Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

I tried this, and it was worth it. Considering actual alfredo sauce contains around a jillion more calories, I think this definitely worth trying, especially for the cauliflower-averse. It’s not super cauliflower-y, but also not quite alfredo sauce. I think mine turned out a bit bland, but I didn’t stick to the recipe strictly, so maybe that’s why. Give it a shot. Let me know what you think. Oh, I added sausage, so that’s what that is.

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I should also point out that it’s easy to make. Bonus points. You basically just put a bunch of things in a pot.

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And then put those same things in a blender. Easy.

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Your cat will also be confused about the fact that there is no cheese involved at all. Somehow she will have smelled cheese.

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Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

Ingredients:
8 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
5-6 cups cauliflower florets
6-7 cups vegetable broth or water
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
½ teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
½ cup milk (more to taste)

Directions:  
Saute the minced garlic with the butter in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Cook for several minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant but not browned (browned or burnt garlic will taste bitter). Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring the water or vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the cauliflower and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. Do not drain.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower pieces to the blender. Add 1 cup vegetable broth or cooking liquid, sauteed garlic/butter, salt, pepper, and milk. Blend or puree for several minutes until the sauce is very smooth, adding more broth or milk depending on how thick you want the sauce. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender.
Serve hot! If the sauce starts to look dry, add a few drops of water, milk, or olive oil.
Recipe from Pinch of Yum, who suggests adding Parmesan cheese. I wholeheartedly agree.
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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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I made a cauliflower crust pizza. I’ve read and heard quite a few horror stories about bland, blah cauliflower crusts, but damn. This one’s gooood. And you apartment will smell good for so, so long after you make it. I only wish I had made more because this didn’t last long.

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It’s surprisingly simple, too. Take a small head of cauliflower, chop off the large stem and keep the florets. Pulse in a food processor until you end up with a cauliflower snow.

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Then microwave it for four minutes. And this next part is where I messed up. You should use a towel and wring out the excess water. When you don’t have a clean (or an extra, really) dishtowel, and you think even a very sturdy paper towel layered with another very sturdy paper towel will do the trick, it won’t. Let me save you the trouble and tell you that the sturdy double-layered paper towels will rip, and then when you decide to just press the cauliflower between a bunch of paper towels and two plates, you still won’t get enough water out. This just means your crust won’t be very crusty, and will be a bit.. cakey, maybe? Not sure what the word is, but even if you make this “mistake” it still tastes delicious. Win-win. Anyways, once you wring the water out you end up with a clumpy pile of cauliflower that smells amazing.

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Mix in mozzarella and parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, and garlic powder.

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Then add an egg.  Mix together, place on parchment paper, flatten into a circle, and bake at 450 degrees for about 8 minutes, or until brown.

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Get your toppings ready! I chose onions and cheese (duh).

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Put back in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese melts. Eat!

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Ingredients:
1 small head cauliflower
¼ cups parmesan cheese
¼ cups mozzarella cheese
¼ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoons dried basil
½ teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoons garlic powder
red pepper flakes (optional)
1 whole egg

Directions:

Place a pizza stone in the oven, or baking sheet if you don’t have a pizza stone. Preheat oven to 450ºF. On a cutting board, place a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking oil.

Wash and throughly dry a small head of cauliflower. Cut off the florets—you don’t need much stem. Pulse in your food processor for about 30 seconds, until you get powdery snow like cauliflower. You should end up with 2 to 3 cups cauliflower “snow”. Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Cook for 4 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool for a bit before attempting the next step.

Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and wring the heck out of it. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will ensure you get a chewy pizza like crust instead of a crumbly mess.

Dumped squeezed cauliflower into a bowl. Now add Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, kosher salt, dried basil (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), dried oregano (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), garlic powder (not garlic salt), and a dash of red pepper if you want. Now add the egg and mix away. Hands tend to work best.

Once mixed together, use your hands to form the dough into a crust on your oiled parchment paper. Pat it down throughly, you want it nice and tightly formed together. Don’t make it too thick or thin either.

Using a cutting board, slide the parchment paper onto your hot pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven.

Add however much sauce, cheese, and toppings you want. Slide parchment with topped pizza back in the hot oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden.

Recipe from How Sweet Eats (Tasty Kitchen).

Cauliflower Soup

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Let it be known, I’m enjoying cauliflower. More than I expected, actually. Since the fritters went well, I figured I could venture into uncharted territory – SOUP. I’ve never made soup, never had a huge desire to try to make soup, and actually didn’t like it for a good stretch of my life, but I’ve come around. And it’s freezing around here, so the idea of soup (and a yummy smelling apartment) won me over.

