Easy Chile Verde….or just Damn Good Pork

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Chili verde with jalapeno pimento cheese (Palmetto Cheese brand), fried egg, and a fried green tomato!

My love affair with pork…it’s a long-standing one.  Frankly, it’s in my blood being a Southerner and all.  I like it all…bacon (bacon!!!!), pork loin, smoked pork, pulled pork, cracklins’…you name it, I love it. Chili verde, simply braised pork chunks in a green chili and/or tomatillo sauce,  is some seriously good pork eats. I frankly have never had a bad chili verde.  It really goes well with ev-e-ry-thing. Slap some on a fried egg or fried green tomato or make yourself a little taco salad with a chipolte dressing.  Roll that goodness up in a burrito (or lettuce or kale wrap) or throw it in some soup (white bean chili!). It pairs super well with jalapeno pimento cheese (what the hell doesn’t???). Or my favorite….straight off the fork! Good news is this recipe is super easy and can bypass any slicing and dicing.  It even cooks while you sleep! My kinda business. Now you know where the ‘slap it on a fried egg’ comes in…waking up to a house full of porky goodness begs one to immediately fry up an up an egg and go to town while standing over the kitchen counter in your housedress. Yep, it’s that good.  Here goes…

Easy Chili Verde

  • 5 lb Boston Butt (do not remove fat pad)
  • 1 jar green salsa (as spicy as you like it)
  • 2 cups Mojo Crillo marinade (get the ‘crillo’ since it has no MSG)
  • crock pot

Rinse pork. Throw it in the crock pot fat side up (for Pete’s sake, don’t cut the fat off!!). Toss in the whole jar of green salsa and 2 cups of Mojo Crillo.

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Dressing up the pork!

Put the lid on your crock pot and set it on low and let it simmer away overnight.  I usually set mine on low for 10 hours and it’s perfect.  You can get all fancy and add sliced peppers and onions in the beginning–they’ll add flavor, but will completely break down. Not to worry.  Shove the juices (after cooking) and peppers/onions through a fine sieve and you have yourself a serious sauce. Plunk the pulled pork/pork chunks back down in that sauce and you’re in business! If you want to keep the peppers and onions intact, you’ll have to wait and add them a few hours from the end.

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Too delicious!

Now go forth and slather your porky goodness over whatever you can think of—you won’t be disappointed.

Pickled Collard Stems

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Pickled collard stems. “What the h-e-double hockey sticks is that?” probably comes to mind first, quickly followed by “How does one go about pickling said collard stem?”. Luckily I’ve trudged ahead through trial and error and therefore, have those answers for you. These little pickled delights can be addicting. They can be substituted for celery in a Bloody Mary, used to scoop up some jalapeno pimento cheese, or even chopped up and used in place of relish. You can pickle them whole or slice them on the bias. Even better news? They’re made from a part of the collard you normally pitch. Now that’s my kind o’ recycling. Let’s get to it.

Pickled Collard Stems

1 gallon glass container with lid
Stems from 2 bunches of collards, trimmed to 1 inch shorter than glass jar
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tsp whole black peppercorns
3 bay leaves

1 TBSP dried jalapenos (can use fresh)
1 gallon filtered water
3/4 cup pickling salt
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

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Dried peppercorns

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Dried jalapenos (can use fresh)

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Bay leaves

Pack jar tightly with stems, onions, and spices. Bring water, salt, and vinegar to a low boil. Remove brine from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.

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Submerging stems in brine with spices; Make sure everything is covered and place a fermentation weight or other heavy object on top to keep everything below the brine line (I have a bowl that fits just right!).

Pour brine over veggies, making sure brine covers everything. Place a fermentation weight (or a rigged up one like I do) over the top to prevent as much contact between the air and the brine surface. If you have a fermentation crock, bust that thing out and put it to use. Let your container sit at room temperature for 3-5 days, until your spears have the saltiness, flavor, and crunchiness you like.

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Let ’em sit until the have the taste, saltiness, and crunch you like (mine sat for 4 days)!

When they reach that point, trade your weight for a lid and place the whole container in the fridge. Your pickled stems will last several weeks (if you don’t gobble them up first!).

Asparagus is here!

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Asparagus and Proscuitto

Wee little asparagus spears poking up at the first of Spring!

