Thursday, March 20, 2014

In full cauliflower

Cauliflower is perhaps the mildest of the cole family vegetables, and that makes it a good entry vegetable if you can't seem to bring yourself to eat broccoli or despise the smell of cooked cabbage. And this soup, which my friend Bambi Nicklin featured on a Facebook posting recently, makes the nutritious vegetable even more inviting. I served it with fried calamari (recipe below the soup) for a good, gluten-free meal. If you want to stretch this out to serve four people, add some appetizers and a salad.

Bambi's Cauliflower Soup
Serves 2

Cook a cored cauliflower in broth until it's very soft. Remove from broth with a slotted spoon and blend with a little broth until smooth. Return to pot. Add 3/4 cup finely grated cheese and dried thyme and whisk to blend the melted cheese. Meanwhile, cook 1 cup peas for 2 minutes in the microwave. Whisk in about 1/3 cup sour cream and add the peas.

Lori's note: I didn't have any sour cream on hand, so I used Mexican table cream instead. It was delicious.

Crispy Calamari
Serves 2

1 pound small calamari
½ cup rice flour
2 teaspoons Mas Guapo or other spicy salt

Clean calamari and cut into rings. Drain well. Mix the flour and seasoned salt together. Dredge the calamari in the flour and shake off excess. You can do this in advance.

When ready to cook, bring the calamari to room temperature. Over medium heat in a cast-iron skillet, heat about ½-inch of canola oil. When hot, add rings in small batches so they aren't crowded. Cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes, then drain on paper towels. Let the oil come back up to temperature before adding more. Serve with lemon wedges or your favorite sauce.