Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

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Gastronomically yours,

Cabbage Curds

The cabbage family is a diverse group of vegetables whose members include Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Cauliflower is a variety of the common cabbage that has begun to flower but stop growing at the bud stage. In the 17th century these budding growths were observed as a freak occurrence in wild cabbage, but through selective breeding these plants evolved by the 18th century into what we know them as today.
Culinary historians are uncertain in knowing the regional origins of the cauliflower. It’s modern day name comes from the Latin “caulis” meaning stalk and “floris” for flower and is believed to have been introduced to Europe by Arabs after the fall of the Roman Empire however it was referred to as Cyprus cabbage in France and opens arguments that support it’s Cypriotic origins which predates the Roman Empire.

We do know that cauliflower is a large flower-like growth that is comprised of numerous florets that grow on the ends of a maze of stalks nestled in a base of leaves. We often refer to the floret portion of cauliflower as the head as in a “head of cauliflower” but it is properly referred to as the curd.


North Americans typically discard the stems, core and leaves and eat only the florets in raw, steamed or boiled preparations. Although this may seem like a practical approach in preparing cauliflower it is wasteful as the entire plant other than its roots are edible. The stems and core have a slightly stronger taste compared to the flowers but they contain a significantly higher concentration of nutrients such as vitamin C and iron.
Cauliflower is most commonly recognized as a bright white bulbous vegetable with purple or green highlights with light green leaves, but it is also available in green or purple varieties similar to its cabbage parent plants.
When shopping for cauliflower look for tightly formed curds with small florets that are vibrant in color without spots or discoloration. The leaves should be crisp and green, and are a sure sign to tell how fresh the curd is as the leaves begin to wilt and yellow within a couple of days after they have been harvested. Store your cauliflower in the refrigerator tightly wrapped in plastic or in a sealed container for up to 5 days.


I suggest cooking the white variety with a bit of lemon juice or milk in a non-reactivate metal pot to prevent the cauliflower from discoloration during the cooking process. The green and purple varieties should be cooked without acid but be advised that the purple cauliflower will turn green when cooked. Once cooked store cauliflower in your refrigerator for up to 2 days.
I encourage you to try eating the whole curd in the following recipe which can be prepared on your barbecue or in a Dutch Oven.

Curry roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients:
One whole cauliflower

2 tbsp. melted butter

2 tbsp. Cooking oil

Juice of one lemon

1-2 tbsp. Curry in a Hurry

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

2 tbsp. chopped green onion
Method:
Trim the cauliflower curd of its leaves and cut a large X into the bottom of the stem so that its core will cook more quickly. In a large stainless steel bowl, stir together the lemon juice, curry powder and oil to format a paste. Place the curd in the bowl and evenly coat it with the seasoned oil. Next transfer the curd core side down onto a large piece of aluminum foil and wrap the foil around it so that the foil bunches up around the top of the curd. This will allow the cauliflower to cook inside the foil without dripping out any of the oil. Cook the cauliflower in a preheated oven or barbecue for 30 minutes at 400f. Let the foil cool before un-wrapping the curd. Season with salt and pepper and serve whole or cut into wedges. Yogurt makes for a great topping for this dish.

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