Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kate Misses Yale; Cooking Ensues

Recently, I've found myself experiencing the pangs of Yale withdrawal. They started in the early fall when I realized that our neighborhood reminds me of Orange Street. (Yes, it's true, I was nostalgic for the grad school ghetto. I definitely felt a little twinge of sadness when I looked up 19th Street and saw the Hilton looming instead of East Rock.) They intensified when the leaves started to change and the air turned crisp.

But tonight, I reached a new low. And it hit me in the most surprising of places: the produce aisle of Soviet Safeway. It was there, standing in front of the vegetables waiting to be inspired, that I realized I would basically kill a man for a taste of the organic Indian-spiced cauliflower they used to have in the Davenport dining hall.

"Kate," you say, "you miss dining hall food? Have you discussed this with someone? Perhaps a mental health professional?"

I know, and I promise I haven't lost my mind. But seriously, that cauliflower was amazing. So I turned away from the anemic green beans and the squash that looked like it had fallen off the struggle bus. I grabbed some cauliflower and--after a detour for some curry-- headed home to reincarnate that delicious, delicious dish.

Mine turned out a little different from the Dport version, mostly because I used vastly less oil than is included in the original. But it was pretty good, so here is a vague guide. Really, these directions are probably not at all helpful, since I didn't measure anything except the oil, but you'll get the idea.

Curry Cauliflower, as inspired by Yale University Dining Services. (Really, stop laughing.)

1 head of cauliflower
1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (or really whatever oil you want, I suppose)
curry powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
onion powder to taste
salt to taste

Cut the cauliflower florets (technically, they're not actually florets, but whatever) off the head into large-bite-sized pieces. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Sprinkle curry, garlic, and onion powders into the oil; they will sizzle and brown. Immediately add the floret pieces and cook over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, stirring often and adding additional curry, onion, garlic, and salt. (Do what looks good to you; I went with a light, even dusting of onion and garlic, a heavier coat of curry, and a pinch of salt.) After about 7 minutes--at which point the cauliflower should be a little bit browned but still pretty firm on the inside--transfer the cauliflower to a vegetable steamer. Steam for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is as soft as you like it.

Serving suggestions: if, after finishing your cauliflower, you can get Billy to come sing his song or Joanne to compliment you on your hair...well, now I'm all nostalgic again.

No comments: