Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sformato di cavolofiore - Cauliflower Pie

I like to serve vegetables in the way of a sformato, a kind of Italian custard made with a bechamel. You can use all kinds of vegetable, that are not too moist. Cauliflower, asparagus, green beans or even potato. It is usually served with a plain tomato sauce. This time we had it with red wine pasta in a creamy chanterelle sauce with thyme, and pan fried pork chop, pre salted.

A word regarding the pork chop : I always pre salt my meat and poultry. It keeps the meat a lot juicer, enhances the flavor and makes for a beautiful crust. To do that, I rub about 1 tb ( per pound meat )  kosher  ( flaky ) salt ( I use Diamond Crystal ) into the meat and let it sit in the fridge for 2 or 3 days. The salt penetrates the meat, seasons it all the way through and keeps it from drying out. No other way for me anymore. Thanks, Ann at Thibeault's Table for the introduction to this method.

Another word, regarding the sformato : We had to leave the house earlier, than I had been told, so I had to pull the sformato from the oven, before it was all the way set. It has normally a firm appearance, and is slicable. This time it was more of a puree. But still tasted good :)

-=========  REZKONV-Recipe - RezkonvSuite v1.4

     Title: Sformato di cavolofiore - cauliflower pie
Categories: Side, Vegetable, Oven, Italy
     Yield: 4-6 Servings

      1      head  Firm, white cauliflower, cleaned and separated
                   -- into individual florets
      2   tablesp. Olive oil
      1    medium  Onion, diced
      4   tablesp. Butter
      3   tablesp. Flour, white
      2      cups  Milk
                   Pinch of nutmeg
      2     large  Eggs
      6   tablesp. Parmesan, grated

============================ SOURCE ============================
            From the tables of Tuscan women, Anne Bianchi
            -- Edited *RK* 12/09/2013 by
            -- Ralph Knauth

Place the cauliflower into boiling salted water over medium heat.
Cook for 10 minutes or until the florets can be easily pierced with
a fork; drain.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat; sauté the onion until
lightly browned. Add the cauliflower and continue to sauté until the
florets begin to stick slightly to the pan; remove the cauliflower
to a large bowl. Mash the florets with a fork until they become a
thick, chunky paste ( Do not use the food processor as this would
create too much liquid ).

Melt 3 tb of butter in the same skillet; using a spatula, scrape
into the butter any remnants of the cauliflower. Add flour and stir
until you have a pastelike consistency. Add the milk, stirring
constantly with a whisk until the mixture is thick and soupy Add
nutmeg and stir until blended.

Return the cauliflower to the skillet; add s+p and blend thoroughly.

Beat the eggs and add them to the mix, incorporating them with a
whisk . Fold in half of the grated cheese.

Preheat the oven to 350°F; grease a 7 or 8 inch mold with straight
sides, about 3 inches high. Put a round cut out piece of parchment
paper on the bottom. Pour entire contents of skillet into the mold;
coat the top with the other half cheese. and set the mold in a
larger pan. Pour boiling water into the pan to come up about 2
inches up the side of the mold. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until
the middle is firm to the touch.

Slice and serve hot ( with plain tomato sauce ).


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