Monday, January 23, 2012

Crispy Cauliflower Cakes with Thyme

Crispy Cauliflower Cakes are surprisingly simple, yet super impressive, adding a touch of gourmet to any meal. Top these flavorful (basically fat-free!) cakes with lemony shrimp or a sunny-side-up egg and a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan. My friends went crazy for these when I served them along side my Turkey and Lentil Soup. You may want to double the recipe because they'll go fast...I guarantee it.

1 head of Cauliflower
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon fresh Thyme Leaves, removed from sprig
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Fat-Free Greek Yogurt

Remove the leaves and center stem of the head of cauliflower, then cut cauliflower  into small florettes (bite-size, but not so small that they'll fall through the holes of the collander). Place florettes into a medium-size sauce pan. Add chicken stock to cauliflower, cover with lid, and turn heat to high. When the stock begins to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain Cauliflower in a colander until completely dry and return to pan (reserve a couple tablespoons of the stock before draining). Add chopped thyme, salt, ground pepper to taste, and 1 tablespoon of reserved chicken stock. Using an immersion blender, blend cauliflower mixture until smooth. You can also use a food processor, blender, or a Magic Bullet to blend the mixure (be sure to not over blend, you want the mixture to have some body). Add the egg to the mixture and mix in with a fork.
Preheat a large skillet to medium heat (preferably a non-stick skillet). When heated, spray pan with cooking spray. Spoon the mixture into the pan to make six evenly sized cakes (about 2/3 cup per cake). Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Gently flip the cakes and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. You may want to cook the cakes in two batches. Garnish cakes with a dollop of greek yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh thyme.

Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1 cake, about 40 calories per cake
Tips and Hints:
To remove fresh thyme leaves from sprig, grasp the top of the sprig with one hand, then use other hand to gently pull down the length of the sprig in the opposite direction of the leaves' growth.
These cakes are very delicate so be gentle when handling.
If you don't have a non-stick skillet, use a half tablespoon of olive oil brushed on the surface of the skillet before cooking cakes (adds about 15 calories and a little "good" fat to each cake).

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