Friday, May 3, 2013

Best Cauliflower Side Dish Ever from Stupid Easy Paleo

A few weeks ago, I saw this recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo for the "Best Cauliflower Side Dish Ever" that was posted Eat Smart Blog.  As you know, when I see a recipe named "best ever" it begs me to review it.   So here we go, is this the best ever cauliflower side dish?  

First, I gathered my ingredients.

I started by cutting my cauliflower down into florets and put them into the food processor to rice using the process I used here.    

After ricing the cauliflower, I took to slicing the shiitake mushrooms thinly.  The recipe calls for 1 package of shiitake mushrooms.  My local grocery stores don't sell shiitakes in packages, so I commented on the Stupid Easy Paleo post for a more specific measurement and she kindly answered that 1.5 cups or 2-3 large handfuls would do.  I decided to use the more definite 1.5 cups.  

Next, the recipe asks you to mince 2 shallots.  And again, I was confronted with the shallot issue.  I commented on the original recipe post asking for a more specific measurement and Stupid Easy Paleo was very kind to respond 2-3 tablespoons.  In the shallot to the left there were 2 "cloves."  I got about 2.5 tablespoons of minced shallot out of 1 of those "cloves." 

Next, I sliced the green onions thinly.  

It was here that I discovered that I was out of fresh ginger.  I keep my ginger in the freezer and when I went to get what I assumed was there, it was not.  Drat.  I searched the internet a bit and decided that 1/4 teaspoon of dried ground ginger would be a substitute.  

I heated my 12 inch skillet over high heat and added 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per the recipe instructions.  Once the oil had melted, I added the mushrooms, shallots and the powdered ginger.  

Once the mushrooms had softened, I added the cauliflower, green onions and coconut aminos to the pan.

After they cooked a bit, I added the eggs off to the side of the cauliflower and let them scramble a bit.  

When the eggs were nearly scrambled, I mixed them in with the cauliflower.  

The recipe suggests adding a drizzle of sesame oil at the end for flavor.  I put some of the dish into a ramekin to try with the sesame oil

I put a larger portion in a bowl, added some broiled steak, and called it dinner.  

Accessibility and Cost of Ingredients:  The only ingredients you may not be able to find in your "big box" store are the coconut aminos and shittake mushrooms fairly inexpensively.  I bought the shiitakes I used for this recipe at the Asian grocery for $4.99/pound.  

Preparation and Cooking Time:  It took me 13 minutes to prepare this recipe to cook.  It took me 12 minutes to cook the dish.  

Clean Up:  I was able to put everything except for my pan and wooden spoon into the dishwasher.  Be prepared for the mess that cooking cauliflower rice can bring if you're not careful stirring.  

The Paleo Review: First Try: Meh.  There just wasn't much flavor to the dish which really seems like a version of cauliflower fried rice.  It was pretty bland.  I doctored it up with some salt and melted some butter into it and tasted great.

I am nothing, if not fair here at the blog so I decided to make this a second time before making a final decision about this dish since I didn't have fresh ginger when I made this the first time and I know what a potent ingredient it is.  

I grated 1 teaspoon fresh ginger with my Microplane grater.  I also used 3 handfuls of mushrooms this time which  turned out to be about 2.5 cups of mushrooms with my hands.   

I even made a well in the center of my pan as Stupid Easy Paleo has pictured on her site.  

Here's the second batch now with fresh ginger and more mushrooms.  

The Paleo Review: Second Try:  Thumbs up, but not best ever.   Of course, if I didn't see potential in this recipe, I would have just given it a thumbs down and not made it a second time.  Even with the fresh ginger the dish still kinda bland and really wanted some salt.  I ended up doctoring it up with butter and salt again.  What this dish is good for is a base for other dishes which I guess is the role of a side dish.  I used this through out the week to serve my paleo sloppy joes over.  It's a nice change in texture to just plain cauliflower rice.  Its not the best ever cauliflower recipe, but it's a good one.  Stupid Easy Paleo was great about answering questions about the recipe and that makes me willing to try more of her recipes. 

What's the best ever cauliflower side dish recipe that you've tried?