paris trip and scout 1-2-2012 002Apparently, the dog is stoic.

That’s what our vet says. Our beagle has a raging ear infection that’s at least three weeks old. I had no idea until late yesterday and only because she quietly yelped when I touched her.

A trip to the vet’s took over an hour, and the men of the house were ravenous when I got home.

“When are we going to eat?” the little one demanded. “Could we just order pizza?”

I don’t know. And no. Pizza is much too common in our kitchen these days.

Still, the dinner I’d contemplated earlier seemed too ambitious — both time- and effort-wise. We needed something filling, hearty and healthy in a matter of minutes.

That’s how this was born:

cauliflower grits

Cauliflower “grits” with quick-roasted shrimp and a tossed green salad.

cauliflowerI’m fascinated with cauliflower’s diversity. Grated raw, it mimics couscous. Roasted and pureed, it turns velveteen. Cut into thick slices and grilled, it could stand in for steak.

Boiled then processed with cheese, Worcestershire, hot sauce and garlic, it’s a (healthier, lighter) shoo-in for cheese grits.

Less than 20 minutes after stumbling in the house and administering ear medication, we sat down to dinner.

Stoic dog at our feet.

Cauliflower Cheese Grits

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot)

Put the cauliflower and garlic cloves in a large pot. Cover with water, salt well and boil until tender.

Drain the veggies, reserving about a half cup of the cooking liquid.

In the bowl of a food processor, place the hot cauliflower and garlic, the cheese, the thyme, the Worcestershire and the hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper, then process until smooth, adding the reserved cooking liquid to lighten to the texture you want. Taste and add more hot sauce and Worcestershire if needed.