I first had fried cauliflower in a local Italian restaurant years and years ago. This was a very good restaurant…if you ordered fried provolone you actually got a huge wedge of fresh provolone deep-fried that very instant.
I was quite enamored with that fried cauliflower and when we went back to that restaurant a year or so later, I couldn’t wait to order it again. It was not on the menu anymore! What a disappointment. I decided to just make some at home one day and it turned out horribly. Why ? I didn’t know to cook the cauliflower first :) This was back in the day where you couldn’t Google a recipe quickly.
Now my fried cauliflower, though I don’t make it very often, is a delicious treat. And it smells a bit like popcorn when it is frying.
Boil the head of cauliflower in a pot of water until fork tender. I usually cut the head in half and remove the outer leaves first. Drain and let cool.
On this particular day I mixed flour, cornmeal, and Italian seasoned breadcrumbs for my breading. Dip in egg, dip in breading and coat, and refrigerate for awhile if you can. I read this tip years ago for breaded foods, be they chicken, fish, or vegetables. If I refrigerate for at least 20-30 minutes, the breading sticks much better.
Fry …I don’t use a lot of oil; just enough to cover the bottom, and I use olive oil.
Drain and season with salt and pepper and if you like it, Parmesan.
Since I had the cornmeal out, I made a batch of cornbread. This recipe is on the back of Quaker Yellow Corn Meal…the only adjustment that I make to it is rather than use 3/4 cup cornmeal and 1 1/4 cup flour, I like mine to taste more corn-y so I use:
- 1 cup cornmeal and 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup skim or lo-fat milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg, beaten
Stir and blend until moistened. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 400 degrees approx. 20 minutes. Test the middle with a toothpick. ( It’s either this recipe or the Jiffy mix, but this one turns out well. )
After the holiday excesses, a light supper of fried cauliflower, a salad, and a slice of cornbread was delicious. But better yet, the next day, which was a rainy, dreary Sunday, was brightened with a cup of tea, cornbread, and homemade Stone Fruit Preserves.
Out of all of the jams that I made this summer, and I made a lot, the Stone Fruit was my favorite.
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