CHEESE AND PESTO EMMER ROLL-UPS, AND A SPECIAL COOKBOOK REVIEW

I don’t think I stopped smiling from the moment I started writing this post, to the time I hit publish… The cookbook I am reviewing today was written by a dear friend of mine, Elaine, who bakes and blogs from the UK. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person last year when the biggest adventure of my life took me to a certain tent. At that time, right in her kitchen, she broke the news that she was going to write a cookbook, the final negotiations were just taking place. And now, a little over one year later, it is out there for the world: Whole-Grain Sourdough at Home, by Elaine Boddy!  She gave me permission to share one recipe here in my little virtual spot, so without further ado, let’s get to it…

CHEESE AND PESTO EMMER ROLL-UPS
(published with permission from Elaine Boddy)

makes 8 rolls

for the dough:
50g active starter (at 100% hydration)
300g water
400g bread flour
100g emmer flour
7g salt (I used 10g)

for the filling:
100g pesto of your choice
200g grated cheese of your choice
(my addition: black kalamata olives in pieces)

In the early evening, in a large mixing bowl, roughly mix together all the dough ingredients, leaving the dough shaggy. Cover the bowl and leave it on the counter for 1 hour.

After an hour or so, perform a set of pulls and folds on the dough, inside the bowl. It will be sticky, but stretchy. Cover the bowl and leave it on the counter.

Over the next few hours (3 hours or so), complete 3 more sets of pulls and folds on the dough, covering the bowl after each set. The dough will be nicely stretchy and will easily come together into a firm ball each time. Complete the final set before going to bed.

Leave the covered bowl on the counter overnight, typically 8 to 10 hours, at 64 to 68F.  The next morning, the dough is ready to be used to make the rolls. Use immediately or refrigerate to use later.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 400F (convection) or 425F (regular oven). Sprinkle water over your countertop, using a bowl scraper of your hands, gently ease the bubbly risen dough from the bowl onto the counter. Use your fingertips to start stretching and pushing out the dough, until it becomes a rectangle that measures about 16 x 20 inches, and has even thickness all over.

Dot teaspoons of pesto over the dough, spread the cheese and kalamata olives (if using). Roll up the dough from one of the longer edges toward the other to make an even roll of dough. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 8 pieces. Place them gently, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until nicely browned. Remove from the oven, and enjoy while still warm.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: When it comes to sourdough, I am for the most part pretty conservative. With this recipe, I realized I’ve been missing a whole universe of goodies that sourdough can bring to the table. Elaine shares several options of fillings for these fun coiled creatures, but of course the possibilities are endless. Spices, nuts, meats, roasted veggies, anything you fancy, just spread, roll, bake and enjoy! Pay attention to the level of liquid included, refrain from adding too much oil or stuff that might get a bit watery, because that might interfere with the bake. But using her basic recipes as starting points, you will have no issues.

The roll-ups were delicious, they smell absolutely amazing during baking, and the texture is quite a bit softer than a regular sourdough bread (which turns someone who wears braces into a very happy camper!).  Elaine says they are best enjoyed fresh on the day they are baked, but I can tell you that they freeze very well and if you warm them in a low oven, they come back to life in excellent shape…

I made two additional recipes from her book, which I will share as “teasers”.  Just the pictures and a brief overview.

THE WHOLE-WHEAT AND EINKORN MASTER

I am always weary of recipes that use a high proportion of whole-wheat flour, because it is so easy to get hockey-pucks and heavy loaves. But I decided to give this one a try, even though it has almost 56% whole-wheat in its formula.

In this composite picture you can see the beginning of the dough (cute scraper available on her site), with the typical, coarse texture given by the whole-wheat. It mellows with the foldings, and next morning it will be all bubbly and ready to be shaped and baked.  The bread is AMAZING (yes, all caps), particularly with smoked salmon. In fact, there is something about the combination of whole-wheat with einkorn flour that reminded both Phil and I of a nice rye bread. Excellent! It definitely exorcized my fear of hockey-pucks… Thank you, Elaine!

And now, for the third recipe I made from her book…

SPEEDY SEED AND OAT CRACKERS

Aren’t they the cutest things? Super simple recipe, your starter does not even have to be at its peak, you can use it and have these crackers ready in no time!  Plus, you can change the seeds according to your taste. Apart from oats, I used pumpkin seeds, black and white sesame seeds.

