Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Curried Cauliflower Risotto

I made up another recipe! It seems like most of my creations include curry used in unconventional dishes. This may be a result of looking for excuses to use my awesome Penzey's Sweet Curry Powder. It is the most flavorful curry powder I have come across (although, I haven't tried grinding and mixing my own yet).

Last night, I wanted risotto. I also had a half a head of cauliflower left over in the fridge that needed to be cooked before it started to rot. So I decided to steam that, and make the risotto. Then I had the brilliant idea to put the cauliflower in the risotto, so I commandeered a few half-cooked spears of cauliflower and sauteed them with some vidalia onion before tossing in the Arborio rice. And then, of course, I decided to add the curry powder.

Yum!! Sometimes, spontaneous creations turn out great, and this time, everything worked together really well. I might try a garam masala version next time.

Curried Cauliflower Risotto

1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower spears, cut to 1-inch pieces
3 TBSP butter, divided
3 TBSP Vidalia onion, chopped finely
salt and pepper
1 1/2 TBSP sweet curry powder
3 1/2 to 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine, preferably dry
1/4 cup grated parmesan/romano cheese blend

Steam the cauliflower in a small pot for about 3 minutes. Do not cook completely. Meanwhile, in a large skillet (at least 12 inches), heat 2 TBSP of butter over medium high heat. When it starts to froth, add the onion and the half-steamed cauliflower and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the curry powder and stir well to coat the onion and cauliflower. Sauté for 2 more minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a bare simmer in a small saucepan. Once it reaches the boiling point, reduce the heat to medium-low.

Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium, then add the rice to the cauliflower and onion mixture. Stir around for a minute to toast the rice. Then add the wine. Stir occasionally, until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Add 3/4 cup of the hot chicken broth to the rice, and, stir occasionally until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding liquid in 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup amounts, waiting each time until the liquid has been completely absorbed before adding more. This should take about 20 minutes. Taste the rice to see if it is tender enough. When the rice is tender, but still retains a slightly chewy texture, stop adding liquid and turn off the heat.

Stir in 1 TBSP of butter and the cheese blend. Serve immediately, with extra grated cheese for garnish.