Yotam Ottolenghi’s Cauliflower Cake

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Since its release in 2014, one recipe from Ottelenghi’s Plenty More has been receiving an awful lot of attention – cauliflower cake. It’s one of the first recipes I bookmarked as well, and it only took me about 18 months to get around to making it. Sadly, for me, that’s not too long.

I was so intrigued by this recipe, mostly because here in the U.S. anything with “cake” in it is expected to be sweet and is reserved to dessert or the occasional breakfast. This cake, however, adorned with beautiful purple onion rings, clearly this  was a different story. This brave  cake was not going the route of cowardly zucchini bread where the cook takes care to hide vegetable’s flavor beneath layers of sugar, spice, and butter.  Continue reading

the original chopped salad

gladly original chopped salad 0586Here in Phoenix we have a restaurant called The Gladly. And at The Gladly they serve an amazing chopped salad. Like, beyond amazing. So amazing, in fact, that some refer to it as our “State Salad” as though that’s a thing. It even has its own Facebook page.  Continue reading

thursday things – bad luck and potato salad

esplanade

My favorite time of year is here – IT’S FALL IT’S FALL IT’S FALL! Although I don’t get to enjoy the smell of crisp fall mornings nor enjoy watching the leafs change colors, I do get a reprieve from triple digit temperatures.  I don’t think we hit 100 at all this week and I’m feeling super pumped about it.

My plan this week, guys, was to get back into the swing of things. I had a plan to make all the things, photograph those things, and then tell you all about those things. I made it 2/3 of the way through that plan. I made all the things, I photographed those things, and then I promptly lost my camera’s SD card, and therefore all the pictures of the things I had made, and then I cried a thousand tears of sadness. (Not really, but I was medium annoyed).

I had put the card in my pocket for safe-keeping and apparently was unaware that there was a black hole in my pocket that was hungry for SD cards. I retraced my steps over and over and over again looking for my poor little card but alas there was no card to be found.

Fear not, I have ordered a new SD card for the camera which, with any luck, should arrive in time for this weekend and for new cooking adventures. Which MEANS, there is a chance I can get back on the blog-wagon by next week.

*Fingers-crossed**Knock on wood**Whatever-else-you-do-to-create-good-luck*

So, instead of all the pumpkin things I made last weekend, you get this. Which is a potato salad that I made for a BBQ at my father in law’s house. I snapped a quick picture on my iPhone before we left the house so I decided I would share it with you because something is better than nothing, right? :)

potato salad

 

easy potato salad

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds redskin potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Chicken stock (or vegetable stock, or water); enough to cover the potatoes by at least 1 inch
  • 1 Tablespoon of salt
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 4 slices bacon, finely diced
  • 3 Tablespoons (ish) fresh-snipped chives, reserve some for decoration
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons yellow or stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon smoked paprika*
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions

    Prepare the potatoes:
  1. Dice potatoes and put into a large pot. Cover with water or stock by 1-inch and add tablespoon of salt.
  2. Bring pot of potatoes to a boil over high heat and cook until potatoes are slightly tender but still firm. (You should be able to easily pierce them with a fork but you don't want them to fall apart when you do so).
  3. Strain potatoes and set aside to cool slightly. Taste one piece of potato so that you know how much salt you will need to add to the dressing.
  4. Make the dressing:
  5. In a large bowl mix mayo, sour cream, mustard, paprika, garlic powder, and a generous helping of salt and pepper. A dash of hot sauce or chipotle is good here too, if you're into that sort of thing. It's not against the rules to try a taste of the dressing before you toss the potatoes in to make sure that the flavor is balanced. Keep in mind you want it to taste a bit "strong" plain since the potatoes will absorb and mute the flavor a bit.
  6. Combine:
  7. Throw the potatoes into the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Add the shallot, celery, bacon, and chives and continue tossing to combine. If necessary, add another tablespoon or two of mayo or sour cream.*
  8. Once your salad is tossed to your liking, place in the fridge uncovered until chilled (to avoid that pesky condensation). Once chilled, cover tightly with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Potato can be made (and is usually better made) one day ahead.
  9. Sprinkle with extra chives and paprika just before serving to make it look pretty.

Notes

*I like my potato salad to have a bit more "kick" so I tend to be a little heavy-handed with my spices. If you're afraid of smoked paprika, start with the smaller 1 teaspoon amount. If not, go for the larger amount.

*I tend to like my potato salad to be very lightly-dressed, others prefer theirs to be loaded with mayo. If you prefer the latter, feel free to add more mayo and/or sour cream to your dressing, you'll get no judgment from me!

http://wee-eats.com/2014/10/02/thursday-things-bad-luck-and-potato-salad/

creamy cauliflower soup (without cream!)

cauliflower-soup 1

Apologies as I’ve been MIA lately. You see, I’m in a bit of a predicament as I’m on an “elimination diet” of sorts. (You may have heard of it, it’s called the Whole 30, or as my fiance is referring to it, “The worst 30 days of his life”) What that means is that I can’t eat like 98% of the things I would normally be eating (cake, cookies, bread, dairy, peanut butter). Instead, my life is filled to the top with fruits, veggies, and protein. So much protein.

I think I even got a case of the meat sweats last night…

So how do you make your life feel normal when you’re on a diet that cuts out most “normal” food? Well, this soup is a good start.

