Thursday, November 8, 2018

RECIPE: Roasted Cauliflower Gratin With Tomatoes and Goat Cheese


  • 1 medium-size head of cauliflower
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small or 1/2 large red onion, cut in half or quarters (if using a whole onion) lengthwise, then sliced thin across the grain
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 (14 8/10-ounce) can chopped tomatoes in juice
  •  teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ ounces soft goat cheese (about 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoon chopped chives

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Cut away the bottom of the cauliflower stem and trim off leaves. Cut cauliflower into 1/3 inch thick slices, letting the florets on the edges fall off. Toss all of it, including the bits that have fallen away, with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on baking sheet in an even layer.
  2. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring and flipping over the big slices after 8 minutes, until the slices are tender when pierced with a paring knife and the small florets are nicely browned. Remove from oven and cut large slices into smaller pieces. You should have about 2 cups. Transfer to a large bowl. Turn oven down to 375 degrees.
  3. Oil a 1-1/2 to 2-quart baking dish or gratin. Heat remaining oil over medium heat in a medium-size skillet or a wide saucepan and add onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic and thyme and continue to cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add tomatoes, cinnamon, ground coriander seeds, and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, over medium-low heat, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the sauce is fragrant. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add to bowl with the cauliflower and stir everything together. Scrape into prepared baking dish.
  4. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the goat cheese. Beat eggs, then add the remaining cheese and beat together until smooth. Pour over cauliflower mixture, making sure to scrape out every last bit with a rubber spatula. Dot top with small pieces of the remaining goat cheese and sprinkle on chives.
  5. Bake 30 minutes, until top is beginning to brown in spots. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, November 2, 2018


Courtesy of

1. Slice celery root into thin matchsticks (or grate it coarsely) and toss it (raw) into a winter salad of endive, sliced pears, toasted walnuts, and blue cheese.

2. Make roasted celery root “chips.” Slice the root in half and then into quarters; then slice each quarter as thinly as possible. (A santoku knife is great for this). Toss the pieces in enough olive oil to coat, sprinkle with salt, spread on a heavy-duty sheet pan; and roast at 350°F until they are mostly a deep golden brown, with some white left. (I think the darker ones are crispier, but too dark and they’ll taste bitter.) Let them cool on the sheet pan to finish crisping up. Sprinkle with more salt and snack on the couch with your favorite DVD.
3.  Since celery root and potatoes are such a great match, use them together in a hearty winter soup. Sauté lots of sliced leeks in butter, add cubed celery root, potatoes, and chicken or vegetable broth, simmer until tender, puree, and enhance with a touch of cream, a little lemon zest, lots of chopped fresh parsley and crispy croutons.
4. Apples and celery root are also happy partners. Use them raw together in a salad, or try roasting them first and adding them to a warm escarole salad with crispy strips of ham and a warm Dijon vinaigrette.
5.  Make a celery root “galette” by lining a tart pan with a couple layers of thinly sliced circles of celery root and gruyere cheese. Bake at 400°F until browned and tender. (Cover for the first half of cooking.) Let cool and slice into wedges.
6. Try a “quick braise” of celery root. Brown diced celery root in a combination of butter and olive oil in a sauté pan, then add just enough liquid (a little broth spiked with apple cider), cover and reduce the liquid to finish cooking the vegetables. Uncover, toss with a little spiced butter, and serve warm.
7. Instead of chips, you can also dice celery root for roasting. Make a quick weeknight side dish of roasted celery root and Yukon Gold potatoes with honey and rosemary. Cut the vegetables into ½-inch dice, toss in olive oil and salt, and roast on a sheet pan at 425°F until browned and tender. Dress lightly with a combination of melted butter, honey, and chopped fresh rosemary.
8. Celery root  is also a good flavor match with seafood.  A bed of celery root puree for a sear-roasted fish filet is delicious. Cut the root (and a few small potatoes) into pieces and simmer them with a few small garlic cloves until tender. Puree the vegetables with a little of the cooking liquid, a bit of cream, and salt and pepper.
9. Instead of a puree, make a celery root “mash” by hand-mashing cooked celery root and potatoes together with butter and milk and a little sautéed garlic. Serve with pot roast.
10. For an elegant holiday side dish—or even a hearty weeknight main dish with a salad—make my recipe for a celery root and potato gratin I use a combination of heavy cream and chicken broth so it is rich but not too heavy; this is a good dish to introduce celery root to folks.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

RECIPE: Tomato Jam

Good tomatoes and balance are crucial. You need sugar for the kind of gooey, sticky quality we associate with jam; otherwise, all you’re producing is a tomato sauce, no matter how different the flavor is from the classic. Once you add that sugar, however, you need acid, because even though tomatoes are plenty acidic, they can’t counter all that sugar. I tried lemon juice, vinegar and finally lime, deciding that I liked the last best.

