Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shrimp & Cauliflower - Low Cal Version of Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Shrimp & Cauliflower - Low Cal Version of Mashed Potatoes & Gravy.... I tend to find that Cauliflower is a miracle worker and the absolute best way to trick yourself into feeling like you are consuming gluttonous carbs when in fact... YOU AREN'T!

I make roasted cauliflower once a week at least, generally just chopping into bite sized florets and roasting with olive oil until golden brown then I toss the morsels in a Biryani spice blend. I'm salivating.

This week though I tried something I had been wanting to try for quite some time. I made mashed cauliflower. I know, pretty simple, nothing you haven't already seen on Pinterest, but I'm here to confirm it is easy and Dahlicious.

The meal started out a little unsure of itself, but I quickly decided that if I was going to imitate mashed potatoes, I better go ahead and imitate the gravy. I will warn that this version does call for a teeny tiny butter and a wee bit of flour.. but you could forgo those things if you were being good - or you could just accept that this is clearly better for you than mashed potatoes and gravy and pot roast and just enjoy the butter and flour. Your pick.

What I used:

  • A dozen large shrimp
  • Tablespoon or so of flour
  • 1-2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • White Wine (1/2 cup or so)
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock (eye ball it)
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower (this fed two people very generously)
  • 1 Little pad of butter 
  • 1 Bag of spinach (which really diminished and looks sadly small on my finished plate, don't judge)

The Shrimp:
I cleaned and deveined and butterflied my shrimp, then I gave them a quick toss in the flour so they were lightly coated and threw them in a hot saute pan with a liberal pour of olive oil. I got these guys nice and golden brown on both sides and promptly removed them after a few minutes of cooking to a plate off to the side.

I added my garlic to the saute pan and let it simmer for a minute with the heat down to medium. Then I slowly added the white wine, chicken stock, and lemon in small amounts of each letting it reduce into a nice lemony gravy. The excess flour and little bits of shrimp that get stuck in the pan will be de-glazed with the newly added liquid and will form the gravy. Let that keep cooking. Keep stirring over medium/low heat and add liquid as you desire. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the shrimp back in right before serving.

The Cauliflower:
I cut the head into little bite sized pieces (the smaller the better but not so small that you can't drain it.) Next steam the florets. I used the super duper lazy way and placed them in a big glass bowl, filled it 1/3 of the way with hot water, covered the top with plastic wrap and popped it in the microwave for 5 minutes. Voila.
You can steam any way your heart desires. Once they're steamed all the way through and fork tender, drain all of the water out. Add a splash of chicken stock and a little drizzle of olive oil along with some salt and pepper and use an emulsion blender to mash them thoroughly. You could also use a blender or food processor but I happen to like my hand held one so that's what I used. After it was nicely smashed/pureed I added a tiny bit of butter for richness and gave it one big stir. You can surely taste test and add more seasoning etc if needed.

I served this dinner as a heaping portion of mashed cauliflower with a scant side of lemony sauteed spinach and a big ole scoop of shrimp and gravy over top! It was so Dahlish I will be repeating this one very soon.

Just to give you an idea of HOW much better it is to eat cauliflower:

A cup of steamed/boiled cauliflower is only about 80 calories and 7 carbs. A cup of steamed/boiled  potatoes is about 166 calories and 32 carbs. Major calorie/carb saver. Try it!


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