rant: early spring and indian spiced cauliflower

we had an extremely warm day for february today...yes, even for texas.  we hit a high of 92 today! crazy i say.  if this is a preview of weather to come, we're in for a brutal summer.  to be honest, it was nice out.  i spent a couple hours late in the afternoon working from the back patio.  the pup hung out with me while i tinkered away.  but no worries, a cold front just made its way through and we're now at a comfortable and breezy 61 degrees.

while sitting outside, i realize that my backyard is kind of like that movie enchanted.  there are a ton of little birds and squirrels running around.  i've recently noticed that a mockingbird is always hanging around the house.  i am by no means certain it is the same bird, but it looks like it to me.  the funny thing is, i rescued a baby mockingbird that was stuck in our texas sage bush in 2010. 

part of me wonders if this is the same bird.  it is not freaked out by me and just hangs out either in oak tree in the front yard, along the gutters of the house or in our backyard.  either way, this little guy hung out with me also, chirping along to whatever was playing on my itunes.  

soon it was time to head in and start dinner.  tonight i wanted to use the cauliflower that i picked up at sprouts last week (for $.99!). so i tried a recipe my friend k has made a couple times for us before.  i always love it when she makes it so i figured i should try :)  the recipe comes from one of my favorite cooking blogs: smitten kitchen. there's not a bad recipe...seriously. everything i have made from her recipes are always yummy.  some of my favorite recipes are from there and it's definitely my go-to place when i'm looking for something. go check it out! 

so it was no surprise that the indian spiced cauliflower and potatoes were great.  i paired it with some quinoa and herb crusted chicken tenders.  in the recipe, she serves the cauliflower with a cucumber scallion raita.  i had neither cucumber or scallions so i used mint, parsley and lemon in the greek yogurt and that was tasty too.  it was just nice to have a cool creamy contrast to the spices. b had no complaints and scarfed dinner down.  so i'll definitely be making this again.  

indian spiced cauliflower and potatoes

1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets
1 1/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup water

Accompaniment: lemon wedges

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.

Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

Makes 4 side-dish servings.

Cucumber Scallion Raita

1/4 cup finely chopped English (seedless cucumber)
1 thinly sliced scallion
3/4 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt



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