After a week of waiting we got our book today! WAHOO!!! And now for the fun!
My initial plan was to cook my way through the entire book, but since it starts with breakfast, but I could not resist, so I started with the Cauliflower Gratin with blue cheese.
Before we get to the good stuff let me tell you a little about this book. The book is meant to help the home cook with basic techniques and skills along with recipes. For example, the book starts off with descriptions of how to chop, cube, mince, how to fry, boil, deep fry and more. Then within the chapters it describes the most simple foods from eggs, to the more difficult meats, fish, and even vegetables. Not only are there great recipes, but there are also techniques, tips, suggestions for simple changes and upgrades. And of course, there are beautiful pictures of everything!
Now that I have sold you the book, let’s talk about this Cauliflower! The reason I chose this recipe, is because of the short list of ingredients. Here we go:
1 medium cauliflower
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh
1. Heat the oven to 425. Trim the outer leaves from the cauliflower and cut the florets from the core. You want these to be bit sized pieces.
2. Put the garlic on the cutting board and hold a chef’s knife above them, parallel. Press down lightly to crush the garlic a bit; remove the peel and trim the flat end.
3. Put the cauliflower in a large gratin dish; drizzle with olive oil and add some salt and pepper. Toss to coat the oil. Nestle the garlic among the cauliflower florets and place the dish in the oven. Cook for 10-15min until the cauliflower is browning.
4. Remove the dish and take out the garlic. Spread the blue cheese evenly over the dish and add the breadcrumbs. Put the dish back and cook for another 10-15min until the cheese is bubbling.
Tips and tricks
1. Step 2 is a great technique any time you want to get garlic out of the peel; if you smash the garlic the same way after it will release the garlic flavor and essence
2. The book gives great directions for trimming a cauliflower here they are:
a. Remove the outer leaves, it’s easy to see where the floret stems grow out of the core.
b. Begin at the base of the cauliflower and cut the cauliflower working your way to the top of the core, leaving some of the stem on each piece. When the core comes free discard it.
3. If you want to make your own bread crumbs, the book gives great tips for that too! Use a one or two day old bread and put it into a food processor, pulse until the bread is the consistency you want. There will always be an unevenness to the bread, so don’t try to get it even or the crumbs will be too dusty.