Durham, N.C. — Out and About recently visited The Counting House, located inside the 21c hotel in Durham. Executive Chef Thomas Card let us go into the kitchen to learn how he makes the restaurant's roasted cauliflower dish.
The restaurant's decor features a great mix of modern art. If you haven't been to 21c, it is definitely worth a visit to dine at the restaurant and look at the eye-catching art throughout the hotel.
Roasted Cauliflower with Tea-infused Raisins and Crispy Capers Recipe
Check out the accompanying video to see how it is done. The full recipe is below.
- One head cauliflower
- 4 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups cauliflower, cut into 2” pieces
- 2 cups milk
- 4 ounces butter
- 2 cups water
- 1 bag Earl Grey tea
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup Capote capers
- 3 cups vegetable-based oil (canola, soy, grapeseed, etc.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Brush cauliflower with extra virgin olive oil. Save remaining olive oil. Salt the oiled cauliflower on all sides. Place cauliflower on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan and set into the preheated oven. Roast for 50 minutes, brushing with reserved olive oil every 15 minutes.
Take out of oven and allow to cool. Remove the core of the cauliflower with a paring knife, and separate into individual florettes.
Simmer the 2 cups of cut cauliflower in two cups milk. Cook until tender. Strain the milk from cauliflower and place cauliflower into a blender. Add ½ cup of reserved milk and the 4 ounces of butter to blender. Then puree until smooth while pausing frequently to scrape down sides of blender to incorporate unprocessed cauliflower.
Puree should be smooth and velvety. Salt to taste and keep warm. This sauce can be reheated on low heat or briefly in a microwave. Be careful not to scorch.
Make a batch of earl grey tea with the two cups of boiling water and tea bag. Allow to steep for 15 minutes. Add the raisins to the hot tea and allow to plump for at least 15-20 minutes.
Chef's tip: The raisins can remain in the tea after it has cooled. Just remove the tea bag and store raisins refrigerated for up to a week.
Strain capers completely and let stand on paper towels. Bring the oil to 350 degrees in a pot that is at least 3 times as deep as the oil level. Reduce the oil to low and add the capers, being careful not to splash the hot oil. Stirring frequently, continue to cook the capers until they are crispy. The decreasing amount of bubbles is an indication of the crispiness. Remove capers with a slotted spoon or strainer and place on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Place portioned cauliflower under the broiler for 5 minutes or until heated through. Be careful not to burn (a little color will add some depth of flavor). While heating cauliflower, warm the sauce. Spoon a pool of sauce on a plate or platter from which you will serve the dish. Arrange the warmed cauliflower onto the cauliflower puree. Garnish with the bloomed raisins and fried capers.