Italian Pesto Cauliflower Creamy Bake: Day # 6

I have been starting to prepare for thanksgiving day and though it is stressful, finding a successful recipe always makes it a day worthwhile. I really cannot tell you how creamy and delicious this entree is! It starts off with the aroma of pesto, only to find the crisp of the bread crumbs and then the tender cauliflower submerged in creaminess. I am a big fan of pesto because it can merge into almost any form from casseroles, gratins, sandwiches to pastas. On thanksgiving day there has to be one dish that brings everything together and I would say this is it! The pesto has a flavor but does not overtake the dish and therefore all your other sides will merge well with this.

The white sauce in this dish is really the true winner and makes even a bland vegetable like cauliflower ever so delectable. Cauliflower is cooked in many forms in my household however this dish is so powerful that I do not even need anything on the side. Since this is made for thanksgiving purposes I did not add anything else to this bake but on a normal day if pasta and cauliflower would be combined this would make for a meal on its own. I hope you and your guests enjoy the savoriness and creaminess of this dish!

1 Whole Cauliflower (Chopped into 1 x 2 inch pieces)
1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese (Shredded)
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
2 Tablespoons of Butter
1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons of Pesto (Store Bought)
Salt & Pepper
1 Cup of Bread Crumbs
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of All-Purpose Flour

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On medium heat, drizzle olive oil in a skillet. Add in the chopped cauliflower. Cook for 5-7 minutes and then combine the pesto with the cauliflower. Also, sprinkle in the salt and pepper. This will cook for another 5-7 minutes until tender but should not be too soft since it will bake further in the oven. Then set aside. In a separate skillet, start by heating on medium heat with butter, add in the all-purpose flour when melted. Mix well with a spatula and when it starts to form homogenous crumbles pour in the milk. Let it come to boil and stir constantly and slowly. You will notice that the sauce has become thicker, continue to stir making sure there are no individual pieces of the flour crumbles. Then add in the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Add the cooked cauliflower into a baking pan and then pour the white sauce on top of it. Then sprinkle mozzarella cheese and then finally bread crumbs. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Top with fresh basil!

Bon Appetite!


Curried Vegetable Pot Pie: Day # 5

On Day 5, we head to India to add variety to our tables with a spicy and richer taste. This is a recipe I had in my mind for quite awhile and I decided to finally recreate a classic recipe Vegetable Pot Pie. This recipe brings out the flavors of India with use of some common indian spices such as garam masala, turmeric and coriander powder. The crusty top of the traditional pie crust mixes well with the curried flavor of the vegetables. Though you can add any vegetable of your choice however I chose to make peas, carrots and zucchini which blended well.

Making individual vegetable pot pies will add a more fun touch and provide everyone individual portions. This is obviously not quite possible if you are expecting tons of guests, you may run out of bowls. This will surely not be the odd one out and will go well with your other dishes. Hope you enjoy the spicy flavors of India in a pot pie!

1 Frozen Pastry crust (Thawed)
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1/2 cup of baby spinach
1/2 a white onion (Finely chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (Minced)
2 Carrots sliced
1 Zucchini (cut into 1 inch thick rectangular slices)
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup milk
240 mls of Vegetable Broth
1 Tablespoon of all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon of Coriander Powder
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 Teaspoon of Turmeric
Salt & Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Teaspoon Mango Powder (Amchur)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Heat your skillet to medium heat and drizzle the olive oil. Add in the onion and cook until it becomes translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Sprinkle in the salt, pepper, garam masala, turmeric, coriander powder, cayenne pepper and mango powder. Cook for 1-2 minutes with all the spices and add additional oil if appears dry. Add the zucchini, peas, carrots and baby spinach and stir to create a nice mix of evenly spread spices. Now add in the vegetable broth and then the milk and when you notice bubbling, sprinkle the all purpose flour. This will create a thick sauce and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the mix into small bowls (make sure you can place them in the oven) and then cover with pastry crust. Make sure you press in the pastry crust evenly on the edges of the bowls. To be fancier with a fork you can create marks at the edges. Spray olive oil on top and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust appears golden brown. Serve immediately!

Bon Appetite!


Yellow Miso Glazed Carrots: Day # 4

Miso is a soy based paste that originated in Japan made by fermenting soy with salt and fungus (aspergillus oryzae). It is in rich in vitamins, minerals and protein. Its a salty paste so make sure you do not add any additional salt.

After posting two heavy main courses for thanksgiving I think your dinner table deserves a nice side of vegetables. This carrot dish is juicy, asian flavored and satisfying. Though, this is an asian dish the flavors are subtle but still are atypical. The onions which are roasted give a savory touch to the sweetness of the carrots. It blends very well with all other main entrees of thanksgiving as well.

2 Pounds of Carrots
1 White onion (cut in slices)
1 Cup of baby spinach
2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons of Yellow Miso Paste (Trader Joe's)
1 Tablespoon Brown sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the carrots into 1/3rd slices and place in a baking sheet. Add in half the spinach and the all of the sliced onions. In a separate bowl, mix the miso paste, butter and brown sugar. Pour the paste over the carrots, making sure that the spinach, onions and carrots are all mixed well together. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Approximately 5-7 minutes before the carrots should be ready, add in the rest of the spinach to provide a richer green color for presentation and mix well. Serve immediately!

Bon Appetite!!