Tag Archives: Cauliflower

Super Bowl Recipe Countdown (Day 5)

1 Feb

chocolate chiliChocolate Chili with Cauliflower Popcorn
From Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes For Teen Chefs (Bloomsbury, 2009)

This delicious vegetarian chili is made dark and mysterious with a touch of semisweet chocolate and cinnamon. Chocolate and cinnamon are used together in several Mexican dishes. Small roasted florets of white cauliflower turn a simple idea into something that looks really dramatic.

½ pound dried black beans
2 large garlic cloves
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 large cauliflower
¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley

1. Put the beans in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander.

2. Peel the garlic and finely chop. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 4-quart pot. Add the garlic and onions and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes until soft. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and 1teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes, drained beans, cinnamon, and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 1½ hours, stirring often. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes until thick.

3. About 40 minutes before serving, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into ½-inch florets. Put in a bowl and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt to taste. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes until golden. Shake the pan often during baking to prevent sticking. Remove from the oven. Ladle chili into bowls and top with “popcorn” and herbs.

Cauliflower Vichyssoise with Chive Flowers

27 May

The chive flowers are blooming once again which means it’s time to make my one of my favorite warm-weather soups:  Cauliflower Vichyssoise with Chive Flowers (and parsley oil). You may be astounded to know that the beautiful soup in the photo below is made with only six ingredients.  Four for the soup; two for the parsley oil. This soup is classically made from potatoes and leeks, both the chive leaves (straws) are used and the edible flowers pulled apart.  It is a dish of many virtues and healthy as can be.

I saw some lovely crimson rhubarb at the market, too.  Look here tomorrow for radically simple ways to prepare it. Have a meaningful Memorial Day.

 

Cauliflower Vichyssoise with Chive Flowers (adapted from Radically Simple)
This more healthful riff on classic vichyssoise is still luxuriously suave.  For a stunning presentation, blanch a bunch of parsley and puree in a blender with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup water and salt; add a swirl to each serving to dance on the white velvet background.

2-1/2 pound cauliflower, or 1-3/4 pounds florets
2 large leeks
1 cup light cream
1 bunch chives with chive flowers

Break the cauliflower into small pieces and put in a 4-quart pot.  Add 5 cups water (water will not cover the cauliflower) and 2 teaspoons salt.  Chop the white parts of the leeks to get 1-1/2 cups.  Wash well; add to the pot.  Bring to a rapid boil; reduce the heat to medium.  Cover and cook until the vegetables are very soft, about 24 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes.  In 2 batches, puree in a food processor until ultra smooth, adding 1/2 cup cream to each batch.  Transfer to a bowl; add salt and pepper.  Cover; refrigerate until very cold.  Add water or additional cream if too thick.  Garnish with chopped chives and flowers, and optional parsley oil.  Serves 6

 

A Radically Joyous Hanukkah

1 Dec

NEWEdible.Latke.hiresThis year Hanukkah is going to be a little different.  First of all I’m going to be a judge at a big deal latke competition with other Brooklyn foodies at BAM on December 10th.  I was honored to be asked by Liz Neumark, creator and impresario of Great Performances and owner of Katchkie Farms and Sylvia Center.  Everything she touches is magical and meaningful. I’m thrilled to be joining Leonard Lopate, Gabriella Gershenson from Saveur, and Lee Schrager from the New York Wine and Food Festival. We will be sampling 17 different kinds of latkes and you can join me!  Just reserve your spot by clicking here.  Even though I’m not a maven, Hanukkah has always been special.  My family was once featured in a cover story in Gourmet Magazine about my three-ingredient Hanukkah celebration at home.  This month, I have written a story about Hanukkah in my Cooking Light column called Radically Simple.  You can check out the recipes below.  And on December 14th, along with the true food maven Arthur Schwartz, I will be a judge at an applesauce! tasting at Park Slope’s very cool synagogue Congregation Beth Elohim.  As most of you know, Hanukkah is a holiday filled with illuminating rituals:  Eight nights of candle-lighting and gifts, and foods fried in olive oil!   The former refers to the miracle that happened during the rededication of The Temple in Jerusalem in 165 BC, when a tiny bit of oil, enough to last only one night, lasted eight. The latter are edible expressions of the miracle:  Crispy potato pancakes, known as latkes, and jelly doughnuts (known as sufganiyot), traditionally top the list.  But this year, a few new dishes will grace our table at home: nuggets of cauliflower fried in olive oil and served with tahini & pomegranate seeds, and radically simple latkes made with three root vegetables.

