Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cauliflower Puttanesca

Jamie Oliver is my new best friend.

Of course he doesn’t know it.

But he has gotten me out of the cooking doldrums.

Check out his website. Just reading his recipes makes me smile.

Not to mention eating his food.
The concept is brilliant.

Make a puttanesca sauce, bury the whole cauliflower in it and drizzle with olive oil.

“Bake” it on top of the stove.

People, this is face down in your plate good.
And easy.

“Smashing’ as he would say.

Cauliflower Puttanesca aka "Killer Cauliflower"
Adapted from
Jamie Oliver

1 medium sweet red onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced thinly
1 medium sweet yellow onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced thinly
1 large spoonful garlic confit, smashed
1 large cauliflower, trimmed, cut off the stalk and chop it (leave the cauliflower whole)
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
A handful of fresh Italian parsley…chop the leaves and finely chop the stalks
½ cup red wine
1 large can San Marzano tomatoes
A good splash balsamic vinegar

You’re going to need a pan that can hold a large head of cauliflower in the middle and the puttanesca sauce around it.

Jamie says’ If you’ve got the size of your pan right, half of the cauliflower will be in the sauce, half above it.” So take that into consideration when you pick out the Dutch oven you use.

Heat the pan over medium high heat.

Add a couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil. When the oil is wavy, add the chopped onions, garlic confit, the chopped cauliflower stalk and let cook about 10 minutes until soft. Add Kalamatas, anchovies and tomatoes with their juice. Add the red wine and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Stir and bring this mix to a boil.

Put the whole cauliflower in the pan.

Add a couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil over the top of the cauliflower. Cover and cook for about 45-50 minutes on medium low heat until done.

This is a very cool way to serve cauliflower as a main dish…with a bit of Parmesan -Reggiana and chopped fresh Italian parsley on top. As a side dish it totally rocks with grilled chicken and a crispy Romaine salad topped with a champagne vinaigrette.

Serves 3 generously.

Click here for a printable recipe!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Curried Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

There’s a theory that if you talk about an upsetting experience you have, it helps to get your feelings out in the open and you can move on past the unpleasantness.

Welcome to my Thanksgiving.

Things for the celebratory evening at the Red Brick Ranchero were in place.

Food cooked beautifully, witness the pictures.

HOWSOMUCHEVER….when said food was served, it was not as it had presented itself.

The cranberries did not accept the gelatin that would make them stand up and be accounted for.

They refused same and, well, there you go.

Cranberry Soup.

If only they had let me know ahead of time.

I would have gotten out the bowls.

I found these the day after. Sort of forgot about them in the hystericalness that ensued.

The first turkey.

Looks are deceiving.

The second turkey.

I can’t talk about it.

I guess all I say is that it kind of seemed sacrilegious to stuff two turkeys in a huge pot and BOIL them to get them done.

Thank God my mother had brought a ham.

The turkeys came to a very creative end; involving wild and brown rice, garam masala and cumin, golden raisins and cilantro.

Warming, soothing, comforting.

There…I feel much better.

I can think about Christmas Eve dinner now.

Curried Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

4 cups cooked turkey breast and thigh meat, chopped coarsely
3 cups cook wild and brown rice mix (I used RiceSelect Royal’s divine.)
Couple of swirls of extra virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, trimmed, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
6 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
8 fat cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper and coarse salt to taste
6 cups chicken or turkey stock, heated
2 tbsp hot curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne

Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add a couple swirls of extra virgin olive oil. When oil is wavy, add the leeks, green bell pepper and celery, stir to combine, reduce heat to medium and cover to sweat the veggies for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add the garlic and seasonings and cook for five minutes. Add the turkey and cook five minutes. Add the hot chicken/turkey stock and stir.
Let this cook for about 25 minutes. Add the cooked rice mixture and let heat for about ten minutes.

Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, golden raisins, and sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
Serves 4 generously.

Click here for a printable recipe.

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Two Years Ago on Feeding Groom