Thanksgiving caught me off guard this year, I guess geographical location has something to do with it (duh!); feeling a tinge of guilt I decided to partake with one of the recipes in my upcoming mini-Iraqi cookbook.
This is real easy to make, provided you have either a charlotte pan or a round pan with high edges (at least 4 inches tall). Briefly steam the cauliflower florets, assemble the flan in minutes in a food processor and bake it; perfect to make ahead and present on Thanksgiving Day as your side dish contribution.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
INGREDIENTS: 6 servings
Pan used is a charlotte pan, 4″ deep and 7″ wide
• 6 cups of cauliflower florets
• 3 eggs
• 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs or 3/4 cup of corn flakes unsweetened
• 1 cup of milk or light cream
• salt, white pepper
• 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
• 1 tsp of cumin
• 1/2 tsp of paprika
• 3/4 cup of grated Swiss cheese (or any yellow cheese)
• 1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
• 2 tbsp of butter (or oil)
1. Break up the cauliflower florets from the cauliflower; boil (or steam) for about 5 minutes in salted boiling water until tender but still firm. Drain and set aside. Cool for 15 minutes, then take half the florets and mash or puree in a food processor or a food mill.
2. Grease a charlotte or deep cake mold (with sides at least 4″ high) and line the remaining cauliflower florets in the bottom of the mold making sure to cover the entire bottom surface so that no gap is visible. Melt the butter in a skillet and fry the onion over medium-low heat for ten minutes until translucent and golden. Transfer the onion to the mashed cauliflower florets in the food processor bowl. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
3. Add the eggs to the cauliflower and onion mixture; add the cream or milk, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, grated nutmeg and cumin and paprika and cheese; process for a few seconds till the mixture is rather smooth and all the elements are well-mixed.
4. Gently pour the cauliflower custard mixture over the layer of florets into the pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Invert the pan onto a serving platter and serve immediately.