Monday, April 11, 2011

Proof of the Pudding...

Cauliflower Pilaff: serves 4
1 cauliflower
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tblsp sunflower oil
1 - 2 tblsp mild/medium curry paste
7 oz (200g) basmati rice
3 oz (75g) peas
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g can green or red lentils
1 1/2 pints (900ml) veg. stock
Break the cauliflower into small even-sized florets and blanch in boiling water for 2minutes then drain well.
Put the oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion over low heat until softened, then raise the heat to medium and then add the cauliflower, giving it a few minutes stir-fry to colour it slightly. Stir in the curry paste, cook for a minute to release its flavour, then stir in the rice. Once this is coated with the spiced oil in the pan, add the remaining ingredients (but keep back a quarter of a pint of the stock), give everything one more quick stir, then clap on a lid and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. After 15 minutes, if the mixture begins to appear dry, add the remaining stock. When rice is tender, most of the stock should have been absorbed, but the pilaff should still remain moist.
Although this is a meat-free dish, some diced cooked lamb or chicken could be added towards the end of the cooking.

Cauliflower Pie: serves 4
1 cauliflower
4 oz (100g) broccoli
1 carrot,diced
2 baking potatoes
4 oz (100g) peas
salt and pepper
1 tsp mustard powder (or made mustard)
4 oz (100g) Cheddar cheese, grated
14 fl oz (400ml) white sauce
melted butter
Break the cauliflower and broccoli into small to medium sized florets. Peel potatoes and cut these into quarter inch thick slices. Put the potatoes into a pan of boiling water, place a steamer over the top to hold the other veg, and boil until the potatoes are just tender (takes about five minutes).
Drain potatoes, and reserve one half. Place the spuds and all the other veg in an ovenproof dish, adding seasoning to taste.
To the white sauce, add the mustard and two-thirds of the Cheddar, then pour this over the veggies, stirring so the sauce coats all the veggies, then level the surface as much as possible before overlapping the remaining sliced potato on top. Brush the surface with melted butter, and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, then bake at 200C, 400F, gas 6 for 20 minutes until the top is golden. Serve hot.