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Rosemary Cauliflower Mash- A New Favorite

12 Jan

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At our staff end-of-year party, a coworker made the best thing ever: a cauliflower mash with the taste of stuffing and the texture of mashed potatoes. It is as easy as roasting two heads of cauliflower and whirling it with some other delicious ingredients in a food processor. For the love of all things holy, go whip this up for your next meal.

Rosemary Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients

  • 6.5 TBS olive oil
  • 2 heads of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 head garlic
  • about 1/4 c whole milk or half and half
  • half stick of butter
  • ancho chili powder (optional)

Assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Toss cauliflower in 4-5 TBS olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice the head of garlic across the top so all the cloves are exposed. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the garlic and wrap loosely in tinfoil. Roast the cauliflower until tender and garlic until fragrant and soft, about 40 minutes. While those roast, saute the onion with the remaining olive oil until soft and fragrant.
  2. Place the roasted cauliflower in food processor. Squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves into the food processor. Add remaining ingredients and grind to desired texture, adding milk if necessary.

The Best Ice Cream I’ve Ever Made (Or: Why Your College Roommate is the Best Person To Keep in Your Life Forever)

25 Aug

Sometimes you gotta let the world know: something INSANE just came out of your kitchen. So, here I am telling you- this ice cream is gonna change the whole game. And I’m not talking about a pickup soccer match cut short for rain– this ice cream is a game-changer on the level of an epic Cricket battle that has gone into days-long overtime. That’s how good it is. OH- and it’s vegan, refined-sugar-free, and off-the-charts easy to make.

You already know- SO not my picture. Thanks to the Tasting Table for this recipe and picture!

But before we get to that, a word from our sponsors. As I’ve written about before, QueijoKef and I spend a lot of time texting/emailing/’graming each other delicious things we’d like to cook or eat. It’s just one of the reasons she is so great (see also: our quick trip to Miamithe epic bike ride inspired by our friendship’s soundtrack, the gnocchi we both die for, and her signature non-dairy creamy sauce). She has an excellent track record of picking awesome recipes (this matcha gingerbread cookie is a fan favorite), so when she sent me this turmeric-cardamom-coconut milk ice cream, I knew she was on a mission to keep her streak alive.

This ice cream has a seriously complex flavor profile (how’s that for food blogger lingo?) that is somewhere between sweet and savory. In another life when I never have to go to school again, I would make grainless graham crackers, slather this ice cream between ’em for an ice cream sandwich, and make my millions selling them on Georgia Ave. A girl can dream.

I followed this recipe exactly, and you should all go over there to give credit where it’s due and support The Tasting Table with all the clicks you can muster. Because I love this recipe so much and would be devastated if it ever went away, I am reproducing it here for posterity (because if Cooking Up Kefi can outlast Gawker, clearly I’ll be here long after The Tasting Table is gone).

Golden Milk Vegan Ice Cream from The Tasting Table

Ingredients

  • 3 c coconut milk
  • ½ c cream of coconut (here on amazon)
  • One 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • ¼ c honey
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (I used 1-1.5 tsp vanilla extract)
  • Chopped candied ginger, for garnish (optional)

Assembly

1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients, minus the candied ginger, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let cool completely, then refrigerate overnight. Make sure you freeze the bowl of an ice cream maker during this time.

2. The next day, strain the base into the bowl of the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. Scrape into a shallow dish and freeze for at least 4 hours. Scoop the ice cream into bowls and drizzle with honey. Garnish with chopped candied ginger, then serve.

Iranian Jeweled Rice

6 Jan

There are two things in this world MrKef cannot live without (and neither of them are me): rice and meat. He is, in general, a very cool and collected man, but put him in an eating situation without rice or meat, and you will see a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  Put him at a table with neither rice NOR meat and I don’t really want to know what would happen.

