Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” with Caramelized Fennel & Spicy Orange-Glazed Albacore

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Holy crap!  I could live on this mashed cauliflower dish!  I added 1/2 cup heavy cream to this but I do not think that is necessary.  Butter or a little milk (even plain soy milk) would likely be cool.  And wowza!  Are they easy.  I added caramelized fennel just to get fancy & it added a really nice flavor but caramelized onions or roasted garlic or goat cheese or any number of additions could take this dish in a multitude of directions.

As to the albacore – I buy it like this at Trader Joe’s.

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Two decent sized slabs of tuna for just over $5.  Can’t beat that!  The problem is, I find this to sometimes be a tad fishy so I intentionally cook the bejesus out of it.  I cook it until the fat bubbles out of it.  At that point – it is virtually indistinguishable from some dry chicken breast.  At least – for me – it is because I haven’t eaten actual chicken breast in like 25 years.  Dry chicken might not sound appealing to you but I gave up meat to avoid giving my money to factory farms (and savage, MASS cruelty), not because I don’t like it.  I miss things like the awesome hotdogs at Costco, chicken piccata, rare steak and bacon.  So – I eat veggie dogs and Bacos in a jar & I try to make chicken piccata from this overcooked fish thing.  I used it here to simulate a glazed chicken dish & it works for me.  You might want to use actual chicken or salmon, if this albacore isn’t available to you – or if my description above was a bit on the soft sell side.

These flavors worked really well together & it was a very filling while still pretty healthy dinner.  But, whether you make the funky chicken albacore or not – TRY THE MASHED CAULIFLOWER!

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Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” with Caramelized Fennel & Spicy Orange-Glazed Albacore

INGREDIENTS

For the spicy orange-glazed albacore

2 pieces of albacore (or chicken breasts or salmon)

2 TBS butter

juice & zest of 2 oranges

2 TBS honey

2 TBS Dijon

2 tsp (or to taste) crushed red pepper

S&P to taste

For the cauliflower mashed potatoes with caramelized fennel

1 head cauliflower – cut into florets

1 bulb fennel – shaved very thin

2 TBS butter

1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk or soy milk)

1 TBS horseradish (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

For the Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” with Caramelized Fennel 

Boil water & add the cauliflower & cook until soft.  Maybe 15 minutes.  Turn off heat & let cauliflower sit in the hot water.

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Slice the fennel very thinly – reserving the dilly tops for garnish.  Melt the butter in a saute pan.  Saute the fennel, stirring constantly over medium heat – just until it begins to brown.  Remove from heat.

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Drain the cauliflower & put it, the heavy cream, horseradish, and 1/2 of the caramelized fennel in a food processor & puree until smooth.  Add a little water to thin them if you desire.  Reserve some caramelized fennel for garnish.

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Taste & add S&P to taste.

For the spicy orange-glazed albacore

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a saute pan.  Add the orange juice & zest, honey, Dijon & crushed red pepper & saute over medium heat until it thickens enough to coat a wooden spoon.  Add S&P to taste.

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Coat the top of the fish with the glaze – reserving a little extra for garnish.  Bake the fish for about 20 minutes or until done.  I then turned the broiler on & put the fish near the flame for several seconds, watching VERY closely, until the glaze bubbled & boiled.

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To serve – put a generous helping of the cauliflower puree on two plates.  Top with the cooked fish & then garnish with the reserved orange glaze, caramelized fennel and maybe some of the chopped dilly tops of the fennel and lots of freshly cracked pepper.

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