Chorizo casserole with cauliflower crust

January 18, 2021
0 Ratings
Photo by Brian Coppola
  • Prep time 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

One of the challenges with cauliflower crusts is the moisture content. You can end up with a sort of packed mashed potato that does not hang together. This is a thrice-baked cheese and cauliflower crust that was then filled. It really worked well, and after all that baking, ended up with a quite nice nutty and sweet undertone that added a lot of the overall dish. The filling was not particularly remarkable. I had some chorizo around that I did not put into a chili, so I wanted to use it up. Add onion, peppers, beans and tomato paste, top with cheese. —Brian Coppola

What You'll Need
  • cauliflower crust
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 small eggs
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • filling
  • 2 large Vidalia onions, chopped
  • 3 bell peppers (red/yellow/orange)
  • 1 pound chorizo
  • 15 ounces low salt black beans, drained
  • 4 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets, place in the food processer and process into slightly-larger-than-rice size (do not over-process). Heat into thirds in a large, dry skillet (medium heat) to dry out the cauliflower. It should be loose, barely browned (if at all), and not sizzling in the pan. Remove to a paper towel and top with a paper towel, press to further dry out the cauliflower, and transfer to a bowl. There are about 3 cups of cooked cauliflower.
  2. Into the bowl add parmesan cheese, onion and garlic powder, white pepper and oregano. Mix. Combine the eggs and mix well. It will not form a dough, but it will more or less hang together. Dump onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and shape into a 10-inch square, with your hands, about ¼ in high (for use with 9x9 baking dish). Keep the edges as thick as the interior so that the edges do not overcook.
  3. Bake in a 400F oven for 20 minutes. The surface should be mottled and golden but not dark brown. Remove from the oven. Lift the parchment onto a cooling rack. After about 5 minutes, transfer the crust to the rack (I put the parchment onto a cutting board, invert the rack over the crust, and flip them over). Let the crust cool.
  4. While working on the cauliflower.... Lightly caramelize the onions over medium heat. About ¾ way through, add the peppers. Total time about 30-40 minutes. Go low and slow. Reserve the peppers and onions. Add oil to the pan and brown the chorizo. Add the fennel, rosemary, and thyme. Add the peppers and onions, then the beans. Mix well. Combine the tomato sauce and mix well over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Then turn off the heat.
  5. At this point, you can move ahead of wait to assemble, later.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400F. Make 4 2-inch cuts at the 4 corners, so that the crust will fold into the dish. Reheat the crust for 10 minutes on a rack (on a pan). Remove and place into the 9x9 inch baking dish and continue heating for another 10 minutes. Remove.
  7. Lower the heat to 350F. Spoon the filling into the shell. Heat at 350 for 30 minutes.
  8. Top with 3 cups of Mexican cheese. Cook covered for 15 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes.

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