Saturday, October 07, 2006

Feeding the Soul and Body

This weekend is the annual lectureship for the Pollock Pines-Camino Church of Christ at its building in Camino, California. Don Truex, an evangelist who serves a church in Temple Terrace, Florida, is preaching a series of five lessons on "The Christian in a Secular Culture."

He lead this morning's first lesson with this scripture:
I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth (John 17:15-17).
In the prayer that Jesus offered to His Father on the night of His betrayal, Jesus is asking His Father to guide the Apostles through His word. He didn't ask that they be removed from the world, only that they would be protected from the crafty ways of the devil.

Christians are sanctified "in the truth," that is through the word of God. We the follow the word that instructs "us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age ... (Titus 2:12)." We are "kept from the evil one" as we jealously follow the pattern of life as sent forth in the word.

Feeding the body

After listening to two lessons from brother Truex, the congregation adjourned to one of the houses for a pot luck lunch. Since I've been batting one of those knock-down colds, I had not taken the time to prepare a dish for the meal.

The head of cauliflower that was languishing in the produce crisper made the perfect dish for the pot luck. I was able to prepare roasted cauliflower with caramelized onions in about 45 minutes to one hour as we were getting ready to attend the services.

There is no recipe for this dish. Like my recipe for roasted cauliflower with gorgonzola from vacation last July, this is one of those side dishes that came together as I cooked. It reminded me of french fried cauliflower, a dish that we often prepared in Navy galleys in the 1970s.

To get started, cut a head of cauliflower into flowerets. I like to cut the head in quarters and then slice each quarter into 1/2-inch slices. This gives you nice flat surfaces that easily brown.

Cut a large yellow onion into this slices. Set a cast iron skillet over a medium flame to pre-heat. When hot, pour a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in the oven. Cook the onion, stirring frequently, until caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to avoid burning. Remove caramelized onion to a bowl.

See my blog on Saturday morning breakfast for my thoughts on caramelizing onions.

Add more olive oil to the skillet. Add the cauliflower and watch the heat. Too much and you'll burn everything. Too little and you'll be in the kitchen all night.

With the flame adjusted properly, it'll take 5 to 10 minutes to see the cauliflower change color. At first the flowerets will turn a creamy yellow. Then as you stir and toss, the peaks will turn to a golden brown.

Be patient. This part takes time (a half-hour or more) to thoroughly brown the cauliflower. Turn the heat down a notch if it's browning too fast. Give it a small boost if nothing's happening.

What you're looking for is a rich golden brown color and nutty aroma. When brown, leave the cauliflower in the skillet. Add the reserved onions and stir. Stir in chopped fresh thyme or rosemary and chopped flat-leaf parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

If desired, top the dish with grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese. Bake in a 350-degree oven 10 minutes or until the cheese melts and just starts to brown.

You'll know the roasted cauliflower is done when the nutty aroma wafts up to you.

Enjoy ...

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