Saturday, December 6, 2014

I Love the Cauliflower Girl - Bacon Curry Cauliflower "Slaw"

Who remembers the Cowsills?

I saw her sitting in the rain
Raindrops falling on her
She didn't seem to care
She sat there and smiled at me

And I knew (I knew, I knew, I knew, I knew)
She could make me happy (happy, happy)
Flowers in her hair, flowers everywhere

I love the flower girl
Oh, I don't know just why
She simply caught my eye
I love the flower girl she seemed so sweet and kind.

Better yet, who remembers the name of the TV show which was based on this singing family?  There are no prizes for the winner, but if you can get this one right, I think I love you.

I have spent the better part of the past 18 hours trying to figure out what to do with my Thanksgiving leftovers.  Not the turkey, mind you - I've got that covered.

In fact, I've got plans for everything except a fairly substantial amount of raw cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.  And that aggravates me, because right now I am over the whole roasted vegetable thing.  I thought about an unctuous cheese sauce, with extra sharp cheddar and a touch of mozzarella and parmesan, but that left me as cold as winter in Minnesota. Cauliflower in the crockpot?  Yeah, and then what?  Let me tell you, my friends, I was stumped.

Being a lawyer, I proceeded to do some serious research, some of it at 3:00 in the morning.  The internet let me down.  My vegetable cookbooks failed me miserably.  Nothing was clicking in my head (except for the usual voices, giving me ear worms).  Then I sat down and checked my own very extensive collection of recipes, focussing on a big binder full of vegetable and salad recipes.  I have them organized by "tried" and "not tried", and then within each category, by the particular type of vegetable.  I discovered something I had never realized before - I have collected zero, zilch, zip, nada cauliflower recipes.  Well, one exception - my mother-in-law's recipe for breaded vegetables, which involved cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.  Delicious, but I had already considered that and rejected the idea early on - I wanted something DIFFERENT.  It blew me away that I had never come across a recipe for cauliflower that I wanted to try enough to print out the recipe and run out for the ingredients.

It didn't help, mind you, that I had already made a whole crockpot full of broccoli spears in a creamy garlic sauce that was to die for.  When you get right down to it, broccoli and cauliflower are practically interchangeable.  So I looked through my broccoli recipes, and that didn't help either.

And then ... ILLUMINATION.

There is a saying that cauliflower is cabbage with a college education. Never was this a truer statement than when I found a coleslaw recipe which I was able to rework into a cauliflower "slaw" with Brussel sprouts and other good stuff.  Although this recipe was all about the cauliflower to me, the real stars of the dish are the bacon and the curry dressing.  Oh my word, that dressing! I switched out sour cream for part of the mayo, added more curry powder (why are some people so timid with curry powder?) and tweaked a few other things - well, almost everything.  Okay, I changed everything, alright?

Bacon Curry Cauliflower "Slaw"

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons sugar
2-3 teaspoons curry powder

1 cup frozen cooked extra-small shrimp, defrosted under cold water and well-drained
8 slices bacon (about 1/2 pound) chopped, cooked, drained on paper towels

3 cups of cauliflower florets, broke into very small pieces (use just the tops of the florets)
1 cup of very thinly sliced Brussel sprouts (slice across horizontally)
1/4 cup very thinly sliced onion
2 tablespoons very thinly sliced green bell pepper
1/4 cup lightly packed grated carrot
black pepper

1/2 cup roast pecans, chopped (optional)

Combine the dressing ingredients, cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours so that the flavors can meld.  In a large bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients and toss gently. Add all of the dressing, toss again to evenly coat all of the vegetables, cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Add the chopped pecans, if using, and toss again.

No comments:

Post a Comment