Monday, August 20, 2012

Well Fed's Basic Cauliflower Rice

There are many recipes for cauliflower rice out there, but as Melissa Joulwan's Well Fed has served me well for paleo basics, I turned to her "Basic Cauliflower Rice."  I did not see that she has posted her recipe anywhere online, and I can neither confirm nor deny that I've seen it posted elsewhere with a little internet searching.  I encourage you to get this cookbook and enjoy this and other recipes.  
Looks like we're making rice!

After gathering my ingredients, I examined my recipe.  Her recipe for the basic rice is embedded in her Cauliflower Rice Pilaf recipe.  She tells you which ingredients to deduct from that recipe for basic rice. She says to omit a list of items which basically leaves the cauliflower, onions, garlic, coconut oil, salt and pepper. 

I diced and measured my onion.  

I then turned to removing the stems from the cauliflower florets.  I've only tried to make cauliflower rice once before and it was a disaster.  I was trying to make NomNomPaleo's Asian Cauliflower Rice.  I think one thing that contributed to the failure of my attempt is that I left too much of the stem on the floret.  This is one recipe, that failed so badly for me that I won't make it again even for the sake of blogging.  Sure, I may have messed up with the processing of the cauliflower, but there were many additional ingredients that required time consuming chopping and then the flavor of the rice was just awful to me. Sadness.  She's given me so many other good recipes that I'll over look that one.  Back to the recipe at hand.  

Carefully de-stemmed florets.

There will be little bits of cauliflower floret all over your kitchen.  I wanted to take a picture of this but as my counter tops are light, it didn't photograph well.  Be prepared to do a lot of wiping up and sweeping.  My heads of cauliflower were small, so I used two instead of the one large head called for in the recipe.  I processed each head separately as to not over load the processor.

At first, being nervous about over processing, I pulsed 15 times, probably less than a second each and it obviously needed more processing.

I stopped counting and just kept careful watch on the rice while pulsing.

Here is my "rice."  I think the texture looks pretty good.  There will be some larger than rice size pieces but you wont really notice them.  

I added some coconut oil to my brand new favorite Scanpan fry pan and sautéed the onion and garlic.

I added the "rice" and sautéed it for a little less than 5 minutes.  I wanted to err on the side of under cooking the "rice."  Nothing would be worse than mushy cauliflower rice.  

I made this "rice" to go with the chicken tikka masala that I had just finished making.  I plated up some rice and chicken.  And sat down for a taste test.  

Preparation/Cooking Time:  The recipe states that it takes 10 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook this recipe.  To be fair, I think that's for the complete pilaf recipe.  It took me 20 minutes to finish chopping and processing the cauliflower and about 10 minutes total to cook.  

Accessibility of Ingredients:  Nothing unusual in this recipe at least for the basic rice.  Your big box grocery store should have everything you need.  

Clean up:  Well, I had just finished making my chicken tikka masala and my dishwasher was full so I had a stack of dishes to reload the dishwasher with (including my baking dish from the chicken).  If this back up hadn't occurred really everything except my frying pan and knife could go in the dishwasher.  
If I could only snap my fingers and click my heels...

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs up!  While you'd never confuse this "rice" with real rice, the texture is right for a side dish for a hearty dish as the chicken tikka masala.  I really didn't feel the need to add much salt or pepper to the "rice." I reheated some of the cauliflower rice for lunch today and it was not soggy or mushy as I feared it would be.  Well Fed's basic rice has restored my hope in future cauliflower rice recipes.