Monday, June 7, 2010
Shrinkage and Spicy Honey-Roasted Cauliflower
Has anyone else noticed substantial shrinkage at the grocery store lately?
I know it started several years ago when suddenly a pound of coffee was really weighing in at 11 ounces. Remember that?
Then sugar got into the show. I used to buy a five pound bag of sugar; you too? Then my local grocery store began offering sugar in a plastic, resealable container, which I thought was a great improvement over those paper bags that leaked sugar crystals all over the cupboard. The only difference in the two; bag versus container was the weight, 5 pound bag vs 4 pound container, same price mind you.
The next shrinkage I noticed was far more subtle than a conspicuous unit of weight. The culprit: Toilet Paper.
Has anyone noticed that the actual cardboard roll is getting bigger and the paper surrounding it is getting less? Anyone? TBHITW insists that the manufacturer is rolling the paper less tightly too. Insidious bastards.
Just yesterday I noticed the latest shrinkage. Graham Crackers. Yes, good old graham crackers; base for every cheesecake in America, necessary component of the ever popular summertime S'More treat, baby's first cookie... smaller. Just a tad narrower. Just a bit. What next? Teddy Grahams with one leg and one arm? The horror, the horror!!
Do these manufacturers take us for morons? Do they think we won't notice?
Has anyone else suffered shrinkage lately?
Unlike the above mentioned products, cauliflower (in my neck of the woods) is still big, beautiful and rightly priced. To me, it is like a great big white board - just waiting for embellishment. Herewith my great big, non-shrinking cauliflower; sure to get a wow when you set it on the table and sure to give you a feeling of abundance.
Spicy Honey-Roasted Cauliflower* (serves 5)
1 whole head cauliflower
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup locally produced honey
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, tarragon, parsley and/or rosemary (use a single herb or any combination you like)
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1/2 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut off about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the stem end of the cauliflower and insert a long, thin knife into the core. Place head in a deep baking dish and add about 1/4 inch water. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and pour off the water. Return cauliflower to oven, increase heat to 400 degrees F. and roast for about 5 more minutes to "dry" the cauliflower.
Meanwhile, combine the bread crumbs, honey, herbs, mustard and butter in a small bowl.
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and coat with the bread crumb mixture. Return to oven and roast for about 12 more minutes or until nicely browned and tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
Serve whole and piping hot on a platter.
A Cook's Notes: This side dish pairs nicely with a mild flavored fish or simple grilled chicken.
*Adapted from Sustainably Delicious by Michel Nischan