From frequent contributor, Joshua D:
A discussion came up on Balloon Juice about the benefits of cauliflower. Recipes got bantered about but this one made me salivate the most! My only contribution is formatting, otherwise full credit goes to Ruemara
Cauliflower Beer Cheese Soup
- 1 med onion
- 12 oz beer
- 1 pint broth (chicken is preferred, but suit your taste)
- 1 head cauliflower, cleaned & roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt-free seasoning
- Salt & Black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
You start with sauteing onions in 1 tsp oil until translucent, add beer, broth ( I prefer chicken, since it’s clear) and all of a cleaned, roughly chopped head of cauliflower. Add garlic, salt free seasoning, and black pepper to taste. Once cauliflower is tender (about 10 minutes) turn off burner and use your handy, dandy immersion blender. Blend until smooth. Mix in cheddar shreds and smoked paprika. You can also go with smoke seasoning and tortula yeast for the cheez flavour. Stir. Salt to taste. Drink up. I think that’s what I did. It was good.
Just a note – Getty is now allowing embedded images in WordPress posts, which I think is kind of fun – TaMara
Slathered the bird with a butter/EVOO garlic herb sauce, under the skin and on it. Roasted the bird on a bed of dressing. I thought it a fair idea but the chicken grease (and all that butter and oil) turned it into a greasy slop. I put the dressing under the broiler for a while to try to crisp the top some and that helped a little. I managed to eat a spoonful without gagging. The chicken was great!
Roasted some cauliflower while the chicken rested and made a lemony butter sauce (beurre blanc) that worked very well on the veggies and on the chicken.
About being tired of turkey yet, I mean. This soup worked about as expected, the only thing I wish I had done different was adding the broccoli as early as I did. Should have waited but ran ran into the “simmer the soup for a long time” mindset. You know what I’m talking about-start it at a simmer and wander by now and again to stir it around a bit. Some veggies just can’t stand long simmers, and broccoli is right there at the top of that list. Bean, carrots, onions, potatoes? Sure you can overcook a carrot but an overdone carrot still looks pretty good. Overcooked broccoli? It’s just sad looking.
Used a couple of those parsnips I bought, never put any of those in a soup before. They held up fine but the very nature of the dish means that their particular flavor was lost-melded with the flavors of every other veggie in there: Carrots, potatoes, onions, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. I spooned some parsnip chunks out individually just to see what I could tell, texture little different from the potatoes, I could tell it wasn’t a carrot by taste but that was about all.
I made the usual loaf of bread to go with the soup. Used the machine with the basic recipe for white bread but I added lard rather than the butter the recipe called for. I’m not going to make a judgement on the basis of a single loaf but I can say that this loaf turned out just fantastic. I wish I could say that every loaf I’ve made in this unit turned out just the same but that would not be true. There have been few outright failures and different loaves have risen differently. Not sure I can attribute any particular change to a certain thing like bad yeast, or too much flour, or some other technical item-when a loaf fails I generally shrug and make the best of what comes out. I will be making the next loaf with lard again.
What to do with leftover roast lamb and veggies is a real no brainer: Lamb stew! Mentioned lamb stew to Iasa this morning in a chat and she quickly shot back: Armenian lamb stew! OK, off to teh Google. Ah yes, many recipes for it. Since my lamb and veggies were already cooked, I skipped over the methods listed and looked at the ingredient list for signature spices. Seems cinnamon, allspice, and paprika were all mentioned, along with red wine and garlic. Had all of that so I just chopped and added and simmered everything for a while. One recipe I looked at mentioned fresh basil so in went some fresh basil. The aromas from the stew as it simmered sure would have had me patting Iasa on the back were she present. Yay Iasa!
Went with the overnight marinade. Good call. I was hoping to use the reduced marinade for a dipping sauce/gravy but it proved to be too strong flavored for that. I did use some of it in the gravy made from the pan drippings. Made a beurre blanc sauce for the steamed veggies. Modified it from the classic recipe with a bit of lemon juice and some parsley. Basic sauce is diced shallots in a white wine reduction with butter slowly stirred in. I went with the shallots and wine and added some lemon juice, then some dried parsley.
The marinade was one cup white wine, one half cup orange juice, the juice and zest of one lemon, chopped fresh rosemary, a tablespoon of dried thyme, two tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of dijon mustard, two tablespoons of honey, salt and pepper, and several cloves of minced garlic.
I started the lamb in a 450 oven for 30 minutes, then reduced the heat to 325 until the internal temps reached 145. Took another hour or so. You can go with whatever internal temp suits your taste. Mrs J abhors bloody meat, I’m more tolerant. 145-150 degrees will yield some med rare to medium well done, depending on where you slice it, and seemed a decent compromise for us. Lots of pics.
We have a standup freezer, so when the grocery has a good deal on meat I tend to go for it. Last week they had these humongous pork roasts, bone in, so I brought one home and carved it into three portions.
Took one of them out and thawed it today. When it was thawed I marinaded it in olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and some garlic and onion powders. Oh, and some dried rosemary. Gave it a couple of hours. While it was soaking in all that goodness, I diced some veggies-a couple of potatoes, carrots, some cauliflower, and an onion. I gave them the same general treatment with a similar marinade.
The meat and veggies, marinades included, then went into a 350 oven in a large stock pot with the cover on for nearly an hour, then I took the lid off to get some browning. When I judged them ready, I removed the pork and the rest to a serving tray, and made gravy from the liquid in the bottom of the pot by adding some corn starch in a slurry of water. A wee splash of Kitchen Bouquet for a deeper color as the gravy simmered on the stove top finished it.
It ended up very tasty, though next time I’ll cut the cauliflower bigger, and the other veggies smaller, and take the lid off for the browning step earlier. The carrots and potatoes were perfect, but the cauliflower was a bit overdone. The pork was fork tender. Annie was disappointed when I wiped the plate clean with the garlic bread, she was thinking that job was hers.
A friend and I were running errands today, one of which was at the local Asian market. This prompted, as it always does, a great discussion on different types of food. I’m forever picking things up and wishing there were directions on how to cook it or what it is good for. There’s this big, prickly fruit, bigger than a pineapple that I always want to know what to do with it. My friend can tell me somethings, but others she’s at as much of a loss as I am. We talk about regional foods, like, oh, SPAM…or fish flakes and dried squid.
This leads us to talking about finicky eaters. Today she shared a great idea that her kid just loves. When she makes mac ‘n cheese, she boils cauliflower with the macaroni adds her cheese sauce and finishes up by baking it in the oven. It’s now a family favorite.
There are lots of ways to get creative with familiar recipes to help the finicky eater. Adding a variety of vegetables to meatloaf, making a hearty vegetable broth to add to soups or stews. Up the nutrition and introduce subtle new flavors.
There’ll be more tips for finicky eaters as we go along. And later this week I’ll dig out my favorite mac ‘ n cheese recipe and post it. Cauliflower optional.