Popcorn Cauliflower (Tastes Just Like Popcorn!)
A paying market that’s a bit more mainstream than my usual beat asked me to submit some tips on making vegetables palatable to children:
Tip #1: Don’t knock yourself out.
Tip #2: Swap your existing children for some of that mutant strain, the ones who eat everything on their plates without bitching, whining, weeping or entering a manic Robin Williamsesque state.
Tip #3: Take a bite yourself, exclaiming, “Wow! Tastes just like popcorn!”
Having tried this dish (under duress), my nine-year-old daughter wishes to inform you that it tastes nothing like popcorn.
Her younger brother gave it a thumbs up, though, once he'd succumbed, consenting to an exploratory nibble after half an hour's goading, in which the suspect vegetable was compared to broccoli’s albino cousin, an alien being that must be conquered, Popeye’s other favorite food, and, of course, popcorn.
Tip #4: When spawning finicky children, choose a playwright mate with a background in improvisational comedy. Make sure he (or she) sticks around for the rearing part.
Chop up or smash four cloves of garlic, depending on whether or not your kid goes apeshit over unidentifiable brown flecks on his or her food. Smashed cloves can be removed before serving. My nine-year-old daughter wishes to inform you that cauliflower could also be removed before serving.
Core a head of cauliflower and make sure the children see. This is what happens to boys and girls who don’t eat what’s on their plates.
Chop it into florets, cast them into a kettle of boiling water fortified with one tablespoon of salt, give them a couple of minutes to get tender but not mushy, then strain.
Fire up your wok, add two tablespoons of vegetable oil, and fry the garlic for thirty seconds.
Add the florets and spend a couple of minutes stirring them around, pressing them gently against the sides of the wok to sear in that popcorn flavor.
Add half a teaspoon of sea salt. Swear to god, I feel like we’re at the movie theater, that’s how close it is to popcorn.
Eat it if you want dessert.
[cauliflower], [popcorn], [picky eater]