I’ve neglected the blog for nearly a week. I am sorry. I had a week filled with writing assignments, unplanned dinner parties, out of town guests that made me so happy, and watching Dexter so keeping up with the blog kinda took a back seat to everything. I did keep up with my Facebook page (if you haven’t liked it, get to it!) and that is what brings me here now…
From the looks of it, two of the meals I cooked this weekend were very popular. Since I did promise to post the recipes and I do have the worse memory in the world, I am going to take an unscheduled break from watching Dexter and spending quality time with Hugh to post them now.
I will tell you, on the most part, they are very easy to make once you have your ingredients all ready. More often than not, people think that cooking is this arduous chore. The reality is that with a little planning ahead you can make just about anything in 30 minutes or less…I know that I made these 2 dishes simultaneously all the while I was entertaining…but I was only able to do this because I have gotten in the habit of keeping my vegetables and seasonings all prepped up and ready (ie-peeled and chopped) and I always make sure I keep certain cheeses grated to avoid the pain of having to do it later.
Anyway, here are the recipes:
Okra and Tomatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion chopped
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 cubanelle pepper chopped
1 pound fresh sliced okra
1 (8 ounce) can oven roasted diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
black pepper to taste
Cover the bottom of a skillet with the olive oil and place over medium heat. Place the garlic, onion, and cayenne pepper in the skillet and stir until fragrant. Stir in the cubanelle pepper. Cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the okra and allow to cook for 5-6 minutes more. Stir in both the diced and the stewed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer (keep it covered) until all vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes).
*** I also added a chopped jalapeno but be warned, it gets REALLY spicy.
Mac-N-Cheese Style Cauliflower
1 large head of cauliflower cut into medium florets
2 tbsp of butter
4 tbsp of all purpose flower
2 cups of 2% milk
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 cups of grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups of panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add cauliflower and cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Drain and reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid. Set aside.
Melt butter in the same pot over medium heat. whisk in flower, and cook for a minute stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk, garlic, and cooking liquid, and cook until sauce is thickened (about 8 minutes), whisking constantly. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, and egg yolks until cheese is melted then add cauliflower.
Coat baking dish with cooking spray and spread in cauliflower mixture. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Spray breadcrumbs with cooking spray and bake for 40 minutes until breadcrumbs are crisp and brown.
These dishes came out yummy and whatever was left over (not very much) kept really well until the next day. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did 🙂
Now back to Dexter I go.