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A Fresh and Fulfilling Side Dish – Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing

I like cauliflower, but I often have a couple of problems with it. Number one, when it is not in season it can be quite expensive to get a fresh head of cauliflower around here. I usually have to wait until it goes on sale someplace before I pick some up. The second problem I have is that by itself it can be quite bland. If you have ever steamed cauliflower or boiled it you know that it doesn’t always have a lot of flavor to it by itself and a lot of people get put off just by the smell of cauliflower as it is cooking. One of the reasons I do not often buy frozen cauliflower is that it can be pretty tasteless in my opinion unless you do something with it. So when I bought some fresh cauliflower last week, I set out to try to find a good way of cooking it. I love roasting vegetables myself; it brings out much more flavor and you get the chance to add some herbs, dressings or sauces to it to make it even more flavorful. This works particularly well with cauliflower, so I was glad when I found this recipe from Bon Appetit for roasted cauliflower with lemon-parsley dressing and decided to give it a try.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing

1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the cauliflower florets and 4 tablespoons of the olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season the cauliflower with salt and pepper. Roast the cauliflower, tossing it occasionally, until it is tender and golden brown, about 25–30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse the parsley, the lemon juice, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a food processor until it is very finely chopped; season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the roasted cauliflower with the lemon-parsley mixture and top the cauliflower with the lemon zest.

It is a very simple side dish that really gets the flavors of the cauliflower brought out by the roasting. The lemon dressing really helps to bring it all together as well. You can use this as a side dish for really any type of entrée you are making, such as steak, lamb, chicken or pork. I used it as a side when I made the molasses-glazed pork tenderloin I had made and it went perfectly with the meal. You can also make the dressing ahead of time since it is easy to put together and keep it chilled in the refrigerator until after you have roasted the cauliflower. it makes for a great option for you if you are tired of steaming or boiling.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I just want to take a quick moment to thank everyone who has been following along or reading the blog as it continues to grow. it has been a lot of fun for me and I hope you can find some great recipes that you want to try for you and your family. If there is ever anything that you want to see, a question you may have or a recipe of your own you would like to share, please feel free to leave a  comment below, send me an e-mail at IguanaFlats@msn.com or catch up to me on my Facebook or Twitter page. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Side Dishes, Vegetables

 

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Jazzing Up the Vegetables – Caramelized Cauliflower with Honey and Smoked Paprika

Cauliflower is in season this time of year so it is often on sale around here now, making it a good time to get some if you like it. I have to admit, I like cauliflower, but I often find it quite bland as far as taste. it is one of Michelle’s favorite vegetables, so I thought I would get some fresh cauliflower while it was a good price but I wanted to do something with it that would really bring out some flavor in the dish. I came across this recipe from Williams-Sonoma for a caramelized cauliflower with honey and smoked paprika to really punch up the flavor some.

Caramelized Cauliflower with Honey and Smoked Paprika

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 large cauliflower, about 3 pounds, cut into 1-inch florets

Salt, to taste

1 shallot, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons water

1/2 lemon

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large fry pan or skillet set over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and melt the butter. Add the cauliflower florets, sprinkle them with a generous pinch of salt and toss the florets to gently coat them with the oil and butter mixture. Spread the florets into a single layer and cook, without stirring the cauliflower, until the undersides are lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip each cauliflower piece over and continue cooking, undisturbed, until each piece is evenly browned, about another 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat the process until all sides of the cauliflower florets are evenly browned, about another 3 to 5 minutes more.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the shallot, the red pepper flakes and the smoked paprika to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the honey and the water and saute until the liquid reduces to a glaze, about 2 to 3 minutes. Squeeze the juice of the half a lemon over the cauliflower, stir the vegetables to combine them well and cook them for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat. Taste the vegetables and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper as appropriate.

Transfer the cauliflower to a warmed bowl and serve immediately.

It is a very easy side dish to make and tastes great with the paprika, pepper flakes and the honey glaze on the cauliflower. In my opinion it gives the cauliflower a lot more flavor than it ever had before without having to smother it in cheese and it just uses a few simple ingredients. I will surely remember this one again as it gives a nice option for a vegetable we do not have that often.

That’s all I have for today. Check back tomorrow for another recipe. I have a few new ones I have tried recently, including a new ribs recipe and some things we made for Mardi Gras, including gumbo, red rice, sweet potato cornbread and banana’s Foster parfaits. It was all pretty delicious and I think you will like them. until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on March 6, 2014 in Cooking, Vegetables

 

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Sunday Dinner on a Saturday, Part 2 – Braised Cauliflower and Yorkshire Pudding

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

Pepper

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.

Yorkshire Pudding

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!

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, Side Dishes, Vegetables

 

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A Lovely Leg of Lamb

I didn’t get to do a blog entry yesterday. We had company early and all day, so I just never had time to do it, so today I will probably do two posts to get caught up. Catching up is more for me because it keeps me writing, but it also keeps everything on schedule for my meal plan as well. Anyway, yesterday was Roast Leg of Lamb, Baked Potatoes, Cauliflower and Turnips (and it was quite tasty by the way). None is hard to make, just maybe a little time-consuming and there is some prep work to be done, but it’s well worth it.

Roast Leg of Lamb

5-6 pound leg of lamb (semi-boneless or boneless is fine, although boneless is quite expensive)

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 clove of garlic, mashed

1 teaspoon ground rosemary

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, blend mustard, soy sauce, garlic, rosemary and ginger until mixed thoroughly. Whisk in the olive oil by droplets to make the mixture have a mayonnaise-like consistency. With a rubber spatula, paint the mixture on the lamb to coat it thoroughly. Set the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours to allow to marinade.