I baked them slightly less than I normally would, so that they ended up softer. Because… braces… (sigh). Definitely a great recipe to have in my repertoire.

Overview of Elaine Boddy’s book

Elaine breaks all the rigid rules you might have heard before on sourdough baking. First, if you use her method, you will not discard any starter ever. I know, who could imagine that?  Second, she shows you can bake excellent bread without pre-heating the Dutch oven (which I also never do), and without pre-heating the oven!  She bakes most of her loaves (the oval and round ones, not the crackers and coils) starting from a COLD oven. As she says, it takes a bit of a leap of faith, but try it and see how you like it.  My oven heats extremely slowly, so what I did with that Einkorn loaf was to turn it on, and just finish preparing the bread to bake. By the time I stuck it in the oven, I think it was around 175F inside, not fully cold, but definitely not blazing hot.  It is a great energy-saving method, no doubt.

The book starts with a description of the flours and how to make a sourdough starter, both using regular white flour and all sorts of whole-grain variations. That is followed by a series of questions and answers that cover pretty much all those nagging doubts that might scare a beginner sourdough baker.  Great introductory chapter!

Welcome to my Master Recipe… In this chapter she covers her basic, uncomplicated, unfussy method, with plenty of pictures so you can have a clear understanding of how to succeed in your own kitchen. She offers two basic approaches, a “Same-Day-Sourdough” and a “Super Lazy” version. The chapter ends with a troubleshooting section, that will be very useful if you are a beginner, but also might give some pointers to those who bake sourdough regularly but might run into ‘issues.”

The Master at Work… In this chapter Elaine offers many variations of her basic recipe, by adding seeds, nuts, cooked grains, and playing with different combinations of flours. From this chapter I baked the Whole-Wheat and Einkorn loaf, which she made in oval shape, I went with round. I might even consider going for her 100% Whole Wheat (I need a bit of psychological preparation to try that one, though). From this chapter, my eyes are set on the White Spelt Poppy Seed Master and the  Oat-Crusted Einkorn Master. They are two beautiful examples of sourdough baking…

Baby Master Sourdough Boules… In this chapter she offers recipes to make smaller breads, they all contain 300g flour and are proofed in a small banneton, but any round container will do. They are all adorable and perfect for a household with two people.  My favorites in this chapter are: Khorasan and Golden Flaxseeds, Roasted Cashew (looks amazing), and Einkorn Chia Seed Baby Master.

Master Sourdough Focaccia… All recipes in this chapter should ideally begin the day before you intend to enjoy your gorgeous focaccia. Spelt and Cheese is calling my name, although Whole-Wheat, Tomato and Garlic Focaccia is also tempting.  I would use kalamata olives in place of the garlic, but I bet she would not be mad at me… She ends the chapter with an alternative time-table in case you really want to make the whole thing in the same day. By following that method, you can have your focaccia at the table around 6pm. Perfect!

Buttermilk Sourdough Biscuits… In this fun chapter, all recipes can use highly bubbly starter, or even a dormant version that has been sitting in the fridge for a while, up to 7 days. Since the recipes contain baking soda, they rise faster and the sourdough starter will have less impact on the rise, but of course it will add a nice flavor and texture. I absolutely MUST make the Emmer and Za’atar Buttermilk Biscuits. Because… za’atar… But Einkorn, Cinnamon and Cranberry sounds like a perfect Christmas brunch addition…

Sandwich Loaf Sourdough Masters… All recipes in this chapter can be baked in a loaf pan, and end up with that perfect shape to slice and make sandwiches. My favorites are: Oat Milk and Whole Wheat, Coconut Milk and Rye (!!!!), and Almond Milk and Khorasan Sandwich Loaf.

The Simplest Sourdough Rolls… Brilliant, just brilliant!  She uses her basic master recipe all the way through shaping and placing in the banneton, but right before baking she inverts the loaf and cuts into wedges, which makes the cutest little rolls ever!  I intend to bake the Sesame Seed Emmer version in the near future. The chapter ends with an alternative version for “Same-Day Sourdough Wedge Rolls.”

