Monday, October 4, 2021

My Keto journey and the great Bert Greene

Being on the Keto diet, I have been revisiting cookbooks that I had previously cast aside on account of I thought the recipes were too fattening. Butter, oh no! Heavy cream! No!

One cookbook I resurrected was "Greene on Greens and Grains." It is by Bert Greene, a chef now, alas, long gone. I love Bert Greene for his storytelling, and it must be because of that that my book is falling apart. It is not falling apart because I have cooked too much out of it. I remember looking at the recipes and just thinking, I could never make that. No one, not even Martha Stewart, calls for butter and heavy cream as much as Bert Greene does. No one.

Now that I am living the keto lifestyle (a retro word I love, by the way), heavy cream is no longer the enemy. It is my friend!

And so I thought of "Greene on Greens and Grains" and all its butter and heavy cream. And yesterday I had a cauliflower and so I looked in the cauliflower chapter. As I told you, the book is falling apart. All my cookbooks are falling apart. When they print them and bind them they never expect that anyone will actually use them.

However. The cauliflower chapter yielded a wealth of high-fat Keto possibilities! 

Parma Style Fried Cauliflower. Gratin of Cauliflower with Gingered Crumbs. You can substitute Parmesan for bread crumbs. Baked Cauliflower Cream -- that calls for sour cream, fine by me. Austro-Hungarian Green Topped Cauliflower. That calls for Greene's signature heavy cream. 

Oh, look at this! Cauliflower and Shrimp in a Blanket of Mayonnaise! I will definitely have to make that one. 

Meanwhile yesterday I made Headed Cauliflower. You roast the cauliflower whole and serve it that way!

Here are the details: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take a cauliflower, trim the leaves, core it (I forgot to do that -- I just cut the stem off so it would stand up straight), and cook it in boiling water until just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Now comes the yummy part: "Very gently pry apart the cauliflower flowerets, but do not detach them from the head. Place 1/4 cup melted butter in a bowl large enough to hold the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower upside down in the butter. Let it stand 10 minutes."

And now here is the part I really enjoyed. You turn the cauliflower upright and place on a sheet of waxed paper. (I used Waxtex, I buy it because I love the name). Pour any leftover butter over the cauli. Take a half cup grated Swiss cheese and pat the cheese between the flowerets. Dust the whole head with 2/3 cup Parmesan. Sprinkle generously with pepper. Transfer the head to a shallow baking dish (I used a cast iron skillet) and bake 15 minutes. Place under a broiler to brown the top if desired. (I did not bother.)

What fun!

Butter, cheese, cauliflower, what's not to love? Here is my cauliflower in all its glory.

I could not get Howard to notice this dish, much less recognize its greatness. But I sure noticed it. I will be making this again. I might make it for Thanksgiving.

It is hard to find a cookbook not corrupted by all that low-fat nonsense. "Greene on Greens and Grains" fills the bill. The grains chapters are out, sure. But there is plenty to enjoy. 

Is Keto great or what? I could lose pounds faster if I cut out wine but as it is, it is just so pleasant. You eat things like Headed Cauliflower and drink heavy cream in your coffee and the weeks pass and every week you are down a little. I am down 17 pounds from when I started back in June or whenever that was.

As I proceed in my journey, I will have to cook my way through Bert Greene's cauliflower recipes.

I will report!

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