What's For Dinner? | Riced Cauliflower
I recently tried riced cauliflower and it was an instant hit with my wife and I, so much so that I wrote an article all about Cruciferous Vegetables recently and how they have more health benefits than just being a low-carb substitute for rice.
This new surge of interest in riced cauliflower is great because when broken down by chopping or grating into tiny rice-sized pieces, the appearance may fool you for a moment for the real thing. This versatile side has a neutral flavor, becomes tender, and yet holds its shape when cooked, with a bonus of taking only a fraction of time to cook compared to boiling and simmering grains of rice.
Now that we have tasted how wonderful this side dish is, we wanted to learn how to make this for ourselves instead of relying on our grocery stores frozen food section. There are four easy ways to make cauliflower rice with tools you probably already have in your kitchen. If you have a chef's knife, box grater, food processor or blender, you can make your own cauliflower rice in no time.
Using a large chef's knife, remove the florets. Mince into tiny pieces, resembling the size and shape of rice grains. This process is a little longer than the other methods but uses the most minimal tools.
Using a box grater or microplane grater with medium sized holes to push across the florets and make smaller pieces. Keeping the florets larger will make for easier grating.
Cut the cauliflower into smaller 1 - 2 inch pieces. Add about 4 cups of florets or 3/4 of the way full in a food processor. the amount will vary depending on the size of the food process you have. Pulse the cauliflower until small pieces are formed. You may need to stop periodically and scrape the sides of the bowl. If larger florets go unprocessed, take them out, transfer the cauliflower rice to a bowl and then add the larger pieces back in to process.
If your processor has a cheese grater blade attachment, you may find that this processes your cauliflower even better.
Cut the cauliflower into smaller 1 to 2 inch florets. Add about 4 cups of florets into a high speed blender. blend the cauliflower until small pieces are formed, using the tamper handle on top to push down the florets, about 15 to 60 seconds. You may need to scrape the sides of the blender cup similar to the food processor above.
Different Ways to Cook Cauliflower Rice
One head of cauliflower will yield about 4 cups of rice depending on the size. Once the cauliflower rice is broken down into smaller pieces, there are multiple ways to cook it. The cooking methods below are for 4 cups of rice.
Sauté: Heat a large pan over medium-high heat, sauté the rice in 1 tablespoon warmed oil or butter until tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir-fry: Heat a wok and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over high heat. Add rice in a single layer, allow to cook until lightly browned for about 2 minutes. Stir, cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
Steam: Add cauliflower rice to a steamer insert, cover and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Grits: Add cauliflower to a medium-size sauté pan and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, constantly stirring to release some moisture from the vegetable. Add one tablespoon of butter, 1/4 cup of milk, ¼ cup of stock and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir and cook until moisture gets absorbed, and cauliflower cooks through about 5 minutes. Use a handheld immersion blender or place half of the mixture in a blender to create a rough pureé.
Couscous: Heat a large pot fitted with a lid over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add cauliflower rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir and cover, cook 5 to 8 minutes until tender.
Risotto: Heat a large pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the cauliflower and stir, cook 1 to 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, stirring until evaporated, 2 minutes. Turn heat to medium-high, add 1/2 cup broth and 1/2 cup milk, frequently stirring, 6 to 8 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and just a small amount of the liquid is left on the bottom of the pan.
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