Firstly, you should know that this dish is sort of famous around the Kolen/Topper household. My mother doesn’t cook a lot anymore, but for the holidays, she will still rally to make some of her signature dishes. I never even had this recipe in my possession before. Almost everyone loves this dish—even the cauliflower haters (although we can’t get Joel to even try it…his loss.) It is very tasty and a perfect side dish for meat. It is also perfect for the holidays. We always have it on our Thanksgiving table and usually for the Jewish holidays too. It will work anythime you need another vegetable side. I always thought my mother used fresh cauliflower but as it turns out she’s been using frozen because it’s easier to handle, takes no time and works just as well. If you want to use fresh, just follow the recipe as it is but first cook the cauliflower in boiling water, as usual. Thanks, G’ma Mil. This recipe is a keeper.
1 jumbo onion (or 2 large onions)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable oil–I know this is a lot of oil so you can try and start out with a little less. I am not arguing with my Mother about the amount of oil!!!! in her recipe
4 boxes frozen cauliflower
Kosher salt (start with 1 tsp.)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
A few shakes of paprika (for color)
Panko seasoned crumbs (3/4 to 1 cup) you’ll probably use the full cup for 4 boxes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice onions and add to a large frying pan with the 1 cup of oil (heated). Add paprika, salt, pepper and garlic. Sauté onions until translucent and then let stand off the heat for about 15 minutes. Take frozen cauliflower out of boxes, put in microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes, you want to get it defrosted and soft but not overly soft, should be firm, just to defrost and get all the water out of it. Drain and put cauliflower on paper towels. Trick is to get all water out, you want to start with cauliflower as dry as possible. That’s why frozen is easier to work with, you will be cooking it in the oven. Next, add Panko crumbs (when adding the crumbs start with 3/4 cup and if it looks like you need more add a bit, we used almost a full cup for the 4 boxes), mix well and then add the cauliflower. Bake for approx. 45 minutes, until heated through. (I place in one layer in a glass Pyrex until it gets very hot and a little crispy.) Taste for salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish.
*I usually taste for salt and pepper during the baking phase, remove from oven and take a taste, then season accordingly. Also, I know this is a lot of oil, so start out with 3/4 cup and add as you need it, for it to get crispy you will need a good amount of oil, the panko will absorb a good amount of it.
*You can prep this dish in advance and refrigerate in a container for up to 2 days prior to serving. Just take it out of the fridge, bring to room temp. and cook in oven until heated through (same as above.)
I hope you love this as much as we do.