Vegetables are really not my forte – and cauliflower especially. Though I’m trying to get better, I promise. So when I found a recipe for some cheesy cauliflower patties, I decided to tweak it a bit to see if I could make them even more up my alley.
First, I grabbed a big head of cauliflower and chopped off the florets, and started them boiling in some water, along with the onion. Then I grabbed some other flavors that I felt would go well in this particular dish: Bell peppers and cheese.
Specifically I used one of those shredded “Mexican Blends”, and added a dash of Asiago, just to give it a little kick. The pepper I chose was orange, because I thought I’d try my hand at being color-coordinated. If you like other colors, then it should work fine, and the color is unlikely to change the taste.
For those that measure precise-like, my apologies, but I didn’t measure along the way, though I will include my best guess. I know the cauliflower and eggs were right, and you can always customize to your liking in any case.
- Cauliflower: 1 Head
- Bell Pepper: 1
- Onion: 1 (small)
- Eggs: 2 (medium)
- Cheese: 1/2 cup (I used a Mexican Blend + a dash of Asiago)
- Bread Crumbs: 1/2 cup (Panko)
- Cayenne Pepper: 1/2 tsp or to taste
As the cauliflower is generally tougher than the pepper, it’s good to let it soak in that boiling water for a while – ten minutes or so seems to do the trick, but you can go longer if you like it mushier. I liked the contrast of a crispy pepper, so I didn’t add it right away. But eventually, you’ll want to add the pepper in there, too, so that they can cook and get their flavors mingling. Then drain them and mash, together.
Now comes the fun. The next step is to take the mashed-up cauliflower, onion and pepper and add the cheese and eggs, as well as the cayenne pepper (if you use it) and the Panko bread crumbs and make your patties.
The tricky part here is that you need to gauge how dry the mixture gets, so you want to dump the crumbs in carefully, and slow down as you add more. If it gets too dry, your patties will fall apart as you are frying them. This isn’t the end of the world, it just makes them more difficult to eat if there are lots of little pieces instead of one big one, so keep that in mind.
Speaking of frying, you also have a decision to make on that front. The patties can be pan (shallow) fried on the stove or in a skillet, or you can deep fry them. Entirely up to you. Whichever you choose, now is probably the time to get that pan ready. If you choose to shallow fry the mixture, then a traditional patty (think hamburger) will probably work best. If you go with a deep fry, then a ball might be a better choice. We chose patties, simply because we didn’t have much oil.
Once you have your mixture ready, heat the oil. Again, I didn’t pay attention to the temperature, but you can tell when it starts to shimmer that it’s getting hot. You can drop a small portion of your mixture in to make sure it is ready to go.
All you will need is a couple of minutes on each side (or immersed entirely if deep frying). That will give you a nice golden brown. Everything is already cooked inside, so even if they are a little light, you’ll be okay, and you’re ready to eat just as soon as you like the look. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to help with any excess oil. Allow the oil to reheat before adding any more of your mixture, and get ready to eat your creation.
You can, of course, snack along the way.
- Cut cauliflower into florets and cook in boiling water with onion and bell pepper until tender
- Drain water from vegetables and mash while still warm
- Stir in cheese and Panko bread crumbs
- Add cayenne pepper and any other spices to taste
- Form the vegetable mixture into patties or shapes such as balls
- Deep fry or pan fry your mixture until golden brown
If you want to be adventurous, you may even want to serve them with a sauce. I personally think they go really well with a sweet chili sauce, but I like sweet chili sauce on just about anything. Let me know how it works out for you!