Coiled Filled Sourdough Rolls… From this chapter I picked the recipe featured in this post. I remember when Elaine was developing recipes for the book, she raved about Almond Butter and Banana Khorasan Coils, and now I see the picture and the description in the book… seems like another great one to try this fun preparation.

Swap the Water…  Very interesting chapter, in which she plays with different liquids replacing water. It starts with a Buttermilk White Spelt Master Loaf that might very well be one of the most beautiful breads ever! The picture took my breath away… Note to self: make it. Potato cooking water and beer are other examples found in this section.

Crackers…  Love them all!  What can I say? I was very tempted to use the crackers as featured recipe, but in the end decided to leave them as little teasers. They look adorable and taste great. But I also want to try her Whole Wheat Sesame and Oat Crackers.

Elaine, thank you so much for allowing me to publish a recipe from your first cookbook, hopefully not the last!  Your book is beautiful, the pictures are amazing, and I can sense passion and love for all things sourdough in every sentence of every chapter. I know fully well the amount of work, the commitment and energy you put into it. I can say it totally paid off, and I know everyone who gets your book will lear a lot and have a blast baking from it.

For those who want to order the book, click here.

ONE YEAR AGO: Mango-Hazelnut Entremet Cake

TWO YEAR AGO: Lebanese Lentil Salad and a Cookbook Review

THREE YEARS AGO: Cottage Loaf

FOUR YEARS AGO: Sourdough Loaf with Cranberries and Walnuts

FIVE YEAR AGO: Sichuan Pork Stir-Fry in Garlic Sauce

SIX YEARS AGO: Our Green Trip to Colorado

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Ditalini Pasta Salad

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with a Thai Seafood Curry

NINE YEARS AGO:  Post-workout Breakfast

TEN YEARS AGO: Semolina Barbecue Buns

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Lavash Crackers

 

 

TURKEY-SPINACH MEATBALLS WITH CARDAMON TOMATO SAUCE

A considerably lighter version of the traditional Italian meatballs, this one takes ground turkey, almond flour and is baked instead of fried. The addition of dates in the meatballs and Middle Eastern spices in the sauce move it even farther away from Italy, but I promise you, it’s very good. You just need a light hand dealing with them, they are very delicate.

 

TURKEY-SPINACH MEATBALLS WITH CARDAMON TOMATO SAUCE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by many sources)

for the meatballs:
2 tbsp olive oil
1  bag (4oz) baby spinach
¼ cup dates, coarsely chopped
1 lb ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
1 egg
1/2 cup almond flour
ground nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste

for the tomato sauce:
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
6 cardamom pods
2 dried bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground coriander (I used whole the first time, but ground works better here)
1 bottle or can of tomato passata  (about 15 ounces)
1 teaspoons ground Kashmiri chiles (or any pepper of your choice)
salt and pepper to taste

Make the meatballs. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large, 12-inch skillet, warm the olive oil over low heat. Add the spinach and dates, sprinkle a touch of salt, and cook until the leaves begin to wilt, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to the food processor and run it a few times to chop a little.  Add the ground turkey to the processor, the egg, almond flour and the seasonings. Pulse until everything is starting to get combined, but do not let it turn into a homogeneous paste.

Form the mixture into little balls, keep them reasonably small (about 1.5 in) otherwise they might crumble too much. Place them in the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, turning them over half-way into baking time.

Make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the cardamom pods, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks, and let them get very fragrant, about 1 minute. Carefully pour in the tomato passata. Add the Kashmiri chile, salt, pepper, and stir to blend. Simmer gently on low heat for 20 minutes. Discard the cardamon, bay, and cinnamon sticks.

When the meatballs are ready, place them in the warm sauce and gently simmer everything together for 10 minutes. Keep the heat very low. Serve with your favorite pasta or grain.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Kashmiri chile is a recent passion of mine. It has a special kind of heat that I like quite a bit, and it gives the food a beautiful red color, deeper than you would get from adding cayenne. I’ve been using it quite often and in this Middle Eastern-inspired sauce it does a beautiful job. I made this sauce twice since preparing this recipe, it is great as a milder substitute for the classic shakshuka, and if you add a bit of fresh orange zest right before serving you will be a happy camper. Passata is my favorite starting point, we have a very nice Italian brand available in town, but any type of crushed tomatoes will do. As to the turkey meatballs, feel free to start the recipe by sauteing onions and garlic before adding the spinach to the skillet. We omit those for food sensitivities but your kitchen, your rules!

