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Sandy Cauliflower and Cheese

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

This is a roasted cauliflower recipe that also includes dry breadcrumbs and cheese. I have tried a couple of roasted cauliflower recipes lately that used a thin batter and a buffalo sauce. They were okay, but the batter reminded me of PlayDoh…it cooked, but didn’t brown and it just tasted salty. I thought a breadcrumb recipe would be better, but not a standard au gratin recipe with a crumb topping. I wanted to toss the cauliflower in the crumbs. But I feared the crumbs would burn if I tossed them at the start, so I came up with the following recipe. Enjoy!

Sandy Cauliflower and Cheese

Cauliflower tossed with olive oil and garlic

Cauliflower tossed with olive oil and garlic

1 head Cauliflower

2 T. Olive Oil

2 cloves Fresh Garlic

1 t. Kosher Salt

1 cup Dried Bread Crumbs

4 T. Butter

4 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. Wash and break down cauliflower into medium florets. Spin dry in a salad spinner or dry on paper towels. Toss with olive oil. Finely chop garlic or pass garlic through a press. Toss garlic and salt with cauliflower and olive oil. Roast cauliflower on a sheet pan for 20 minutes or until starting to brown on the edges.

Cauliflower with olive oil and garlic after 20 minutes in the oven

Cauliflower with olive oil and garlic after 20 minutes in the oven

While the cauliflower is roasting, melt butter in a 8″ non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and toss until the butter is distributed. Continue to toss occasionally until breadcrumbs are evenly toasted, about 10 minutes. Remove breadcrumbs from heat and set aside.

Browned bread crumbs

Browned bread crumbs

Add crumbs to melted butter

Add crumbs to melted butter

When the cauliflower comes out of the oven, put the florets in a large mixing bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Toss to coat evenly.

Toss with bread crumbs and transferred to baking dish

Toss with bread crumbs and transferred to baking dish

Transfer the cauliflower to a baking dish and return to the oven for 10 more minutes.  Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the cauliflower and return to oven another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Don’t add too much cheese. Serve hot and enjoy!

Not too heavy on the cheese!

Not too heavy on the cheese!

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Salted Baked Potatoes and Roasted Cabbage Steaks

How about some salt-baked Yukon Gold Potatoes and some Garlic-Rubbed Cabbage Steaks and maybe some soup?

How about some salt-baked Yukon Gold Potatoes and some Garlic-Rubbed Cabbage Steaks and maybe some soup?

I call this my “Nouveau Irish” combo! You can find the recipe for the Cabbage Steaks on Pinterest…basically it’s 425 degrees for 25 minutes per side. Cut them so that the root holds it all together. Brush both sides with olive oil and garlic that has been run through a garlic press or minced fine. For the potatoes, I can’t remember where I heard about coating them in salt. I’ve been doing it for ever for baked potatoes. I use kosher salt these days, but regular salt works fine. Wash your potatoes and, while still wet, pour a couple of tablespoons of salt in your hand. Roll a potato in your hand until coated. (I know, you waste some salt. So, don’t use your fancy fleur de sel or pink Himalayan salt.) Basic salt is pretty cheap. Repeat with all potatoes. If you are doing large bakers, you can bake at 450 degrees for an hour. If you are doing the cabbage combo, use smaller potatoes, like Yukon Gold or Redskin and heat your oven to 425 degrees. The 50 minutes for the cabbage works out for the potatoes, too.

Salt-Baked Yukon Gold Potatoes and Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Salt-baked Yukon Gold potatoes and Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Steaks

While you can eat the skins of the traditional bakers (usually Russet) and the salt-roasting makes them better, the smaller ones are REALLY good! I like the cabbage “as is”, but you can drizzle with a little Balsamic vinegar or pepper vinegar. Serve the potatoes with butter and sour cream or your favorite baked potato toppings. (I like salsa on them in the Summer!) If you are a meateater, some corned beef would complete the combo nicely. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Soup with Cumin and Ginger

Soup and grilled cheese...perfect comfort meal on a chilly Autumn evening!

Soup and grilled cheese…perfect comfort meal on a chilly Autumn evening! Pumpkin on the left and Tomato on the right.

So, I just made a few quarts of pumpkin puree (see previous post). I guess I need to do something with some of it before I prepare the rest for storage! It’s raining and chilly outside and it’s the first of November. How about a nice soup and a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner? Enjoy!

Pumpkin Soup with Cumin and Ginger

Ingredients:

1 t. Olive Oil, extra virgin

IMAG1618

Some of the ingredients….

1/2 t. White Pepper

1-1/2 t. Cumin Powder

2 Garlic Cloves

½ c. Onion, chopped

1/3 c. Celery, chopped

¼ c. White Wine

2 c. Vegetable Stock

2 c. Pumpkin Puree

1 T. Honey

Pinch of Kosher Salt, to taste

½ c. Half’n’Half

Sour Cream for Garnish

Directions:

Sauté onions, celery and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes to soften. Add spices and continue until fragrant, about a minute. Add stock and wine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Soup base.

Soup base.

Puree soup base, carefully, with an immersion blender or in a regular blender, with the center of the blender lid removed and a folded kitchen towel to cover the hole.

Pureed soup.

Pureed soup.

This prevents pressure build up and painful burns! Add pumpkin puree and honey to the soup base. Season with salt. Bring back to simmer. Just before serving, add half’n’half. Garnish with a small dollop of sour cream on top of the soup.

Soup with a dollop of sour cream. Dollop...fun word...dollop. Heh.

Soup with a dollop of sour cream. Dollop…fun word…dollop. Heh.

Pass additional sour cream separately. Offer croutons, if you like. (I tried some roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish, but they got tough and chewy in the soup. They would be good on the side, though!) Serve with a grilled cheese sandwich and you have a bone-warming autumn meal! Enjoy!

Note: Leave out the Half’n’Half and sour cream (and use vegan substitutes, if you like) and go salad instead of grilled cheese and you have a nice vegan meal.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Did you save those pumpkin seeds when you gutted that Jack O’Lantern? I hate throwing them away, but I don’t like shelling them either. I’ve tried roasting them in the past and eating them shell and all. While I’m sure that’s a great fiber source, the roughage was just too rough for me. Then I decided to boil the seeds for ten minutes first, with about an 1/8 cup of kosher or pickling salt and enough water to float them by about an inch…maybe 1-1/2 to 2 cups? This infuses the salt into the seeds and softens the shell.

Cleaned pumpkin seeds from one pumpkin, in a sauce pan.

Cleaned pumpkin seeds from one pumpkin, in a sauce pan.

Drain, rinse and spread them on a couple of paper towels to dry (they will not dry completely). Put the pumpkin seeds in a mixing bowl, add a teaspoon of olive oil and add a pinch each of chili powder and cinnamon. The seeds will feel kind of slimy; that’s okay.

Pumpkin seeds boiled in heaviky salted water and drained.

Pumpkin seeds boiled in heaviky salted water and drained.

Spread the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet

Seasoned and spread out to roast.

Seasoned and spread out to roast.

and roast them at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, remove from oven, stir and scatter back to single layer. Roast for 5 more minutes, until toasty! Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. (They may make a crackly sound as they cool down…awesome!) Store in an airtight container.

Roasted pumpkin seeds...and the donor.

Roasted pumpkin seeds…and the donor.

Note: you can vary the spices to suit your tastes…sweeter (pumpkin pie spices), spicier (cayenne) or more savory (no cinnamon, add cumin). Be creative and enjoy!

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