Curry, chile meld with cauliflower in rice dish
Ad Hoc's Rice With Roasted Cauliflower
1/2 head white cauliflower, cut into florets
2 Tbsp. canola oil
6 cups water
1 cup Carolina, or long grain, rice
1 tsp. red chile flakes
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of curry powder
2 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup chopped green onions
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the canola oil and season with 1/4 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper, or to taste. Place the cauliflower in a roasting pan (reserve the bowl) and roast until the cauliflower is a deep brown and tender throughout when pierced with a knife, 20 to 25 minutes, tossing every few minutes for even coloring and cooking.
While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the rice: In a large saucepan, add the water and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rice and chile flakes and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook the rice just until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the cauliflower from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Drain the rice well, then spread it in a shallow layer in a large baking dish. Place the rice in the oven to dry out for 5 minutes. Remove, then stir in the olive oil. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired with salt and pepper.
Place the cauliflower back in the bowl and toss with curry powder. Taste and season, if desired, with additional salt and pepper. Gently stir in the warmed rice and the butter, tossing until the butter is melted and evenly coats the rice and cauliflower. Stir in the green onions, and serve immediately. Serves 10.
— From Ad Hoc, a Thomas Keller restaurant in Yountville, Calif., as reprinted in the Los Angeles Times