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My only instinct with cauliflower is to roast it, so I avoided a roasted cauliflower soup in search of something a bit different. Pioneer Woman to the rescue! Cauliflower soup it is.

Get that cauliflower out, chop off the green and that inner core. Then coarsely chop the rest, unless you’re a perfectionist. I am not.

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Cut up a stalk of celery, a carrot, and some onions. Melt some butter, toss the onions in, adding celery and carrots a few minutes later.

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After that sits for a few minutes, add the cauliflower and some chopped fresh parsley.

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Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring here and there. Then add 2 quarts of chicken broth, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer.

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In the meantime, whisk together flour and milk, then slowly add the mixture to melted butter in a saucepan, whisking the entire time. I didn’t take photos of this part because it looks unappetizing. So you’ll just have to make it and taste it yourself. Add the milk/flour/butter combo to the veggie/broth combo, throw in a bay leaf or two and some salt, and let it simmer for 15 minutes more.

And this part is the best part. Pioneer Woman’s secret is to put a hearty cup of sour cream at the bottom of the serving bowl, add a little soup to warm and mix it up a little, and then pour in the rest of the soup.

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The soup is pretty damn tasty. It’s not too creamy, not too brothy, and I much prefer having big pieces of cauliflower in a thinner soup instead of a pureed thick cauliflower soup. Success!

Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients:

1 stick butter, divided
1/2 an onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1-2 whole cauliflower heads, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons Fresh or dried parsley, chopped
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth or stock
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup Half-and-half
salt to taste
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

Directions:

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, or until it starts to brown. Add the carrots and celery and cook an additional couple of minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley, stirring to combine.

Cover and cook over very low heat, and after 15 minutes pour in chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.

In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Mix the flour with the milk and whisk to combine. Add the flour-milk mixture slowly to the butter, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the half-and-half. Add mixture to the simmering soup. Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.

Just before serving, place the sour cream in a serving bowl or soup tureen. Add two to three ladles of hot soup into the tureen and stir to combine with the sour cream. Pour in remaining soup and stir.

Stir immediately. Eat even more immediately.

Here’s Pioneer Woman’s recipe.

Cauliflower, Cheddar, and Mustard Fritters

The veggie of the month is…. [drumroll please, and pretend you didn’t already see the post title]..

…Cauliflower!

Giving it a shot. First thing I found that looked good was this recipe for cauliflower/aged cheddar/mustard fritters. Now, I did forget the mustard, which I only realized post-frying. Too bad (though it would have been extra delicious). These were good anyway.

Just chop up some cauliflower, put some oil, salt, and pepper on it and roast at 325 degrees for 40 minutes or so. Once it cools, you blend it into a puree.

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Next step: boil milk and butter, whisk in flour until thick, add eggs one at a time. Fold together this mixture, the cauliflower puree, grated cheddar, and dijon mustard.

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Form about 1″ balls of this mixture, roll it in flour and fry in hot vegetable oil.

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If you aren’t using a deep fryer (I didn’t), make sure to turn them so all sides are browned.

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This recipe made more than 6 fritters.

Garnish with a little lemon zest, sea salt (If You’re Me, regular salt), and rosemary (IYM thyme) and voila. Fritters.

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Cauliflower, Cheddar, and Mustard Fritters

Ingredients:

1/2 large cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup milk
4 tbsp butter, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup aged cheddar, grated
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
2 tbsp sea salt flakes
vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat cauliflower with olive oil, sprinkle with half the rosemary, season to taste and roast, shaking occasionally, until golden and very tender (40-45 minutes). Set aside to cool, then process in a food processor until smooth.

Meanwhile, bring milk and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, then beat until mixture is smooth and comes away from the edges of the pan (mine was verrrrry thick. I was worried, but it ended up being fine). Cool slightly, add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to combine, then set aside to cool. Fold in cheese, mustard, and cauliflower puree and season to taste.

Combine lemon rind, sea salt flakes and remaining rosemary in a bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a frying pan. Roll tablespoons of cauliflower mixture into balls, dust in flour and fry in batches, turning occasionall, until golden and cooked through (3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towel, sprinkle with rosemary salt and serve hot.

This is basically Gourmet Traveller’s recipe.

Happy cooking eating!

Caramelized Garlic Tart

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Yes, really.  And shnikeys, it’s tasty. A great mix between sweet and salty (garlic vs. cheese) and healthy and indulgent (squash and yogurt vs. …cheese, again). I also think this would be great to have any time of day- I made it for dinner, but admittedly had some for breakfast and lunch the next day. Not too difficult to make, either.

