A vegetarian steak, prepared right, is not dismissible as a main course although culinary pundits might just tell you otherwise. Steaks are synonymous with fibrous meat cuts; what meat is to a steak is the same as what dairy products are to desserts. But come winter, the season of fresh veggies and celebratory drinking, a vegetarian main course with a dash of whisky could do justice to the main ingredient, look delectable and be an interesting break from cold cuts and barbecues.
A thick slice of garden fresh cauliflower, boiled and oven roasted until golden, topped with flavourful whisky sauce sounds just about right for a quiet weekend lunch.
First, remove the stalk and cauliflower leaves. Through the centre of the stalk, slice it in two halves. Cut two thick slices that will serve as steaks from the 2 halves and store the remaining cauliflower florets for another recipe. Wash the two steaks under running water, soak them in salted water for 15 minutes and wash them again.
Bring a pot full of water to boil. Place the steaks in boiling water and let it simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Wash them again in a bowl of cold water and pat them dry using a kitchen towel.
Preheat your oven at the highest temperature. On the side, coat your steak florets in olive oil, season them with salt and pepper and roast them for 10 minutes. Once the florets turn brown around the edges, take them off the oven.
For prepping the sauce, heat butter in a saucepan, add onions and sauté on a medium flame for 5 minutes. Switch off the flame and add whisky. The mixture will sizzle while the alcohol evaporates. Then, turn on the flame at medium heat and allow it to simmer for 4 minutes. Add the stock and simmer for another 3 minutes. Add the cream and continue the process for another 5 minutes. Once the sauce turns thick, season it with pepper and a pinch of salt. Taste and add seasoning that suit your preference.
Place the roasted cauliflower on a plate, top it with the whisky sauce and cherry tomatoes, and add a salad dressing on the side.
Rusty Nail is known to be one of the most popular Scotch Cocktails of all time.
Early nights, cool temperatures with stews and roasts-- all spell autumn.