Rosemary cauliflower mash

Rosemary cauliflower mash


Mashed potatoes are quite possibly one of the most comforting and best side dishes. I could eat a huge bowl of them everyday and not feel guilty.



A less guilty, lower carb and less starchy alternative is mashed cauliflower. The texture is exactly like the potatoes and since these are mashed in the food processor, actually easier to make. They look like mashed potatoes, right? If you were to make mashed potatoes in the food processor they get really gummy, but the longer you process the cauliflower, the smoother the mash. To give extra creaminess to this mash I used whipped cream cheese. The cream cheese adds a light texture with extra creaminess.

Rosemary cauliflower mash                                                        print

Ingredients       
Serves 2    

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 9 ounces whipped cream cheese * see note    
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped    

Directions

  1. Cut the cauliflower into small florets.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat water to a boil and add salt.
  3. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 10 minutes, drain.
  4. Add the cauliflower florets to a food processor and process until broken down.
  5. Add the cream cheese and process until smooth.
  6. Add the rosemary and pulse until mixed.                      

* If you can’t find whipped cream cheese, regular cream cheese is fine.

Rosemary cauliflower mash

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Grilled peppered New York strip steak with spiced blue cheese

Roasted sweet potatoes and apples in maple sage butter

Roasted sweet potatoes and apples in maple sage butter

Here’s a great Christmas side dish. You’ve got sweet, salty and buttery all one 1 plate. Does it get any better?


Roasted sweet potatoes and apples in maple sage butter           print
(4-6 servings)   

Ingredients                                                                          

  • 2lbs of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 medium gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the potatoes and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix until coated.
  3. Spread onto a sheet pan and roast for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn the potatoes and continue roasting for another 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium heat melt the unsalted butter and add the apples. Sauté until brown on 1 side, turn and brown on the other side.
  6. Add the chopped sage and maple syrup, transfer to a mixing bowl.
  7. Remove the potatoes from the oven and add to the apples, stir until the potatoes are covered with the maple butter. 



Quick cranberry orange sauce

Cranberry orange sauce
Tis the season for cranberry’s, those pretty little berries are everywhere. If you’ve ever been tempted while cooking to pop one of those juicy looking berries into your mouth, DON’T! You will be puckered up for some time and regret it forever. 
Again, I go back to my from scratch theory, if you are in the supermarket you can easily pick up the 4 ingredients for this easy recipe than pick up cans of the pre-made cranberry sauce. You can wow your dinner guests with this home made recipe that looks like it had to stew for hours and tastes oh, so much better.

Ingredients (4-6 servings)   metric conversion             print recipe

  • 12oz fresh cranberries, washed and sorted for mushy or bad ones
  • 1 cup fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest 
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
Cranberry orange chutney

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan add all the ingredients.
  2. As the liquid starts to heat up, you will hear popping, that’s just the skins of the cranberries.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until you see the cranberries start to break down.
  4. If you see that some of the cranberries are not softening or haven’t popped, give them a little help by mashing them with your spoon.
  5. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
  6. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Cranberry orange sauce


Mashed gold and sweet potato

Mashed potato

Yukon gold potatoes make the creamiest mashed potatoes. What I like is they have thin skins and it’s nice to keep the skin on for the nutrients, so as you mash the potatoes, the skins seem to disintegrate into the potato. I’m always looking for new ways to spruce up regular mash, I’ve added turnip or rutabaga and parsnip. In this case, to go with last nights roast chicken dinner (recipe), I decided to add a sweet potato into the mix. 

alt Mashed gold and sweet potato

The combination of the creamy yukon gold potato and the sweetness of the sweet potato had me snacking on it (I mean, I was testing for seasoning), before dinner was even served. This mash is so comforting, I could have made a meal of it all by itself.


Ingredients (4 servings)      metric conversion        print recipe

  • 1lb dutch yellow potatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons of whipped butter (or regular if that is what you have)
  • Ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Peel the sweet potato and cut into cubes. 
  2. Quarter the dutch gold potatoes, no need to peel, there’s nutrients in the peel, but you can if you don’t like it. 
  3. Add to a large pot of salted cold water, the potatoes will cook evenly if you start them in cold water. 
  4. Boil the potatoes for 10-12 minutes until tender and drain. 
  5. Return them to the pan to dry up any water that might be left. 
  6. Press the potatoes through a potato ricer into a large bowl, add the  whipped butter but you can use regular butter. No need to add salt, there is salt in the butter, but you can if you wish.
  7. Add the ground black pepper and mix. If you find the potatoes are dry, you can add warm milk or broth, add in small amounts so you don’t make them too wet.
Other recipes you might enjoy:

      Rosemary roasted chicken                                    Roasted brussels sprouts

Rosemary roasted chicken with delicious gravy
 

http://www.culinaryginger.com/2013/10/roasted-brussels-sprouts.html

Tomato and crispy prosciutto bruschetta

Tomato and crispy prosciutto bruschetta

I like to cook Italian food, which is good because I’m married to a Sicilian and a favorite appetizer of ours is bruschetta. Since this is a ‘raw’ dish I don’t like to add chopped garlic into the tomato mixture because to bite down on raw garlic is too overpowering 

and takes away the sweet flavor of the tomatoes. Instead, I like to rub a garlic clove over the crispy bread when it comes out of the oven. My local grocery store carries a variety of tomato called Kumato, it’s what they call a ‘brown tomato’. Second to heirlooms, this is the sweetest. most tasty tomato that I have tried. The Kumato was developed in Spain and is now grown in Belgium, Netherlands, Turkey, Greece, Switzerland and Canada. They even have a website Kumato.com. 

Where that may sound a little strange since tomatoes are usually red, I find the Kumato never has a the ‘mealy’ quality that tomatoes usually get and the Kumato is juicy and sweet year round. 
For this bruschetta recipe, I topped the tomatoes with crispy prosciutto to add a nice crispy salty bite. 



Ingredients (serves 4)    metric conversion      print recipe

  • 4 medium Kumato tomatoes (or vine tomatoes), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 slices Prosciutto de Parma
  • 1 ciabatta loaf, sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, chopped basil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
  3. Mix and let sit for about 20 minutes so the flavors can meld.
  4. Meanwhile, lay the slices of prosciutto onto a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil.
  5. Cook the prosciutto slice in the oven for about 12 minutes until they are crispy.
  6. Remove the foil from the sheet pan and allow them cool on the foil.
  7. Arrange the slices of ciabatta on the sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil on both sides.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until you see the tops browning, turn each one over and bake until tops are brown.
  9. Remove the ciabatta slices from the oven and allow to cool.
  10. When cool enough to handle, take the peeled garlic clove and rub over each of the ciabatta slices.
  11. Top with the chopped tomato and basil mixture.
  12. Take the slices of prosciutto and crumble over tomatoes.


Tomato and crispy prosciutto bruschetta