Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower Soup With Chile & Garlic

This soup is perfect for cold winter nights.  Roasting the cauliflower and garlic sweetens the vegetables. You get a bit of heat from new Mexican red chile powder and spices.  Creamy coconut milk balances everything out.  Be sure to serve with delicious bread or rolls to dip in the bowls of soup.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup With Chile & Garlic
1 large head cauliflower
extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 white onion, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tbsp New Mexican red chile powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 baking potato, unpeeled and diced
1 qt plus 4 oz vegetable stock
3/4 cup coconut milk, unsweetened**
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare cauliflower by first washing and removing leaves. (chop leaves and save for later in the recipe). Cut off the stem and then cut cauliflower in half lengthwise and then again into quarters. Place one of the cut sides down on cutting board and...with the knife at an angle...cut off the stem. Repeat with remaining three pieces. Break cauliflower into bite sized florets. Chop half of the florets into small pieces.

Place prepared cauliflower florets (not chopped ones) on a rimmed parchment lined baking sheet. Run four passes of olive oil bottle over the pan and, using your hands, roll cauliflower in oil ensuring evenly covered. Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add garlic and another two passes of e.v.o.o. Stir and sprinkle large pinch each salt and peppers over vegetables. Return to pan and roast for another 10 minutes. Keep roasting until the cauliflower is beginning to brown and caramelize.  Remove from oven.

Add 2 tbsp olive oil to large pot and gently heat.  Add onion, jalapeno, and reserved cauliflower greens and cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft. ( about 6 minutes).  Add chile powder and cayenne pepper, stir and cook for an additional minute.  Add potato, chopped cauliflower and quart of vegetable stock.  Increase heat to high, bring to a boil, reduce heat back to medium and simmer for 25 minutes. (vegetables should be very soft.  If not, continue simmering for an additional 5-10 minutes.).  Add the roasted cauliflower, stir and heat for an additional minute.

Using a stick blender***, puree the soup until well mixed and fairly smooth.  (note, this soup has texture from the potato peel and greens which I like.  If you want a very smooth soup, pass through a strainer or food mill).  Add the coconut milk, small pinch of salt and one of pepper and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.  Add additional vegetable broth if too thick.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  Serve in large bowls, each drizzled with a bit of olive oil, a pinch more of the red chile powder and a sprinkling of cilantro. 

** Use the coconut milk in cartons in the dairy section...not the canned version
*** If you don't have a stick blender you can use a regular blender.  Do this in two batches and be very careful...soup is HOT.  See Amazon ad below for an example of an immersion stick blender.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

It is cauliflower week at food networks' fall fest. Check out the delicious sounding recipes from the all of the other participating bloggers:
Red or Green?: Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic
Devour: 6 New Ways to Use Cauliflower
Thursday Night Dinner: Quick Cauliflower Curry
Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Cauliflower and Fennel Salad With Endive and Radicchio
FN Dish: 10 Standout Cauliflower Recipes
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Cauliflower


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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

spicy twiced baked sweet potatoes for thanksgiving

we are celebrating thanksgiving in taos this year...my first ever away from california. i decided to tweak the menu a bit...combining some of our traditional dishes with new ones designed to take advantage of local ingredients.  so, my smashed potatoes will make an appearance...but they will sit next to the spicy, chorizo/tortilla/cornbread dressing i told you about last week.  we have to have the roasted brussels sprouts ....and turkey of course (i found a beautiful organic one from embudo valley organics.  their motto: humanely raised, free range, field grazed on the banks of the northern rio grande. love discovering the organic local food producers in the area)...but i am adding spicy twice baked sweet potatoes instead of the more typical sweet & spiced casserole. 

i love sweet potatoes, but am not of fan of the versions which call for added sugars albeit maple syrup, brown sugar or honey.  and marshmallows?  ick!  i usually roast them until they are beginning to caramelize with just sea salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and sometimes cayenne pepper.   this twice baked version uses the same seasonings with a bit of balsamic vinegar and smoked paprika to add just a hint of smokiness.  delicious.  and perfect for thanksgiving in taos.

spicy twice baked sweet potatoes
(serves 6)
6 medium sweet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
extra virgin olive oil
coarse grey salt
4 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
4 tbsp mayonnaise (or vegenaise)*
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
sea salt

preheat oven to 425 degrees.  prick potatoes numerous times with a small sharp knife to create small slits (this allows steam to escape resulting in baked potatoes not steamed).  place on parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  using your hands, rub oil all over potatoes ensuring they are coated.  sprinkle grey salt over top of potatoes. place on center rack in preheated oven and bake for 1 hour.  test to see if potatoes are cooked by piercing one with a sharp knife.  knife should slide in easily without any resistance.  if not, continue cooking, checking every 10 minutes, until done.  remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.  keep the baking sheet handy as you will reuse later.

