The Autumn Table 2016,
Sous Chef at FIG
What Braydon loves most about cooking:
“Cooking at the restaurant: I like the teamwork, the comradery, the discipline, the humility. I love to work and the process of it. Everyone has to work together and help each other, its like being part of a professional sports team, I love the discipline. At FIG Chef Lata and Chef Stanhope have created a unique culture within the kitchen that I’ve never seen anything like before, I’m feel proud and very humble to be part of it.”
What Braydon enjoys most about Thanksgiving:
“Its one of the few days I get to see my entire family in 1 place, we all get to be together and its very special.”
Cauliflower & Golden Raisin Gratin
Serving Size: 8 people
1 Large Head of Cauliflower
1 Yellow Onion: Small Diced
1 Leek: Sliced
1 Head of Garlic: peeled and chopped
1 Bunch thyme: Picked
1 C Golden Raisins
4 C Half and Half
2 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs Chili Flake
Begin by gathering all of your ingredients so you have everything ready and at hand. Cut away the florets on the cauliflower saving any of the trimmings that fall on to your cutting board. Put these aside in a bowl along with the core. You should have about 8 cups of florets. The more the merrier.
Meanwhile… bring a pot of water to a boil and season it like the ocean would taste. Add a splash of vinegar to the water. This will help keep the cauliflower white. Blanch the florets for around 2 minutes until they seem like they are half way cooked. They should still have some integrity. Remove from the water and put directly into an ice bath. This process helps with the seasoning and the color of the florets. Once the florets are cold, remove them from the water and set them on a sheet tray lined with a paper towel to dry. At this point , feel free to do a quick 5 minute clean of your station. You can get rid of the blanch pot as you won’t need it anymore.
In a smaller pot add 1 Tbs of butter and let it melt. Small dice the yellow onion and add it to the butter. Cook the onions until they are translucent. While the onions are cooking, give all the cauliflower trimmings a rough chop and add those to the cooking onions. Cook together for a few minutes and cover with the half and half. Bring this mixture to a bubble and simmer for a few minutes until everything is tender. Season with salt and set aside to cool. Once the mixture is cool, purée until silky smooth in a blender. Check the seasoning. It should taste like a well seasoned soup. Set aside. This will be your cauliflower purée.
In a small le Creuset Dutch Oven pot use the remaining Tbs of butter to sweat the leeks and garlic. Once tender add the picked thyme and chili flake. Stir around for a few seconds to activate the herbs. Add the golden raisins to the mix. This will help soften them up. Add the florets to the pot and stir around to combine all the ingredients. Season with salt. At this point remove the Le Creuset pot from the stove, press down on the florets with a spoon to help even the gratin out. Pour the cauliflower purée over the top. It should cover everything by at least half. Sprinkle the top of the gratin with breadcrumbs.
Bake at 400 until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the gratin is bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow as long as possible to cool. This will help with the shape of the gratin. When ready to serve, grate some fresh Parmesan over the top and enjoy!!!