Every household prepares latkes differently but grating a little of one’s knuckle into the mixture is often a reality!  Once upon a time, latkes were made from potatoes only but this year, ours include sweet potatoes and parsnips, and a bit of exotic perfume provided by ground cumin.  Another twist?   Instead of ubiquitous applesauce as an accompaniment, I serve these crispy latkes with a dazzling beet puree meant for dipping or drizzling.

For dessert, there is no simpler offering than fleshy dried Calimyrna figs and Medjool dates served…frozen!  They taste like candy and are a delicious with morsels of bittersweet chocolate or gold-foiled Hanukkah gelt, to be eaten one-by-one. Come to the latke tasting!  Try my latke recipes in Cooking Light!  And enjoy.

Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

Crispy Root Vegetable Latkes with Beet Puree
Get the latkes going first, and while they cook, puree the sauce.

2 cups grated peeled sweet potato
2 cups grated peeled baking potato
1 cup grated peeling parsnip
3 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 large eggs
1 cup grated onion
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon chopped dill (optional)
1 cup chopped, peeled apple
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (8-ounce) package precooked red beets, drained

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. Place first 3 ingredients on paper towels; squeeze until barely moist. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, eggs, and onion in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Add potato mixture; beat with a mixer at low speed until combined.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil; swirl. Heap 3 tablespoons potato mixture into pan to form a patty; flatten slightly. Repeat procedure 5 times to form 6 patties. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place latkes on a baking sheet; keep warm in oven. Repeat procedure twice with remaining oil and potato mixture to yield 18 latkes total. Sprinkle latkes with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Garnish with dill, if desired.

4. Combine apple and remaining ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Serve with latkes. Serves 6

Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

Fried Cauliflower with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds
Cilantro gives this a bright, zippy taste and lovely color; the leaves are especially festive when strewn with pomegranate arils over the cauliflower. Serve with hot sauce and cut lemons, if you wish.

1/3 cup cilantro leaves, packed
1/3 cup tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 large head)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup pomegranate arils

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Add 6 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture is the consistency of a creamy salad dressing. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt; pulse to combine.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add cauliflower; cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Place cauliflower on a jelly-roll pan lined with foil. Roast cauliflower at 375° for 18 minutes or until tender, turning once. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add pomegranate arils; toss to combine. Serve with tahini mixture. Serves 6

Chive Flowers

23 May

Running into Chive Flowers at the Park Slope farmer’s market last Saturday was like greeting a long-awaited friend. Every year in late May, I expect to see her spiky lavender hat atop her long spindly green stem, waving to me in the gentle breeze.  At that moment, for I am never sure exactly when she will arrive, I smile inside and sometimes outside, too. I buy a big bunch of chive flowers in anticipation of one of my favorite warm-weather soups:  Cauliflower Vichyssoise with Chive Flowers (and parsley oil).  Yet despite the lack of warmth, or sun, I still run to the store to buy a large cauliflower, vibrant flat-leaf parsley, leeks and light cream, to make a radically simple soup for supper. You may be astounded to know that the beautiful soup in the photo below is made with only six ingredients.  Four for the soup; two for the parsley oil.  This is the supreme example of what radical simplicity in cooking means:  “When things taste of themselves,” said the great French gastronome Curnonsky.  It is the philosophy that underscores each dish in Radically Simple — and all in 140 words or less.

Chives are the only species of allium native to both the New and the Old World.  Its name comes from the French word cive, from cepa, the Latin word for onion.  I’m smiling now, too, thinking of how once upon a time, a baked potato with sour cream and chives was the height of sophistication for me as a child.   Having recently seen the remarkable Werner Herzog film, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, about cave paintings dating back 32,000 years in France, makes the 5,000 year old use of chives seem rather modern.  Nonetheless, they have been deployed as both food and medicine since then.   You will find much chatter and many good ideas for cooking with chives and chive flowers at seriouseats.com.  In the following soup, which is classically made from potatoes and leeks, both the chive leaves (straws) are used and the edible flowers pulled apart.  It is a dish of many virtues and healthy as can be.