reduce heat to 375 degrees.  cut off the top 8th of each potato. (these tops are the cooks treat!).  carefully scoop out the flesh from each potato ensuring you do not cut into the skin.  (i score the edges with a dinner knife and then use a spoon to scoop)  add the flesh to a large bowl.  mash with a potato masher or 2 forks.  add the onions, mayo, vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil, cayenne pepper, paprika and a pinch each salt and pepper.  stir.  taste and adjust seasonings if desired.  i usually add a bit more salt and cayenne pepper, but do this to your taste.  the potatoes should be creamy so add a bit more olive oil if needed.

mound the potatoes back into the skins and place on the reserved baking sheet.  drizzle tops with additional olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.  add back to oven and bake until hot with tops lightly browned (20-30 minutes)
* i use vegenaise to keep it vegan.  i think it is delicious but mayonnaise is just as good.

visit my other food blog red or green chile? to see my bolitas bean salad recipe.
now check out the delicious sounding thanksgiving sides recipes from the all of the other participating bloggers:

Feed Me Phoebe: Five Spice Winter Squash Soup
Chez Us: Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Virtually Homemade: Brussels Sprouts Salad With Avocado and a Tangerine Vinaigrette
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spicy Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Red or Green?: Bolitas Bean Salad
And Love It, Too: Potatoes Au Gratin (Gluten and Dairy-Free)
Devour: Thanksgiving Yam and Sweet Potato Sides That Are Almost Desserts
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing or Dressing
Cooking With Books: Rosemary and Pear Potato Salad
FN Dish: Old School Sweet Potato Soufflé

happy thanksgiving everyone!

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Friday, November 2, 2012

roasted carrots with chile & agave

i love roasted carrots and frequently experiment by trying different seasonings.  there were beautiful baby carrots at the farmers' market on saturday...the last market of the year. i bought bunches (literally) and tried a number of flavor combinations.  my favorite, hands down, was a mixture of new mexican red chile powder and organic, raw agave syrup.   delicious!

this is one of those recipes that is so easy you can make it often.  using the baby carrots means it will take only 30 minutes to roast....maybe this can even be a weeknight option? note....you can use carrots of any size you like...larger ones will just take longer to roast.  check them frequently to ensure you do not overcook.

one note about baby carrots.  i do NOT mean the packaged ones in the grocery store.  these are actually regular sized carrots cut down to size...what a waste!  true baby carrots are picked when they are still small...very sweet and tender.  i roast them with part of the stem attached because i think it makes a pretty presentation.

enjoy the carrots!

roasted carrots with chile & agave
small bunch baby carrots, unpeeled and washed with most of the green tops cut off...leave about 2 inches
extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp organic, raw agave syrup
1 tsp new mexican red chile powder
1 tsp chopped jalapeno pepper
sea salt
black pepper

preheat oven to 375 degrees (use roast setting if you have the option).  line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil on sheet.  add the prepared carrots to the sheet and, using your hands, roll them in the oil until coated.  roast in oven for 10 minutes.  remove from oven and pour agave over carrots.  sprinkle chile powder, jalapenos, pinch each salt & pepper over agave.  add back to oven and roast an additional 20 minutes or until tender.  serve immediately.

now check out the delicious sounding carrots recipes from the all of the other participating bloggers. fall fest begins at noon on wednesdays:

Feed Me Phoebe: Root Vegetable and Black Bean Chili
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Carrots With Chile and Agave
Haute Apple Pie: Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins
And Love It Too: Vegan Carrot Cake Coconut Macaroons
Virtually Homemade: The Silver Palate's Carrot Orange Soup
From My Corner of Saratoga: Copper Pennies aka Glazed Carrots
The Heritage Cook: Maple Roasted Carrots, Apples and Onions
Made By Michelle: Carrots and Caramelized Onions
Thursday Night Dinner: Braised Carrots
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Carrots
FN Dish: Best Carrot Sides for Thanksgiving

have a good week!

