We have a local restaurant that serves a few different kinds of spicy po’boys. On Monday nights, all of the po’boys are on special. Take your pick of shrimp, chicken, crawfish, oyster, alligator; you name it, they’ve got it. Pre-vegetarian-diet, Kyle and I loved to wander over on Monday nights, grab a table on the outdoor patio, and down a po’boy with a cold pint of beer.
In case you have never had a po’boy, here’s a little lesson for you. They are traditional sandwiches from Louisiana that feature a pile of fried seafood or meat, dressed with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and mustard, in between two slices of French bread. There are several different variations, but common to all good po’boys are the crusty bread and the crispy fish or meat.
Since embarking on our veggie journey three years ago, neither Kyle nor I has had a proper po’boy. Honestly I haven’t missed them, but apparently Kyle has. The other night while we were planning our meals for the week, he said “do you think we could do a po’boy with something like. . . cauliflower?”
And you thought I was the culinary brains of the family. The man is a genius!
The recipe is mine, but the inspiration was all Kyle. So here you have it, a vegetarian cauliflower po’boy. This isn’t one of those meals that will fool you into thinking it’s meat, but it might satisfy your craving for the real deal if you are trying to find a vegetarian or healthier alternative. Of course this would probably be more authentic fried, but then we wouldn’t be any closer to achieving our goal, would we?
Cauliflower Po’boys (serves 4)
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp minced ginger
- Pinch of cayenne
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large loaf of French bread or 4 sandwich loaves
- 1 medium tomato, sliced
- 1 tsp adobo sauce (from chipotles in adobo)
- 2 Tbsp vegannaise (or mayonnaise if you would like)
- Fill a large saucepan 2/3 full with water. Add a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp curry powder and bring to a boil.
- Chop the head of cauliflower into florets and add to the boiling water. Boil uncovered for 2-3 minutes and then remove from heat, drain, and rinse cauliflower with ice cold water.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the yogurt and all of the spices. Add the cauliflower and toss to coat. Spread into a single layer on a greased rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.
- While the cauliflower bakes, combine adobo sauce and vegannaise in a small bowl. Spread one side of each sandwich with the chipotle “mayo.”
- Top the bottom half of the sandwich with roasted cauliflower. Top with tomato. Optional: add lettuce, onion, mustard, hot sauce, or any condiment you like.
We served this with a wedge salad topped with grape tomatoes, feta and TJ’s Goddess dressing.
In the name of getting your serving of veggies and in celebration of Mardi Gras, why not put this one on your menu for the week?
P.S. I’m baaaaaack! Sorry for the long hiatus, it’s been one hell of a start to 2011, and sometimes life gets between me and my laptop.