This soup is so good, in fact, that the fiance ate it for like 4 days straight without a single complaint. He has even asked if we could have it again, even though I’m pretty sure that if he even sees one more piece of cauliflower in the kitchen my life may be in peril. Did you have any idea how versatile cauliflower was? I didn’t.

I know what you’re wondering – Can you really get all the luxury of creamy cauliflower soup without any cream?

In short, yes.

cauliflower soup 2

In long, basically there is something about the very low insoluble fiber content of cauliflower  [ insert science here ] that makes it the perfect vegetable for blending into a rich, creamy oblivion. America’s Test Kitchen (where I got the recipe from) does a much better job of explaining it.

Basically, what that means is that you can get that perfect, satisfyingly rich, velvety mouth-feel with zero cream.

Not even a drop.

So even though you feel like you’re enjoying a rich, indulgent soup, you’re actually just enjoying some good-for-you veggies! (Sh, don’t tell anyone!). And although the soup looks really thick and heavy, it doesn’t feel heavy in your belly – Think of it like a creamy potato-leek soup minus the brick that usually ends up in your belly when you finish eating it. So go ahead and have a second bowl!

creamless cauliflower soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 5 servings

Serving Size: ~1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cauliflower florets (1 head)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (clarified butter, if you're on Whole 30, or even olive oil would probably do.)
  • 1 leek
  • 1 medium onion (between 1/2 to 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (plus more to taste)
  • 4 to 5 cups water

Instructions

  1. Trim leaves and stem from cauliflower, removing the core. Thinly slice the core of the cauliflower and cut the cauliflower head into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add leek, onion, and salt to the pan with the melted butter. Saute until leek and onion are soft but not browned (about 5 to 7 minutes).
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and add half of the cauliflower, along with the sliced core, and enough water to cover (about 4 to 5 cups). Bring water to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook at a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, add remaining cauliflower and return soup to a simmer. Continue cooking another 15 to 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender.
  5. When cauliflower is ready, remove the pan from the heat and puree the cauliflower with an immersion blender until smooth.* If desired, add more water to thin the soup. The soup should have a thick texture but be thin enough to settle to a flat surface after being stirred, but should not be thin or runny (maybe slightly thinner than cupcake batter).
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning adding more salt and/or pepper if needed.

Notes

* If you don't have an immersion blender, you can process the soup in a regular blender (in batches if needed). Remember to remove the middle plug (can cover with a towel) to allow steam to escape while processing. Return soup to the pan after processing and add water if necessary to adjust the consistency.

* I topped my soup with bits of roasted cauliflower and some chives to make it look pretty, but you really don't need to add a single thing because it's delicious on its own.

Source America's Test Kitchen

http://wee-eats.com/2014/06/12/creamy-cauliflower-soup-without-cream/

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roasted chickpea blt salad with pesto parmesan dressing

chopped salad 1

We’ve finally reached triple digits here and today they even graced us with the courtesy of an “excessive heat warning” as of 10:00 AM. This warning is technically scheduled until 8:00 PM tonight, but we know better than that. This warning will be renewed daily probably until the middle of September. Yay.

Try as I might, I have not been able to successfully devise a way for FH and I to find an alternate summer residence, where we could work remotely from somewhere that does not feel like the surface of the sun.

Until such a day exists (or until the end of the summer) I am likely to crave all things cold and vegetable-laden. Something about it being a million degrees out makes me want to stay inside and eat cold, crunchy veggies all day every day. Enter this salad.

Crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy chickpeas, and creamy pesto parmesan dressing. What more could a girl ask for?

This salad is from Pinch of Yum‘s latest cookbook Everyday Healthy. This e-cookbook is full of quick and healthy recipes and even comes with a nutrition guide (with substitution recommendations) and a meal planning guide.

I modified the recipe a bit by tossing my chickpeas in olive oil before roasting them (I like the crunch it gives them), upping the pesto in the dressing (call me a basil-holic if you will), halving the amount of tomatoes called for (they are not my favorite), and adding cucumbers. Because cucumbers make everything better.

roasted chickpea blt salad with pesto parmesan dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

    For the salad
  • 1 14-oz can of chickpeas
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked
  • 2 medium tomatoes, rinsed
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, rinsed
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • For the dressing
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 5 Tablespoons water
  • 3 Tablespoons parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons pesto
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400?F. Line baking sheet with parchment. Drain, rinse, and dry chickpeas.
  2. Toss chickpeas with olive oil and spread on baking sheet. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bake 20 to 30 minutes until crisp, tossing halfway through. Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, dice tomatoes, cucumber, and bacon to desired size. Toss together with lettuce and set aside.
  4. In a food processor, combine sour cream, pesto, parsley, garlic, parmesan and lemon juice until combined. Stream in water one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve salad in bowls and top with chickpeas and desired amount of dressing.

Notes

* Experiment by tossing your chickpeas with other seasonings like smoked paprika and cumin or even with parmesan cheese.

* Will easily serve 4 as a main salad or 6 as a side salad.

* Add more or less pesto to your taste.

Recipe adapted from Everyday Healthy by Lindsay Olstrom

http://wee-eats.com/2014/06/02/roasted-chickpea-blt-salad-with-pesto-parmesan-dressing/

chopped blt salad with roasted chickpeas and pesto parmesan dressing | wee eats