Sunday, April 27, 2014

Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

I've been wanting to make this cauliflower dish for a while. A couple of years ago I made some mashed cauliflower without the roasted garlic and it was delicious. Rich and creamy. I've been dreaming of it ever since. This is a lighter version but the flavor is amped up with the roasted garlic. It's one of those dishes you taste to make sure the seasoning is right, and believe or not, it was perfect the first time. This would make a terrific side dish for anything you'd normally serve with mash potatoes or polenta. You won't miss the potatoes with this one.

I've been cooking all afternoon. Every now and then I get the urge to prepare for the week ahead so I'm not scrambling at 7pm on Monday night trying to figure out what to have for dinner. I hate it when that happens because then I end up eating something not so good for me. Today I made a few dishes that I can eat throughout the week. One of my favorites that I made for the week and that helps me get my veggies in is this Crunchy Walnut Salad. I love it. It's great with sandwiches or a piece of chicken. 

Hope everyone has a good week ahead and has the time to make and enjoy a few meals! 

Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

1 large head of garlic
1 large head of cauliflower, cleaned and chopped in large chunks
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 cup cream (could use half-n-half, milk or coconut milk)
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper 
Parsley, chopped (garnish)

In a large saucepan, add cauliflower and add enough water to cover cauliflower. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove the lid when boiling. Check cauliflower after 8-10 minutes to see if fork tender. When fork tender, drain the cauliflower and then add back to saucepan if using an emersion blender or to a food processor or blender. Add butter and cream. Mix or blend until creamy. Add a tablespoon of chicken stock until cauliflower resembles mash potato consistency. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as you prefer. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot. Serves 4-6.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Blueberries with Lemon Curd and Mascarpone Cream

You never know what each day is going to bring. My uncle passed away unexpectedly on Friday. He was such a good man. I know he didn't realize how much and how many people liked and cared about him. A good life cut way to short. I dedicate this posting to my Uncle Jeff. A very special man who will be sorely missed.

Spring is here, actually it's been here since January in California. I think we had fall, skipped winter and went straight to spring this year. I know many of you on the East coast had the worst winter ever. It is nice to see flowers blooming and to hear the birds chirping in the morning. My kitty loves it!

A little bit about this recipe. It is great for company because you can make it in advance. I love strawberries with mascarpone so I thought it would be interesting to try something similar with blueberries. Lemon and blueberries go together like basil and tomatoes. They bring out the best in each other. It's a rich dessert so you don't need a lot. I added crumbled cookie to add some crunch to the creaminess. I think a great dessert is one where you have several different textures. Hope you enjoy!

Blueberries with Lemon Curd and Mascarpone Cream

1 pint blueberries (washed and dried)
4oz mascarpone
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons lemon curd (Trader Joe's brand is yummy)
Zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cookie, crushed (I used an Amaretto cookie. Could substitute biscotti or something really crunchy)
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

Place a third of the blueberries in each serving dish. Add a tablespoon of lemon curd to each bowl. In a small mixing bowl, add the mascarpone, heavy cream, sugar and lemon zest. With a hand mixer, mix until the consistency of whipped cream forms. Add about 2 tablespoons to each bowl on top of the lemon curd. Sprinkle the top with the cookie crumbs. Garnish with fresh mint. Serves 3.