Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pineapple Habanero Cauliflower Steaks

Do you need some hot stuff? Do you need it, baby, tonight?

Maybe you, like Donna Summer (the queen of the "come hither look," by the way), are sittin' there, eatin' your heart out, waiting...

Waiting for something to eat besides your heart. Because you love your heart, and eating it just doesn't seem like a healthy way to express your love.

Know what is a good way to love your heart? Choosing foods that are heart-healthy, like cauliflower, which may have cardiovascular benefits, due to its natural ability to diminish inflammation.

While we're on the topic of healthy foods... We were, right? You weren't distracted by Donna Summer's come-hither eyes, were you? While we're on the topic of healthy foods, let's talk about the health benefits of hot peppers. Thanks to a terrifying, but awesome, component called capsaisin, eating hot peppers may actually lower your cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, fight weight gain, and even help prevent cancer.

NOTE: If habanero is too spicy for you and your crew, you can tame this recipe by substituting serrano, jalapeño, Anaheim, or even banana peppers, although the capsaicin content in these peppers is lower. 

So, let's get cooking with a "hot stuff" cauliflower recipe!

Pineapple Habanero Cauliflower Steaks

1 medium to large head cauliflower

1 1/2 c. pineapple juice
1 habanero pepper, finely chopped (Tip: Wear gloves when handling hot peppers)
1 t. liquid aminos
1/2 T. Cajun seasoning
2 T. agave syrup or natural sweetener

You will also need:

a broiler pan
a pastry or basting brush

Remove leaves and base of stem from cauliflower.

Slice about an inch off each of two sides, forming a rough rectangle of the head. This will provide you with some florets, which you can reserve for another use, or include in the marinade and broiling process, below. (Be sure to keep an eye on smaller florets, which will require less broiling time, if you use them.)

Cut into four thick "steaks" by slicing in half down the center, and then slice each half again. Again, if some florets fall apart, you can still use them.

Need help with this? See a good tutorial, here.

In a blender, whiz pineapple juice, habanero, liquid aminos, Cajun seasoning, and sweetener until smooth, with no remaining hunks of pepper.

Using a deep casserole dish, marinate the cauliflower "steaks" and chunks in the pineapple mixture for about ten minutes. This will keep the cauliflower from drying out as it broils.

Do not dispose of pineapple marinade.

Place marinated cauliflower on broiler pan, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat pineapple marinade over high heat until boiling, then continue to boil until liquid reduces to half or one-third its original volume, stirring frequently. The liquid should thicken as it reduces, creating a glossy glaze for basting. Remove from heat.

Broil cauliflower steaks on top oven rack for seven minutes, then turn over and broil on the other side for seven minutes.

Tip: If your oven does not have a "broil" setting, heat your oven to 500 degrees.

Remove from oven. Using a basting or pastry brush (do you know the difference?), apply half of glaze to cauliflower.

Broil for three minutes, then turn cauliflower over and apply remainder of glaze. Broil for another three minutes.

Remove from oven, and enjoy!

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