A Low-Carb Cauliflower Chofan (Fried Rice) is not the kind of recipe one would usually expect to find in a Dominican food blog. Cauliflower, here and everywhere, is after all The Cinderella of Vegetables. This dish is based on our traditional Chofán.
Cauliflower has made a spectacular comeback. Not that it ever went anywhere, but for a long time no one really paid much attention to it. Cauliflower made the occasional timid appearance as a humdrum side serving of cooked salad, and only played the starring role, if it can be called that, in outmoded dishes like cauliflower cheese (of which we made a more modern version).
So, once maligned as stodgy and bland, cauliflower is now being lauded for its versatility. Who would ever have imagined it? It has re-emerged like Cinderella after a visit by the fairy godmother, almost to become the belle of the ball.
Just to list a few examples, cauliflower works astonishingly well in soups, both hot and chilled. The texture lends itself well for creamy soups, especially when enhanced with a dollop of sour cream, and its subtle taste becomes an asset as it serves to highlight other flavours like aniseed or dill.
Cauliflower is absolutely sensational when roasted after being brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and garnished with rosemary – a dish as easy as it is impressive. It is also fabulous in curries and battered and fried pakora or tempura-style, as well as in updated jazzed-up versions of the old aforementioned staple, cauliflower cheese.
At the same time, cauliflower is also gathering an impressive pace as a tasty, nutritious, low-carb and high-fibre alternative to rice. According to some sources, it has less than one fifth of the calories of white rice, so you can even allow yourself a slightly more generous serving.
- 1 cup of brown rice
- 2 cups of water
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (corn, soy or peanut), divided
- 1 1/2 lb of boned , skinned and shredded supermarket rotisserie chicken
- 1 large carrot , diced
- 1/2 head of broccoli , just the florets
- 1 big white onion , chopped
- 1 bell pepper , chopped
- 1/2 cup of frozen peas
- 1/2 head of cauliflower , grated (see notes)
- 1/4 cup of low-sodium soy sauce (or to taste)
Soak the brown rice in the two cups of water for an hour. Separate rice and remaining water, set both aside.
Heat water in a small pot, add 1 tablespoon of oil and the rice, stir. Simmer over medium heat until all water has evaporated, stirring regularly. Lower heat to minimum, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir and cover again. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Rice should be firm, but cooked-through (al dente).
Heat remaining oil over high heat in a 3 qt [3 lt] pot. Add chicken and brown, stirring to cook even. Add carrot and stir vigorously for half a minute. Add broccoli and stir for half a minute. Stir in onion, bell pepper and peas. Cook stirring until they are heated trough. Add rice and cook stirring until everything is mixed well. Stir in cauliflower and soy sauce to taste. Cook stirring until everything is heated through.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
Grate the cauliflower with the coarsest side of the grater till you obtain 2 1/2 cups.