Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

We first tried Roasted Cauliflower Steaks as a side dish at La Hiki Kitchen one of the fine restaurants at the Four Seasons Hotel on Oahu. We loved it!

At that time I had no idea how easy it was to make at home.  Once I realized how simple it was to make I serve it all the time!  We’ve always enjoyed cauliflower, but I usually fry it, add it in Macluba (an Arabic dish that literally means upside-down!), or make deep fried cauliflower fritters called Em Shaat.  Of course we serve it riced and mashed as well.  Cauliflower is really versatile!  And adding these Roasted Cauliflower Steaks makes them even more so.

You may be wondering what are Cauliflower Steaks? They’re thick slabs of cauliflower that’s cut from stem to top.  To get them you use the middle portion of the cauliflower, the section that’s the tallest.  You can get about 2-3 steaks per cauliflower head.

To make cauliflower steaks I trim off the leaves from the stem of the head.  Then I place it stem up on a cutting board and slice down from stem to the florets.  I make the slices about 1″ thick and try to get as many slices as I can.  I save the smaller pieces to use for something else later or you can roast them along side the steaks.  Slicing the steaks is probably the hardest part.  It gets way easier after that!

So here’s the recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Steaks.  You can adjust the spices to suit your tastes.  BTW this dish is Vegan and Keto friendly!

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Ingredients:

1 Cauliflower, sliced into 1″ steaks

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Tbs. Minced Garlic

1 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper (adjust to suit your taste or omit if you don’t like spicy foods)

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Tbs.  Fresh Parsley, chopped

Directions:

Pre-heat Oven to 400 degrees

Line sheet pan with parchment paper

Slice Cauliflower into 1″ thick steaks

Place on pan

Mix garlic and crushed pepper in the olive oil

Brush oil mixture onto both sides of cauliflower steaks

Sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese

Bake for 15 minutes

Gently flip each steak over and sprinkle with remaining cheese

Return to oven and bake another 20-25 minutes or until it starts to brown on the top

Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley before serving.

  • You can change  up this recipe by changing the spices you put on the cauliflower steaks.  Try mixing cumin, chili powder, or oregano in the oil!

 

 

 

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
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Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat Oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line sheet pan with parchment paper
  3. Slice Cauliflower into 1" thick steaks. Place on pan
  4. Mix garlic and crushed pepper in the olive oil
  5. Brush oil mixture onto both sides of cauliflower steaks
  6. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese
  7. Bake for 15 minutes
  8. Gently flip each steak over and sprinkle with remaining cheese
  9. Return to oven and bake another 20-25 minutes or until it starts to brown on the top
  10. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley before serving.
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Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Macluba

Maqluba is a Levantine dish popular in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine.  The name literally means “upside down” because the meat, vegetables, and rice are stacked in a handleless pot to cook, then flipped over and placed on a large tray for serving.

These days Maqluba is described as a one pot dish, which I suppose it could be; assuming you don’t count the pot you stew the meat in, and the pan you fry the veggies in.  Not to mention the bowl you soak the rice in, and if you’re adding vermicelli and pine nuts the pan you brown the pasta and nuts in.

Maqluba is very similar to Paella which is also a one pot dish composed of meat or seafood, veggies, and rice.  Considering that many parts of Spain was under Moorish rule for a total of about 800 years it would be fair to say that Paella is the Spanish version of Maqluba or vice versa.

It is honestly the only Arabic dish I can claim to have mastered.  After years of making Maqluba I’ve finally gotten it right every single time.  It’s really not that difficult to make, it’s just tedious due to all the steps in the recipe and the time it takes to make it.  If you count the time it takes to soak the rice this dish takes all day to make, at the very least about 3  hours.  But it is truly worth the time and effort.

Maqluba is typically made with stewed meat, either lamb, beef, or chicken; fried vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, or eggplant; and rice.  All the ingredients are stacked in that order into a large deep pot preferably without handles.  Of course you can omit the meat and make a vegetarian dish.

There are “enhancements” you can add to make the dish fancier.  Some folks like to mix vermicelli and even garbanzo beans in the rice before cooking, then sprinkle it with pine nuts before serving.  And of course in our family I slip tomato wedges between the meat before cooking, and some of us like to top the cooked dish with corn kernels and plain yogurt.  In short I suppose each family has it’s own version on how to cook and eat Maqluba.  But one thing is certain, it’s delicious!

Here’s how we make it at our house, but first here’s a quick tip.  When making Maqluba use a deeper pot with no handles (a maqluba pot is the best, but hard to find in the US, you may find one at a middle eastern grocery store) and a lid, or a pot with removable handles or handles that aren’t too close to the pot lip.  This will make flipping it over easier as handles can block the tray you flip it on to from laying flat on top of the pot.  The pot has to be deep enough to layer the ingredients and still have enough space for the rice to expand as it cooks.