I’ve been waiting patiently.  Veerrryyy patiently. For 3 years. Yes, threeeee years. And it’s finally arrived…asparagus! I planted it on a whim three (did I say three yet?) years ago just to see if I could grow it, and hallelujah, it’s arrived.  You have to wait three years to harvest spears, so this year is an exciting year!  In fact, I almost three a party just because Spring has arrived and the wee little spears have made their debut.

Now, some would argue they don’t like asparagus. I’d argue they haven’t had it cooked right.  By that I mean it’s not supposed to be army green.  Yes, asparagus and good ol’ fatty hollandaise is spectacular, but holy moly, asparagus in prosciutto is The Bomb. And to top it off, it’s super easy.  And people will think you have created culinary magic when they eat it. Wiiiiinnnn!

Asparagus in Proscuitto

  • 1 bunch asparagus, cleaned of fibrous ends
  • 1 pack high quality proscuitto
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup aged shredded Asiago cheese
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Optional: 2 poached eggs per serving (makes a great brunch with a salad, or a great breakfast!)..check out the eggs from Wishbone Heritage Farms!

 

Wash and clean asparagus of woody ends (the whiteish-purple end that doesn’t bend so easily). Dry by rolling between 2 paper towels. Coat with 1 TBSP olive oil and cracked pepper to taste. Wrap 2-3 asparagus with 1/2 slice of prosciutto. Place on a foil lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle each group of spears with a little bit of cheese (about 1-2 tsp).  Roast until just tender and prosciutto starts to crisp on the edges, about 15 minutes.

Proscuitto wrapped asparagus

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus ready for the oven!

roasted prosciutto wrapped asparagus

Crispy prosciutto and al dente asparagus. De-e-lightful!

While asparagus is cooking, heat water for poaching eggs. After asparagus is done, remove from oven to cool. While asparagus is cooling, poach optional eggs while asparagus is cooling.

prosciutto wrapped asparagus and poached eggs

Yeah…there is seriously no better breakfast!

Dig in my friend!…And consider growing your own!

Radicchio…Taming that Bitter Bite!

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Purple Cabbage? Nope! Radicchio–your new friend!

I can in no way take credit for dreaming up charred radicchio.  I had it at Trattoria Lucca when my buddy Mike made reservations for a family-style meal.  It was superb and I set out to making some of my own.

Most may know radicchio as the little chunks of bitter, purple lettucey-cabbage-like stuff in bagged lettuce mixes.  You know, the one you pick out and scoot to the edge of your plate in a pile while not-so-subtly scrunching up your nose. Yeah, that stuff. In whole form, it looks like miniature, purple-white striated heads of cabbage. Don’t scrunch up your nose too much though, it really is quite the powerhouse of a vegetable.  It contains a sedative/analgesic compound and flavonoid antioxidants.  And like other chicories (think endive), radicchio contains inulin which helps to regulate blood sugar. And, hey, if that doesn’t sell ya, it can also help control intestinal parasites! Woot! Woot!

I will warn you, radicchio by itself can be bitter. However, grilling and charring help mellow its natural bitterness.  Adding some vinegar, a tad of sweetness, some fat, and a bit of lemon juice further round out that bitterness and turn it into a tasty treat.

So, hey, don’t just eat it to protect yourself from intestinal parasites—eat it ’cause it’s tasty!

Charred Radicchio

  • 1 TBSP Oil for searing (use your rendered duck fat, or beef tallow!)
  • 2 heads of radicchio, quartered (keep the little stump on so it doesn’t fall apart)
  • 2 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed and minced finely
  • Plenty of cracked black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp honey or sugar of choice (you can leave this out, but may need more lemon juice on the back end)
  • 6 slices of thick-sliced bacon, cooked but not crispy (or better yet, 6 slices porchetta)
  • 2 TBSP shredded Asiago
  • 1 TBSP chopped parsley or celery leaves
  • About 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice (more or less to taste–it helps reduce any bitterness that may be left)
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Wedge your radicchio, removing any extra core and leaving on the little ‘nub’ where the root was so it doesn’t fall apart when cooking.  

Heat oil of choice in skillet (cast iron preferred) until just below smoke point. While the oil is heating, mix the vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, black pepper, salt, and honey together.

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Coat it up!

