Roasted Cauliflower

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Call me strange but I think roasted cauliflower is really delicious. I know many either shun it or coat in flour and egg and fry it. I think if you ever try it roasted, you will truly find it delicious. And it's so easy, it practically cooks itself.

You will need:

1 Head cauliflower separated into florets, the smaller they are the crunchier it will be when roasted
2 tbs oil ( I use grape)
Salt to taste

Mix cauliflower in oil and salt. Roast in preheated over at 425. Flip every 10 minutes or so to prevent from burning.  You may want to remover the smaller pieces and continue to cook larger pieces till golden brown.

These are a great side dish or yummy alone.

Roasted Cauliflower

Potato Latkes: Experimenting with Fried and Baked Versions

Fried Latkes

Baked Latkes

Happy Belated Hanukkah to my jewish peeps and well as non Jewish peeps who like latkes.  Hanukkah is not Hannukkah without these puppies.

This year, I tried to make 2 versions fried (the authentic way) as well as baked less authentic but more healthy (there is only so healthy potatoes can be).

Judge for yourself but I was rather impressed with the baked ones and might totally switch up next year.


6 all purpose potatoes
1 onion
4 eggs beaten
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (white flour or matzo meal also work)
1 1/2 tsp salt
Oil for frying (I used grape)
Lots of paper towels for draining.

Wash and peel potatoes, keep peeled ones in a bowl of cold water to keep them nice and fresh.

Grate potatoes and onions hopefully you have a food processor. Now is the time to use it. If not, grating will be a huge pain.  Grate potatoes, drain excess liquid, get out as much as you can.

Add eggs, flour and salt. 

For frying, heat a large skillet with plenty of oil. Add about a tablespoon of potato mixture at ta time. Cook till golden and flip over until the other side is golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel. Repeat till all pancakes are done.

For baking, preheat oven to about 400. Oil baking sheet, baked till golden about 15 minutes, flip over, cook other side till golden. 

I served both fried and baked and really found there was little difference in taste.
We had them with applesauce and with Fage Total 2% (instead of sour cream).

adapted from

Osso Bucco aka Bone with Hole with White Beans

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Osso Bucco. Trust me, it tastes even better then it looks.

Osso Bucco may sound fancy but is actually fairly simple to make and once it's in the oven, you work is basically done. Such a comfort food. Serve over a side of your choice. Mashed potatoes or risotto come to mind.

All the ingredients are an estimate and you can add/remove ingredients without compromising the taste.

This can be made with either veal or beef, I happened to have 2 of each (long story) so I used that. I always braise/stew in a dutch oven that I have from LeCreuset. 

You will need:

4 bones with hole ( I prefer veal but beef is fine too)
Flour for dredging ( I used whole wheat)
1 small can of tomato paste (6 ounces)
1 can of white beans (optional)
4 tbsp of oil (I use grape)
1-1 1/2 cups of white cooking wine
Bay leave
Combo of veggies--carrot, anise, onion, a few garlic cloves.

1) Pulse veggies in your food processor till smooth. Reserve. The veggies can really be modified based on your taste or what you have.

2) Preheat oven to 375.

3) Wash and pat dry your meat. Dredge in flour. In the meantime, heat enough oil in your dutch oven to cover the bottom of the pan. Brown your meat on both sides about 3 minutes per side. Do not crowd. You may need to do this a few times.

This is what it will look like at this point:

Browned Meat Ready for the Oven

4) Remove meat.  If you have oil left, spill out but leave the meat bits. Add a bit more oil. Add the veggie combo from step one. Bring to simmer.  Add can on tomato paste. Bring to simmer. Add back the meat, add about a cup of white wine. Bring to boil. Add enough hot water to just about cover the meat. Add bay leave and fresh thyme. Cover, stick in the oven.

5) Cook for about 1 1/2 hours. Uncover. Cook another 20 minutes. If you are using white beans, drain and rinse. Mix into stew and cook another 20 minutes or so. Meat should be soft and falling of the bone. 

Winter Salad--Kale with Roasted Root Vegetables, Pine nuts and Aged Parmesan

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Winter Salad

If you have been following my little blog even a little, you know by now that I am all about using leftovers in a creative way so that they feel brand new and enjoyable.

Case in point here in this tasty salad. Made some roasted root vegetables last night. Recipe here:

Roasted Root Vegetables. We ate them with shrimp last night. Tonight they were reborn in a winter salad.

You will need 

For the Salad

  1. 2 cups of roasted vegetables. Since mine were leftovers, I reheated them in a pan and added a little maple syrup.
  2. 4 cups washed and spun dried kale with rough center pieces removed
  3. Handful of pine nuts
  4. About 4 table spoons of aged parmesan shaved
  5. about a tbs of maple syrup if you are reheating veggies
For the Dressing:
4 tbs ponzu sauce (soy sauce/lemon juice)
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp of lemon juice
1/4 shallot finely chopped.

