Antoni On How To Make Anti-Inflammatory Dinners & Desserts Taste Like Heaven
Any fan of Queer Eye can attest that the Netflix show is the pure and unadulterated joy the world needs more of right now. It's this sense of goodness and comfort that Queer Eye's food and wine expert, Antoni Porowski, infuses into his cooking.
Porowski's food philosophy is all about balance: He loves avocados but has a weak spot for cheese. His fast-casual restaurant in NYC, The Village Den, has a menu that's straight out of a wellness lover's dream, stocked with bowls and smoothies with add-ons like CBD oil, bee pollen, collagen, and keto powder, but his new cookbook, Antoni in the Kitchen, is decidedly heavy-handed on the butter and cream—an ode to his Polish roots.
When we caught up with Porowski at a recent event in Manhattan, where he'd partnered with Country Crock spread to put on a cooking demo, he said that in his own life, he eats clean on weekdays and treats weekends as an invitation to loosen the reins.
As for how he makes a weekday meal feel a little more like a weekend one, it's all about keeping a few flavorful ingredients on hand.
When he's preparing vegan treats, for example, he'll start by making easy swaps like substituting traditional butter with Country Crock's new plant butters, made from a combo of oils. Porowski likes the avocado-oil-based butter for its neutral flavor and high smoke point, and the almond oil one for a bit more sweetness. From there, he'll up the crave factor by throwing in some combination of lemon zest (invest in a microplane, people!), ginger, and vanilla. ("Buy the pure kind," he cautions. "You won't use a lot of it, and it changes the flavor of everything.")
Finally, Porowski likes to finish off desserts and dinners with turmeric to give them an anti-inflammatory punch. We snagged a recipe from his new cookbook that shows how to use the superstar ingredient to take your veggies to the next level too.
Cauliflower Steaks With Turmeric & Crunchy Almonds
Serves 2 or 3
For the cauliflower:
- 1 large head cauliflower (about 1½ pounds)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large Medjool dates, pitted and thinly sliced lengthwise
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons roasted salted almonds, preferably Marcona
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped tender fresh cilantro stems
- 2 tablespoons gochujang or Sriracha (Gochujang, Korean chile paste, is available at Korean markets, many large supermarkets, and online.)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 large lime)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Heat the oven to 425°F, with a rack in the middle.
- Remove and reserve any green leaves from the cauliflower, then trim and discard the rough part of the stem. Cut the cauliflower lengthwise into two or three ¾-inch-thick steak-like slices. The rest will fall apart, but that's OK—it will still taste great.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, turmeric, and salt. Arrange the cauliflower steaks and pieces, along with any leaves, on a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil mixture, and gently turn the cauliflower with your fingers to coat. Roast until golden and tender but not at all mushy, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a jar with a lid or in a medium bowl, vigorously shake or whisk together all of the ingredients.
- Arrange the roasted cauliflower on a platter, and drizzle with the dressing. Top with the dates, cilantro leaves, and almonds. Serve hot.
Cauliflower Steaks With Turmeric & Crunchy Almonds is excerpted from Antoni in the Kitchen © 2019 by Antoni Porowski. Photography © 2019 by Paul Brissman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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