Coat the radicchio quarters in the mixture.  When the oil is good and hot, place the quarters on their side in the oil with some room in between. You may have to do more than one batch.  Cook on each side until slightly charred. The goal is to have the edges charred, the outer part a bit wilted, and the interior al dente.As soon as the first edge is charred, turn and repeat on all sides.

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Char on all sides to reduce radicchio’s natural bitterness.

Remove to a plate and spoon the remainder of the marinade over all of the wedges. Squeeze on some fresh lemon juice (if it’s still too bitter for you, add more lemon–it brightens things up and mellows the bitter).

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Save the leftover marinade to spoon over the top when you’re done charring–don’t forget your bacon (or porchetta)!

Sprinkle with the cheese and chopped celery or parsley leaves. Top with bacon, cut into slices (or porchetta on the side).

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From bitter and ostracized to the side of the plate to center stage. Super tasty and super good for you!

Dig in! Make sure to get a bite of bacon or porchetta with each bite!

This Ain’t Your Gran’ Momma’s Kale

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Creamed kale with mushrooms, onions, and Asiago…you’ve never had it so good! This ain’t your Gran’ Momma’s kale!

Oh The Mighty Kale. Everyone’s lovin’ it. And it’s everywhere. And it’s not always so tasty. I can certainly understand why some folks scrunch up their noses, curl their upper lip, and proceed to lambaste the very existence of kale. I too can conjure up those images of piles of soggy, stinky, greenish-black (think Charleston Green) kale that my cooking forebearers served up.  Yes, cooking kale can be a bit tricky but with a little practice you’ll be lovin’ it.  This recipe is pretty darn quick and simple and can be eaten as a side dish or you can add a bit more cheese and cream and serve it over pasta.  This also goes nicely with a grilled chicken breast or pork loin for those non-grain eaters.  For you ‘rooter-to-tooter’ eaters, roast up some marrow bones and serve this on the side or on top of the bones.  So come on now, close your eyes, take a big breath, and promise me you’ll give The Mighty Kale another try. I promise you won’t be sorry!

Creamed Kale with Sautéed Mushrooms, Onions, and Asiago

  • 1.5 pounds of kale (about 2 bunches), stems removed, blanched and drained
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced, cooked
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced
  • 3 TBSP butter (raw or cultured if you have it)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (I’ve used allspice or mace in a pinch, but nutmeg is definitely the best choice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Bacon, jowl bacon, or lardons

Remove the center stems, roughly chop, blanch, and drain your kale.  Cook your mushrooms to your liking (in a pan with a bit of room between each mushroom, flipping only once is ideal).  If you’re using a bacon product, cook it over medium heat until crisp, letting the fat render, and remove it to a paper towel to drain. Try not to eat all of it. Save the fat to saute your onions. If you’re not a pig lover (*gasp*) just use a few teaspoons of your favorite oil (roasted walnut is a nice choice).

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Cut down either side of the center stem to remove it–then roughly chop your kale.

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Blanch your kale—seriously, it looks (and tastes) so much more edible after blanching!

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Cook up your mushrooms…

Continuing over a medium heat, saute your onions in your choice of fat until translucent and tender.

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Let your onions become translucent.

Add your nutmeg to ‘bloom’ (big ol’ fancy talk for letting it heat a bit, allowing the aromatic oils to release).  Cook the nutmeg over medium heat, stirring, for about 30 seconds or so.  Heap in your kale.  Add the cream and cheese, stirring to coat. Cook until the cream has thickened, the cheese had incorporated, and your kale is tender.  This should take about 5 minutes or so.  The kale should still be a bit ‘toothy’, or have some body to it. Cook it a bit more if you’d like, but don’t overcook it or you’ll have a bitter mess!  Add the mushrooms, and the porky bits if you’re using them, and toss gently to mix them in with the kale and cream sauce.

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Startin’ to look tasty!

Now go to town! Pair it up with your favorite meat (beef, pork, and duck work very well). Or maybe you’ll like it with those marrow bones or over toast points with an over-easy fried egg.  Or–oh my gosh-with a ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwich!  Now, go run call your Gran’ Momma and tell her you actually do love kale…as for me, I’m off to hunt down that ooey gooey grilled cheese to make friendly with my kale!

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What?! And you thought you didn’t like kale??

