Posted Tuesday, 03/07/17
One of my biggest pet peeves is food waste (along with wasting electricity or anything else, for that matter). Food is too expensive these days to be simply tossed away if not used before it spoils. Improvising with perfectly edible but leftover food is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen, because one never knows what might pop out. Sometimes the little "experiments" work well, sometimes they do not.
I've all but given up on meat, especially basic hamburger because the prices are out of control. Therefore, I've been turning to more and vegetables to create meals. Less expensive veggies - such as cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, spinach, squash and turnips et al - do quite well, and there are endless ways in which to prepare them.
The other day, my culinary improvisation worked splendidly. I had a half a head of fresh cauliflower in my refrigerator and wanted to make use of it before it turned. I could have just boiled, buttered and salted the veggie, but I wanted something different for a change.
I aimed for a dish similar to potato cakes, with mashed cauliflower added to the mixture as well.
1 C prepared mashed potatoes*
Salt & black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. dill weed
Lawry's Seasoned Salt
Boil or steam cauliflower until tender; drain and transfer to a large bowl. Combine with prepared mashed potatoes; mash together until thoroughly combined. Add butter, salt, black pepper, dry dill weed and Lawry's Seasoned Salt; mix well. Add just enough to plain breadcrumbs to make mixture dry enough to handle. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a nonstick frying pan; warm over medium heat. Using hands, shape cauliflower/potato mixture into balls the size of a walnut. Place in frying pan and flatten with a spatula until balls resemble patties. Cook each side until lightly golden, turning once. Drain patties on paper towels if necessary. Serve hot.
*Leftover cauliflower and mashed potatoes can also be used.
The cakes were delicious, if I do say so myself, and easy to prepare.