I was a bartender for years, so maybe it's just business-as-usual when someone says to me, "I heard about this recipe... I don't really know what's in it, but... could you make it for me?"
Mr. Wright and I were recently on vacation in Scottsdale, Arizona (by the way, if you're in town, you've gotta try out The Herb Box for awesome service, food and atmosphere!), and while I was soaking in a colossal tub, Mr. Wright was channel-surfing -- a rare treat for him, as we don't have television.
He ran in to tell me, "Honey! I just saw this chef on some food channel make steaks out of cauliflower, and they looked AWESOME! Can you make some?"
"Well, sure... can you tell me how he did it? Did he marinate them, or brush them with anything? Did he sear them, or roast them, or grill them, or broil them?"
Aha! A challenge!
I have no idea what Mr. Wright saw on television, but I whipped up this little magical recipe, and it was the bomb!
Broiled Balsamic Peanut Cauliflower Steaks
4 T balsamic vinegar
2 T agave syrup
1/4 c smooth peanut butter
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t chili powder
1 t dried basil
1 t Sriracha sauce
1 large head of cauliflower (tightly-packed florets work best)
You will also need:
Broiler pan with grilling rack to fit on top
In a blender, combine vinegar, agave syrup, peanut butter, garlic powder, chili powder, basil and Sriracha sauce.
Blend until smooth, and pour into a large, shallow, flat-bottomed dish.
Using a large knife, slice the cauliflower into one-inch-thick "steaks," starting by slicing down the middle, then moving toward the outside in one-inch increments. Toward the edges, you may have some pieces that aren't attached to the stalk simply fall to pieces. That's okay. We'll marinate those, and broil them, too!
Place "steaks" and random pieces into sauce, allowing to marinate for about ten to fifteen minutes, then flip over, and marinate for about ten minutes on the other side.
Tip: Use a spoon or basting brush to get sauce into those little pockets that don't make contact easily.
Carefully arrange marinated "steaks" and pieces on grilling rack on top of broiler pan.
Place under broiler for three to six minutes. Be sure to watch the "steaks" as they broil, and remove from heat when the sauce just starts to develop a deep brown, toasted appearance.
Gently flip over cauliflower, and broil on the other side, following the recommendations above. Cauliflower should be tender, and easily pierced with a fork.
Remove from heat and serve hot. Pile the little random pieces around your larger "steaks," and enjoy!
This recipe works as a phenomenal main course, or you can serve it on the side, or as an appetizer, cut into smaller pieces.
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