To go along with the slow-roasted chuck roast dinner I made this past Saturday I chose a couple of new side dishes to give a try. The first comes from the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook and is for a browned and braised cauliflower with garlic, ginger and soy. Cauliflower is in season right now so the price is not bad for a fresh head if you can get one. I like fresh much better than frozen as the frozen seems to get very limp and soggy quickly while if you cook the fresh right it was stay nice and crisp. This is a very easy recipe that only takes a few minutes to put together.
Browned and Braised Cauliflower with Garlic, Ginger and Soy
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and cut into 1-inch florets
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 scallions, minced
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is beginning to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Clear the center of the skillet and add the ginger, garlic and sesame oil. Cook, mashing the mixture into the pan, until it is fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir the ginger mixture into the cauliflower and cook for 30 seconds more. Reduce the heat to low and add the water, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sherry. Cover the skillet and cook until the florets are tender but still offer some resistance when they are poked with a paring knife, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the scallions and toss lightly to distribute. Season with pepper to taste and serve.
I really enjoyed the Asian flavor that this dish had. The ginger and soy really come through nicely and the garlic adds just the right touch, making this a great side dish. I would use this side again, perhaps with a chicken dish next time as I think it would lend itself quite nicely to that type of meal.
I also decided to take a shot at making Yorkshire pudding. Now I can remember having this as a kid and it was pretty good, but I had never attempted to make it before myself. I saw various recipes out there to give it a try, but I decided to go with this one from Alton Brown. It seemed the most basic and the one that I could least screw up, so I figured I would give it a shot. The worst that could happen is that I ended up throwing everything away. Thankfully, it all turned okay.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups milk, room temperature
1/4 cup beef drippings, divided
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Leave 2 tablespoons of the beef drippings in the pan and place it in the oven.
Place the flour, salt, eggs, milk and the remaining 2 tablespoons of drippings into the bowl of a food processor or blender and process for 30 seconds. Pour the batter into the hot roasting pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until it is puffed and golden brown. While the pudding is cooking, carve the roast and then serve the pudding with the roast.
For my first try at this, I think it went okay. The taste was there as I remembered it, but it did not puff up nearly as high as I thought it would. Everyone else thought it was okay, but I think I will need to try this one again at some point to try for better results. It could be that my oven temperature is a little off and that made the difference in the height of the puff. Whatever the case, it still turned out okay.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for some more recipes. I still have a sausage in the slow cooker recipe I tried, Michelle’s apple pie that she made this weekend, a new banana bread recipe and a few other things to try out this week. until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
October 7, 2013 at 10:20 am
Hi. Being a Yorkshire girl myself I can give you 3 tips for a well risen Yorkshire pudding. 1) Make sure the oil in your pan is hot hot hot and as soon as you pour the mix in get it in the oven 2) When you mix it, get as much air into it as possible 3) Leave your mix for about half hour before you cook it.
I hope this helps.
October 7, 2013 at 10:23 am
Thanks for the great tips! I don’t think my pan was hot enough. I have a thermometer in the oven to get a better reading than what the stove tells me, but it still seems off. The tip about leaving the mix in the pan might help a lot too. I’ll have to give it another try next time and hopefully have better results. Thanks again!
October 7, 2013 at 10:25 am
You want your oil/dripping to be smoking. I’ll watch out for your next ones. Happy cooking!