add the shallots. Cover and let sit for 1 hour in a cool environment.

For the rice:

Mix all ingredients together in the rice cooker and set the time. Our time was 50 minutes, however, follow the instructions on your device. You can also follow the instructions for rice on any package you buy and it will come out spectacular.

For the plating:

I always like to place sauce on the bottom and a drop quenelle for dipping. You can plate the rice using a circle mold or any small tupper-ware you have available. I cut the cauliflower in half for the plated portion. Then I garnish with the pickled shallots and some green onion for freshness and bite.

Helpful Hints

The balance in this dish comes from the act of seasoning and treating each ingredient appropriately and separately. Curry is the main flavor here and so we have a very silky fatty sauce to compliment a meaty piece of cauliflower seared and crispy on the outside with an added sweetness from the paprika. The wild rice has some heat but also adds a textural component that adds sustenance to the rest of the dish. We add the pickled shallots because we need something acidic to cut through all of the salt and fat but also to pull out the flavors in the curry, chile and paprika. Lastly, we accentuate the shallots with sliced green onion to add a bite of freshness. Enjoy!

Rating:

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