This is going to be a short post with very little witty banter. I think we all know how much I adore cheese. Here is a delicious looking recipe for cheesy cauliflower from Kitchenist.
Luxury Cheesy Cauliflower
1 large head cauliflower
1 Tbs. butter
1/2 a large onion
2 small bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed with the side of a knife
1 1/2 cups milk
1 heaping tablespoon flour
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup grated fontina cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
black pepper, to taste
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and preheat the oven to 180°C/360°F. Trim the cauliflower into florets; I like larger ones, which look prettier, are more interesting to eat and retain their texture better than bite-sized ones. When the water boils, add the florets and blanche only until the water returns to the boil. Drain and florets and arrange in a baking dish.
2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over moderate heat, and add the onions. Once they’ve softened, add the garlic, bay leaves and a pinch of sea salt. Continue cooking for 10-15 minutes, until onions are golden brown, soft and very fragrant. Remove the garlic and bay leaves and discard.
3. Add 1 cup of milk to the onion mixture and stir well. In a small bowl or mug, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of milk with the flour until there are no lumps. When the mixture in the saucepan begins to bubble, add the milk and flour mixture in a steady stream, stirring all the time. Continue stirring while the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Add the cheeses and stir until everything is melted, then season with the nutmeg and a good amount of black pepper.
4. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 3o minutes, until bubbling all over and golden brown in places.
Rick Bayless and the Tecate Mojito
In honor of New Year’s Eve and my love of Rick Bayless, let’s have a drink recipe! This comes from Rick’s website, and is also in his cookbook “Fiesta at Rick’s,” which I got as a gift from my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas. The gift tag was signed, Kim and Colin – xoxoxoco…how awesome is that?!?
Makes 8 drinks
Recipe from Season 6 of Mexico – One Plate at a Time
3/4 cup sugar
48 large mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup white rum or silver tequila
Four 12-ounce cans of Tecate beers (or other light, citrus-y tasting beer)
In a small saucepan combine the sugar and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cool.
For each drink, place 6 mint leaves in the bottom of a 10 to 12 ounce glass. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar syrup plus 1 tablespoon each of the lime juice and rum or tequila. Crush (muddle) the mint into the liquid with a muddler or the back of a spoon or fork to release its flavor. Fill the glass about 3/4 full with ice cubes. Slowly pour in half of one of the beers, stir well with a long-handled spoon and serve right away.
It is on my bucket list to get drunk with Rick Bayless someday, fyi :)
Rick Bayless and the Holiday Champagne Margarita
Alright, twist my arm…let’s do another Rick Bayless drink recipe. Oh look, Rick’s put a twist on the champagne margarita just in time for New Year’s Eve :) Sounds like it could combine two of my loves – André Spumante and Rick Bayless!
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup 100% pure pomegranate juice
1 cup Cointreau
1 cup 100% agave silver tequila (some of our favorites right now are Cazadores, Herradura and Tres Generaciones)
2 to 3 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 lime half for moistening the glass rims
Coarse (Kosher) salt
1 bottle chilled brut champagne or other sparkling white wine
In a pitcher, combine the lime juice, pomegranate juice, Cointreau, tequila, and the sugar. Mix until the sugar has dissolved. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Moisten the rims of the champagne glasses with the cut side of the lime. Spread coarse salt on a small plate, then upend the glasses into the salt to crust the rims. Fill each glass halfway with the margarita base (it’ll take a generous 1/3 cup). Slowly fill the rest of the way with champagne or sparkling wine, and hand to one of your lucky guests.