Sunday, November 4, 2012

Brutally Delicious Potatoes and Cauliflower

I am off to a good post-MoFo start! At last week's farmer's market, the man and I netted two heads of cauliflower to take advantage of a sale. The cheddar cauliflower ended up split between a very loaded Mac and Cheese-style casserole and a dragon bowl, but I hadn't made any plans for the cool, fractal-looking green cauliflower.

I had to work late one night, and when I got home, I grabbed two of my chosen books to find a way to use it up before it started growing some fractal mold.

I tried 5 Spices 50 Dishes first, but nothing grabbed me except for the insanely simple Railway Potatoes. I had all of the very common ingredients on hand, particularly a bag of potatoes that was beginning to wear out its welcome. Great! But I still wanted to use up the cauliflower.

I decided to give Vegan Fire and Spice a try since many of Robertson’s recipes are easy to make in a not-so-fully-stocked kitchen. For a moment, I was torn between the Vegetable Pakoras and the Cauliflower and Mustard Dill Sauce. The latter won out though because by a stroke of luck, I had every ingredient needed, even vegan sour cream, which I don't usually have on hand. I could have adjusted the pakoras, but I do like to make things to the letter the first time through if I can. As it was, I was already adjusting by using the green cauliflower instead of the white.

Making these dishes at the same time was easy. I only had to chop some potatoes and an onion, which I did as I steamed the head of cauliflower whole. From beginning to end, I would say I spent 20 minutes in the kitchen on the two of these together.

When we sat down to eat, I immediately hopped back up to get pictures. Usually, I wait until the next morning, and then I fix a plate of leftovers for breakfast, and snap a quick picture of that in the gorgeous morning light of my otherwise shabby apartment. At first bite, I knew that there would be no such opportunities.

The potatoes were just spicy hot, and I dare say buttery. They, along with the onions, just melted as we ate them. The dill sauce complimented the cauliflower in a surprisingly decadent way. And as it turns out, there is no way to write about tasting food that isn't just a little gross.

However, that won't stop me. In fact, a large part of why I've decided to focus on a handful of books is to get well-acquainted enough to write competent reviews for them. I've expressed my annoyance with reviewers in the past, but that was only a scratch on the surface of my seething hatred for the jerk-ass review.

One particularly grievous sin is to review a book from which you've tried few or (worse) NO recipes. Nothing looked good to you? For real? OK fine, maybe nothing piqued your interest, but that means that you are basically the worst person to be writing a review for it. Baseball has never looked interesting to me, but you'll notice I'm not commenting on games, players' performances, or field goals.

Kidding, I know those are part of one of the other sports that I mostly ignore.

Anyway, I'm not going to be that person. Even though I want to go running to right now to sing the praises of these two books for that time I ate every last bite of dinner, I'll wait. I figure that once you've made 20% of the recipes, plus read the introduction and any other vital information, then you have the experience you need to form and share a solid opinion. It should certainly be enough to know the layout, quality of instructions, and general tastiness of the recipes.

One thing you won't catch me doing is gushing about mouthfeel. Can you even imagine?

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