Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ad Hoc's Rice with Roasted Cauliflower

I saw this recipe in the LA Times and I knew I had to try it. Roasted cauliflower sounds soo good, doesn't it? I feel like cauliflower gets such a bad rep, but it's delicious in soups or braised in Indian food. It's also really tasty to eat as a crudite when blanched. Unfortunately I don't use it enough in my day to day cooking, but I was excited to try a new recipe that utilized it. Ad Hoc is one of Thomas Keller's restaurants in Yountville, CA and so you know it's gotta be good. I thought this would be a good side dish to go with the Chicken Marbella I was bringing to the picnic. The roasted cauliflower was really good on its own, but with curry, butter, rice and red pepper flakes, you can't go wrong. I could eat this for days and never tire of it.

Ad Hoc's Rice with Roasted Cauliflower

1/2 head white cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tablespoons canola oil
Pinch of curry powder
6 cups water
1 cup Carolina, or long grain, rice
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the canola oil and season with one-fourth teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper, or to taste.

Place the cauliflower in a roasting pan (reserve the bowl) and roast until the cauliflower is a deep brown and tender throughout when pierced with a knife, 20 to 25 minutes, tossing every few minutes for even coloring and cooking. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees. (Sorry I forgot to take pictures.)

While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the rice: In a large saucepan, add the water and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rice and chili flakes and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook the rice just until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the rice well, then spread the rice in a thin shallow layer in a large baking dish.

Place the rice in the oven to dry out for 5 minutes. Remove, then stir in the olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired with salt and pepper. Place the cauliflower back in the bowl and toss with the curry powder. Taste and season, if desired, with additional salt and pepper.

Gently stir in the warmed rice and butter, tossing until the butter is melted and evenly coats the rice and cauliflower. Stir in the green onions and serve immediately.

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