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

chorizo, cornbread & tortilla dressing

traditions are important, but sometimes mixing it up a bit can keep life interesting.  we are spending thanksgiving this year at our home in taos so i have decided to add a few new southwestern inspired dishes to my regular menu.  my favorite?  a cornbread dressing infused with chorizo, new mexican red chile powder and corn tortilla chips?  really different...amazingly good.

i made a 1/2 batch for this story which is why it is baked in a pie dish...you will use a 9 x 13 inch baking dish for the recipe.
i make this as a dressing which means it is baked in a casserole, not stuffed in the turkey.  i do this for two reasons: 1.  i can keep it vegetarian this way so all of my guests can partake (i use soyrizo instead of chorizo) and 2.  baking the dressing crisps up the cornbread and tortilla chips resulting in a wonderful crunch.  i made a "test" batch this weekend so i could photograph for this story.  served with baked chicken, roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed broccolini and garlic, it was a perfect fall dinner.  now i cannot wait for thanksgiving to make it again. (and eat it) want something different for your t-day table this year?  give this dressing a try.

i am so happy to announce that, for the second year in a row in honor of thanksgiving, food network is getting the entire food community together to celebrate a virtual thanksgiving, called the communal table (hashtag #pullupachair) on wednesday, november 14th at noon EST. they have invited me to participate...how cool is that?

here's how it works....bloggers from all over the country, as well as the food network gang, will each  create a post/article on their respective sites sharing one of their favorite thanksgiving recipes. each blog will also contain links to all the other blogs so readers can see what everyone is “bringing to the table.” just think...a one stop place to view loads of delicious sounding recipes and plan your thanksgiving menu.  with two weeks before the big day, we will all have plenty of time to finalize our menus.  happy planning everyone!

chorizo, cornbread and tortilla dressing
1 yellow onion, diced
extra virgin oil oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions (white and green parts)
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 jalapeño, seeded, deveined, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage (or 2 tsp dried)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp new mexican red chile powder
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
chorizo broth (recipe below)
6 cups cornbread, crumbled (either homemade or store bought)
1/2 lb corn tortilla chips (either homemade or store bought)

in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, heat 2 tbsp olive oil to shimmering.  add the diced yellow onion and cook over medium heat until translucent.  add the green onion, celery, carrots, green pepper, and jalapeño and cook, stirring frequently,  until vegetables are softened (about 5 minutes).  add the sage, cilantro, chile powder, a pinch of salt and one of pepper and cook for an additional minute. 

add the cornbread and tortilla chips to a large bowl.  pour the vegetable mixture over the cornbread/chips and stir to combine.  pour the chorizo broth over the cornbread and gently stir to combine.  allow to sit for 15 minutes.  stir again and pour into an oiled 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  cover with foil and bake at a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until hot.  remove foil, drizzle top with 3 passes of the olive oil bottle and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes, or until the top is crispy and brown.  serve immediately.

chorizo broth
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 12 oz package soyrizo, crumbled (or regular mexican chorizo)*
6 cups vegetable broth
12 oz crushed corn tortilla chips
sea salt
black pepper

in a large saucepan, sauté the onion  in the olive oil over medium heat until softened.  add the garlic and soyrizo and cook until soyrizo is crispy on the edges (about 7 minutes).  add the vegetable broth and tortilla chips and bring to a boil.  reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 20 minutes.  season to taste with salt and pepper.

* feel free to use regular chorizo if you wish...just switch the recipe a bit to ensure you thoroughly cook the chorizo first and then drain before you sauté the onions and garlic.

now check out the delicious recipes from my fellow bloggers:

Cocktails, Appetizers, Salads and Breads:
Haute Apple Pie: Apple Jack
Cooking With Books: Spiced Couscous and Walnut Salad
Mooshu Jenne: Honey Bacon Potato Pops
Food For My Family: Roasted Beet and Lacinato Kale Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Super Seeded Cornbread

FN Dish: Black Pepper-Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Turkey

Sides: Feed Me Phoebe: Cornbread and Wild Rice Stuffing With Hazelnuts and Cranberries
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chorizo, Cornbread and Tortilla Dressing
Sweet Life: Apple Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing
And Love It, Too: Paleo Green Bean Casserole
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Sweet Spiced Winter Squash Casserole
Red or Green?: Corn, Peppers and Onion Saute
Simple Bites: Honey Pomegranate Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Virtually Homemade: Fresh Orange and Cranberry Sauce With Toasted Walnuts
What's Gaby Cooking: Sweet Potato Gratin
The Heritage Cook: Cauliflower Gratin
Creative Culinary: Creamy Mushroom Bake With Parmesan and Panko
Bacon and Souffle: Spicy Carnival Squash

I Am Baker: Pumpkin Bars in a Jar
Add a Pinch: Caramel Pie
Chez Us: Pumpkin Cheesecake With Chocolate Swirls

have a good week!

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