Cauliflower Popcorn

I heard this recipe on CBC radio the other day (I forget the program), where they proclaimed kids will love it.

What you need:

  1. 1 head of cauliflower
  2. olive oil
  3. salt
  4. oven
  5. bowl
  6. spoon or bowl cover
  7. baking sheet or roasting pan

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut out and discard cauliflower core and thick stems.
  3. Break apart florets into big popcorn size pieces and place in bowl.
  4. Pour olive oil over florets and sprinkle with salt.
  5. If you have the bowl’s cover, cover it and shake the mixture up; else, stir it well.
  6. Spread the florets evenly on the baking sheet or pan.
  7. Bake for about an hour, until the florets are evenly brown.

The browning is caused by sugars caramelizing, which is triggered by the high heat. The radio guy said kids will love it; it’s sweet and fun to make.

I haven’t tried it yet. How about trying it in one of your cooking segments, Phillip? It’s not a Newfoundland dish, but what the hell.

Update (Jan. 18, 2006): I recorded a video of my daughter and I making this. Phillip edited it.

What Goes With Communion Wafers, Besides Blood?

Communion waferBody of Christ Tastes Like Ass of Christ!

By themselves, communion wafers are pretty vile. That would explain why they have to “sell” them with a free sip of wine.
So the purpose of this experiment is to find out just what it takes to turn the communion experience from “ow!” to “wow!”
I can hear some of you now. “Blasphemous!” “Scandalous!” But hold on there, bucko! What if we discover some new way to serve communion wafers that brings people stampeding back to the church as if it were some chic new restaurant on the lower east side? Uh huh, you didn’t think of that, did you? We thought not.

Their favorite – a White Cosmopolitan:

I finally found what makes communion wafers palatable: Alcohol. Sweet, cleansing, soul-numbing alcohol. And the priests knew it all along!

Who Drinks Scotch?

Beginner’s single malt Scotch is a post at MetaFilter where someone asked:

What’s a decent, inexpensive and readily available single malt or good blend for a brand-new scotch drinker whose current dram of choice is a good dark sipping rum?

The first response recommends J&B, a common, inexpensive blend that I’d never recommend, although I do drink Teachers, a cheap blend that doesn’t taste cheap.

There’s no right answer; everyone’s tastes are different. There are a lot of excellent suggestions posted, although someone wrote:

Stay clear of the Islay malts like Lagavulin or Laphroaig until you’ve cut your teeth on the easier stuff.

Bullshit. The first time you open a bottle of Lagavulin and let the aroma of peaty air permeate the room, you’ll fall in love.

Poaching An Egg

Poaching an eggMy parents always used to poach an egg using a metal contraption that sat on top of a boiling pot of water. You’d break an egg in shallow metal bowls that sat in the contraption and you’d steam the egg. After I started to take an interest in cooking I was surprised to learn that that wasn’t really a poached egg. A poached egg is cooked in boiling water: just dump the raw egg into a pot and let it cook; however, it’s an art. If you nonchalantly dump the egg in it’ll spread around making a mess. The trick is keeping the albumin (the white part) and yolk from separating, so it looks like an egg instead of just an egg dumped in a pot of boiling water.

I read once that you have to stir the water before you put the egg in, creating a vortex that helps keep the egg together; that doesn’t work well in my experience. The World’s Healthiest Foods website has an In-Home Cooking Demo section that illustrates how to do common cooking tasks, including poaching an egg. It works, too. The secret: add vinegar to the water.