Kate's Cuisine

Mar 20 2014

Cauliflower Tots

Cauliflower Tots

Of all the cauliflower recipes I’ve given you this week, this one might be my favourite!

I once watched a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Drives where Guy Fieri interviewed a restaurant owner that made his own tater tots. There was much discussion about how this was a very difficult thing to do, and how it’s next to impossible to get the right taste and the right consistency. I think I’ve found their problem. Or rather, the masterminds over at I Breathe, I’m Hungry have. All those other restaurants have been using potatoes! Silly people, when obviously cauliflower is the only way to get that same delicious taste and texture. This recipe promises just that. Cauliflower that tastes just like tater tots. Finally, an unprocessed, gluten-free way to enjoy those delectable freezer treats. But, really?

I have to tell you, I had no faith in this recipe when I first saw it. And as I got further into the cooking process, my faith started to lessen. I tasted as I went and yes, they tasted good. But like tater tots? Not really. And I have to say, they’re a heck of a lot of work. But that just goes to prove that you don’t get anything good without trying. Because once these were pulled out of my pan for the final cook and I bit into one, I couldn’t believe it! They tasted just like tater tots! And you know how tots have that slightly chunky texture that you can feel with every bite? These even have that! Yes, they are a lot of work, so just go into it knowing that. And if you don’t have a good pastry bag (like me,) just form the cauliflower mixture into French quenelles using two spoons (I’m hoping to put up a video tutorial on this at some point.) I find that they’re very pretty this way, and do look even more like tater tots.

Okay, so are you ready? Here goes…

1 medium cauliflower $2.00
2 tablespoons heavy cream $0.10
2 tablespoons butter $0.12
1/3 cup old (sharp) Cheddar cheese $0.52
4 egg whites $0.80
1 tablespoon of vinegar $0.03
Salt $0.01
Pepper $0.01
About 3 cups canola oil for frying $3.30

Total cost $6.89
Cost per serving $1.14

1.) Clean and trim the cauliflower and place the florets into a large saucepan. Add butter and cream, cover pan, and cook for about five minutes, until the cauliflower is just fork-tender.

2.) Add this mixture to a food processor and add Cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. Pulse just until the cauliflower breaks apart, but not until it’s mushy like a puree. The consistency should look like cooked oatmeal. Transfer mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

3.) Meanwhile, beat egg whites until they become frothy. Add vinegar and beat until they form stiff peaks. (This vinegar bit wasn’t in the original recipe, but I’ve never beaten egg whites and not added vinegar or cream of tartar. It seems to take away the eggy tasty, without leaving any taste behind, and that was the case with this recipe too.)

4.) Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cauliflower mixture once it’s cooled, and then fold the remaining cauliflower mixture into the rest of the egg whites. Quickly fold the two mixtures together until they are fully combined. Refrigerate again for another half an hour so that the mixture will hold its shape.

5.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

6.) When mixture has come out of the refrigerator, place into a piping bag and pipe 2″ lengths onto the baking sheet. Or, do like I did and use two spoons to form the quenelles, gently laying them onto the baking sheet when finished.

7.) Place into the preheated oven and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until they have dried out some and have puffed up slightly.

8.) Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When hot, add cauliflower tots and fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown.

9.) Remove from heat as tots are finished baking, and sprinkle immediately with salt.

10.) Serve and enjoy!

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