Friday, 27 February 2009

Tyler's Curried Cauliflower with Chick Peas and Tomatoes

Ok, it is true that Canadians are obsessed with the weather. But it has been crazy this year. Warm this morning at plus eight with torrential rain showers and dropping down to minus twenty by dawn tomorrow. (WCF)
As we nudge closer to Spring, nature likes to play these little games with us.
To celebrate his day off, hubby and I decided on an island themed dinner to distract us from any harsh realities that might lie outside our windows.
Tyler Florence's Curried Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Tomatoes was a perfect and healthy accompaniment to my mango jerked salmon with mango salsa and basmati rice. Hubby provided the fruity, frosty cocktails and our little island in the sun was complete.

In any other scenario, I would have upped the spices in the cauliflower dish, but my winterfied taste buds were already hopping from the habaneros in the marinade and the salsa so I was happy with a milder side dish.


Curried Cauliflower with Chick Peas and Tomatoes, Tyler Florence, Eat This Book

Ingredients
1/4 cup ghee, recipe follows (I was lazy and just mixed half butter and half oil in the pan)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder, recipe follows
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into florets
3 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt
Cilantro leaves, for garnish


Directions
Heat the ghee in a deep skillet or pot over medium flame. Add the onion, curry powder, and ginger; cook and stir for a few minutes to soften the onion. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes break down and soften, about 6 minutes. Mix in the cauliflower, chickpeas, tomato paste, and 1 cup of water; stir everything together. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover, and continue cooking until the excess moisture has evaporated and the cauliflower and chickpeas are coated with a thick gravy. Season with salt, to taste, and garnish with cilantro before serving.


Ghee:
1 pound unsalted butter
Put the butter in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat, swirl the pot around to ensure that it melts slowly and does not sizzle or brown. Increase the heat and bring the butter to a boil. When the surface is covered with foam, stir gently and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Gently simmer, uncovered, and undisturbed for 45 minutes, until the milk solids in the bottom of the pan have turned golden brown and the butter on top is transparent. Strain the ghee through a sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth. The ghee should be perfectly clear and smell nutty; pour into a glass jar and seal tightly.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
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Curry Powder:
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cardamom seeds
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 dried red chilies, broken in pieces, seeds discarded
1 tablespoon turmeric
Toast the whole spices (coriander, cumin, fennel, cloves, mustard, cardamom and peppercorns) and the chilies in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, shaking the pan often to prevent them from burning. Toast for a couple of minutes until the spices smell fragrant. In a clean coffee grinder, grind the toasted spices together to a fine powder. Add the turmeric and give it another quick buzz to combine. Use the spice blend immediately, or store in a sealed jar for as long as 1 month.
Yield: about 1/2 cup

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