I was going to call them truffles. It just sounds better, doesn’t it? When someone asks what you had for lunch Cauliflower Balls doesn’t have the same panache. Looking for middle ground, I decided Cauliflower Bites captures what these are nicely.
I got the idea from here from Molecular Recipes. Chef Digilio’s idea involves making a truffle from cream and garlic and coating them in bread crumbs. I tried it and the texture was wonderful — they melt in your mouth, unexpected for something savory. I rolled half of hs garlic truffles in bread crumbs and powdered olives and the other with breadcrumbs soaked in beef stock, dried and powdered. I preferred the latter. So, if you have the tools, try the garlic cream from Molecular Recipes.
Playing with the idea to make it more kitchen friendly I purred a head of steamed cauliflower florets. I put chopped garlic in a cup of milk, brought it to boil, turned off the heat and let it come to room temperature to infuse the milk with garlic. I strained it and put it in the refrigerator to get cold. You see, my idea was to make a a thick béchamel with the milk and puree, roll them into balls and coat them, which is what you see here. I could have done the same thing by sautéing the garlic in the butter when making the roux for the sauce.
They’re were really nice, best served warm to hot.
What I like about them is they make cauliflower different. When you roll them in different coatings, each bite can be different. They add color to a plate as well as shape and texture. I plan on using the idea more in the summer with other vegetables and cheese to see what I come up with. If you try this, let me know how your make them your own.
Cauliflower Bite -- or Truffles
tier one (you must use)
- Bechemel sauce (3 – 4 tablespoons of flour per cup of milk, 1 – 2 tablespoons butter, 1 cup of milk)
- About one cup of steamed cauliflower
- Breadcrumbs for coating
tier two (suggested)
- Garlic (to flavor the milk or roux)
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- up to 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Dried beef, chicken, or vegetable stock powder (to flavor the bread crumbs)
tier three (optional)
- Cream (in place of half the milk in the roux)
- Minced herbs
Steam and puree the cauliflower florets. Reserve. Bring one cup of milk, or 1/2 cup of cream and 1/2 cup of milk to a boil with the sliced garlic. Bring to room temperature, strain, refrigerate.
Make the roux, which will be very thick. (You may add the garlic to the butter before adding the flour in place of infusing the milk as above). When the roux looks like it is about to color pour the cold milk into it and whisk or stir quickly. When it starts to thicken add the cauliflower puree and stir until thick. Remove from heat, cool and either put in the refrigerator or shape.
Prepare the breadcrumbs in three bowls: Breadcrumbs only, breadcrumbs and powdered stock, breadcrumbs and herbs. Form the cauliflower into balls with a spoon and drop into the one of the breadcrumb mixtures to coat then place on a cookie sheet or in a casserole dish. Once the dish is filled bake in a warm 180/350 degree oven until they warm, about 10 – 15 minutes. You can also microwave them. They are already cooked. You simply want to warm them. Serve.