Monday, May 11, 2009

Making a dent in our jar of curry powder...

For a side tonight, we tried out this Curried Cauliflower Flatbread - I needed a recipe that didn't have a lot of hand holding as I would be busy preparing the main dish.

There was a bit of prep work put into this by first hacking away at a head of cauliflower to break it down into finely chopped pieces. The vegetable were dressed with oil, cleanly seasoned and spread out onto a baking pan to roast until the bits had become tender and taken on a golden color. To ensure sure the pieces cook evenly, do take a minute or two and toss the cauliflower halfway through.

As the vegetable roasted, we stirred together a mixture of whole wheat flour, cornmeal, salt and light coconut milk. Don't be overly shy about getting this combined - use a whisk and do your best to try and get out the lumps. Since there are a few variables with how much liquid you need, hold back on the amount of coconut milk when you pour it in - you want to add enough that the batter ends up being the consistency of pancake batter. Once the cauliflower did its business in the oven, we tossed the browned bits with the aromatic curry powder and stirred it into the prepared batter.

To get the best crust on this flatbread, add the oil called for (which I know it may seem like more than what is needed, but don't skimp on this!) into the skillet and place it into the oven to heat up for a few minutes first. Besides giving it a head start, isn't it always gratifying to hear that stimulating sizzle as soon as whatever you are using hits a hot pan? Placed back into the oven, you'll want to let this bake until the crust is a rich golden brown and the center is pretty firm to the touch. Other than looking for those markers, the flatbread should easily release from the pan when its ready.

Sliced into wedges, we thought the flavor coursing through each bite was brilliant with the curried roasted cauliflower paired along side the subtleness in the coconut milk. The crust was crispy as advertised, but the center seemed almost more creamy in texture, rather than having a bread-like crumb as I expected. I wonder if my pan may have been a little smaller than what the recipe called for or if there was too much moisture? It didn't throw us off though, the flavor was delicious enough that we were each sucked back to the counter to grab another wedge!

Since we were already using curry powder in the dish above, I thought it might be nice if the main dish we were going to serve would echoed that flavor, but in a different fashion. Jeff had been asking for a shrimp recipe sometime this week and as I was menu planning this past weekend, I thought of this Shrimp with Scallions and Crispy Potatoes dish that I grabbed from a recent magazine.

We had to get the potatoes working before the shrimp as they took up most of the time needed to get this on the table. We cubed the potatoes into bite-sized pieces, then slid them into a healthy layer of olive oil and let the heat slowly soften their centers, while at the same time creating a rich golden brown crust on their outsides. Once in the skillet, try not to toss the cubes too often so they get enough time in contact with the skillet to form that crust. As soon as they were ready, we added the whites of a couple scallions and left them sit for just a minute to round off their sharper bite.

As the pan was pretty full right now, we slid the potatoes out to allow enough breathing room for the incoming shrimp. After a touch more oil to the empty pan, we slid the shrimp in and immediately dusted them with the curry powder. You won't want to step away once they are in either as the shrimp are done in the blink of an eye - when they start to curl and have almost cooked through, the potato combo is stirred back in. After a quick re-seasoning, the dish was ready to go with a shower of the leftover green tops from the scallions. With a simple five ingredient list, plus salt and pepper of course, this dish was on the table in just under thirty minutes! The golden fried potatoes were crispy on the outside, while remaining tender and soft on the inside. The shrimp were plump and complimented by just enough zip from the curry powder to add a charismatic bite, which left us with nary a piece left on our plates.


  1. Wow, that flatbread looks so unique and flavorful - yum!

  2. Both these recipes look like winners - can't wait to try the cauliflower flatbread!


  3. Quinn - the leftovers are not as crispy, but it was still tasty!