Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cauliflower Gratin

It is that time again for another recipe swap. This week the swap was for a side dish. I submitted a wonderful Baked Lemon Pasta, which reminds me I need to make it again soon. And speaking of reminders, I was reminded of this great dish I had forgotten all about. The recipe I received in the swap was one I had made before. But it had been YEARS since I had made it. A thank you goes to Christine's Kitchen Chronicles for not letting me forget about this great side dish.

From Ina Garten


1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into large floretsKosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.

Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Recipe Rewind: Chili Lime Marinated Drumsticks and Baked Ham and Swiss Rolls

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lentils with Pasta

I participated in another recipe swap and this time around it was pasta themed. My recipe was Pasta with Lentils. It piqued my interested because I had never mixed the two. I was also little worried because I am not a huge fan of lentils unless they are heavily flavored…think Indian cuisine. Since lentils are not easily found in stores near me and I wanted to get the most flavor possible I went looking at recipes that incorporated pasta and lentils. I wanted the recipe to be similar to the swap recipe, but I still wanted something to accommodate my tastes and ingredients I could easily obtain. The recipe I made did the trick!


1 cup dry orzo pasta
1 14.5 ounce can vegetable lentil soup
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
splash of balsamic vinegar
Parmesan cheese, shredded


Boil pasta in salted water according to directions on box.

In a separate pot combine soup and tomatoes. Heat over medium heat until warmed though; add a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and turned down low.

Combine orzo pasta and lentil mixture and top each serving with parmesan cheese.

Recipe Rewind: Better Than Sex Cake and Jalapeno Popper Spread

Monday, April 4, 2011

Orzo with Garbanzo Beans and Goat Cheese

I went searching for a recipe when I realized I had some goat cheese sitting around with no purpose. While searching I added chick peas (garbanzo beans) to the list because I am lazy and didn't feel like thawing and cooking meat. The original recipe calsl for oregano, but I used dill since I had some on hand. This dish was very satisfying...creamy, comforting and had a nice bite from the chick peas.

Adapted from Epicurious


1 1/2 cups orzo (about 9 ounces)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15- to 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
15-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)


Cook orzo in large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, stirring occasionally. Drain orzo.

Whisk olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and minced garlic to blend in large serving bowl. Add drained garbanzo beans, cooked orzo, and chopped fresh dill; toss salad to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Gently stir in crumbled goat cheese. Serve orzo salad warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Rewind: Party Roll-ups and Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf