Monday, July 27, 2015

Roasted Cauliflower with Mustard Brown Butter Sauce & Pappardelle

For comments, please post below or email to cookingwithlarue@gmail.com

Roasted Cauliflower with Mustard Brown Butter Sauce & Pappardelle
Serves: 6
Difficulty: Easy
Vegetarian
Roasted Cauliflower with Mustard Brown Butter Sauce & Pappardelle 
This is a wonderful any-time vegetarian pasta dish. We have adopted Meatless Mondays in our house. (Well, truth be told, some of the Mondays….and maybe a little bacon sometimes!).  This dish is sure to please even the most ardent carnivore. I have been a huge fan of roasted cauliflower ever since I first tried it. There is just something about roasted cauliflower…roasting it takes something that is pretty boring and transforms it into something that is extraordinary. Even in its simplest form as posted– Oven Roasted Cauliflower or as Spiced, Whole Roasted Cauliflower (links below)– it is ridiculously addictive. I could easily chow down on a bowl of it rather than popcorn while watching a movie. Really.

Cauliflower is an annual plant that reproduces by seed and is in the same family as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli and collard greens. They are low in fat, low in carbs but high in dietary fiber, folate, water and vitamin C, thereby packing a whollop of nutritional density. In this recipe, simple ingredients – chewy, charred cauliflower, fried capers and bread crumbs, and browned butter, bolstered by whole grain mustard – combine for this wonderfully addictive and wholesome pasta.
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets, stems minced
  • ¾ C olive oil (divided)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 C large capers, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ C coarse fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp crushed red chile flakes
  • 6 Tb unsalted butter
  • ½ C whole grain mustard
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. pappardelle pasta
  • ¼ C roughly chopped parsley

Heat oven to 450 degree F. Toss cauliflower florets with 2 TB olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet; put into warmed oven until charred & tender, about 20 minutes. 
Cauliflower florets
Heat 1/3 C olive oil in a 14” high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Cook capers until crisp, 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer capers to paper towels to drain. Cook breadcrumbs and chile flakes until crisp, 3-4 minutes, transfer to a plate. Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel and melt butter over medium heat; cook until butter is deep golden brown. Watch carefully as it is quick to burn. Stir in mustard, salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl. 

Cooking the capers
The mustard sauce
Add remaining olive oil to skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Cook cauliflower stems, garlic, salt and pepper until golden, 6-8 minutes.
Golden brown cauliflower
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta al dente, following manufacturer instructions. 
The pasta is ready to cook!
Drain pasta; add to skillet with stems & garlic. Next add half the reserved breadcrumbs, all the mustard butter sauce, and half the parsley; toss. Top with reserved florets; garnish with reserved capers and the remaining breadcrumbs and parsley. Serve to accolades.
Stirring in the capers and sauces
It does not need to be Monday to make this meatless dish….you will love it any and every day!

Larue


More Cauliflower:
http://cookingwithlarue.blogspot.com/2013/09/spice-infused-whole-roasted-cauliflower.html
http://cookingwithlarue.blogspot.com/2013/05/roasted-cauliflower-shallots-with.html


Monday, July 20, 2015

Chicken Breasts: White Wine & Herbs Sauce

Chicken Breasts with White Wine & Herbs Sauce 
Traditional and Sous Vide Methods
Serves: 4
Difficulty: Moderate
Sous Vide Temp: 140 – 147 degree F; Time: 2-5 hours
Sous Vide Chicken Breasts:
White Wine & Herbs Sauce 
This is the second of a duo of posts on chicken sous vide! Please see my “All about sous vide” post to get some background on this technique (http://cookingwithlarue.blogspot.com/2015/06/all-about-sous-vide.html#more).

