Friday, January 18, 2008

Roasted Cauliflower

Growing up we had a beautiful garden full of fresh, beautiful vegetables but around the house I was known for spitting squash out into my napkin and hiding it under the table and for my threats to mow over the exposed asparagus that were outside the garden railroad ties.

I've learned over the last few years that it's not vegetables that I hated but the way that my mom prepared them. Boiled, mushy, and over cooked. My mom is a wonderful cook and baker and considering she prepared three meals a day seven days a week for over 18 years she deserves some sort of award but her cooked veggies are not for me.

A couple of months ago Allen and I went to Mockingbird Bistro and I had the first cauliflower that I've ever loved. I've had some pretty good cauliflower in my adult years but none until now that I'd actually consider fixing at home as a staple. I finally got around to making roasted cauliflower and it's ever bit as good as how it was prepared at the fancy-smancy restaurant -- just without the butternut puree and scallops. If you google "roasted cauliflower" you'll find a handful of similar recipes. I used the most basic recipe (I did not add garlic, lemon or parmesan cheese).

1. Preheat the oven 425 degrees.
2. Break or cut the cauliflower into the medium size florets.
3. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper and spread in a shallow baking pan. Or, if you have a misto (or cooking spray), coat with olive oil spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using a metal bake pan is helpful because you can shake it and mix the ingredients easily.4. Place in oven, stir or shake occasionally, and cook until golden brown (25-30 minutes).

Yum. We made this for dinner with sweet potato and grilled chicken and it was a filling and healthy meal for two!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Blackberry Cobbler

My mom has been making this for years. I'm not sure where she got the recipe but it's easy as pie and for some reason people (including Allen) love it. I prefer blackberry and when I've tried peaches I don't think it's turned out as tasty. It doesn't have the cakey topping that you sometimes find (The Salt Lick cobbler has a yellow cake topping) but to me this is the better, more traditional version.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together until it crumbly: 1 stick of margarine (at room temperature so it's easy to mix)
3/4 cup of sugar
1 and 1/2 cups of Bisquick

In a pyrex dish add a little bit more than one layer of berries (a bag of frozen berries will usually do it). Sprinkle the berries with 1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar and a bit of water. (If you're using frozen berries forgo the additional water.)

Cover the berries with the margarine/sugar/Bisquick mixture.

Place in the oven (uncovered) for 30 minutes or so, or until it boils and is "good and brown" on top.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

This is an Everyday Foods recipe I found and it's suppose to be a lighter version Chicken Pot Pie. That means that it's not rich and doesn't taste like the pot pies that my parents use to make us eat when they went out on a date and we had a babysitter. I'm not going to share the recipe because I don't think it's worth making. Using phyllo dough as a crust sounds good in theory but it requires a little work getting the layers brushed with oil and assembled on the topping. Also, it doesn't taste great reheated.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Piroshky, Piroshky

So, I didn't technically cook or bake these Piroshkies but I hope some day to find a recipe as worthy as these bundles of joy. If you're in Seattle do not leave until you've visited Piroshky, Piroshky (1908 Pike Place in the Pike Place Market). I prefer the savory but the sweet are also commendable.

Linguine with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Feta

The only thing easier than blogging is making this dish.

I cut the recipe in half and used half a bag a non-name brand frozen shrimp from Fiesta ($5.00)that were actually the best frozen shrimp I've ever bought (read: not tough). I used the little bit of basil that has survived from the plant I bought last fall. Fresh basil made it that much better and I can still taste it and smell it on my fingers from dicing.

This recipe takes no time. 10 minutes for prep, 1 hour chiling in the fridge, and then another 20 outside to let the mixture reach room temperature while you heat up the linguine. The only thing I'd recommend is to make sure the tomato/shrimp/feta sauce is no longer cold when you add the noodles because the only heat you're adding is noodles and you want the dish to be warm.

1 pound medium shrimp (about 40)
2 pints vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
4 large garlic cloves
1 bunch scallions
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta (about 6 ounces)
1 pound dried linguine

Shell shrimp and, if desired, devein. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook shrimp until cooked through, about 1 minute, and drain well. Halve tomatoes and mince garlic. Finely chop scallions. In a large bowl stir together all ingredients except linguine with salt and pepper to taste. Chill sauce, covered, 1 hour. Let sauce stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. In an 8-quart kettle bring 6 quarts salted water to a boil and cook linguine until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water and drain pasta. Add pasta to sauce and toss well, adding enough pasta water to reach desired consistency. (This recipe is from Gourmet magazine.)

Things I Cook and Bake

It's January 15, 2008 and I've finally been sucked into the world of blogging. I'm doubtful this is a good thing for the internet as I often wonder where have all the dead blogs gone?

Regardless, hopefully no one is reading or seeing this and it will be my own little food journal to inspire myself to cook and bake more and to grow my culinary skills.