Roasted Cauliflower Steaks With NOLA East Mayo

Serves 4.

Note: Inspired by chef/owner Nina Compton of Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro in New Orleans. She's originally from the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Sambal oelek is a chile sauce; a substitute is Sriracha or a Chinese chile sauce or paste. Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend; find it online and at Middle Eastern grocery stores, such as Holy Land in Minneapolis. (There are also several recipes online to create your own.) From "The Rise," by Marcus Samuelsson with Osayi Endolyn.

• 1 c. mayonnaise

• 1/4 c. minced dill pickle

• 2 tbsp. minced onion

• 1 tbsp. sambal oelek (see Note)

• 1 tsp. fish sauce

• 1/4 tsp. celery salt

• 1/4 tsp. paprika

• 1 large head cauliflower, tough outer leaves and stem removed

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• 1 tbsp. ras el hanout (see Note)

• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt


Place the mayonnaise, pickle, onion, sambal oelek, fish sauce, celery salt and paprika in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Cover and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Set the cauliflower on the counter and slice from top to bottom into 4 (1-inch-thick) steaks. Reserve any florets that remain or have fallen apart for another use.

Lay the 4 steaks on a baking sheet. Brush all sides with the olive oil and evenly sprinkle with the ras el hanout and salt. Roast 30 to 35 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with the flavored mayo.

Lagos Plantains With Yaji Dip

Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Note: Inspired by chef/owner Edouard Jordan of Salare, JuneBaby and Lucinda Grain Bar in Seattle. He's originally from St. Petersburg, Fla. From "The Rise," by Marcus Samuelsson with Osayi Endolyn.

Spice mix:

• 2 tsp. kosher salt

• 1 1/2 tsp. five-spice powder

• 1 tsp. chili powder

• 1 tsp. garlic powder

• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Yaji Dip:

• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

• 1/2 habañero chile, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped

• 2 garlic cloves, sliced

• 1/2 c. crushed peanuts

• 1 tbsp. creamy peanut butter

• 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut milk

• Juice of 1 lime


• Vegetable oil, for frying

• 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

• 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

• 2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro

• 2 yellow ripe plantains, cut 1/4-in. thick on the bias


To prepare the spice mix: Combine the salt, five-spice powder, chili powder, garlic powder and cumin in a small bowl.

To prepare the Yaji Dip: Heat the oil in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture, along with the habañero, garlic and peanuts. Cook, stirring continually, until the pepper and garlic are tender and the peanuts begin to brown slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peanut butter and coconut milk, bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Transfer to a blender, add the lime juice, and process until puréed. Set aside until ready to use.

To prepare the plantains: Add a few tablespoons oil to lightly cover the bottom of a heavy pan and warm pan over medium-high to high heat.

Place the remaining 4 teaspoons of the spice mixture in a large bowl and add the Parmesan, parsley and cilantro.

Gently add half the plantains to the oil and fry until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the seasoning mixture and toss to coat. Transfer from the bowl to a serving platter, leaving behind the remaining seasoning. Repeat with the remaining plantains and seasoning mixture. Serve with the Yaji Dip.