‘Creamy’ Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup

I’d like to echo Zephir’s sentiment & thank you Alicia for actually getting this started, you rock! I love that we all now have a place to share our recipes and keep in touch even when we are all so far away (p.s. I really miss you all!). I’d also like to give a huge shout-out to Miss Tara LL & Mr David Arfa for starting Weds/ThursDinners in the first place, the amazing moments together, the incredible camaraderie, and the beyond delicious food we’ve all shared over the years has filled my body & soul with nourishment on a level I never knew possible- Thank You ❤

Now, on to my recipe! Recently (especially after reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals), Joe & I have gone back to a mostly vegetarian diet. This has been wonderfully challenging and fun for both of us. It has brought us to a whole new level of our relationship: discussing different food options, nutritional values, exploring flavors & tastes, searching for & making up recipes, actually starting to ‘meal plan’, and best of all cooking together! As I mentioned to Joe, the whole experience is reminiscent of my early days at Wednesday Dinner, where every week was a thrilling challenge to find/create a new vegetarian dish, expanding my own tastes & my cooking abilities. For this, I am truly grateful.

In our search for new dishes we can eat & find appealing, we came across two different Cauliflower Soup recipes which both sounded  delicious. Being the cook that I am, I (of course) had to combine the two recipes & tweak it to my own palette. The two original recipes can be found here: Tasty Yummies and here: Whole Foods Recipes.

Our recipe came out approximately as follows:

Ingredients:

1 large head of Cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets
1 medium sized Yam or Sweet Potato
1 head of garlic
Olive Oil
~20 fl. oz. Veggie Broth
~1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
Salt
Pepper
Marjoram
Thyme
Tarragon
Ginger (powdered or freshly grated)
Coriander
Cardamom
Cumin Powder
Vindaloo Curry Powder
Preheat oven to 425°

Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the individual cloves intact and the bulb still whole. Cut off just the tip top of the bulbs. Place the head of garlic in a small piece of foil, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Wrap the foil around the garlic head tightly.

Toss the cauliflower & yams with olive oil (just enough to lightly coat all the veggies) on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Place the pan of cauliflower/yams on the top rack in your oven and the garlic head wrapped in foil, on the bottom rack. Bake both for about 30-40 minutes (until they are soft/cooked through). You can gently toss the veggies around, once or twice in that time.

You want the cauliflower to be a golden to dark brown color and the garlic head to be very fragrant and soft to the touch. Allow the garlic to cool so you can touch it. With your hands or a small knife, squeeze each of the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins into a large bowl & mush them (it should look like a thick paste). Add the roasted cauliflower & yams to the garlic, and mash using either a hand masher or the immersion blender. Slowly add the veggie broth and almond milk a bit at a time, mixing with the immersion blender. Add veggie broth/almond milk until it reaches the consistency you desire. Add your spices. I never measure spices, so I cannot tell you how much to add, just do it to your taste. I can say that I added more salt, pepper & Vindaloo powder than the rest of the spices.

Serve in bowls & enjoy!

(sorry no pic!)

x’s & o’s

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Liver Little

What a fantastic idea Alicia.  Thanks for always thinking of ways to keep us all together.

Wouldn’t luck have it that last night Jefferson and I had such a satisfying meal that we took pictures.  Unfortunately my Nikon was low on batteries so the little point and shoot got the job.  The pictures don’t do the meal justice  but it sure was  satisfying.

A couple days ago Jefferson insisted that we pull some beef liver.  I was skeptical, not really having any good liver recipes in my back pocket.  Then last night he took out “Mediterranean Cooking” by Paula Wolfert, which is one of the best cook books ever, and found Arnavut Cigeri (Albanian-style liver).  All of the recipes in this cookbook are exquisitely balanced.  The ingredients in this recipe were adapted slightly for what we had on hand and the fact that we are GFDF.

Enjoy,

Zephir

   The liver was served with green lentils and daikon salad

which were spontaneous creations.

   Arnavut Cigeri

1 pound beef liver

   Course Salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup minced shallot

 1/8  cup buckwheat flour

 1/8 cup chickpea fava bean flour

 3 to 4 teaspoons hot Hungarian paprika

   Fresh ground black  pepper

2 tbs finely chopped parsley

soak the liver in salted water for 10 minutes to help draw out the blood and tighten the flesh.  Peel off any thin transparent skin and cut away any tubes and hard pieces. Pat dry and cut in 3/4 inch cubes.

Heat oil in a wide skillet over high heat.  Rub the shallots with a pinch of salt and set aside to soften.

Meanwhile, put the flour, paprika, and pepper into a plastic bag.  Shake to blend.  Add the liver and toss so that each cube is well coated.  Dump the contents of the bag into a sieve over a bowl and shake to remove excess flour. immediately fry the liver cubes until well browned o the outside and juicy and pink  inside, about 2 minutes.

Tamp the sieve to remove any flour and then set it over a bowl.  When the livers are  brown on the outside but still very juicy within, dumb the entire contents of the skillet in the sieve and drain.  Transfer the liver to a serving dish, toss with the shallots and sea salt, and mix lightly.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Green Lentils

1 cup green lentils

3 cups  chicken stock

2 tbs chopped dried apricots

1 tbs  chopped dried bing cherries

 1/4 cup tosted hazelnuts

 one clove garlic minced

In a sauce pan add stock, dried apricots and dried cherries.  Heat until boiling.  Then add the green lentils and turn the heat down to a simmer.  Cook until the lentils are just tender but not falling apart.  Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve.

 Meanwhile,  using a mortar and pestle or a knife crush the hazelnuts into halves and quarter size pieces.  Toast them in a skillet on low.  Add the minced garlic to the skillet.  Stir frequently.  When the hazelnuts are golden and their scent fills the air it is time to remove them from the pan.

Mix the hazelnuts into the lentils and serve.

Daikon Salad

1-2 daikon radishes

1 large carrot

1/2 small red onion

 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

 1/2 tsp salt

 1 tsp honey

Was and peel the dikon and carrots. Remove the outer skin from the onion. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife shave the slice the dikon, carrot and onion at the finest setting.

In a bowl mix the rest of the ingredients together.  Add the slices roots and bulb and mix.  Let sit about 20 minutes until tender.

Eat Me!

Hi food-eating friends!! Here it is. It’s happening. It’s real. It’s delicious. We’re starting up a recipe sharing blog because, let’s face it between all of us (and satellite connections) we’ve got some mad skills in the kitchen when it comes to delicious and nutritious.

So, here’s the thought – this site’ll be open access for anyone who wants it, just email me for the login info. Update at your leisure (throw a photo or two in there as well if you so desire!) and check back often. Feel free to contact me with any questions about posting new entries. It’s pretty easy, but might take a little playing around and screwing up on your part. Don’t be scared.

If you’re sharing a recipe that you’ve gotten from somewhere outside your own pretty head, please site your source.

And share this! Pass it along to other friends who like to cook, invite them to contribute.

Food brought us all together in the first place, and just because some of you are far away now, it doesn’t mean food can’t keep us connected.

Tuck in, kids!

xo,

a