BANGOR – WVII/WFVX has been showing people how skipping takeout and getting back in the kitchen can not only save people money, but will also provide them with better tasting and healthier foods. But it’s also easy to get bored if you end up cooking the same foods over and over.
In Friday’s edition of “Look Who’s Cooking”, we’ll learn how to spice things up.
Support for this work is provided by EMHS total health, the partnership to improve community health by the CDC and the folks at medical fitness at Eastern Maine Medical Center.
“Hello everyone, we’re so happy to be joined once again by Nicole King, continuing our series on eating healthy. you know, if you’re like me there’s only so many recipes in your arsenal. it’s easy to get bored with the things you cook, but there are some easy ways you can spice things up not only with flavors, but the way you cook around your house. that’s what we’re talking about today.” stated Craig Colson.
Healthy Food Service Coordinator Nicole King said “absolutely, we’re going to talk about cooking methods. so you can add a lot of flavor and texture to your foods by trying different methods of cooking. so there are 3 ways you can add caramelization to foods. that’s the nice browning and you get that nice crust on the outside of food. so we have searing, roasting and broiling. searing is something you do on the stove in a shallow pan. you use minimal oil. get it nice and hot and make sure your food is nice and dry and you put it in a pan and leave it alone to get a nice crust. and you can really transform meats into something completely different rather than baking them.
That’s also the case with today’s recipe. instead of boiling cauliflower we’ll be roasting it.
“We’re going to make sriracha roasted cauliflower. the first thing you do is cut your cauliflower into florets. you just kinda break apart pieces and make them into bite size chunks. it will take longer to cook the bigger pieces. it;s really kind of neat to take a common thing like cauliflower and it turn it into something so flavorful. yeah, and it’s a really good blank canvas. cauliflower doesn’t have too strong of a flavor so it absorbs the other flavors really well and doesn’t overpower it.” stated King.
For the sauce we’ll be using a mixture of toasted sesame oil, low sodium soy sauce and plain rice wine vinegar.
“Finally, we have the sriracha paste and with this we use a teaspoon and a half, but you may want to start out with less depending on your pallet. it’s very spicy and after it roasts it should be spicier. the heat can bring out the oils and open up the flavors so be careful.” added King. She continued “So you just pour it on the cauliflower, mix it up so it’s nice and coated. this is a full head of cauliflower here”.
Once the cauliflower is mixed it’s just a matter of preparing a shallow baking pan. make sure you don’t use a deep pan which would maintain more moisture and the food wont be as crispy.
“It will get nice and brown. little pieces might get a little charred, but I kinda like that. that adds flavor too. absolutely, so you just spread it out into a nice even layer and then you put it in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on your oven. it varies. just check for tenderness and caramelization on the bottom.” King stated.
Another good way to carameliize foods is broiling. it’s like an upside-down grill that will quickly provide a nice crust on the surface of foods. but that would probably be too much for today’s cauliflower which is now ready.
King said “This would be a great way to make a side dish the star of the plate. you can serve it with just about anything. any meat or grain. it’s a pretty blank canvas so it goes well with anything. instead of eating plain old cauliflower you’re getting something with a little zip in it.”
And you can adjust as needed. the key is to not get too board in the kitchen. try new things. be adventurous, try new spices, try new ingredients and use the old ingredients in different ways. try to eat healthy, pay attention to the ingredients.