Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Spiced London Broil and Cauliflower Purée

There is comfort and meat and potatoes. And yet, there is edible joy in the unexpected. I went for both.
At first glance this smooth cauliflower purée seems like silky mashed potatoes but the taste is creamier, smoother and well, just a bit naughtier. Following chef John Besh's recipe I boiled the florets and, after drying them in a hot oven, puréed the vegetable with more hot cream and butter than I thought possible (or probably advisable).
With that kind of richness we needed a bit of spice. I marinated the steak in red wine and crushed garlic cloves for a couple hours and then coated the London broil in a mixture of black (1TB) , pink (2 tsp) and green (2 tsp) peppercorns, allspice (about 1/2 tsp -- the allspice was an idea from culinary historian Jessica Harris and it did add just a bit of mystery to the peppery coating), crushed red peppers (1/4 tsp), black mustard seeds (1/3 tsp) and a pinch of cayenne and ground together. I let the grilled steak (about 11 minutes total) rest while I sautéed up some fresh dandelion in garlic and olive oil -- a bit of bitter flavor to balance the rich spice and cream.

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