The ‘star’ featured this month for Cook Like A Star bloghop is Ree Drummond, more commonly known as The Pioneer Woman. I first come across her blog few years ago when I was only starting to get into cooking and sharing food posts online. The way she narrates her stories, the photographs she takes, and the simple dishes she makes were inspiring for me to widen my own repertoire. I like her so much, that I bought both of cookbooks, “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” and “Food from My Frontier”, I have even pre-ordered her latest cookbook “A Year of Holidays”.
There’s only one catch though. Ree cooks in a similar way as Nigella, just in different countries. A lot of the times they use ready-made stuff (sauces for Ree, pastry for Nigella), and tends to be a little bit on the unhealthy side (cream, butter, cheese, sugar, bacon…. all that stuff I’m trying to avoid at the moment), and that was why I haven’t used any of their recipes for ages. I prefer to make things from scratch. Nevertheless when it comes to busy times, Ree’s recipes can be very helpful. I have made the Cajun Chicken Pasta, The Hot & Sweet Drumsticks, Meatloaf (best recipe I’ve tried so far, but I modified it by adding a bit more vegetables), Mac n Cheese (normal and fancy version) and they all worked pretty well.
Flipping through her second cookbook, I bookmarked a few vegetarian side dishes and thought the Roasted Cauliflower looked pretty good and straightforward. A bit too straightforward, even. So I have changed it a little bit to make it tastier.
Cauliflower is probably not many people’s favourite dish for it’s bland taste. But when cooked right, it can be a good vehicle for flavours. It’s also incredibly good for you: nutritiously dense, it’s low in fat, low in carbohydrates but high in dietary fiber, folate, water, and vitamin C. There has been plenty of studies to demonstrate cancer fighting properties too. So what if this dish contain a little bit of cheese and butter then, right? *wink*
I have halved her recipe for my personal consumption as I ate only that for my lunch today, and it was delicious.
Roasted Cauliflower (adapted from “The Pioneer Woman Cookes – Food from My Frontier” pg 220)
Half cauliflower head, separate into small florets
1 drizzle of olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 sprinkle of ground cumin
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 cup of Shredded Mozzarella and Cheddar
Preheat oven to 200C. Spread the cauliflower on a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper, and ground cumin and toss them evenly.
Roast the cauliflower for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown with some darker parts.
Melt the butter then add the panko bread crumbs and mix well.
Place the cauliflower in a small baking dish top with the cheese, then mound the bread crumbs on top.
Roast for 5-10 minutes until the bread crumbs are golden brown on top. Let cool a little before serving.
Not much energy used in preparing this, but the flavours are comforting. The buttery bread crumbs paired so well with the tender cauliflowers. And I think a little bit of cheese just provided a bit more depth of flavour as well as moisture to the dish. I finished this in minutes. Yum.
I am submitting this to the “Cook Like Ree Drummond” event which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Mich of Piece of Cake. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from any Ree Drummond websites or cookbooks for the whole month of September 2013. You can link your posts at one of the host’s pages.