Photo Credit: Quentin Bacon

Cauliflower Vichyssoise with Chive Flowers (adapted from Radically Simple)
This more healthful riff on classic vichyssoise is still luxuriously suave.  For a stunning presentation, blanch a bunch of parsley and puree in a blender with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup water and salt; add a swirl to each serving to dance on the white velvet background.

2-1/2 pound cauliflower, or 1-3/4 pounds florets
2 large leeks
1 cup light cream
1 bunch chives with chive flowers

Break the cauliflower into small pieces and put in a 4-quart pot.  Add 5 cups water (water will not cover the cauliflower) and 2 teaspoons salt.  Chop the white parts of the leeks to get 1-1/2 cups.  Wash well; add to the pot.  Bring to a rapid boil; reduce the heat to medium.  Cover and cook until the vegetables are very soft, about 24 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes.  In 2 batches, puree in a food processor until ultra smooth, adding 1/2 cup cream to each batch.  Transfer to a bowl; add salt and pepper.  Cover; refrigerate until very cold.  Add water or additional cream if too thick.  Garnish with chopped chives and flowers, and optional parsley oil.  Serves 6

A Kugel for Passover and Easter

1 Apr

With Passover and Easter just around the corner, here is an exciting side dish that fulfills the requirements for both celebrations.  I developed this cauliflower-leek kugel with its vibrant almond-herb crust for Bon Appetit when I was writing the “Entertaining Made Easy” column.  While kugels are typically “Jewish,” and most often connote “sweet,” this kugel is savory and, according to the editors at Bon App, tastes remarkably like artichokes!   You can find the slightly-altered recipe on Epicurious, but the recipe below is the original, where the almonds are more finely chopped and the filling more compact.  Part pudding/souffle in texture, it is a perfect offering for Passover as the dish is parve, with no dairy or any leavening in it.  The cauliflower “mash” is thickened with matzoh meal.  It is also perfect for Easter as the flavor screams “Spring” with its fresh burst of dill and parsley.  It is a wonderful accompaniment to roast lamb and equally delicious nestled up to pot roast or a golden roast capon.   It also fulfills the “entertaining made easy” requirement as it can be easily prepped and assembled and baked up to two days before serving.  I am imagining it now, on my palate, with rosy slices of garlicky-minted lamb and a puree of carrots flecked with fresh lemon thyme for Easter.  For Passover, I am licking my lips as I think about my slightly sweet-and-sour pot roast made with sticky dates.  Either way, try it.  You’ll like it.

Cauliflower-Leek Kugel with Almond-Herb Crust

1 large head cauliflower, about 2 ¼ pounds or 1 ½ pounds florets
4 large leeks, about 1 ½ pounds
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 extra large eggs, beaten
5 tablespoons matzoh meal
½ teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic
1/3 cup whole shelled almonds with skins
½ cup packed flat parsley leaves
½ cup packed dill fronds

Wash cauliflower. If using whole head, trim leaves and cut into florets.  Cook, covered, in a large pot with ¾ cup water until tender, but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Toss periodically and if necessary, add small amount of water.

Trim dark green leaves from leeks.  Cut remaining leeks down their lengths into quarters.  Then cut across the leeks into ¼”-1/2” pieces. Wash thoroughly.  Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet and add leeks with their moisture still clinging.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring, for five minutes, then lower heat and let cook slowly until soft and slightly brown, about 20 minutes.  Stir often.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Drain cauliflower and put in large bowl.  Mash with fork into coarse pieces.  Do not make mushy.  Toss well with leeks, beaten eggs, matzoh meal, salt and freshly ground black pepper.   Pour into 8 ½” soufflé dish.

Put garlic and almonds in a food processor: pulse frequently until finely chopped  and place in a medium bowl. Put parsley and dill into food processor and process until finely chopped; do not overprocess into a puree.  Add to almonds and toss with 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon water.   Distribute herb mixture over cauliflower then gently press down to flatten.  Bake 50 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.  Cut into wedges or spoon from soufflé dish.  Serves 8

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