  • 1 ½ pounds good ripe tomatoes (Roma are best), cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated or minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 jalapeño or other peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced, or red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan, Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, then cool and refrigerate until ready to use; this will keep at least a week.

RECIPE: Cauliflower Soup with Blue Cheese and Parsley

This is a great twist on the traditional cauliflower soup. It uses much less cream than the traditional soup, but is nice and filling because of the blue cheese.

Ingredients for one Person
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large sprig thyme
1/2 cauliflower cut into florets
2-3 tbsp. parsley, chopped
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup half and half

Kitchen equipment needed:
Wine pairing suggestion:
I would suggest a New World Pinot Noir from Australia or New Zealand.

Preparation and Cooking Instructions

Chop the onion and garlic and set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Making sure to stir often, so the onion and garlic do not burn.

While the onions are cooking cut the cauliflower into florets, taking off the majority of the stalk. Set aside. Chop the parsley and set aside with the cauliflower.

When the onions are soft add the cauliflower and parsley to the soup and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
Add the stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally.
Reduce the heat to low and add the blue cheese and stir until well combined.
Add the half and half and cook until heated through.
Ladle soup into a bowl and enjoy!

RECIPE: Lemon and Oregano Chicken with, Parsley, Radish, cucumber and Feta Salad

A Greek inspired dish, with oregano, lemon and feta. The salad’s bolder flavours complement and enhance the chicken’s lighter taste.

Ingredients for one Person
1 chicken breasts, boneless
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh oregano
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 Kirby or Persian cucumber, sliced and quartered
3-4 radishes, sliced and quartered
Small handful parsley, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Kitchen equipment needed:
Skillet for cooking chicken
Bowl for mixing salad
Zip lock bag or bowl

Wine pairing suggestion:
A Sauvignon Blanc will go well with the pepperiness of the radishes, as well as the oregano and chicken.

Preparation and Cooking Instructions
Place the olive oil for chicken, the dried oregano, half the fresh oregano and lemon juice in a zip lock bag or a bowl. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper on each side, then place the chicken in the bowl/bag and blend with the marinade to cover chicken. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Chop the cucumber radishes and parsley and combine in bowl with feta cheese.
Place the skillet over medium-low heat. Add the chicken with marinade to the pan. Let cook for 8-10 minutes on each side. Cooking it on a low temperature will ensure the chicken does not dry out.
While the chicken is cooking, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar with a small whisk, or fork, to make a vinaigrette. Add the garlic powder and stir to combine.
Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss to coat the salad.
When the chicken is done, plate next to the salad and sprinkle with the remaining fresh oregano.

RECIPE: Rutabaga and Carrot Mash

A Scandinavian specialty, this is a great sweet and savoury mash that goes great with lamb and other meat dishes. 

1/4 rutabaga, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1.5 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup cream

Peel the rutabaga and carrot and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. 
Place the vegetables in the pot with salted water. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Drain and place back in the pot. Add the butter and cream to the pot and mash together, taste with salt and pepper.

RECIPE: Chipotle Chicken with Rajas (sautéed poblano peppers and onions)

Rajas is a traditional side dish in Mexico. Roasted pobalo peppers with crema and onions – a surprising sweet and spicy treat. Paired with chipotle seasoned chicken you have a great Mexican feast!

Ingredients for one person
1 poblano pepper, roasted and sliced
1/2 white or sweet onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. Mexican crema or crème fraiche
1/2 tbsp. olive oil

2 boneless chicken thighs
1 tsp. chipotle powder
1 pinch sugar
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. olive oil.

Corn tortillas to serve

Kitchen equipment needed:
Bowl for marinating chicken
Zip lock bag

Wine pairing suggestion:
Think lager beer, Corona, or perhaps a margarita.
Preparation/ roasting of poblono/ Cooking Instructions
If you have a gas stove hold the poblano with your tongs over the fire/ or rest on top of the element, until it is blistered black on the outside. Turn to roast all sides.
If you have an electric stove, place the poblano under the broiler, turning until it is blistered black on the outside.
Put the poblano in the zip lock bag for 10 minutes.
Season the chicken with the chipotle powder and sugar and squeeze the lime juice over and set aside.
Slice the chicken and chop the garlic.
Place the skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side.
Take the chicken out and set aside.
With the poblano in the bag, rub the pepper with your hands to remove the skin. It should come off easy. Take the pepper out and rinse under running water to remove the rest of the skin.
Slice into 1/4 inch strips.
Clean the skillet. Add the olive oil for the rajas to the skillet, over medium heat. Add the onion. Sautee for 2 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, poblano, oregano and crema and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
Serve with the chicken.