Monday, July 25, 2011

A Czech Dinner: Fried Cauliflower, Mashed Potatoes, Cucumber Salad

This meal is similar to the traditional Czech dish my mom used to make growing up, which we loved! My mom, brother and I would each take a "station" as a part of the cauliflower breading line.

 Typically, the Czechs serve the cauliflower with boiled potatoes mixed with butter and caraway seeds, sprinkled with freshly minced chives. In this dinner, I used mashed potatoes instead.

I didn't make the dish with any meat because I don't think it needs it, though my husband kept saying 'it needs more sausage,' which he always says when I sneak in a meatless dinner.

Fried cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower, separate florets
Flour, for dredging
2 eggs, beaten
Breadcrumbs, for coating
Vegetable oil, for frying

Cilantro Lemon Mayo:
¼ cup mayo
1 Tbsp freshly minced cilantro
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic, finely minced or grated
Freshly cracked black pepper

Mashed Potatoes:
2 large red skinned potatoes, quartered
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream
Salt & pepper, to taste

Cucumber salad:
1 1/2 Chinese cucumbers, sliced thinly
¼ small red onion, sliced thinly
½ cup of white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
½ salt
½ freshly crushed pepper

Fried cauliflower:
Steam cauliflower florets for about 10 minutes, until fork tender. Let cool so you can handle them. In this order, fill each bowl with the following: flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. Dredge cauliflower in the flour first, then dip in egg and lastly, coat with breadcrumbs.

In a frying pan, heat about ½ inch of oil over medium high heat. Fry cauliflower, turning over on all sides until golden brown. As they are done, set on a paper towel to help absorb some of the excess oil.

Cilantro Lemon Mayo:
In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mashed potatoes:
In a pot with a steamer, steam potatoes until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove steamer with potatoes from pot, drain water from pot. Add butter and milk to pot and return to stove top over low heat; stirring until butter melts. Add potatoes back into pot and mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Cucumber salad:
In a medium mixing bowl, add vinegar, sugar salt and pepper. Wisk until sugar is dissolved. Pour over cucumbers and onion; refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve cauliflower with potatoes and a side of cucumber salad. Serve with a ram

Fried cauliflower is delicious hot… or eat them cold the next day as a snack!


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