Archive for the 'vegetables' Category

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Butter Chicken Sauce

cauliflower 3

I know, it’s such a cliché to present you with a whole cauliflower on the second of January, especially after a month-long parade of butter, sugar and bread. And perhaps it’s the decades of conditioning, or the fact that my Christmas season starts the first week of November, but at this point in the picture I tend to hit a wall (of butter, sugar and bread) and really, truly just want some vegetables. (Sadly, this doesn’t prevent me from wanting the last of the Toblerone too.) Of course I’m easing into this whole veggie thing with a healthy dose of cream.

cauliflower 1

Apologies for the iPhone pics taken in the dark, but this was concocted well before dawn for CBC. It was so magically delicious that I have to share. A whole roasted cauliflower is very pinterest-y these days, but I’ve never actually done it myself. Some techniques have you boil the cauliflower first, simmering it for 15-20 minutes in a mixture of wine and herbs, but to be honest I’d rather drink the wine and skip the whole boiling and draining part – if you slather the cauliflower with oil it will do just fine in the oven on its own. At first it’s a lot like roasting a chicken – all it needs is oil, salt and pepper, but you can jazz things up with some spice if you like.

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A whole cauliflower will cook through in 40-60 minutes, just enough time to make it all golden and crusty on the outside and tender in the middle, with no need for a thermometer. I debated a Welsh rarebit sauce, then thought of how well cauliflower pairs with curry. To be honest, I winged the sauce as the cauliflower baked, rubbed with oil and a nice curry paste I had in the fridge, which I also stirred into caramelized onions with a big splash of cream to make a chunky sort of butter chicken sauce to pour around/on top/drag the florets through.

And so a new year begins. Happy 2015 all!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Butter Chicken Sauce

Roasted cauliflower:
1 small cauliflower
canola oil, for cooking
good-quality curry powder or paste

Butter chicken sauce:
1 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro stems (optional)
2 tsp. good-quality curry paste
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Trim the stem and any leaves off the base of the cauliflower and put it in a small baking dish or oven proof skillet, or on a small baking sheet. Rub it all over with oil and curry powder or paste, and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 40-60 minutes, or until deep golden and tender when poked with a knife.

Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil with the butter in a small skillet set over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for a few minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic, ginger and cilantro and cook for another minute or two.

Stir in the curry paste and cream and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring, for a few minutes or until thickened. Spoon around the roasted cauliflower, or save it to spoon over each wedge.

Serves 6.

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January 02 2015 | vegetables and vegetarian | 6 Comments »

Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Galette

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 8.45.12 PM

Squash pie. Right? Because pumpkins aren’t only for carving.

This could be pumpkin – the small, sweet sugar pumpkins most often labeled “pie”. They aren’t as woody and sinewy as their grandfathers, and easier to handle for baking. But really it’s butternut – the most common of the winter squash, but congenial in shape, allowing easy access to its innards. I like to buy ones with thick necks, then cut them off, peel and thinly slice and lay over grainy pastry with caramelized onions and cheese – goat, mostly, but I imagine Boursin would be a treat, or Stilton if you like it like that. (I just realized I’m posting a squash double header – ’tis the season, I suppose.)

Galette Collage

I still don’t have an oven. Some mornings, when it’s still dark, my neighbours see me sneak Bigfoot-like across the street to my sister’s house to put something or other in her oven. It’s like back in the day of Dickens, when families brought their turkeys to the community bake house to roast.

But! After a long lull and a few spurts of painting (although I got distracted and wound up painting the bannister on the stairs in the hallway instead – not an easy task with a large black dog) we’re going to make some major headway this week, when both the fridge and stove arrive AND the countertops are installed – serendipitously on my birthday. Coincidence? Totally. So here’s hoping there are no disasters, and everything was measured properly and fits together nicely like it’s supposed to.

But the upper cabinets are in! the trim is on! there’s a nice box just for the fridge to slide into! I’ve never had a new car nor a new fridge in my life – I think this makes me an official grown-up.

Kitchen Collage Oct 28

Look how clean and white it all is! Now I just need to get moving on a makeover here and clean it up to match. Oy. Can I just call a time out? Who’s with me?

By the way, I’ve been meaning to apologize for being all chatty on social media and tending toward MIA here. Once I post something (or send off a story) I tend to not look at it again, for fear I’ll want to change everything once it’s too late. And I sometimes forget I can go into the dashboard to reply to comments, and when I do the sheer volume of spam slows me down. But I do love chatting with you here, and if you have questions I promise I’ll be more timely with my answers.

In this galette I used a combination of whole grain flours – whole wheat, oat and barley – play around with these too if you like, or go the traditional all-purpose route. I liked the tweedy, sturdy whole grain crust – so much in fact that this was breakfast one day, and then lunch, and then I made another the next day. It’s just as good cold, so it’s the sort of thing you can leave on your dining room table and swipe slivers of every time you walk past.

Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Galatte

1 1/3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour, or some of each
1 tsp. sugar
big pinch salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into bits
1/4 cup cold water

1 medium butternut squash
olive or canola oil
a dab of butter
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup soft goat cheese (or crumbled blue cheese)

To make the pastry, combine the flours, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and blend it in with a fork, pastry cutter or even your fingers until the mixture is well combined, with pieces of fat the size of a pea remaining. Add the water and stir just until the dough comes together. Shape it into a disc and let it rest for at least 20 minutes, or refrigerate for longer.

When you’re ready to make the galette(s), preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the thick neck off the butternut squash, peel it with a sharp paring knife and cut it in half lengthwise. Slice each piece into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place in a glass (or microwave-safe) bowl, drizzle and toss with oil, cover with plastic wrap or a lid and microwave for 3-4 minutes, until the squash is tender.

Meanwhile, set a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil and a dab of butter and saute the onion for 4-5 minutes, or until turning golden. Pull the leaves off the thyme or rosemary and add them to the pan (if it’s rosemary, finely chop them first) and season with salt and pepper.

If you like, divide the pastry in half or quarters. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a circle about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Layer the squash and caramelized onions in the middle of the pastry, adding dabs of goat cheese too. Leave at least half an inch uncovered around the filling, and fold up the edges to enclose the squash, crimping them a bit wherever it naturally folds in order to keep it in place. Bake for 20-30 minutes (for smaller galettes or a larger one), or until golden.

Slide out onto a cutting board and cut into wedges. Serves 8.

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October 28 2014 | pie and vegetables and vegetarian | 13 Comments »

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