Nicole’s New Year’s feast

Once again I am posting erratically and cooking even less. This is, of course, weeks out of date. Still, I wanted to post the delicious meal that we enjoyed at our friend Kabir’s apartment on New Year’s Eve, prepared by his talented fiancée Nicole.

The men contributed to the meal by playing Nicole’s new Wii. Kabir also sported one of the feather-tiaras Nicole had bought for us girls (backwards):

Fetching, no?

Meanwhile Nicole turned out an absolutely perfect roast beef, accompanied by pureed cauliflower (so good; it was laced with a truly indulgent amount of parmesan!) and roasted brussels sprouts. I’m really hungry right now thinking about it.

I asked Nicole for the cauliflower recipe and she was kind enough to write in with the technique:

“It’s one of the very few recipes in my life that I’ve made up. For our NYE dinner I think this is what I ballpark did:
Start with 2 heads of cauliflower, broken up into tiny pieces (easier for the mashing part). I use at least some of the stem, so as to not be too wasteful, but try to cut those up tinier since they are tougher. Mince 4 or 5 decent size cloves of garlic, and saute in a large pot in olive oil, till just golden but don’t over cook. Add in all the cauliflower and enough water to just come to the top of the cauliflower. Add salt and pepper. Let simmer uncovered until the cauliflower absorbs almost all the water and is tender enough to be mashed.
Note: You don’t want to add too much water and completely submerge, because you don’t want to be stuck with overly soggy cauliflower, and you can always add more water as you go if you see it needs it. When the cauliflower is tender, mash it up using a fork or spatula, making it as creamy or lumpy as you like. I like the mash to be very moist at this point so it can soak up the next ingredients without ending up too dry. What you’re going for is a mashed potato vibe. Add seasoned bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese. This is where I really start eyeballing, but I’d start with 1/2 to 3/4 c. each and work from there. I sauteed some sliced baby portabella mushrooms in a different pan in some butter and olive oil, and at the last minute stirred these in. You could also stir in a tsp of fresh herbs. This served 7 people healthy portions.”

Thanks, Nicole! The cauliflower was killer, guys. So good, and I’ll definitely be making a half batch soon.

Delicious: A fun meal with a great group; my favorite way to ring in the new year.

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