Thursday, November 13, 2014

Roasted Cheese"Popcorn" Cauliflower #PantryInsiders

I've been working with Pompeian on some sponsored posts, and I've had a chance to use a number of their products.

This time, the product is something that's brand-spanking new.

That's one of the great things about being a food blogger - I get to try things that might not even be on grocery store shelves.

This time, the product was a canola and olive oil spray with 85 percent canola and 15 percent olive oil, and no propellants. I've been using the oil for a lot of things in the kitchen - spraying baking pans, spraying saute pans, spraying potatoes before I baked them ... spraying pretty much everything.

Heck, if you're watching your calories, you could spray this on your salad and just add a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Since the oil has a smoke point of 410-425 degrees, it's fine for searing, sauteeing, baking, or pretty much anything you need it to do.

The funny thing is that since this was such a useful product, I used it for all sorts of common tasks, but when it came to thinking up a recipe, I had recipe block. Like writer's block, except that I couldn't come up with a recipe idea that was blog-worthy.

But then I had the brainstorm. And this happened.

If you look at small cauliflower florets, they sort of look like popped popcorn, right? That's part of the inspiration for this dish.

If you can't find cheddar cheese powder at your local store, it can be purchased online from spice shops. There are also cheese powders sold for flavoring popcorn. If you use that, make sure you taste it - some of them are salty.

Roasted Cheese "Popcorn" Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, divided into small florets
Even spray of Pompeian OlivExtra Original Spray
Sprinkle of salt or seasoned salt
Cheddar cheese powder, to coat

Line a sheet pan with a silicone mat for easy cleanup, and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Make sure the cauliflower pieces are all a similar size. If some florets are too large, cut them in half or in quarters.

Arrange the florets on the baking sheet in a single layer. Spray with a light coating of the Pompeian OlivExtra Orginal Spray. This will help the cheese powder stick.

Sprinkle with salt, to taste (and remember to take into account how salty your cheese powder is) and then sprinkle with cheese powder.

Roast the cauliflower at 350 degrees 40 minutes, stirring the cauliflower about halfway through the cooking time. Test one. It should be folk-tender, but not mushy. It's fine if there's a little bit of bite, but it shouldn't be crunchy.

Increase the heat to 400 degrees and roast the cauliflower until it's lightly browned in spots, another 10 to 15 minutes. Stir, if needed, after 10 minutes. Or, if you like you can broil for just a minute or two.

Serve hot.

Although ... can I admit that I like this cold, as well. It's a nice little snack and it makes a pretty garnish on top of a salad.

This post was sponsored by Pompeian. I received product for my use in developing the recipe, and compensation for recipe development. All words and ideas are mine. Look for Pompeian on Facebook!