Thursday, February 11, 2016

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Feta

AFTER SEVERAL ATTEMPTS AT ROASTING a whole cauliflower, I finally met success with this method which begins by simmering the cauliflower in a flavorful broth. Afterwards, save the savory broth as a fantastic cooking liquid for soup and especially for grains.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower
1 whole cauliflower, leaves removed and stem trimmed
2 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 bay leaf
8 cups water

Bring wine, oil, salt, lemon juice, pepper, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, and water to a boil in a large pot. Carefully lower the cauliflower into the liquid. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the cauliflower and simmer for another 10 minutes, until a knife can be easily inserted into the center.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475 degrees and prepare the whipped feta.

Remove the cauliflower from the simmering liquid and drain. Place into a rimmed baking pan and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan half way through, until the orb is golden and beginning to char in places. If you want more char leave it longer or put under the broiler for a couple of minutes.

Transfer to a platter, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with whipped feta.

Whipped Feta
4 ounces feta cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup yogurt or sour cream

In a mixing bowl, mash feta with a fork until mostly smooth. In a separate bowl, whip cream until it is just barely holds peaks. Fold whipped cream and yogurt/sour cream into feta until combined.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Egg Salad

EGG SALAD IS NOT ON A REGULAR ROTATION in our home. Why? It has just never been part of our repertoire. I don't remember my mother ever making it at home. I don't remember it being served at school or anywhere else for that matter. My husband doesn't especially like it so we never think about it. Except at Easter--to make use of some of those Easter Eggs.

There are so many ways to make this simple spread, the most basic being chopped hard boiled eggs mixed with mayonnaise. All kinds of add-ins can help up the flavor. Pickles, dill or sweet, are popular, onion, scallion, or shallot are good, celery, peppers, cheese, bacon, anchovies, and more.

Mustard is often used and I pondered the various types I had in the kitchen--stone ground, Dijon, honey mustard, and yellow ballpark mustard. Ultimately, I decided to use some mustard powder and I'm so happy that I did. I loved the flavor it imparted and the inner warmth reminded me of wasabi. In fact, next time I think I will try using wasabi.

I served the egg salad on sour dough bread with alfalfa sprouts. Delicious!

Egg Salad
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 rib celery, with leaves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 - 3 Tbsp. finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 - 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise (more to taste)

Mix all ingredients together to desired consistency. Chill before serving.