Chop up some butternut squash.

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Bust out the mostly-reliable garlic peeling technique, and get those cloves cooking in some excessive amounts of butter.

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I bought a regular pie crust, even though the original recipe called for a homemade crust. No doubt that would have been unbearably delicious, but I wanted to save some $ and time, so I went with a standard Pillsbury pie crust. Anyways, you bake the bottom crust, fill it with the butternut squash, pour a mixture of yogurt, eggs, and cheddar over it. Then top it all with the caramelized garlic and some goat cheese. Nom? Nom.

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Here’s the recipe I used, with the original recipe I based it off of.

Caramelized Garlic Tart

Ingredients:

1 small butternut squash, skin on, deseeded
3 medium bulbs of garlic, cloves peeled
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 eggs
7 tbsp plain yogurt
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 oz. goat cheese (or more if you’re me)
salt and black pepper
tarragon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roast the butternut squash in the oven for 40-50 minutes, cut-side up, until cooked through and tender.

Change the temperature of the oven if necessary, and bake the bottom of the pie crust according to the box instructions. Set aside.

Meanwhile, put the garlic in a small pan with a few tbsp of water. Simmer for a few minutes until almost tender. Add the butter, increase the heat and cook until the water has evaporated and the garlic is starting to brown. Add the maple syrup, cider vinegar, and a pinch of sea salt and simmer for 10 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the cloves are coated in a dark syrup.

Peel the skin from the squash, chop into 1/2″ pieces and arrange in the pie crust base. Whisk the eggs, yogurt, and grated cheddar together with a pinch of salt and some black pepper and pour over the squash. Scatter pieces of goat cheese and caramelized garlic over the tart, drizzling a little syrup on top and sprinkling with a little tarragon. Set oven to 325 degrees and bake for 30 minutes, until it sets and the top is a golden brown.

Eat it all, no matter what time of day it is.

Borrowed from a Hemsley and Hemsley recipe.

Baked Onions with Blue Cheese

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Get ready. You’re going to see a lot of blue cheese in here over the next year. The other day on my way home from work I stopped for groceries and bought a container of blue cheese. No plans for it, just thought I should have it. Then once I got home I realized all I wanted for dinner was some sort of food vessel that would get this cheese from counter to stomach. Pronto.

Lucky I have all these onions sitting around.

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Just chop ’em up.

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Put them in a baking pan.

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Mix up blue cheese, butter, parsley, milk, and Worcestershire sauce.

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Smother them onions, bake for 30 min at at 400 degrees and you’re good. And IT’S good.

Baked Onions with Blue Cheese

Ingredients:

3 large onions (recipe I’d found suggested Vidalia, but I had white)
8 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon milk
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3  cup chopped fresh parsley (I didn’t have it)
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 9″ x 13″ baking dish, set aside. Slice onions lengthwise, about 8 wedges each, put in dish. In a bowl, combine cheese, milk, butter, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, and ground pepper. Spoon over onions. Bake for about 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Original recipe here.

Caramelized Onion Dip with Greek Yogurt and Cream Cheese

I loves me some onion dip. Normally the main component is a loh-hotttt of sour cream, so it’s safe to say I’ve never made “real” onion dip. I was always so enchanted with the sour cream, to be honest. But this is what the project is for! Making things.

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That top pile is loads of onion, garlic, and thyme. Bottom is scallions. All that gets added to these is Greek yogurt and cream cheese. Not as bad as mayo and sour cream, amirite? Nom nom.

This photo might look a liiiittle gross, but damn, this was good. Normally, french onion dip tastes pretty salty (maybe it’s the chips I eat it with), but this was somehow sweet and cheesy and delicious. DELICIOUS. I’m not sure I can go back to the mix ever again.

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I roughly followed the recipe below, BUT. Used one white, one red, and one yellow onion, as the grocery store was a bit onion-shy. I also cooked them for about 40 minutes, adding a little bit of brown sugar at the end.

Caramelized Onion and Garlic Dip

Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large Spanish onion
1 Vidalia onion, finely chopped
3 cipollini onions, finely chopped
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
3 scallions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 bunch fresh chives, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)

Directions
In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the thyme, shallots, garlic and all the varieties of onions. Saute, stirring constantly. (Onions absorb oil quickly, so add more if necessary.) Continue to cook until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, add the yogurt and cream cheese and stir together. Add in the onions, scallions and chives. Stir well to combine.

Link to the original recipe here.