Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Moña’s Fried Cauliflower — A Mexican side dish

Our family just came back from a two-week vacation in Nayarit, Mexico. One of the perks of the place we stay in is a housekeeper who cooks for us. Moña used to run a restaurant out of her home and she’s the best Mexican chef I know. I yearn for her chiles rellenos and chilaquiles.

One of her specialties is battered, fried cauliflower. I’m not a cauliflower enthusiast, but when it’s prepared like chiles rellenos, I’m sold.

Florets are coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a simple tomato sauce. The florets turn out perfectly tender, almost like al dente pasta.

The difficulty with my trying to make Moña’s recipes back home is our lack of delicious produce. Our fresh tomatoes are usually terrible and our onions aren’t nearly as sweet.

Here is my attempt at one of Moña’s signature side dishes. It’s accompanying pulled pork enchiladas and mexican rice. Look for the rice recipe below.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Moña’s fried cauliflower

Serves 4

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, trimmed into small/medium florets
  • 5 eggs
  • 1, 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes
  • about a cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place the flour, chicken stock, sugar, chile powder and tomatoes in a blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

Separate the eggs and whip the whites until stiff. Fold in the yolks.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Pour oil in a small sauté pan. There should be about a half-inch of oil in the pan. Heat over high heat. When hot, dip florets in the egg batter till covered and drop them in the pan. You’ll need to do several batches but they brown pretty quickly. Spoon oil over the florets as they brown on the first side, then turn them all over and brown on the other side.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Drain the florets and place on a paper towel-lined platter. Set aside.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Add the blended tomato mixture and oregano. Stir until thickened. If too thick, add more chicken stock. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Add the cauliflower florets and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Serve on a platter and sprinkle with cojita or monterey jack cheese.

Mexican rice

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the butter in a large sauté pan. Toss in the rice and cook, stirring for a few minutes until the rice is lightly toasted. Pour in 1 cup of stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for five minutes.

Add another cup of stock, the carrots, onion and garlic. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Check the rice every now and then to see if it needs more liquid. Add more stock if necessary.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

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