Monday, January 9, 2017

Procrastination Recipes: Parmesan Cheese Bowls & Sassy Cauliflower Bites

Last night was the Golden Globes, and as is tradition, Molly hosted a viewing party at her condo. And as usual, I was tasked with cooking for the masses (it's usually just 5 of us). Originally I had grandiose ideas and then I was like, okay, let's reel it back in. So I went with something I love to make (and eat) - Parmesan cheese bowls. 

Ingredients... Parmesan cheese. Yup, that's all that is in it. And it has to be Parmesan because of liquid content. Parmesan is a dry cheese and therefore crisps easily when cooked. A cheese like cheddar or mozzarella wouldn't work because they have high liquid content. 

So for one cheese bowl you need about 1/2 cup of cheese. Spread it very thinly on parchment paper (I used aluminum foil my first time making them because I didn't have parchment and it was a flipping mess so don't use anything but parchment paper) and bake at 350 until the edges start to brown (see below). 

I let the cheese cool for a minute or so and then I remove it and flip it into either the inside of a bowl or over top of an overturned bowl, depending on hos big I want it to be. Then I let it cool and harden into its shape on the bowl. Once cooled, fill with whatever salad you so choose (or, if you want to be really crazy, a little carbonara fits perfectly in the bowl. 

And then for a sassy little appetizer I made...

2 heads of cauliflower (this was for 5 hungry ladies)
1 cup flour (I used gluten free flour)
4 eggs, beaten
1.5 cups breadcrumbs (I used really delicious gluten free one that added a perfect crunch)

Cut the cauliflower into bite-size chunks. Then put the flour in a bowl, the eggs in another bowl, and the breadcrumbs in another bowl. Then make a line... flour, egg, breadcrumbs. Dip the cauliflower in that order. It'll get messy. Deal with it. On a sheet lined with parchment, lay the cauliflower in one layer and bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, until they start to brown slightly. 

Once cooked, pour them into a bowl. In the meantime while the cauliflower is baking, over low heat combine a bottle of bbq sauce, a few sprinkles of garlic powder, the juice of one lime, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. 

Once the sauce is heated and the cauliflower is cooked, pour the sauce over the veg and toss until every morsel is coated. You can serve it plain, or, if you want to make your guests go wild, serve with dipping options like Blue cheese or ranch. I thought two heads of cauliflower would be too much but the girls devoured it. And don't forget toothpicks for easy eating!

 So that's what I served last night. It was so filling and delicious and multiple people said they'd never be able to eat salad in a regular bowl again. And having a serve-yourself salad bar is always a win. Now to plan the menu for The Oscars...

Happy eating!


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