Low carb comfort food? Sign me up! Upon finding myself in possession of a generous amount of cauliflower, I looked through a few cookbooks and blogs for inspiration, and one of my all-time favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen, came through with a great idea for cauliflower cheese. It’s kind of like mac and cheese, only with cauliflower instead of macaroni. Doesn’t it sound delicious? I thought so! So here’s my version. I’ve adapted Smitten Kitchen’s recipe by using Gruyére instead of Cheddar, adding some extra Dijon mustard, and topping it with some smoked paprika and crunchy panko (breadcrumbs). (But you can leave those off if you are avoiding all carbs, or substitute sliced almonds.) Continue reading
pumpkin casserole with crunchy pecan topping
I love savory pumpkin dishes. Also, anything involving Ritz crackers is likely to be delicious. Perhaps not slenderizing, but delicious, especially when also featuring a savory blend of pumpkin, red pepper, onion, and garlic, with some smoked paprika and chipotle for pizzazz, topped with crunchy pecans and panko, and baked until slightly puffed and golden brown. The original recipe from The New York Times uses yellow summer squash, which one steams and purees for inclusion in the dish, but I didn’t have enough squash so I substituted a can of pumpkin for half the squash puree; you can make the whole casserole with all pumpkin instead of squash. Plus, it’s less work that way since you needn’t steam and puree the squash. Win! You can bake this in a casserole (2 1/2 quarts), or small ramekins or cocottes for a cute presentation (just bake it for less time). We had this as a main dish, but it would also be great as a side for a holiday meal such as Thanksgiving. Yay!
kale mac and cheese
Do you ever have a day in the early autumn when you absolutely *must* have comfort food? OK, maybe more than one day? A day like that just happened for me, while the NYC area was being rained on by a Nor’Easter for a week, while waiting to see if a hurricane was going to hit us next. I decided I *needed* to make classic macaroni and cheese, with a Radish Rose twist.
Where does one turn for the best classic recipes? To Cook’s Illustrated New Best Recipe, of course! For my Radish Rose variation, I added smoked paprika and dijon mustard to the classic cheese sauce, and I mixed in some kale before baking for extra healthy yum (not that this dish is slenderizing in any way!). And instead of regular bread crumbs, I used panko for extra crunchiness in the golden brown topping. I also baked it instead of broiling it as the original recipe says, because of that time I caught a breadcrumb topping on fire in the broiler. See? I can be taught. Continue reading
smoky little carrots in a blanket
It may not be completely obvious what these are. Because this is some next level carrot action! Have you heard of pigs in a blanket? Little smoky sausages in a crispy crust? Well, these are little smoky carrots in a crispy crust! Baked, not fried, and containing hardly any fat. How on earth did I come up with this? It falls into the category of having to find out if it could possibly work. I read the basic recipe in The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever, and having also been on a Sheet Pan Suppers bender, I decided to make them on a baking sheet instead of in a casserole dish, thinking the shallow sides would allow more air circulation to add crispiness. I also added a hit of smoked paprika, which made a huge difference in turning them into a super-savory snack. They’d be really good with some sort of dip, but we didn’t wait for that – we ate them right off the pan, standing up in the kitchen! Don’t judge us until you’ve tried this fun little appetizer for yourself!
smoky chickpea farro salad with olives, capers, and pine nuts
Smoked paprika, olives, pine nuts and golden raisins combine with garlic seared chickpeas and capers as well as fresh spinach and chewy farro to make an unforgettable Spanish-influenced hearty salad. This dish is vegan, but my best taste-tester husband actually thought (hoped?) there might be bacon in it due to the smoky flavors. Nope. Just a bunch of veg and nuts! Interesting how one can make things taste kinda bacon-y without actual bacon, isn’t it? Must investigate further.