Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cauliflower Galettes

Happy New Year! Does anyone make resolutions? I don’t. There is, however, an unspoken need to eat a little healthier after the sugar coma inducing holidays are finally over. 

With dark days and cold nights still looming, the need for comfort food is prevalent. As I try to navigate away from the old meatloaf, mashed potatoes, pot roast standbys, I’m slowly gathering meatless meals for my vegetarian daughter. Every once in a while I run across one that I just have to tell you about.


I met up with my friend Theresa at a local French restaurant for a birthday lunch a few months ago. Coincidentally, we were both wearing our favorite cowboy boots. It was very appropriate that she gifted me with this book... Cowgirl Chef, Texas Cooking with a French Accent by Ellise Pierce. As a Texas native who now lives in Paris, Ellise shares her cooking trials and tribulations throughout the book. Her recipes come with a story about living in Paris, things she loves or misses about her home state, or funny observations about the two cultures. I also just learned that she has a blog! You can find that here.  

Cauliflower! That’s a vegetable that doesn’t find its way into my grocery basket very often! It includes cheese, so I knew it wouldn’t be too difficult to get my daughter to at least give it a try. 

Cauliflower Galettes with Chipotle Creme Fraiche
Makes about a dozen 2 1/2 inch galettes

1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 eggs
1 (5.29 oz) container Greek yogurt
1 cup water
4 green onions, sliced
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Preheat your broiler and line a cookie sheet with foil. Position a rack in the middle of the oven.

2. Toss the cauliflower florets on the foil-lined cookie sheet, add a little olive oil, and salt and pepper. Toss it all together with your hands, then slide the pan into the oven. The florets will begin to brown after about 10 minutes—when they do, pull them out of the oven and turn them over, so the other side browns too. This will take about 10 more minutes. When they’re browned on both sides, remove from the oven and let cool

3. To make the galettes, in a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and cumin.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, and water. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir together. If the batter is too thick, just add a bit more water. Gently fold in the cauliflower florets, grated cheddar, and green onions, reserving about 2 tablespoons of green onions for garnish.

5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a skillet and turn the heat to medium-low. When it’s hot, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the batter for each galette into the skillet, fitting in as many as you can. You’ll need to work in batches. Cook the galettes for 3-4 minutes, or until the bottoms are brown, and flip to the other side for another few minutes. You don’t want these to cook too fast, or they’ll be wet in the middle. Repeat with the remaining vegetable oil and batter. Serve with Chipotle Creme Fraiche, and sprinkle some chopped onions on top.

Chipotle Creme Fraiche
Makes about 2 cups

16 ounces creme fraiche or sour cream
1-2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (you can add more if you like things extra spicy)

Toss your chipotles into a food processor to finely chop them up, or you can do this by hand. Add the creme fraiche or sour cream and stir it up.