When I travel, as most people do, I love experiencing what other countries and regions eat that may be different from my normal home diet.
The foods of a nation often help define their character. Regular followers of my blog will know that in late January and part of February, my wife and I spent time in the Palm Springs, California area.
On one of the days we chose to visit the Old Town area of nearby La Quinta, only a very short drive from Indio where we were staying.
We had lunch at The Grill On Main, enjoying the covered outdoor setting. The menu included an appetizer dish I had never eaten. I guess it is available somewhere here as well and others may make it at home.
It was delicious.
So I have decided as a part of all future travels, when I am treated to a unique or especially tasty treat, I will share it with my readers.
In the future I will ask for the specific recipe. This recipe may not exactly the way ours was prepared but I have research a lot of cauliflower recipes and I think what I have put together herein is darn close.
Beer Batter Cauliflower
- 1 quart vegetable oil, or as needed
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or more to taste
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups flat beer
- 2 egg yolk, beaten
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 egg whites
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
This recipe will take about 35 minutes to prepare and approximately 10 minutes to cook.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- Heat 1 quart vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Combine flour, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.
- Whisk beer, egg yolk, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a small bowl.
- Pour beer mixture into flour mixture; stir to form a batter.
- Beat egg whites until foamy in a large glass or metal mixing bowl; continue to beat until medium peaks form. The tip of the peak formed by the egg whites should curl over slightly when you lift the whisk or beat straight up.
- Fold egg whites into batter, a few tablespoons at a time.
- Toss cauliflower in the batter until fully coated.
- Deep fry small batches of battered cauliflower in the hot oil until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined oven-proof plate. Keep warm in the preheated oven.
GARLIC CAULIFLOWER SAUCE
- 1 medium to large size head cauliflower, washed and cut into small florets
- 6 cups water
- 5-8 cloves of garlic (use 8 if your garlic cloves are small or closer to 5 if they’re quite large)
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter (omit this and add another 1½ tablespoons of olive oil to make it vegan)
- 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher or sea salt plus a pinch, separated
- ½ – 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Additional water, milk, or vegetable stock, if needed
- In a stockpot or large saucepan, combine the cauliflower florets and water over high heat. When it reaches boiling, put a lid on the pan and drop the heat to medium low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is very tender.
- While the cauliflower is simmering, melt the butter and olive oil over medium low heat in a small saucepan and stir in the garlic and the pinch of salt. Cook the garlic, stirring frequently –and lowering the heat if necessary to keep it from browning- until the garlic is tender and smells lovely. Scrape the garlic and butter into a blender carafe. Add one cup of the cauliflower cooking liquid to the butter pan, swirl it, and pour that into the blender, too. Use a slotted spoon to drain the cauliflower and add it to the blender as well. Add the salt and black pepper, put the lid firmly in place, and blend on HIGH until silky smooth. If your blender is quite robust, this will only take a minute or so. If it’s a little anemic, it may take several minutes. If you find the sauce too thick for your liking, you can thin it just a bit with water, milk, or vegetable stock. I like it thicker, though, and so I omit this step.
- Serve immediately or pour into clean jars with tight fitting lids for storage in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can divide into meal sized portions and freeze for later meals.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. It was a great way to start lunch for us. If you’re looking for recipe books for foods of different countries and regions click here.