The meatballs are super tender, moist, and with just a touch of sweetness from the dates.

ONE YEAR AGO: British Baps, a Technical Challenge

TWO YEAR AGO: Japanese-Style Cupcakes with Cherry Blossom Icing

THREE YEARS AGO: Quick Weeknight Soups

FOUR YEARS AGO: Sourdough Loaf with Cranberries and Walnuts

FIVE YEARS AGO: Sichuan Pork Stir-Fry in Garlic Sauce

SIX YEARS AGO: Our Green Trip to Colorado

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Ditalini Pasta Salad

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with a Thai Seafood Curry

NINE YEARS AGO:  Post-workout Breakfast

TEN YEARS AGO: Semolina Barbecue Buns

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Lavash Crackers

 

  

SPRINGERLE COOKIES


My love for macarons should be quite obvious, but there’s something about Springerle Cookies that speaks straight to my soul. These cookies, not unlike macarons, have been around for centuries. In terms of flavor, they are a lot more strict, as there is no filling to play with. But they are so elegant, so magical, and the anise oil makes them unique. Oddly enough I don’t like licorice but find the anise flavor of Springerle quite enticing. I share with you one authentic recipe for these cookies that is a bit of a labor of love, and also time-consuming, as the cookies have to dry for a couple of days before baking.  But, if you want to just use those beautiful molds in a simpler recipe, I’ll share my favorite also. A special thank you to my friend Margie, who sent me two beautiful molds, and perhaps not intentionally, turned me into a Springerle-mold-addict.

SPRINGERLE COOKIES
(traditional recipe, based on The House on the Hill)

for the cookies:
1/4 teaspoon baker’s ammonia (Hartshorn)
1 tablespoons milk
3 large eggs, room temperature
360g powdered sugar
57g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened but not melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of anise oil
454g sifted cake flour (I used Softasilk)
grated rind of orange

for the glaze (optional):
240g powdered sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon flavoring of your choice (I used vanilla)
pearl dust colors and lemon extract

Make the cookies: Dissolve baker’s ammonia in milk and set aside (avoid the temptation to take a sniff, you will regret it). Beat eggs until very thick, this will take from 10 to 15 minutes.  Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, then the softened butter. Add the the mixture of baker’s ammonia and milk,  salt, anise oil and orange zest.

Gradually beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer, then stir in the remainder of the flour to make a stiff dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead in enough flour to make a good print without sticking. Refrigerate for one hour, but keep in mind the dough can be refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days.

On a floured surface, roll dough depending on the depth of the carving in the cookie press you are using. Shallow carvings will need to be thinner while deeper carvings will need to be thicker. Flour your cookie mold for each and every pressing. Press the mold firmly and straight down into the dough, then lift, cut with the cookie cutter of your choice, and place the formed cookie onto a flat surface to dry.

Do not cover the cookies while they dry. The goal of drying is to set the design. Let the cookies dry at least for 24 hours. It is better to leave them alone for a couple of days, so the design will be better retained during baking.

On baking day, heat the oven to 255F to 325F (depending on the size of your cookie and how white you like to have them), for 10 to 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool and glaze or paint, if you so desire.

Make the optional glaze: Combine all ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth.
Add more water if necessary. Brush glaze on each cookie after baking. Paint with pearl dust alone or with the powder dissolved in a little lemon extract.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The molds on the top left corner of the composite picture were a gift from Margie. Aren’t they gorgeous?  I love them!

 If you visit The House on the Hill  you can watch a very detailed video in which Connie, the author of the recipe, goes over all the minor details. Her recipe is for a really big batch, and I decided to make just half. I actually baked these back in December and took them to a departmental holiday party, but a full batch would be way too much. Keep in mind these cookies last forever, and although they can get a bit tough after a couple of weeks, the flavor keeps getting better (that’s what I heard).

Now, if you prefer to make a quicker version, and take it in different directions as far as flavor is concerned, I highly recommend King Arthur’s recipe.