Roast lamb in 350 degree oven until an oven-safe thermometer inserted in the meat reads 150 degrees for medium-rare (about 1-1 1/4 hours), or 160 degrees for well done (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours).

Making the marinade and marinading the lamb takes longer than the actual roasting, but it does add a nice flavor and crust to the meat.

For the side dishes, I made baked potatoes, which we have done before. If you would like to see my method for making them, you can check here for the recipe. Both the cauliflower and the turnips are quite simple to make but I will put both recipes up here so you can see what I did with them.

Steamed Cauliflower

1 head (about 2 pounds) cauliflower. cored and florets cut into 1-inch pieces

Place a steaming rack or basket into a large pot or Dutch oven and add water until it touches the bottom of the rack. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Lay the cauliflower in the steaming rack, cover, and steam until tender, about 7 to 9 minutes. Check the pot periodically to make sure the water has not boiled dry, adding more water as needed.

The turnips are just as simple:

Pureed Turnips

1 1/2 pounds turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

Ground black pepper

Place the cut turnips in a large pot with water to cover and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until the turnips are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. You want them fully tender but not mushy. Drain the turnips well, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Cool slightly and put them in a blender or food processor with as much of the cooking liquid as you need to get the machine going. (You can also mash the turnips with a large fork or potato masher, adding the cooking liquid as needed.) Add the olive oil or butter and stir, then taste and season with more salt if necessary and sprinkle with pepper.

You could also add up to 1/2 cup of cream, sour cream, half-and-half or milk to make the mixture rich and creamier if you like.

That was our dinner yesterday, and there were some leftovers, which makes things a perfect lead-in for tonight’s dinner, which will be Shepherd’s Pie. We’ll be using the leftover lamb and turnips as part of the recipe, which I’ll be posting later on today as the start of our one pot meals week. Until then, enjoy your afternoon and I’ll be back later!

 

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes, Vegetables

 

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(Stir) Frying Up Some Chicken

Since this is going to be the week of one pot meals, and since Sean picked the meals, it is going to be mostly stir fry dinners this week, with the exception of the soups we will be making. Stir fries are fun and easy to do. I like doing them because you can really put anything you want in a stir fry. It’s a great way to get rid of leftovers in any form, whether they are chicken, meat, fish or vegetables, and they only take about 20 minutes to make, which makes them ideal for weeknight dinners when things can get hectic.

I would just like to mention a few things about stir frying. I always have a few Asian ingredients on hand in case we feel like making a stir fry. I always have soy sauce, five-spice powder, fresh ginger, hoisin sauce, mirin, rice vinegar and oyster sauce. They can all be found in your local supermarket and if you have them around, you can do all kinds of Asian and stir fry cooking. Next, I have a wok, but I don’t use it for stir frying anymore. Wok’s aren’t designed to be used on a flat stove top and don’t really provide the high heat you need to do a good stir fry. A large, non-stick skillet works a lot better makes better use of a horizontal heat source. Lastly, if you want restaurant-style sauces for your stir fry, add a little cornstarch to your pan juices and you’ll get that glossy sauce that you get with your take-out. Today’s dinner is Stir-Fried Chicken and Vegetables with White Rice.

Stir-Fried Chicken and Vegetables

2 cups broccoli or cauliflower florets and stems, cut into bite size pieces

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 pepper (any color), seeded and sliced into strips

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 medium onion, sliced

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into 1/2-inch wide strips

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce 1/2 cup chicken stock, white wine or water (your choice, I am using stock)

Put a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add half the oil, swirl it around and immediately add half the garlic and ginger. Cook for 15 seconds, stirring, then add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and pepper and cook over high heat until the vegetables are tender but not at all mushy, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Turn the heat down to medium and remove the vegetables. Add the remaining oil to the pan, then the remaining garlic and ginger. Stir, then add the chicken. Raise the heat to high, stir the chicken once, then let it sit for 1 minute before stirring again. Cook stirring occasionally, until the chicken has lost its pink color, 3 to 5 minutes.

Return the vegetables to the pan and toss once or twice. Add the sugar, then the soy sauce; toss again. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add the liquid. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly and you’ve scraped up all the bits of chicken, about 30 seconds. Serve over rice.

There are so many other things you can add or change about this recipe. Throw in some mushrooms, bean sprouts, shallot, snow peas, baby corn or any other vegetable you might like to have. Toss the chicken chunks with the five-spice powder before cooking (1 tablespoon is plenty), add a tablespoon of hoisin, oyster or plum sauce to the soy sauce, use beef, pork, shrimp, scallops or any other fish instead of the chicken, the list can go on. You could even add some cashews or peanuts right at the add for some added crunch. Have fun with it and make it what you want.

I have done the white rice recipe a few times here, so you can see how I make it if you like. On Wednesday, when we have the next stir fry, we’ll be making fried rice, so I’ll post the recipe for that when we get to it. A simple, healthy meal with easy clean up, and Sean picked it out! It can’t get much better than that! Tomorrow, we will be making Rustic Vegetable and Polenta soup. It is our meat-free meal of the week, and Sean will help with this one too. He’s a little reluctant to try this one, but we’re going to give it a whirl anyway. It’s very basic as far as ingredients, so hopefully it will go over well. Check it out tomorrow to see the recipe. As always, if you have any questions, comments or anything at all to add, please feel free to leave a comment. I am more than happy to respond. Now it’s back to work for me. Have a great evening and see you tomorrow!

 

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Vegetables

 

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Jennifer Probst

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