Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cheesy Cauliflower and Broccoli Casserole

I have another similar recipe on the blog, the Cheesy Cauliflower Bake.  In that one I steamed the cauliflower in large chunks on the stove.  Lately, I've been enjoying "riced" cauliflower with the food processor, then cooked in the microwave, so that's what I did this time.  And broccoli, of course.  Just a few little differences.  We both really liked this recipe though.  Had it tonight with pork medallions and I did up a pan gravy with the drippings.  Delicious!

Have had Hot Water Music's "Wayfarer" in my head.  -jen

Special Equipment:  Food Processor
Prep Time:  25 minutes
Cook Time:  25-30 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy
Makes:  6-8 servings
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 crown of broccoli (2-3 cups, roughly chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp Greek yogurt or sour cream (optional)
  • 2 cups cheddar or cojack, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, diced (about 3 medium)
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes Sriracha sauce (or other hot sauce)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used my KFCseasoning, a little Mrs. Dash and some white pepper)
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, F.  Prepare a 2-quart 8"x8" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.

Add cauliflower and broccoli to food processor.  Pulse until vegetables are about the size of rice.  Place in a microwave safe glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 10 minutes (bowl will be hot!!)  Let sit for 5 minutes with plastic wrap on.

Return cooked vegetables to the food processor and add butter, cream cheese, and yogurt/sour cream.  Process on high until smooth and creamy.  Return to glass bowl and stir in shredded cheese, green onions, Worcestershire, and Sriracha.  Now is the time to add your salt and pepper while you can still taste it and adjust.  Then stir in the egg.

Transfer to the prepared baking dish, making sure mixture is level.  Sprinkle Parmesan over the top and bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.  Top should be golden brown.  Serve immediately.

Cheesy Cauliflower and Broccoli Casserole with pork medallions and gravy

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cranberry Pecan Marshmallow Treats

Sometimes you just need something a little sweet.

I went with some of my favourite folk punk - Defiance, Ohio doing "Condition 11:11".  When I see the clock say that time, all I can sing in my head is, "At 11:11 every night I make wishes..."  And I see the clock say 11:11 a lot.  -jen

Time:  10 minutes 
Difficulty:  Super Easy
Makes:  9-16, depending on how big you cut 'em
  • 3 tablespoons butter, plus a little extra
  • 6 cups plain corn flakes*
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
Lightly butter a 2-quart (8"x8") baking dish with the extra butter.

In a large bowl, combine corn flakes, cranberries and pecans.  Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan over low heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter.  Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted and combined.

Pour over corn flake mix and mix well.  (Do this part quickly!)

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and using a spatula or your hand, press mixture firmly into pan.

Let cool.  Cut and serve.  You can place them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to help speed up the cooling process.

For storage, I like to wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then put them all in a ziplock.  Keeps the from getting stale.

*I used a name brand that comes with little honey and oat granola clusters, the kind you love "bunches"... but being pre-sweetened, it made the squares a little on the uber sweet side.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Cheesy, Creamy Cauliflower Soup

When we go grocery shopping, we always go with a budget and a list which means we generally have the week's meals planned out.  Sometimes, things that weren't on the list sneak into the cart.  This time I grabbed a cauliflower with no ideas for it... if nothing else, I knew it'd get thrown into the roasted veggie mixes (we eat baked chicken and roasted veggies once or twice a week for dinner).

I don't know why, but I decided I wanted cream soup, and I've never actually made a cauliflower soup, so it seemed like the thing to do.  The cheese was a last minute idea since I remembered we had them in the fridge, and I'm glad I did!  This soup came out great... I really liked it.

I can't even tell you why, but I've had Billy Joel running through my brain... which then, instantly makes me think of the Gimmes.  So Me First and the Gimme Gimmes doing "Only The Good Die Young" (because they didn't eat their cauliflower).  -jen

Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  35 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Makes:  11-12 cups
  • 6 tablespoons butter + 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, separated
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 medium carrots, diced (about 1.5 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 poblano or green pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1.5 cups shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Cojack cheese
  • 2 teaspoons sherry
  • several dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few dashes of cayenne pepper or Sriracha sauce (optional)
In a large stockpot, saute onion, carrots, celery and pepper in 6 tablespoons of butter over a medium-high heat until vegetables are softened, 5-7 minutes.  Stir in cauliflower, garlic, thyme, marjoram and crushed red pepper flakes.  Cook an additional 2-3 minutes.   Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, then simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.  (At this point, I like to use a stick blender or regular blender to blend about 2/3 of the soup, smoothing it out a little but I like to leave a few chunks.  You can leave everything whole, or blend the whole thing, whatever you prefer!)

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt remaining 1 stick of butter.  Stir in flour and cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, to make a roux.  Remove from heat.  When the cauliflower in the broth is tender (and blended, if you're blending any), add the roux and the heavy cream.  Bring back to a boil, then simmer, stirring frequently until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Add the cheese, one handful at a time, stir until completely melted before adding next handful.  Add sherry, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to taste, and cayenne or Sriracha, if desired.

I garnished mine with some of the shredded cojack and some diced scallions I had in the fridge.