Friday, September 27, 2013

Caramelized-Onion Cauliflower Mash

You guys know our routine: CaveBoy works his shifts and I work all the time. So we rarely get to see each other at dinner-time. When we do share a meal, it feels like such special occasion that we usually go out to eat, often to a local burger joint or Thai restaurant.

Sometimes, however, I have my shush together well enough in advance that we can cook dinner for ourselves. This scenario is especially rare because it requires me to know on Saturday that we'll be together sometime in the week, remember that fact when I grocery shop, and buy one meal worth of food to cook (instead of my normal 4 to 5 meals-per-person bulk shopping).

Recently, that became much easier to plan and execute. I loaded up the freezer with on-sale steaks and individually wrapped salmon steaks. Now, I only have to know one day in advance that we're going to have a cook-at-the-Cave date, and I can pull out the right protein to thaw. We're saving money and avoiding that-much-more vegetable oil (double-whammy!).

Grilled steaks and baked salmon take no time to cook, tho, so my side veggie can't take all day. My favorite Roasted Cauliflower Sweet Potato Mash takes almost an hour (no bueno). Tangy Shaved Brussels Sprouts are awesome with steak but disgusting with salmon, so that recipe is disqualified despite the short cook-time. Cauliflower, on the other hand, goes with everything. And frozen cauliflower keeps forever. So I added a few bags to my beef and seafood stockpile, and now we're in business.

I pulled this recipe together on the fly. I was preheating the oven for our salmon steaks and needed to move fast to get the veggie done before the fish was ready. I always have onions, garlic, and chicken stock in the pantry (because those three ingredients go with everything). Add a few tablespoons of grass fed butter et voilĂ : dinner is served.

Caramelized-Onion Cauliflower Mash

This was so good, CaveBoy and I ate the whole batch by ourselves.


1 bag frozen cauliflower florets 
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons grass fed butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper


Place a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add frozen cauliflower florets and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until cauliflower is tender. Increase heat and boil until all the liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat.

While the cauliflower is cooking. Add olive oil and onion to a medium skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook onion until it begins to brown. Add garlic and continue cooking until garlic begins to brown and onion is caramelized.

Once the onions are caramelized, mash cauliflower using a potato masher. Add butter to the onion skillet and stir continuously until it melts. Add mashed cauliflower to the skillet and stir to combine. Re-season with salt and pepper. Serves 2 to 4 (depending how many of the diners are CaveBoy).

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