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Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Dinner to Die(t) For

As Baby was away on business for three weeks and rigorously dieting all the while, I wanted to create a celebratory dinner for him upon his return; one that was delicious but also mindful, regarding pounds and ounces. I had read an article in New York magazine about the influence of cauliflower in terms of the city's tables--I was instantly intrigued as it set my mind to work on what was to be the centerpiece of our dinner--cauliflower steaks! This cruciferous vegetable has been blanched, sliced and griddled all over town apparently as of late. I was drawn to a particular description of the cauliflower first being "milk-pickled" at Blue Hill in Greenwich Village before being cooked sous vide and then seared. For a number of hours, I thought to let our halved head of cauliflower sit refrigerated in low-fat milk with a few tablespoons from a tin of buttermilk brining powder we had bought at Williams-Sonoma, shaking the mix about now and then. The cauliflower was then ready for a sear in a cast iron skillet. I wasn't sure if the whole thing would fall apart but it didn't, clinging firmly to its leaves at the base, which added a fine flavor. I think our veggie friend could have even withstood more time in the pan for an even markedly deeper char.

Garlicky kale from Fresh Direct was a great side and we absolutely fell in love with our easy-to-make, beautiful summer squash salad so fresh and full of flavor from basil and parsley with crunchy red quinoa and complementing walnuts from

Rosie Daley, Oprah Winfrey's spa chef from years ago, provided a recipe for Chocolate Tofu Cake from In The Kitchen With Rosie for a wonderful dessert! Tofu, cocoa powder, cinnamon, maple syrup, low-fat ricotta cheese and cream cheese, a few tablespoons of Godiva chocolate liqueur and Patron coffee liqueur were first all whipped up and then chilled (no crust!) to lead us to a most satisfying, guilt-free conclusion! 

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