SHORTBREAD SPRINGERLE-LIKE COOKIES
(slightly modified from King Arthur Flour)

227g butter, room temperature
106g brown sugar
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 tsp anise oil
360g all-purpose flour

Beat together the butter, sugars, and salt until light and creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, and fold in the flour. Divide the dough in half, shape both halves as disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 350F. Line with parchment) two baking sheets.

Working with one disk at a time, flour your work surface and roll the dough 1/4″ thick. To shape cookies using a springerle mold: Brush a very light coating of flour onto the dough and your springerle mold. Press the mold firmly into the dough, then remove and cut around the design with a cookie cutter.

Transfer the cut cookies to the prepared baking sheets. Freeze for 10 minutes. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool before painting, if so desired.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: It takes a little bit of patience to get these cookies right, and each mold is a slightly different universe. You need to get the thickness of the dough and the pressure you use with the mold just right, so that the full pattern is transferred.  The main thing to keep in mind is that you need a cookie recipe with a very small amount of leavening agent, or even without any at all. Be careful with baking powder, and make sure you use a recipe that someone had success with before. You can use the basic recipe from King Arthur and change the flavors, as they suggest in the site. I really like using Fiori di Sicilia, and added it to the heart-shaped batch.

I hope you’ll consider baking a batch of these cookies during the upcoming holiday season. I am sharing the recipes early enough, so you can browse the many wonderful sites that sell Springerle molds (like this one) and keep me company in my latest addiction.

ONE YEAR AGO: Chickpeas and Zucchini with Tahini Sauce

TWO YEAR AGO: Mokonut’s Rye Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

THREE YEARS AGO: Incredibly Simple Times Four

FOUR YEARS AGO: Going naked, and my husband loved it

FIVE YEARS AGO: Cream Cheese Mini-Pancakes with Smoked Salmon

SIX YEARS AGO:  Star-Shaped Chocolate Brioche Bread

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Blueberry-Banana Bread 

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Into the Light Again

NINE YEARS AGO: Five Grain Sourdough Bread

TEN YEARS AGO: The Nano-Kitchen

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Kaiser Rolls

BLACK CROWN SEEDED SOURDOUGH

I am so excited to share this recipe today! I’ve always enjoyed the look and taste of sourdough bread with a coating of seeds, but they do interfere with a more elaborate slashing of the surface. Since slashing the bread is quite likely my favorite part of bread baking, seeds posed a problem with no satisfying solution. But then, Alex, tent-baker extraordinaire, tagged me on a post on Instagram, as we had been discussing the issue for a while. His tagging started my virtual journey through #sourdoughrose, and I could not wait to try the technique. Basically, a portion of the dough is rolled out thin, brushed with oil.  The main dough is shaped as a ball, and coated with seeds. The oil prevents the film of dough from sticking during baking, so it more or less peels away, to reveal the seeds underneath.  I dyed the outside dough black, hoping for a more dramatic contrast.

BLACK CROWN SEEDED SOURDOUGH
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by Ana is Baking)

makes one very small round loaf

150g water
55g starter at 100% hydration
100g bread flour
60g semolina flour
55g whole-wheat flour
1 tsp honey
4.5g salt
activated charcoal powder (optional)
seeds of your choice (I used black and white sesame, nigella, and white poppy seeds)
olive oil to brush laminated dough

Dissolve the starter in the water,  add all other ingredients and knead until smooth (by hand or using a KitchenAid type mixer).

Proof at room temperature for 3 hours, folding every 30 to 45 minutes. After 3 hours, remove a small portion of the dough (about 65g) and dye with charcoal powder if you want to make it black. Leave it plain if you prefer.  Roll this portion as a circle (about 6 inches in diameter), then brush the center with olive oil, leaving a margin without oil, so that it will stick to the main dough.

Shape the dough as a round ball, spray the top with water and roll over the seeds that you can spread on a flat tray. Immediately place the ball of dough over the laminated component, so that the seeds are in touch with the oil. Wrap the dough around, place it, seam side up in a banetton and leave it in the fridge overnight. It the dough seems very mad at you, don’t worry, he’ll get over it as the fermentation proceeds.

Next morning, turn the oven to 450F.  Once ready to bake, invert the bread over parchment paper, and score the surface in a pattern that will allow it to open in some interesting way. Make sure you cut all the way to expose the seeded component underneath.

