Friday, October 12, 2012


One of the recipes in my book is for cauliflower soup.



One forgets about cauliflower.

I realized again, when I was making the soup recently, that once I start nibbling the cooked pieces I can't stop. In fact I nibbled so many ("wolfed" might be more accurate) that the level of my finished soup dropped dramatically. And when the soup was done, pureed, in bowls, with hot rolls alongside, guess who hoovered it up? The Frenchman! We offered some to the cat and even he loved it. Huh.

Soup doesn't sound very exciting, not even to me. But whenever I make it I fall in love all over again with this  form of flavour-conveyance. A world in a spoonful. Concentrated taste.

The cauliflower above was not for the soup. It accompanied a fiery and rich curry I made two nights ago, to use up the gorgeous chiles from the farmers market, as well as an experiment for future use of my own small chile harvest from the roof. My tolerance for heat seems to be rising, spurred by the green tomato curry I made few weeks ago, inspired by my friend Deb, who stipulated more chiles than I thought I could eat. But she was right.

For this beef curry, I did scrape out most of the seeds, but otherwise used five long, hot, red ones. With lots of grated ginger, garlic, coconut milk, fish sauce, vinegar and some sugar with pieces of that funny cut - chicken steak, from the chuck end of the beef, and big chunks of parsnip, it was wonderful.

The cauliflower roasted in its own pan, broken into florets (I always gouge out the hard white heart and crunch on that while I am cooking - I can almost hear potential carcinogens shrieking, eeeeeeeh! - I don't think they much like the chiles, either) with lemon juice, salt and pepper and dusting of cumin; served alongside the curry, and lapping up that rich, hot gravy.

The drink? Black currant gin. Not with the curry. Before the curry. In case you wondered.
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