Cauliflower Crackers

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Too tasty cauliflower crackers!

So, this whole no wheat, no grain thing cuts out some major food categories, crackers being one of them.  It’s not as if I sat on the couch eating a box of crackers, but there are just some instances in which a cracker would be handy.  Say, like for hummus. Or chicken liver mousse. Or for beet dip. Or with soup.  Or just because!  I’m certainly down with using sliced veggies as a vehicle, but sometimes they’re just not right.  In my searching to find something that acted like a cracker but also was full of healthy nutrients, I stumbled upon our friend the cauliflower cracker.  I figured, yeah right, cracker. Sure.  But boy, was I wrong. These are crunchy, stay crunchy, and have a savory-cheesy goodness to them.  Perfect!  Oh…and they’re quite addictive so you might want to make more than you think you’ll need.

Cauliflower Crackers:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of cheese (mozzarella, jack, cheddar, parm, or the like)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • few grinds of black pepper
  • 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with racks in middle of oven.

Wash cauliflower and pat dry. Separate into florets.

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Place cauliflower florets in food processor and pulse until ‘riced’ or it looks like cauliflower snow.

Cauliflower riceCauliflower rice

Place cauliflower rice/snow in a bowl, cover with a plate, and microwave on high for 5-7 minutes until thoroughly steamed. Remove plate, spread in double-cheesecloth or flour sack-lined colander (spreading it out helps it to cool faster).  Let it cool thoroughly, 10-15 minutes. Do other things during this time–like think about all the fantastic things you’re going to put on your crackers!!

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Once thoroughly cooled, gather up the cloth ends, twist to form a cauliflower ball, and squeeze as much liquid out as you can. Repeat until the cauliflower does not release any more liquid (5-6 good squeezes). Unravel your cloth over a bowl to make sure all of the cauliflower snow makes it into the bowl.

cauliflower crackerscauliflower cracker

Add your spices to the dry cauliflower rice/snow/pulp.  I chose to use garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika but the sky is really the limit.  Rosemary, parsley, fennel, or red pepper would work.  Trying out some spice mixes would be great too–like Moroccan, Southwestern, or Greek.  Mmmmmm–Greek spices and Tzatziki sauce for the dip—yes, please!

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Add the 3 beaten eggs and the 2 cups of your choice of cheese (firmer cheeses like cheddar, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, etc. work best).  Add pepper to taste. Salt is not necessary due to the salt in the cheese. Mix well–I won’t lie, hands work best for this!

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Now spread the ‘dough’ very thinly on your parchment-lined cookie sheets. The thinner the better–mine was probably between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick.

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Bake until beginning to brown on edges, about 10-12 minutes.  Cut your sheet of cauliflower crackers-to-be into cracker-sized strips using a pizza cutter (you can also make round flats of dough and then cut into triangles for pita-type chips). Flip the strips and cook another 5-10 minutes until the underside begins to brown. Remove from oven.

After cooling enough to handle, transfer to a dehydrator set to 135 degrees (fruit/vegetable setting) and dehydrate for about 8 hours or until crisp. Other recipes indicated you may let the chips sit in a cool oven overnight instead of using a dehydrator, but I have not tried that method (I will next time and post an update).

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After fully dry and cool, store in a ziploc bag with the top open (to avoid moisture build-up).  Better yet, try using silica gel desiccant packs to keep the moisture off.  They work wonders for dehydrated foods stored in containers.

Enjoy with spreads, dips, soups, or plain! They’re super satisfying with a big ol’ cup of Creamy Turnip Soup (recipe here) laced with a bit of walnut oil.  Seriously. I had 2 bowls just so I could keep dipping the crackers into it!

cauliflower crackers

Carne Asada

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Carne Asada

Delicious carne asada

Carne asada is not only a delightful, grilled beef but also describes a social barbecue. So, the next time you’re wanting to get friends together, grab yourself some Negro Modelo beer and try out this type of flank or skirt steak and you’ll be surprised how people rave about it.  I like the simplicity of the flavors, the ease of preparation, and the big results you get.  You can grill it over flame (or with a smoke box for extra flavor) but a high-heat gas grill works well too.  With a small bit of planning this can make for an easy weeknight meal too.

