With the Tuna Trio yesterday, I’m kinda tuna’d out. So I thought this recipe would be a nice change of pace. This is one of Baby Lady’s favorite recipes and she will be happy I posted it without her asking me to do so. It is also one of my favorites, too.
Baby Lady & I always eat a balanced meal and are always looking for new ways to fix old favorites. I like Cauliflower and Red Chiles. When I found this recipe, it was a match made in heaven. Now before you stop reading, this is not hot. It has a little warmth but this recipe is all about flavor. The cauliflower is SLOW ROASTED at 325 F. Wile you can cook the cauliflower faster at higher temps or using a convection oven, don’t because SLOW ROASTING permits the cauliflower to absorb the chile flavor gradually and turn a lovely golden color as shown in the photo above. There is a sweetness from the slow roasting and caramelization of the cauliflower that you don’t get otherwise, the earthiness from the red chile, smokiness from the cumin and roasted chiles, tang and brightness from the lime and a floral element from the chopped cilantro at the end. This dish absolutely sings. We hope you try it and like it.
As Elia and I were leisurely strolling the shops in Mesilla, New Mexico we saw a book we simply couldn’t resist. It was the Red Chile Bible: Southwest Classic & Gourmet Recipes by Kathleen Hansel, Audrey Jenkins. I love small paperback cookbooks written by locals. In this case Kathleen Hansel and Audrey Jenkins are caterers in Santa Fe, a few miles north. Regardless, as we were perusing the book to see if we liked it, I found this recipe. Once I saw the recipe, I bought the book. Our recipe is modified from the original because Chimayo chiles are difficult to find outside of New Mexico. Chimayo chiles will cross pollinate with almost any other chile so it takes a lot of dedication to preserve the chile. As such, it is in scarce supply and typically found in Northern New Mexico. Audrey Jenkins and Kathleen Hansel, living in Santa Fe, had ready availability to Chimayo chile. We made some substitutions and this is what we did.
- 1 large head Cauliflower
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp Red New Mexico Chile Powder (substitute Ancho Chile Powder if you don’t have Red New Mexico)
- 1/2 tsp crushed dried Red Chile
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds toasted and ground
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/2 Lime, juiced
- Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 325 F. Separate the florets from the Cauliflower. Put them in a bowl with the garlic, chile powder, crushed chile, cumin, salt & olive oil and toss gently to mix together and coat well.
Spread the seasoned Cauliflower in a shallow roasting pan.
Roast 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until tender, stirring occasionally.
When done, remove from oven.
Dress with lime juice.
Finish with chopped cilantro leaves.
Serve & enjoy!
We do a variation of this recipe using a combination of broccoli and cauliflower to which we add onions, as well. The onions add a little sweetness to the dish and keep it a little more moist. The broccoli roasts beautifully and the little florets pick up the little tidbits of garlic and chile powder. Give this a try.
NOTES: You can also try this treatment with Broccoli, Turnips, Parsnips & Carrots although the cooking time may vary.
Now, if you’re one of those folks on Pinterest and elsewhere who want to cook this quicker at oven temperatures of 400+ F because you like it crunchier, that is fine with me. Just do not use olive oil. Find another substitute for the olive oil because olive oil breaks down above 350 F, becomes toxic and acquires an off putting taste. If you’re concerned the cauliflower won’t get those nice little roasted, crusty bits at 325 F, you’re wrong. You get the same effect at 325 F that you will get at 400+ F but it will take you longer and you cannot crowd the pan. Crowding the pan, either at 350 F or 400 F will result in you steaming the cauliflower NOT roasting it.
We used this basic recipe and turned it into Roasted Cauliflower Bisque.