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Monday, January 2, 2012

Potato Crusted Cauliflower Pie

So we went away for nine days over the holidays only to discover our camera was out of battery. No classic Christmas morning photos, no shots of Dylan in his snowman PJs, and definitely no beautiful food photographs.

Luckily my phone takes okay photos so here is a glimpse of our New Years dinner and our boy ringing in 2012 on the beaches of Martha's Vineyard. I made a cauliflower pie that has a crust of shredded crispy potatoes. The recipe is from my mom's original copy of the Moosewood Cookbook printed in 1978. It's missing a cover and the banana bread page is lovingly stained. Can you believe the entire book, illustrations and all, was written and sketched by hand!?

I chose this recipe for New Years for its balance of festive decadence and warm comfort. 

Potato Crusted Cauliflower Pie
slightly adapted from the original Moosewood Cookbook

2 cups shredded potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 1/4 cup grated onion
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium head of cauliflower, trimmed into small florets
1 garlic clove, minced
3 springs of thyme 
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons dijon or whole grain mustard 
salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400. While pre-heating, mix the shredded potato and 1/2 teaspoon salt together and let sit in a colander over the sink for 10 minutes. Squeeze out all the water. Mix potatoes with 1/4 cup of grated onion.

 Oil a 9" pie pan. Spread potatoes around pan and up sides to form a crust. Bake for 40 minutes. Brush with oil after 20 minutes to make potatoes crisp. The edges of my crust got dark very fast. I wrapped the edges in tin foil when I brushed it with oil to keep from burning.

Meanwhile, heat the butter over medium/high heat. Add the remaining grated onion and garlic. Let cook for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets, springs of thyme, a sprinkle of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Turn to medium, cover, and let cook for 10 minutes. When done, remove the thyme springs assuming the leaves have fallen off into the vegetables.

Whisk eggs with milk and set aside.

When the pie is ready to assemble, spread the mustard on the crust then fill with half of the cheddar. Add the cauliflower saute on top then finish with the rest of the cheddar. Pour egg/milk mixture over top and sprinkle with paprika. Turn oven down to 375 and bake for 30 minutes or until set. I kept the tin foil wrapping on the edges of the crust to keep from burning.

Serve with a salad of dark leafy greens.

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