Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

I really punish myself everyday on my way to work on the shuttle. So if you're not in the loop, Google shuttles employees from San Francisco down to the main campus in Mountain view, on comfy buses with wi-fi. A real life saver because I think most people that drive probably want to quit their jobs after driving down the 101 for 1 day. I'm approaching a 2 hour commute this morning.

I digress. Back to the punishing. In between checking e-mails and getting work done, I write my blog and look at all things food. It's really so dumb because I'm trapped on a bus and all I want is a delicious meal. And that meal is down the 101 in a cafe on campus that 600 accidents are preventing me from getting. Here's what I'm drooling over today - cauliflower pancakes. Cauliflower is a good alternative to potatoes if you're looking to save calories for your new years resolutions. 

What are your resolutions this year?

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes
makes 4-8 cakes

1 head cauliflower (trimmed and cut into florets)
3/4 cup sharp cheddar (grated)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg 
1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine cauliflower florets, about 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower to coat in oil and spices. Transfer to a foil lined baking sheet and pop in oven for 45 minutes. Halfway through cooking, flip the cauliflower over.

Remove cauliflower to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add about 1/2 the milk and give a few additional pulses. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine grated cheese, egg, flour and remaining milk. Beat to make a thick dough. Add the cauliflower puree and mix everything to combine. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste. It should almost be like mashed potatoes.

Heat a non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat. Drop in butter and 1 tbsp olive oil. Now, depending on how crunchy you want the cakes, you can make these in 2 batches of 4 cakes to make the cakes thin and crispy. If you want a meatier cake, you will only make 1 batch. 

Scoop 1/2 -3/4 cup of the dough into the hot butter and form into a pancake-like shape. Repeat until pan is full. I could fit 4 in mine at a time (I made mine thick). Let cook on 1 side for 4 minutes or until brown. Flip and finish cooking on other side for another 4 minutes, until brown. Add more butter and oil if cooking a second batch.

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