Assemble your dressing in a bowl. Wash and spin dry kale and mix in 3/4 of the dressing. Leave kale to sit in the dressing. Since kale is so rough, I found it gets softer by sitting in the dressing for a bit.

Toast pine nuts in pan. Heat or roast veggies if you are starting from scratch.

Toss veggies into the kale, add remaining dressing. Divide into plates. Top with pine nuts and cheese. 


Roasted Root Vegetables

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Roasted Root Vegetables with Thyme

Roasted root vegetables make a lovely side dish. I made these last night and we ate them as a side to Shrimp Mark Bittman's Way. These would be great with a roast chicken or even for breakfast with some lovely sunny side up eggs.

You can really improvise here as was what veggies you include but the key is to cut them into uniform pieces so that they cook at the same time.

I used:

2 turnips
2 pasnips
2 sweet potatoes
a few sprigs of thyme
3 tbsp of grape oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and cut all your veggies. Toss in a large bowl with oil salt, pepper and thyme. Roast tossing every 15 minutes or so for about 45 minutes total. Put under broiler on high for a few minutes at the end.

Veggies tossed with salt and herbs ready for roasting

Dinner is served: Shrimp "Mark Bittman's Way" and Roasted Root Vegetables

Baked Bison Meatballs with Mushroom Shallot Sauce

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bison Meatballs

Mushroom Shallot Sauce
I don't know why but I have never made meatballs before. This was my first time and of course it's so me to gi for a more exotic meat. Got the recipe from a friend. Made a few modification based on what I had on hard and voila!!! These were super easy and definitely critique approved!

On a whim, also decided to make some mushroom sauce.

Ingredients for the meatballs:
10 ounces ground bison
1 tbsp steak sauce (I used Peter Lugers)
Whole Wheat Panko (Ian's), about 1/2 cup
Chopped finely shallot
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp italian seasoning
Dash of garlic powder
2 tbs grated parmesan cheese
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. I used my Breville Smart Oven to bake these. My newest kitchen purchase that I am in love with.
Mix beef in a large bowl with all the ingredients and mix well. Form 1 1/2 inch meatballs (bigger ok but make them even size and allow extra time for cooking). Place onto backing sheet covered in oil spray. 
Bake till no longer pink in center, about 20 minutes. Turn over half way through.
Meatballs prior to being baked

For Mushroom Sauce:

One pack of white mushrooms chopped
One shallot chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
Thyme (optional)
1 tbs flour (I use whole wheat)
3 tbs water
1 tbsp oil (I use grape)
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute shallots in oil till they start to soften. Add mushrooms, cook about 5 minutes till they start to shirk. Add broth, wine and thyme if using. 
In a small bowl, mix flour with water into a paste. Add to skillet. Simmer about 2 minutes till starts to thicken. I served this over meatballs but would also be good over pasta or mashed potatoes. 

Whole Wheat Lemon Basil Lasagna Roll Ups

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lasagna Roll Ups. A pice got snatched up before it even cooled off

Saw this yumminess written up in People Magazine recently and something about it really appeal to me.  I am usually not a lasagna person, particularly the kind with meat but this one just sounded so light and delish that I could not pass it up. It did not disappoint. I made a few small changes but it's mostly based on Candice Kumai's recipe.

16 lasagna noodles ( I used whole wheat by Bionaturae)
2 1/2-3 cups of marinara sauce ( I used Amy's Organic Basil Marinara)
15 ounces of part skim ricotta (small container)
1 tbsp fresh oregano ( I used dry as did not have fresh)
1 cup fresh basil chopped plus more for garshish
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons 
Salt to taste

1) Preheat oven to 350. 
2) Cook lasagna noodes per package directions till al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water. 
I actually cooked them 4 at a time. It took longer but resulted in no ripped or broken lasagna noodes.
3) Cover bottom on 9x13 inch baking dish with about 1 1/4 cup of marinara sauce.
4) Mix ricotta, basil , lemon zest, oregano and salt in a large bowl. 

5) Spread 2 tbsp of mixture onto each noodle. Roll tightly, place into baking dish. Repeat till done.
6) Cover with remaining sauce. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. 
7) Top with fresh basil.

Ricotta, lemon zest, basil, oregano and salt. This will be inside.

All rolled up. Add sauce on top and stick in the oven.

Finished product.  

I am going to serve this with roasted eggplant. A yummy meatless dinner.

By the way, are wondering what to do with your poor skinless zestless lemons? I was. Did a little research and found a great idea. I squeezed the juice out,  removed seeds and froze in and ice cube tray.
Storing in a ziploc bag for future use. And feeling so very resourceful.