Carne Asada:

  • About 2 pound flank or skirt steak
  • 4 bunches green onions (or cambray if you can find them)
  • 3 bell peppers, any color, cored and sliced
  • 2 TBSP olive oil

For the Marinade:

  • Juice of two limes
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup extra light tasting olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Negro Modelo (you get to drink the remaining bottles at dinner!)

Place all marinade ingredients in a dish large enough to accommodate the marinade and your steak.  Marinate the steak in the refrigerator for as little as 2 hours or as long as 24 hours, turning as often as you remember (I won’t lie, I’ve marinated it for as long as 4 days and it turned out fine).  Remove the meat from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature before grilling.

When the meat has reached room temperature, blot dry with paper towels and lightly coat with oil.  I’ve noticed this prevents the surface of the meat from steaming and promotes more surface char, especially when using a gas grill.

Place on a HOT grill.  My husband, we’ll call him Grumpy Kevin (kudos to my friend’s daughter for nicknaming him that!), fires up the infrared gas grill to 650 degrees since we like a charred outside and a medium to medium rare interior.  To get that medium to medium rare interior, cook the steak on one side for 4 minutes, flip and cook for 4 more on the other side.  Some say carne asada should be cooked though, but I think it’s tougher that way (then again, I don’t really eat any beef cooked through).

Carne Asada

My, my…look at that purdy steak!

While beef is resting, toss sliced peppers and green onions in just enough oil to gently coat (should be no more than 2 TBSP). Grill, until just softening, a couple of minutes each side. The onion is particularly good with a bit of char around the edges.

Grilled Green Onions

Grill the onions and peppers while the meat rests.

When at desired doneness, remove from grill and tent and rest in foil on a cutting board for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, slice across the grain and at 45 degrees.

Carne Asada

Grumpy Kevin thinly slicing the carne asada across the grain and at a 45 or so degree angle.

Serve with grilled green onions, fresh guacamole, and grilled peppers for a gluten-free, paleo friendly meal.  Or team up with homemade corn tortillas for carne asada tacos. Very, very addictive!

Carne Asada

Serve with grilled onions, fresh guacamole, and grilled peppers for a gluten-free/paleo meal or team up with homemade corn tortillas for carne asada tacos.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with White Truffle Oil

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I don’t remember where I first came across roasted cauliflower soup.  What I do remember is that I fell in love immediately.  I was never a big fan of cauliflower as it was most often either tasteless, waterlogged, or overly sulfurous.  Roasted cauliflower, however, is divine. It’s addictive.  Once I roasted a head of florets and served them with browned butter–nary a crumb left within minutes.  Roasted cauliflower soup is more substantial than a boiled and pureed cauliflower soup, it feels richer, has more depth, and has a little nutty hint.  A few drops of white truffle oil make it transcendent.  And the beauty is it really is quite simple to make.  You can opt to add cream or leave it out if you’re dairy-free, lactose-intolerant, or non-dairy paleo.  I do love the cream, and it’s just a wee bit per bowl, but the soup tastes good without it, too.  Plus, cauliflower is a powerhouse nutritionally and touts detoxification, cardiovascular, digestive, and anti-inflammatory benefits.  Win! Win!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with White Truffle Oil (makes about 6 cups)

For the Roasted Cauliflower:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, washed, air-dried and broken into florets
  • 1 TBSP Light Tasting Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the soup:

  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 sweet potato (not yam), peeled and cubed
  • 2 tsp organic paste chicken bouillon (alternatively, use 3 cups water and 3 cups stock instead of 6 cups of filtered water)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • White truffle oil
  • parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place florets on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic, salt, and pepper.  Toss gently to cover.  Place baking sheet on the middle rack and roast for 20 minutes.  Turn cauliflower with tongs or spatula and roast 20 minutes longer or until cauliflower becomes golden brown on edges and becomes slightly more translucent but stalks remain slightly firm.

Roasted Cauliflower

Lovely roasted cauliflower.

Place florets in stock pot over medium-high and cover with water (about 6 cups).  Add sweet potato, paste bouillon, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until cauliflower is thoroughly cooked and tender, about 20 minutes.  Once tender, puree small batches of the cauliflower soup in a blender until silky smooth (about 2 minutes per batch).  Return to stock pot over low heat. Whisk in heavy cream. Ladle into bowls and garnish with drops of white truffle oil (a tiny amount goes a LONG way!) and parsley.