Bake for 30 minutes with steam (Dutch oven closed), then remove the lid and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes. Allow it to cool completely over a rack before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Obviously, the way you slash the dough will have a huge impact on the look of the final loaf. Most bakers go for the design of a rose, and that was my goal, as  you can see in the picture below:


However, I think my decoration ended more in the direction of a crown. Might be my love for all things Game of Thrones.  I want to do this type of bread again, trying to coach the first slashes in the center to open in a more parallel way to the surface. It will be fun to try other designs also. The bread has a lower hydration level than my regular sourdoughs, so the crumb ends a bit tighter, but I love the softness given by the semolina flour.


I am not sure pumpkin and sunflower seeds could work, maybe they are a big too big, but you never quite know until you try it. Just a few more things in that big list of baking and cooking projects for the future.


As you slice the bread, the laminated dough falls off, so you get bread and some bonus crackers, very delicious too…

Alex, thanks so much for bringing #sourdoughrose to my attention! It is exactly the kind of technique I was hoping for, slashes and seeds, co-existing together in perfect harmony…

ONE YEAR AGO: The Great British Bake-Off is Back!

TWO YEAR AGO: Queen of Sheba

THREE YEARS AGO: Brunch Burger

FOUR YEARS AGO: Mango Salsa with Verjus

FIVE YEARS AGO: Raspberry Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Brownies

SIX YEARS AGO: Scary Good Pork Burgers

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Review of exercise program Focus25

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with a Thai Seafood Curry

NINE YEARS AGO:  Post-workout Breakfast

TEN YEARS AGO: Semolina Barbecue Buns

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Lavash Crackers

 

 

SWEET AND SPICY ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

Cauliflower is quite likely the most versatile vegetable out there. You can turn it into pizza crust. You can turn it into pasta sauce. It roasts well, it fries well, it mimics rice, it disguises as tabbouleh. I’ve seen recipes using it in brownies, but even with my mind open wide, I cannot quite embrace that aspect. In this recipe, it gets a tempura-like treatment, and into the hot oven it goes. I never expected to have to fight the husband for the last bits of cauliflower in the bowl, but that’s what happened.

SWEET AND SPICY ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
(inspired by Cook Eat Share Vegan)

Yogurt sauce:
150g full-fat yogurt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
salt to taste

panko breadcrumbs
1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets

for the batter:
70g g rice flour
pinch of sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon baking soda
juice of ½ lemon
150ml milk

for the spicy sauce:
2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red chilli paste)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons agave nectar
50ml water

Heat oven to 420F and line a baking tray with foil or baking paper. Make the yogurt sauce by whisking all ingredients in a small bowl, and reserve in the fridge until serving time.

To make the batter, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Place the panko in a shallow baking dish.  Dip cauliflower florets in the batter and shake off any excess before dredging in the panko crumbs and placing on the prepared baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes or until crispy and golden.

As the cauliflower roasts, place the gochujang dressing ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, or until smooth thick, adding a splash more water if it seems too thick. Transfer the baked cauliflower to a large bowl, pour over the dressing and toss to coat. Serve right away of keep in a low oven while you prepare the rest of your dinner, with the yogurt sauce on the side.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This was the type of preparation that had me a bit nervous until I finally took the first bite. The Gochujang sauce looked like liquid lava as it reduced, and I thought that it could end up as something that would turn my Dad off for being too spicy (Dad used to eat hot peppers as if they were candy… I refer you to this story of my past if you like to be amused).

But both Phil and I loved it!  It definitely had enough heat but it was not overpowering. No need for Kleenex. At any rate, if you don’t like spicy food, this is definitely not for you. But where there’s a will, there’s a way:  use ketchup instead of kochujang and proceed with the recipe as written. I am sure it will be very delicious.

ONE YEAR AGO: Roasted Cauliflower Salad over Hummus

TWO YEARS AGO: Queen of Sheba

THREE YEAR AGO: Brunch Burger

FOUR YEARS AGO: Mango Salsa with Verjus

FIVE YEARS AGO: Raspberry Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Brownies

SIX YEARS AGO: Scary Good Pork Burgers

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Review of exercise program Focus25

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with a Thai Seafood Curry

NINE YEARS AGO:  Post-workout Breakfast

TEN YEARS AGO: Semolina Barbecue Buns

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Lavash Crackers