Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What I Made for Dinner: April 20, 2010

Sauteed chicken breasts with olive oil and lemon; cauliflower with hazelnut breadcrumbs.

Nothing much to say about this dinner except I am impressed with myself that I pulled it off despite a hectic afternoon that involved doing many different and unrelated activities. 

(I am constantly defeated not by time constraints, but by the amount of scatter in my days.  I hardly get the chance to settle into one thing when the next comes storming through the front door, and then the next comes creeping in under the floorboards, and then something else wakes up from its nap and needs clean pants immediately.  But then maybe it would be boring to concentrate on just one or two things all day.) 

Anyway, I think I could eat this cauliflower dish every night of the week.  Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Cauliflower with hazelnut breadcrumbs (serves 6 as a side dish)

1 head cauliflower, trimmed of leaves
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh soft bread crumbs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup hazelnuts, skins removed, coarsely crushed (put 'em in a plastic bag and hit 'em with a hammer)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cauliflower into florets.  Melt two tablespoons butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Add the breadcrumbs and toast until golden brown. Transfer crumbs to a plate and wipe out the pan.

2. Return the pan to medium heat and add one tablespoon olive oil. Add the hazelnuts and toast, stirring, until they are lightly browned and fragrant.  Remove the hazelnuts to a bowl and set aside.

3. Wipe out the pan and return to medium heat. Add remaining one tablespoon olive oil and cauliflower slices. Sauté until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer pan to oven and roast until tender, about 15 minutes.

4.  While the cauliflower roasts, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  When it has melted, add the vinegar and tarragon.  Combine this mixture with the hazelnuts and capers Season with salt and pepper.

5. Place the roasted cauliflower in a large serving bowl.  Spoon hazelnut mixture evenly on top and sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs. Serve immediately.

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