Maqcluba

Ingrdients:

4-5 Cups Long Grain Rice

1 Tbs. Turmeric Powder

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

8-10 pieces of meat (lamb, beef, or bone in chicken thighs)

1 Large Onion, cut in chunks

1 Tbs. Garlic, crushed

1 Tbs. + 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Tsp. + 1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Box Stock (beef or chicken depending on the meat you use)

1 Large Cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 Large Eggplant, cut into rounds

3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds

Oil for frying

Cooking spray

2 Tomatoes cut in wedges

6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

Vermicelli (Optional)

1 Can Garbanzo Beans, drained (Optional)

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts (Optional)

Butter (Optional)

1 Can Corn Kernels (Optional)

1 Cup Fresh Plain Greek Yogurt (Optional)

Directions:

Place rice in a big bowl and cover with water.

Add Turmeric to water and stir until it is evenly distributed and water turns yellow.  Set aside for at least 2 hours. Check periodically as the rice will absorb the water.  If all the water is absorbed add more and stir.

Heat olive oil in a stock pot.

Saute onions in hot oil until it starts to turn translucent.

Add crushed garlic and cook another minute, stir to keep from burning.

Add meat, 1 Tbs. Cumin, 1 Tsp. Nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Cook until meat starts to brown.

Add stock and then add water to completely cover the meat.

Let simmer until meat is tender and fully cooked.  About 2 hours.  Set aside when done.

Meanwhile place about 1″ oil in frying pan.

Fry your veggies until cooked and drain on paper towels.  Set aside.

If using Vermicelli and/or Pine Nuts:  Melt about 1 tbs. butter in a small frying pan.  Add vermicelli and cook until it starts to turn brown, stir constantly to keep from burning.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Repeat this procedure with Pine Nuts.

When ready to stack meat in the pot:

Spray bottom and sides of pot with cooking spray.

Drain rice then stir in vermicelli noodles and/or garbanzo beans if using.

Starting with the meat, remove meat from pot it was cooked it, reserve the broth do not discard.

Arrange meat at the bottom of the pot.

Slip garlic cloves and tomato wedges between the meat.

Sprinkle meat with 1 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. nutmeg.

Arrange veggies on top of meat.

Pour rice mixture over the veggies and smooth out to make the top flat.

Gently pour reserved broth over the rice.  Fill until the broth just covers the rice, if you don’t have enough broth add water.

Cover with lid and simmer over medium heat until rice is cooked.  Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure the liquid has not all evaporated before the rice is cooked.  If you need to add more liquid, either broth or water.  This takes about 30 minutes.

If the rice is cooked and you still have liquid remove lid and raise the heat for about 5 minutes so that the rest of the liquid evaporates.  Be careful not to burn the bottom.  Or you can carefully drain extra liquid before flipping.

When rice is cooked and there is no more liquid remove pot from lid.  Let rest about 5 minutes.

Flip over onto a large tray.

Garnish with cooked Pine Nuts on the meat if desired.

Serve with bowls of corn kernels and plain yogurt.

 

 

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish
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Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish
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Cauliflower Fritters – Em Shaat My Way

Cauliflower Fritters – Em Shaat My Way

Em Shaat is in my opinion a Middle Eastern comfort food.  It’s really a cauliflowecauliflowerr fritter made with boiled cauliflower that’s been battered and fried.

One of my Palestinian friends taught me how to make this yummy cauliflower fritter years ago.  She used all purpose flour to make her batter, it was good, but a bit heavy and not very crisp.  I suppose fritters weren’t meant to be crispy.

But I like things crispy so I added my own twist to this traditional Middle Eastern recipe.  The secret is Mochiko (sweet rice flour).   Mochiko batter is lighter and when fried turns into a crispy delight.

The recipe calls for cumin and turmeric.  Both  spices are used in many Middle Eastern dishes.  They compliment the cauliflower nicely giving it a mild exotic flavor.

I suppose you could say that I’ve created a Fusion dish; Med meets Asia!   But really, my Middle Eastern husband loves my version!

I usually serve cauliflower dish as a main course, it’s a nice (not so healthy) alternative to a meat course.  But it can be served as an appetizer, snack, or side dish as well.  It’s usually served warm, but it’s pretty darn good cold too!

Ingredients:

1 Medium Cauliflower – remove the leaves but keep whole

2 Cloves Garlic – finely minced

2 Large Eggs

1/2 Cup Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour

1/2 Cup Water

1/2 Tsp. Cumin

1/2 Tsp. Turmeric

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1/4 Cup Parsley – finely chopped

Oil for frying

Directions:

Boil Cauliflower until tender – about 20 minutes

Whisk all ingredients except cauliflower and oil together in a large mixing bowl – batter will be thin

Drain and Break up the cauliflower and stir into batter

Heat about 1 1/2″ of oil in a pan

Drop cauliflower mixture into oil and fry each side until golden brown

Serve hot or cold

It goes great with a plain yogurt dipping sauce!

 

 

Cauliflower Fritters
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Servings
6 Fritters
Servings
6 Fritters
Cauliflower Fritters
Print Recipe
Servings
6 Fritters
Servings
6 Fritters
Ingredients
Servings: Fritters
Instructions
  1. Boil Cauliflower until tender - about 20 minutes
  2. Whisk all ingredients except cauliflower and oil together in a large mixing bowl - batter will be thin
  3. Drain and Break up the cauliflower and stir into batter
  4. Heat about 1 1/2" of oil in a pan
  5. Drop cauliflower mixture into oil and fry each side until golden brown
  6. Serve hot or cold It goes great with a plain yogurt dipping sauce!
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