We had warnings of a frost this week so it's been hectic to say the least. Everything that could be harmed had to come in and be dealt with in some manner or another. Frost does not harm two of the plants though, the broccoli and the cauliflower. They actually produce better after one. Both vegetables have been coming in rather hit or miss this summer; the hubby thinks it's because it's been so hot and dry. That's a bummer because they are the vegetables I like the most. So far, despite planting twice as much as last year we have harvested perhaps half of what we did in 2012. There is still a fair bit of growing time for both vegetables so my fingers (and toes) are crossed!
Where is all of this leading?
The Food Blogger's Challenge Food this week is Cauliflower! This is a baby head from the garden but it was perfect for what I decided to make for this week's challenge. I will note that my absolute favorite way to cook cauliflower is to simply break it into small florets, place it in a baking dish, add about 2 teaspoons of olive oil, a sprinkling of cumin and paprika with some salt and pepper and just let it roast at 350° until it gets a bit of brown on it. DE-LICIOUS! But for this week I give you:
Cauliflower Thyme Souffle
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1/4 cup margarine or butter (I used butter)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups cauliflower
1 tsp fresh thyme1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard
dash of cayenne
11/4 cups milk (I used goat's milk)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Heat oven to 350°.
Boil the 2 cups of cauliflower in salted water until very soft. Drain and mash with a fork. Set aside
Butter 6 small ramekins or souffle dishes (1/2 cup ea) and make a band from aluminum foil to surround them. Alternatively, butter a 6 cup souffle dish or 11/2 quart casserole Make a 4" band of aluminum foil 2" longer than the circumference of the dish, butter 1 side and secure it, butter side in, around the dish.
Heat butter (or margarine) in a saucepan over low heat until melted. Blend in flour, salt, mustard and red pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
Mix the cheese, mashed cauliflower and thyme. Add this mixture to the milk mixture.
It will be a bit lumpy so mix with an immersion blender or hand mixer.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff but not dry. Beat egg yolks until very thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes; stir into cheese mixture. Stir about 3/4 of the egg whites into cheese mixture. Fold cheese mixture into remaining egg whites.
Carefully pour into the souffle dishes. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until they are nice and puffed and start to brown on top.
Carefully remove the foil and serve immediately.
These were an experiment and I was pleasantly surprised with how yummy they were! The cauliflower flavor came through very strongly and the thyme was a lovely complement. I served them as a side for the main dish. Since the souffles were rich I didn't want anything too crazy for dinner and it all had to come out at the same time so I kept it simple.
Salmon on Fried Green Tomatoes with a Balsamic Reduction
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2 6 oz salmon fillets
2 green tomatoes
1/2 cup corn meal
1/4 cup white flour
olive oil for frying the tomatoes and cooking the salmon
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Mix the corn meal and white flour and season with salt and pepper. Slice the green tomatoes into 1/4" slices and coat them with the mixture.
Heat the olive oil over med-high heat and when it is hot fry the tomatoes until they are nice and brown. Turn them over and cook until soft on the inside and a lovely brown on the outside. Set aside.
While the tomatoes are cooking put the balsamic vinegar in a small pan and reduce it by half to a syrupy consistency. Set aside.
Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. (I only cooked one for the hubby as I don't care for salmon but I am giving the recipe for two.) Add a bit of olive oil to a fry pan and heat over med-high heat until hot. Place the salmon skin side up and cook for two minutes. When the salmon releases, turn it over and cover the pan and cook for two more minutes. Take the fish off the heat and keep it covered. (A note: my fillets were thick. If the ones you have are thinner adjust the cooking time so that the fish does not overcook.)
To serve place the tomatoes on the plate, the salmon on top and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Sprinkle with the fresh thyme.
The hubby said this was delicious! The tang of the tomatoes and the sweet salmon. He loved it with the creamy souffle. He said the balsamic reduction was perfect in pulling it all together. Gotta love a man who enjoys what you cook!
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Be sure to check out the other cauliflower recipes this week:
Disclosure: I received free salmon from Anderson Seafoods. No other compensation was received for this post. The post does contain affiliate links.