Friday, November 16, 2007

What's for Dinner?

Last night, my wife Brandi and I made chicken tenders using Brandi's breading. They were excellent. This breading is good and is liked by even non-low-carbers. With it, we made mashed Foetatoes. Then, we topped it all with Campbell's brand cream gravy which has surprisingly few carbs.

I found the foetatos recipe online. It called for mashed up cauliflower with butter and cream cheese plus xanthan gum. We made a huge batch. The xanthan gum ruined it. Yes, the mixture thickened up nicely but it had an odd gummy consistency. We ended up throwing most of it out. I think if we make fake mashed potatoes again, we'll leave the xanthan gum out and live with slightly soggy mashers. Have any of you found a decent substitution for mashed potatoes?

Also, I'd be interested in hearing about my reader's experiences using xanthan and guar gums. Have you tried using xanthan gum as either a thickener or to duplicate the texture and bonding power of sugar?


Anonymous said...

I can't ever remember how to put my name on my posts here, but anyway, it's JJ here.

Yes, I've been making cauliflower faux mashed potatoes for years. My husband actually likes them better than regular potatoes.

Like you, I always make a big batch. Here is what you do:

In a large wide roasting pan, place your metal steamer gizmo and then sprinkle two bags of frozen cauliflower around. Steam till fork tender. (You can do the same in the microwave, but I think the veggies don't cook as evenly) Put the veggies in the food processor. Now, here is where recipes will start to vary.

Some call for the fake butter spray, about an ounce, some call for butter, etc. I use the Smart Balance spread, but I have also used butter. Just drop a gob in there, whatever looks right, and some salt and pepper. Not too much. Remember, you can always add it, but you can't take it out.

Forget the thickener, you won't need it, just be sure your cauliflower is drained very well. Now, drizzle some cream in there, plain old cream. And whip. Test for taste and texture. Again, remember, you can add it, but you can't take it out. Go easy with the cream at first till you get a feel for it. It doesn't take much, a few ounces. The 'taters' will thicken a bit as the veggies absorb the liquid when the sit. You're gonna love them.

Now, here is a bonus. I just got this one last week. Twiced baked faux potatoes.

Take your 'mashed' cauliflower, add some sour cream till creamy, chopped green onion, cooked and crumbled bacon,a bit of salt and pepper and put in a casserole dish. Sprinkle top with shredded cheddar cheese and bake and you have 'Twice Baked Potatoes.

I haven't made this one yet, but I think I will probably stir a bit of the cheese IN the mixture, as well as adding it on top.

Made right, these potatoes actually mound just like potatoes on your plate and have the same mouth pleasing texture. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I did it again. I always leave stuff out because I feel like I'm talking to old friends that keep asking me "What next" I assumed everyone knows how to steam vegetables on top of the stove with a metal steamer basket, and maybe you don't.

If you don't have one of those baskets, treat yourself, they are great for brocolli, carrots, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower, etc.

Anyway, you put your basket in a pan that has a lid. Add water up almost to the underside of the basket, add your vegetables and cover. Then bring to a boil You need to watch it, and may need to turn your burner down so the pan adoesn't burn dry, add water if you need to till the veggie is fork tender done. If you do this for carrots, you will never boil them again. JJ

adrienne said...

I only make the "twice-baked" faux potatoes and they are loved by high-carbers too.

I cook the fresh cauliflower in boiling water on the stove top and after draining, "rice" it. This grinds it very nicely. I add cream cheese to it (8 oz), half a minced sauted onion, salt and pepper and 1/2 cup shreaded cheddar cheese (more is fine if you like). Mix and then transfer to 9 x 13 pan, sprinkle with paprika and bake at 350° until bubbly (about 40 minutes). It freezes well too.

Linda said...

I agree with the posters. Steam it. Make sure all possible water is drained and squeezed out. Put it in a blender and add whatever you'd put in mashed potatoes. I add butter, cream, cream cheese, scallions and salt and pepper. You never need to add thickener if you don't add too much fluid to your faux taters. The consistency is like real mashed potatoes. Hope this helps.

RA said...

I love George Stella's version of faux potatoes.. you can find it on my blog HERE

HTH.. love reading your site :)