Cauliflower Rice Experiments, part 2

I have been experimenting in the kitchen and have finally gotten a chance to try out some variations on the cauliflower rice recipe. I don’t have it perfected yet but I’m much happier with the results this time. One big change I made was to measure everything out so I can replicate the results better.

This time I made rice on the stovetop, in the microwave, and in the oven.

The stovetop rice was actually my favorite last time but it browned a lot and was the least sushi looking rice. I suppose it’s just me trying to recreate the sushi look as much as possible, but why not? I wanted to prevent browning so this time I used a nonstick pan and kept it at medium low the entire time I cooked it.

Recipe:
1.5 Cups cauliflower rice, with moisture squeezed out with paper towels
1 Teaspoon lite-salt
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 Teaspoon cream cheese

Directions
I heated the pan on medium low and added 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. When a piece of cauliflower dropped into the pan sizzled I added the remaining cauliflower rice. I would stir it occasionally but for the most part left it alone.

I actually didn’t get a super accurate time on this one. I was supposed to reset my timer every five minutes but forgot after pulling my oven batch out. I know that it was at least 15 minutes and probably between 15-20 min.

This one came out the most rice looking. It did not have browned spots at all. Texture wise it was on the drier side, but still had a lot of that vegetable crunch. I think with some tweaking I could make this approximate the drier long grain rices like basmati or jasmine. The amount of cream cheese was by far the best. Had almost no discernible cream cheese flavor and still stuck together really well.

Next the microwave rice.

Recipe:
1.5 Cups cauliflower rice, with moisture squeezed out with paper towels
½ Teaspoon lite-salt
1 Tablespoon cream cheese

Directions
I did not use any coconut oil unlike the other recipes. I microwaved it on high for five minutes then stirred in the cream cheese. By far the easiest method.

Again the microwave rice was my least favorite. It actually came out kind of weird in that it looked like it was shrunken in volume compared to my other rices. I think maybe 5 minutes was way too long to cook it?

It was slightly browned and had an almost cracked appearance when I took it out. I should have tasted it then but I wanted to add the cream cheese while it was still warm. It was way too much cream cheese and totally overpowered the cauliflower rice. This batch was messed up and I’ll have to do it again to figure out the flavor and texture.

I think I will try this again, but cook it less and only add a teaspoon of cream cheese.

Last but not least I made a batch in the oven. This time I tried to use a deeper baking dish rather than laying it all out on a cookie sheet in order to avoid the little burnt pieces I got last time.

Recipe:
1.5 Cups cauliflower rice, with moisture squeezed out with paper towels
1 Tbsp Coconut oil, added melted
Sprinkle (1/4th teaspoon?) lite-salt
½ Tablespoon cream cheese

I set the oven for 475 degrees and put my baking dish on the center rack. After ten minutes I took out the dish and used a fork to mix it up.

It was a toss up whether this one had the best flavor or the stovetop. The oven rice was a little softer and did not have any of that vegetable crunch. It also had a good amount of moisture that it was almost spot on to the moistness of a short grain rice. Not much cauliflower flavor. Amount of cream cheese was good, I did not taste it much and it stuck together well. I still felt like I could use less of it.

In conclusion, once again the microwave was my least favorite method but it was a toss up between the stove top and the oven. I think that I will try to develop them in different directions. Maybe the stove top will be my go to for dishes that traditionally go with longer grain drier and less sticky rice. The oven might be better for short grain, stickier rice dishes.

 

Cauliflower rice experiment part one

So as I’ve been mentioning I want to do some experiments with making sushi rice. I have already made two batches, one in the microwave and one on the stovetop. The stovetop method had a subtle nutty flavor, while the microwave just screamed cauliflower. I’m not sure if that’s because I forgot to drain the water from that batch or just the difference in the cooking method.

Today I decided to make two batches, one in the oven and one on the stovetop. I think a dry heat is best for flavor.

Here I am starting to grate the florets and squeeze out the excess moisture. Once I find the best method I’ll go over this in more detail, but basically to start off any cauliflower rice recipe you chop or rip the cauliflower into florets and grate the tops with a cheese grater. It is a bit crumbly and messy but I do think that this gives a great rice like texture. I used one medium sized cauliflower which gives about four portions of rice.

Here I am with batch number 1, the frying pan experiment. I added one tablespoon of coconut oil to the fan and started to stir fry it over medium high heat. Very quickly I realized that the cauliflower was quickly browning and turned down the heat.

Batch number two, the oven edition. For this I started by adding one tablespoon of coconut oil to the rice. In order to get it to coat I put it in the microwave for thirty seconds in order to melt.

Next I tried to put this in an even layer on a baking sheet and set this in the oven at 425 degrees fahrenheit.

Results:

The stovetop once again had a good flavor with a subtle nuttiness. I think that next time for aesthetic purposes I would try using a nonstick pan and very low heat. I might be able to achieve similar flavor while maintaining a more rice like color.

As is I think that this rice would be great for brown rice or something like a jambalaya. It is also a fairly quick method.

I think that I left this one in the oven too long as there were quite a few pieces that simply turned to charcoal. The flavor was similar to the stovetop method but without the hint of nuttiness. It also took a lot longer than the stovetop method.

Other than mounding better and not cooking as long I’m not sure what I could do to prevent the little burnt pieces. Perhaps a casserole dish instead of a pan?

In conclusion I liked the stovetop method a lot better than the oven. Now that I’ve gotten started I think that I will continue doing these experiments to achieve the best results. Next time I am planning to make a stovetop batch in a nonstick pan at a much lower heat. I will also revisit making it in the microwave.

In addition to making the rice I’m also experimenting with additions. The cauliflower rice I’ve made so far is light, fluffy, and doesn’t stick together particularly well. I’ve read about adding some cream cheese in order to make it a little stickier. Here are some of my results.

Because I lost some of the oven cauliflower to burning it wasn’t quite the right amounts of cauliflower to get a good ratio. From left to right I added more and more cream cheese.

By far the best batch was the one with the least overall amount of cream cheese. It added a little bit of sourness but was not overwhelming in richness. The rice clumped well enough but was not particularly sticky.

As more and more cream cheese was added the flavor and richness became overpowering and the bite of my last sample was like eating a block of cream cheese with mix ins. Not very good.

I will have to revisit this in my next post, with more precise measurements. Until next time!