Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Low Carb Cauliflower Puree

Cauliflower puree topped with
 steak & mushrooms
There are two schools of thought on cauliflower puree, the popular, low carb substitute for mashed potatoes. The first is to pretend your cauliflower really is mashed potatoes and drown it with butter and cream. The second is to man up, admit you are eating a vegetable, and prepare your cauliflower simply and lightly with just a little vegetable broth. I've done it both ways and yes, I prefer the second version. Cauliflower has a natural sweetness to it and it doesn't need much embellishment to be delicious. Besides, the idea of cauliflower puree is to eat healthy. It's silly to load it up with lots of saturated fats when you've got something so good for you. It soaks up your gravy or pan sauce just as well without the extras. I don't miss mashed potatoes when I make this at all.

I cook my cauliflower in vegetable broth to add extra flavor. You could use chicken if you prefer, or just plan salted water. I like to do my puree in my food processor, but I think a blender would work too.  I've tried mashing it with a fork, which works okay, but you aren't going to get a really smooth puree. It'll be mashed cauliflower chunks. I usually make this when I know I'll have a gravy or sauce to go with it, so I leave it plain. But if you want to experiment, I think roasted garlic, a handful of grated parmesan cheese or chopped fresh herbs would be amazing.

Cauliflower Puree 

1 head cauliflower, chopped (You can include the stems, along with the flowerettes.)
Enough vegetable broth to cover your cauliflower (About three cups)
Salt to taste

Chop cauliflower into smallish pieces. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will cook and the easier it will be to fit them in your food processor. But don't make yourself crazy over this step. Bring your broth to a simmer and add the cauliflower. Simmer until it's soft enough to break apart with a fork. With a slotted spoon, remove cauliflower and add to food processor. Pulse until it reaches your desired level of smoothness. I like mine with a few chunks still in it. If needed, use the remaining broth to thin out your puree. Sometimes it needs a little extra to get things moving. Serve immediately.  

Next up, I'm going to share how I did that steak with bourbon mushroom pan sauce.

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