Chef Amber Bailey

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Cauliflower "Steak" Sliders

I can't believe that it's April already! It seems as though this year is really flying by at supersonic speed! let me be honest with you, i am super excited that i survived my first winter and that now it is slowly starting to warm up a bit!!

It's been a little over a month since the last recipe I posted, and I have been cooking so much lately that I really need to share something with the world.

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i came up with this idea when i was at trader joes the other day.. well not exactly while i was there, but a few days later. i have noticed while i stand in line at the market (the trader joes on 72nd in the upper west side is about a 30 minute wait time from the start of the line to the cashiers) that i really have time to look around and really ponder about food and what these stores are really trying to push to their client base. i have also realized that you could probably just get in line from the time that you walk in the store and just pick up stuff along the way as  you go (i actually did not come up with this idea... the guy in front of me filled his entire basket while waiting in line..i was kind of jealous). as i was watching this man fill up an entire basket in line, i saw him pick up some pretzel buns that were nicely stacked in the center of our line. this was in fact, the third time in a week that i've seen them at different markets. i really wanted to do something with them (besides the obvious of just eat all 6 of them right there in the aisle.. i did have time...), so i didn't buy them... i just went home and let my mind do its magic.. 

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sure enough, a few days later i came up with cauliflower "steak" sandwiches on these wonderful pretzel buns with a cheddar beer cheese sauce. i mean, come on! so good, right?!? these only became sliders when i went to whole foods to buy the buns and they only had these little mini pretzel buns. they worked all the same for my wonderful and genius idea; looking super cute was an added bonus!

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i was fortunate enough to find the smallest heads of cauliflower in the world, so i purchased two of them to make these little guys. however, next time i will not be so lucky (since i have never seen cauliflower so tiny in my life). my stars were just really aligning for me when i made these sandwiches! therefore.. next time, i will most likely (definitely) make these into regular sized sandwiches just for the sake of convenience.

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have you ever done a cauliflower "steak" before? it's really quite simple! i would go over the entire thing with you, but i completely forgot to take pictures of my cooking process.. so i found this super informative and most likely better than i would of described, how-to on cutting your cauliflower into steaks

alright now we are ready for the rest! i hope you enjoy this as much as i did!

Cauliflower "steak" sliders

ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small white onions, sliced very thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 small heads cauliflower, cut into steaks (see how-to above)
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • half 12 ounce beer (i used a blonde ale)
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 tuscan kale leaves
  • 8 mini pretzel buns

what to do:

  1. preheat the oven to 350f.
  2. melt 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. add the onions and the salt, stir until the onions are completely coated, then turn the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the onions become a light caramel color - about 20 minutes. remove the lid from the skillet and turn the heat to medium-high, stirring occasionally, cook until the onions get an even deeper caramel color - about 5 minutes more.
  3. while you are waiting for the onions to caramelize, start on the cauliflower. once the cauliflower steaks are cut, you should have about 8 portions of small cauliflower "steaks" (each one gave me about 4 slices). gently place the cauliflower on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over each steak and then sprinkle with the cajun seasoning. place the cauliflower in the oven and bake until slightly tender -  12 to  15 minutes.
  4. to make the crispy kale, simply place the  leaves on a baking sheet and place in the oven at the last 10 minutes of the cauliflowers cooking time
  5. while the cauliflower is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. once the butter is melted, add the flour and stir until thickened - about 2 minutes (if you didn't know, you just made a roux!). slowly add in the beer making sure that the flour and butter are not clumping and that the beer is thoroughly incorporated. once the beer sauce is smooth, you can start adding the shredded cheese slowly, stirring constantly until the cheese is completely melted and creamy. mix in the mustard and cayenne pepper and then turn the heat to low, stirring occasionally, while you are waiting for the cauliflower to finish.
  6. to assemble the sandwiches, cut the pretzel buns in half and place a cauliflower steak on the bottom bun, then add a spoonful of the caramelized onions, one crispy kale leaf and then drizzle the cheese sauce over the kale and top with the top part of the pretzel buns.

as always, let me know if you have any questions about these delicious little sliders. if you decide to make them into sandwiches instead of sliders, this recipe would make 4 sandwiches.

happy eating!

amber