Sunday, January 17, 2010

Return to Food: Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower

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After almost a week of takeout, a trip to Quiznos, and a batch of chili, I was finally feeling better and ready to have some fresh, home-cooked food. I tackled Brussels sprouts again, along with half a cauliflower, and also made some tofu and millet, which was tasty in my previous Brussels sprouts dish.

I started by parboiling the sprouts: I boiled them for about 5 minutes, then placed them in a strainer set in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain them thoroughly so they won’t become soggy. I was somewhat following a recipe that instructed me to do this, but I’m not entirely sure it was necessary. Other sources I’ve consulted say that if you immediately finish cooking the veggies there’s no need for the ice bath. Oh well, it was a fun middle step. I took some time while they drained to do a few other things anyway. This way they got a head start at cooking and were fully drained before I put them in the oven. I tossed my sprouts and cauliflower florets in a little olive oil and salt, then baked for about an hour at 350F.

Served with tofu, which I also oven-baked, but then finished in a skillet to brown it a bit. I marinated it in red wine vinegar (hence the reddish tone), oil, soy sauce, and garlic. Just a mishmash of stuff that came together well enough. The tofu had the tang of the vinegar and the oil helped crisp the outside a bit. I should mention that I followed a tip to try Trader Joe’s tofu, and I have been really impressed. As I eat more tofu, I can now understand that there really is a difference between different brands of tofu, and this Trader Joe’s stuff is good!

This meal looks kind of bland and white, but it was so refreshing for me. Alex now like Brussels sprouts, which is awesome. I planned this dinner to use half the cauliflower and also have some home cooked tofu, which is very different from anything I’d had all week. Not only does it feel good to be getting over that nasty cold, but it feels good to eat good food and cook at home again. I’m back, y’all!

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