Sunday, April 28, 2013

Culinary Comforts: Cauliflower, Korma, Crustaceans!

Scallops a la Q
Today, I present to you a trifecta of cookery:
     I/ Cauliflower Soup
     II/ Vegetable Korma (without dairy)
     III/ Scallops Provencal (without dairy)

Cauliflower Soup

To make broth, I thoroughly washed some pork bones, then boiled them in water for about 1.5 hours. 
During the first 45 minutes, all of this crazy scum surfaced, and I had to scoop it out non-stop. I took out so much scum that I actually had to add back some water to replenish the volume!
After a total of 1.5 hours of gentle, pleasant simmering, I added salt, pepper, and fish sauce to season the broth.
Then I added whatever veggies I have lying around: cauliflower, potatoes, and carrots. I then let it simmer further for at least another hour to let the vegetables tenderize and fill the broth with yummy sweetness and nutrients. 
In truth, I should add the veggies in order of their cook time.  For example, carrots take longer to cook than cauliflower and potatoes and should go in first. But in reality, I am like WHATEVS and add them to the broth indiscriminately.
I added green onions last because I like them to stay greenish when I eat the soup for the first time. After the 2nd or 3rd day the onions are completely soften but still yummy. 

Then I painted my nails, added some crushed black pepper, and CHOW CHOW CHOW.
Ouch, I think I burned my tongue.

Vegetable Korma
I made this twice.  Please compare and contrast as you are able: 

I found a recipe To start, I created a paste of eye-annihilating fumes composed of onions, shallots, garlic, and ginger. I accomplished this with a food processor, otherwise I sure would have chopped my own fingertips into the paste. The paste was then cooked in a little bit of oil and it actually smelled rather delicious. Then I added the potatoes and cauliflower. I let that sit for awhile until the water came out of the veggies and they softened nicely. Then I added curry powder and some canned tomato sauce. This made a beautiful orange curry sauce! It was like magic. To thicken it, I added almond flour. To lighten it and creamify it without milk/yogurt I used almond milk. Not a perfect substitute but I think it was still pretty good.

The second time I made it, I didn't have tomato sauce so I used diced tomatoes and it just wasn't the same...

Scallops Provencal
Let me preface by saying that scallops are SO easy to make at home that I will never order them for $27 at a restaurant again! And may I add that it's usually a restaurant that doesn't use $ or .00 in their menu so their scallop dish simply costs 27.
I bring to you...
Quyen's Yummy Scallops                                                                  10.

 I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten.  She used lots of butter.  I used 0 butter.
First the scallops are salted and peppered. Then I dredged them in a mixture of all-purpose flour and almond flour in order to create a delicious crust.  I heated oil in a skillet (alas, unable to use butter) and dropped the scallops in. I let them brown, then flipped them. Flip!
After both sides are brown, Ina Garten starts to add more butter.  I simply do nothing.
Actually I just skipped the butter step and add some coarsely chopped shallots and garlic and let that swoosh around.  Then I added a splash of white wine to scrape up the brown bits stuck to the pan. Now.. this step is controversial to me...I added almond milk. I was trying to sub some kind of opaque fat but I don't think that it adds anything to the dish. It didn't taste bad though (in fact it was quite scrumpsh) so at least it wasn't destructive. Then some chopped flat leaf parsley, some lemon, some Dilaudid---wait no, not that.

Bon appetit!

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