Cauliflower Soup

Roasted cauliflower soup with white truffle oil and parsley. Too tasty!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

An alternative garnish–browned butter, roasted florets, and bits of smokey bacon. This is a great winter addition that packs some real satisfaction!

Roasted Cauliflower

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Cauliflower.  I know what you’re thinking. Water-logged, bland, mushy.  No, thanks. But you’d be remiss if you didn’t reconsider this powerhouse of a vegetable.  Long relegated to the crudités tray, cauliflower could very well make a comeback with this one.  Roasting the cauliflower caramelizes the edges, reduces the sulfurous taste, and improves the texture.  I’ve found roasting cauliflower also reduces the stomach upset often associated with eating it raw.  Instead of raw cauliflower and ranch, why not roasted cauliflower and browned butter, tahini, hummus, or white bean dip?  Then again, this cauliflower is so good it doesn’t even need a dip and it functions beautifully as a side dish or on top of a salad.  I really do have a hard time eating cauliflower any other way now that I’ve tried this style.

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, washed, dried, and cut into florets
  • 1 TBSP Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil (or melted coconut, or clarified butter)
  • 1 clove mashed and minced garlic (if you love garlic, up it to two)
  • sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place florets on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic, salt, and pepper.  Toss gently to cover.

Cauliflower

Make sure florets are fairly uniform in size so they roast evenly.

Place baking sheet on the middle rack and roast for 20 minutes.  Turn cauliflower with tongs or spatula and roast 20 minutes longer or until cauliflower becomes golden brown on edges and becomes slightly more translucent but stalks remain slightly firm.  Let cool slightly before serving or cook ahead of time and gently reheat. Leftovers (if you ever have any!) can be turned into a fantastic roasted cauliflower soup.

Roasted Cauliflower

Slight translucence, caramelized edges, and slightly firm stalks mean it’s done. Great news…this can be cooked ahead and reheated gently or leftovers make a great roasted cauliflower soup!

Homemade Mayo…You’ll Never Eat Storebought Again!

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Some may be thinking, “You can MAKE mayo??”.  Why yes, it’s easy, you most likely have all the ingredients, and it takes about 2 minutes. And best of all, it’s like soft, billowy, tart and satisfying, addicting, little cream-colored clouds from Heaven.  Seriously.  I’ve not bought mayo since the first time I made it. Trust me, you won’t either!

Homemade Mayo

  • 2 raw egg yolks (**many sources say children, the elderly, those who are pregnant, and those with compromised immune systems should not consume raw eggs**)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1TBSP vinegar (use the good stuff as there are few ingredients and it will really stand out); for a bit less of a tang, use 2 tsp vinegar or try different vinegars depending on what you’re using it for.
  • 1/8 tsp honey (in other words, a tiny little blob)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups extra light tasting olive oil (or any combination of oils–I’ve even used a few TBSP of bacon fat for BLTs or a little bit of walnut oil to use in almond-tarrragon chicken salad).
  • Cracked pepper to taste (or any other herb you’d like; they’re entirely optional)
  • Wide mouth pint-sized mason jar
  • Immersion blender (I’ve used both the Cuisinart and the Bamix and both work well)
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The humble beginnings of glorious homemade mayo

  • Put all the ingredients into the jar, pouring the oil in gently.  Llet the eggs settle to the bottom (important).
  • Immerse the blender with the head all the way to the bottom (important so emulsification occurs).
  • Pulse blender and ‘clouds’ should start to form after 5-7 pulses. After clouds form, and only after, you can begin to move the stick blender upward, still pulsing. The ingredients should be emulsified within about 30-45 seconds (take your time if you need to–better too slow than too fast).  Do not over-process.
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Note the blender head is at the very bottom of the jar; Also note the billowing mayo clouds forming

  • Once all the oil is incorporated, you can give a few swirls with the blender to create some thickness, but don’t overdo it. Err on the side of too little so as not to cause separation.
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In a couple of minutes you have created Heaven in a jar. Now slap a little on good bread or put a bit on some tomato slices and you’ll never turn back!

  • Put a lid on and store in the refrigerator. I’ve used mine for as much as two weeks but it usually doesn’t stick around that long in my house!