This recipe features a light sauce, thickened by the use of gelatin to form a thicker, glossier, far more stable emulsion than a standard pan sauce. The soy sauce is added to provide a big umami boost.  This is the second of a duo of posts on chicken sous vide! Please see my Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette recipe for some background. http://cookingwithlarue.blogspot.com/2015/07/sous-vide-chicken-breasts-sun-dried.html


I also provide the traditional cooking method for the boneless skin-on chicken breasts. Preparation of the sauce is the same for both methods.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sous Vide Chicken Breasts: Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Sous Vide Chicken Breasts:
Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
Serves: 4
Difficulty: Moderate
Sous Vide Temp: 140 – 147 degree F; Time: 2-5 hours
Sous Vide Chicken Breasts:
Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
This is the first of a duo of posts on chicken sous vide! Coming soon...a white wine and herb sauce.

A chicken breast is often the first thing a novice sous vide cook tries. It will truly convert you because it produces a chicken breast that is opaque all the way through without any of the striations and without the dry texture of an overcooked chicken breast.  You end up with a perfectly cooked, super juicy piece of meat. I have found little difference between chicken cooked bone-in vs. bone-off. With traditional cooking, the bone helps insulate meat from high cooking temperatures. Not a problem with sous vide.  I chose boneless in this duo of recipes for presentation purposes.  Please see my “All about sous vide” post to get some background on this technique (http://cookingwithlarue.blogspot.com/2015/06/all-about-sous-vide.html#more).

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sweet & Spicy Jicama Salad with Pumpkin Seeds, Mint, Avocado & Arugula

Sweet & Spicy Jicama Salad with Pumpkin Seeds, Mint, Avocado & Arugula
Serves: 6
Difficulty: Easy
Sweet & Spicy Jicama Salad with Pumpkin Seeds, Mint, Avocado & Arugula 
You will not believe the complexity of flavor and crunch with this unique salad. Better yet, as jicama is widely available nearly year long, you can make it anytime. Jicama, native to Mexico, is part of the legume family and grows on vines. It is the tuberous root of the plant.  The exterior is yellow and papery; while its inside is a creamy white that’s mild in flavor with a sweet, nutty taste (think of it as a cross between a water chestnut and a pear). Jicama provides a good deal of crunch in this salad along with the roasted pumpkin seed.  Next time you are looking for a healthy different salad to serve – look no further than this gem!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sous Vide Cooking: Swordfish with Olive Gremolata

For comments, please post below or email to cookingwithlarue@gmail.com

The Art and Ease of Sous Vide Cooking:
Swordfish with Olive Gremolata
Serves: 4
Difficulty: Easy
Sous vide temp: 130 degree F; Time: 30 minutes
Traditional cooking method also included
Swordfish with Olive Gremolata 

Sous vide is a French phrase that is translated as “under vacuum.” However, the defining feature of the method is not packaging or vacuum sealing; it is accurate temperature control. A heating element can warm a water bath to any low to moderate temperature you set, and keep it there for hours – or even days. For more information on the how’s and whys of sous vide, please see post: All About Sous Vide at http://cookingwithlarue.blogspot.com/2015/06/all-about-sous-vide.html.

Sous vide is especially useful for cooking seafood, for which the window of proper doneness is often vanishingly small when traditional methods are used. When you fry a piece of fish, the flesh is most succulent and tender within a very narrow temperature range. Because the cooking temperature of the pan is considerably hotter than the ideal core temperature of the fish, the edges will inevitably be far more cooked than the center when pan-fried. Traditional cooking with a range, oven, or grill uses high and fluctuating temperatures, so you must time the cooking exactly; there is little margin for error. With just a moment’s inattention, conventional cooking can quickly overshoot perfection. This is particularly problematic with fish…especially lean fish, which can dry out quickly. Sous vide cooking is ideal for such fish, in this case swordfish, but also albacore.

Swordfish was taboo for a while, but now many varieties, especially domestic ones, are sustainable. In particular, the North Atlantic swordfish have really rebounded thanks to a 1999 international plan that rebuilt this stock several years ahead of schedule.