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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Roasted Curried Cauliflower and Steamed Mussels with Tomato and Chorizo Broth

I never said I was a chef, but I love to cook. Sometimes I'll go all out to the depth of my knowledge and experience about food which at the end of the day, isn't a lot! You don't need to do that though to make some really good meals in your own kitchen.

A friend convinced me to do blog posts such as these for those that either don't know how, or are afraid to ruin even a simple meal in the kitchen. Besides information on restaurants and other food-related matters, I hope sharing simple meals such as this shows some readers it is easy to make some really good food with a minimal amount of effort and experience.

I have been getting into roasted vegetables lately. The vegetable du jour is cauliflower.

Cut it into florets, and go heavy on the salt and pepper.

I'd say 2-3 teaspoonfuls of both, maybe more. Just make sure after spicing and mixing your florets look like this.

You really must use freshly ground pepper. Once you start using it, there is no going back!

Then you want to give these a good coating of olive oil, probably 1/3 to 1/2 cup per head of cauliflower.

Remember, you are roasting these vegetables and want the oil to cook them for you. I am not endorsing this brand of oil, I have just been picking what has been on clearance at the grocery store and looked halfway decent.

You can stop with the seasonings right here, the caramelized sugars in the cauliflower after they are roasted are great on their own.

I, though, wanted to make it even better and decided to give them a nice coating of curry powder before they went in the oven.

I can't tell you how much to use, but just make sure your cauliflower florets are really well coated. For those in Southwest Florida, A to Z Discount Beverage/Spice of India has just about the best selection of Indian foods in this area.

After spicing, your florets should look like this.

Now save yourself a huge headache (cleanup) and line an old cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place your cauliflower on it.

I like to orient my vegetables in one direction, it helps me to remember which way to turn them when the time comes. Place these in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, turn then over and do it again.

While your vegetables are roasting, make your mussels.

Here is the Recipe.

Here for the most part are the ingredients.

The original recipe calls for dried chorizo, but you can use links as I did, about 6 oz. total. If you do that, you need to pre cook them and drain the fat. Don't forget to remove the plastic casings!

I did all of this in an ancient 12 quart Revere ware stock pot that I inherited from a family member.

Cook the dried or cooked chorizo on medium heat in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 4 minutes until the sausage begins to brown. Add 3-4 cloves of minced garlic and one teaspoonful of ground fennel seeds and cook for about a minute. Add 1 pint of halved cherry tomatoes and 3/4 cup of white wine, season with a bit of freshly ground pepper, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon and cook until reduced by about one half volume. Add 4-5 pounds of fresh mussels (I obtained them from a national retailer whose name starts with "Co") cover and cook until the mussels open, about 6-8 minutes. The shell fish will contribute a lot of, and very delicious liquid to the broth at the bottom of the pot when the mussels are cooked.

By this time, the roasted cauliflower should be done and look like this, perfectly roasted and delicious!

Plate out your mussels, make sure to have some of that delicious tomato/white wine/chorizo broth on board and of course, a baguette to mop up all that fantastic sauce.

As you eat these, don't forget to discard any mussels that did not open, they are NOT good eating.

This is a perfect dish for all you girls and boys for that matter that love mussels!

It's a wrap for another post from the kitchen of Southwest Florida Forks.
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