So when I said I wanted to make a New Year’s Day feast, I could see the fear in his eyes: she’s not really going to make my first dinner of 2016 vegetarian and riceless, is she? I am not particularly into rice, but I once had this insanely delicious Persian rice and wanted to attempt to recreate it. A google search came up with this insane-sounding recipe from TheKitchn. For once, I have a dish as pretty as the one included in the recipe and a nice photo to prove it– thank you MsBumbleBee’sArchEnemyKef for your photography skills!

rice

This is not your ricecooker’s recipe. Sara from TheKitchn, in all her foodblog glory, has this to say: “this is a decadent dish, both in its ingredients and in the time it takes to prepare it….for your first go, make it a celebration. Take your time, source the best ingredients, treat each step of this recipe like a precious stone.” ChefKefi, in all her food blog averageness, adds this: don’t underestimate how haggard you will look once this masterpiece is done:

lobster

Now we know who the first lobster present at the birth of Christ was.

The key to this dish is the orange blossom water, which makes it a sweet, aromatic dish–so don’t skip it if you’re looking for something truly unique. I found this rice interesting but not the most compelling, and kept trying to decide if it was a side or a dessert. MrKef, on the other hand, was all about this rice, and since he would be thrilled by an UNRWA ration, we can take his word and call it a rice worthy of a year’s first meal.

If you’re looking for a less sweet, potentially less lovely dish, the NYT published this very similar recipe (which has all the same components but the orange blossom water)– I’d love to hear your results. The recipe below is largely verbatim so I will once again remind you of its source: The Kitchn.

Iranian Jeweled Rice

Ingredients

  • 3 c long-grain white basmati rice
  • 2 TBS salt, divided
  • peel of 2 large oranges
  • 1 c whole dried barberries or chopped unsweetened dried cranberries (I used pomegranate seeds)
  • 1 tsp loosely-packed saffron (I found it at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 c orange blossom water, divided (interestingly, they did NOT have this at Whole Foods- I got it in the Latino section at Giant. But any Mediterranean store should have it)
  • 2 TBS oil, butter or ghee
  • 1/2 c sliced raw almonds
  • 1/2 c chopped raw pistachios
  • 1/2 c golden or green raisins
  • 2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch long matchsticks (I used 1 bag of pre-shredded carrots from Trader Joe’s)
  • One 4-inch whole cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp freshly ground cardamom

Assembly

1. Wash the rice in a large container of water, swishing it around with your hand then draining off the water and repeating until the water runs clear, about five times. Cover again with water, add 2 tablespoons of the salt and soak between 2 and 24 hours. Drain through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside.

2. Set a small pot of water to boil. Slice your orange peels into very small slivers. When the water is boiling, drop the slivers into the water and cook 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. (This cuts the bitterness of the orange rind.)

3. If you’re using cranberries or pomegranate seeds, proceed to step 4. For purists using barberries: Clean the barberries by removing any stems or debris. Place them in a sieve set inside a bowl. Cover with cold water and soak for 20 minutes. Pull the sieve from the bowl and rinse under cold water to flush out any remaining sand. Set aside.

4. In a mortar and pestle (or, you know, with whatever you’ve got), crush the saffron threads with a few pinches of sugar until a powder forms. Stir in 3 tablespoons of orange blossom water and set aside.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and the pistachios, and sauté for about a minute. Add the raisins to the pan and toss with the nuts. Empty the mixture into a bowl and set aside.

6. Heat 2 tablespoons of the saffron orange blossom water mixture, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat in the same skillet. Add the carrots and orange peel and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the remaining sugar, the remaining saffron orange blossom water mixture, the cinnamon stick and the cardamom and sauté for 1 minute. Add 1 cup water, bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots lightly caramelize and the liquid has reduced to a syrup. Drain the carrots and orange peel, and reserve the syrup.

7. In a large heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, bring ten cups of water to a boil. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons salt, and then add the rice to the pot with the remaining 1 tablespoon plain orange blossom water. Boil briskly until the rice has risen to the surface and when bitten into, a grain of rice feels soft, 6 to 10 minutes. Drain the rice into a large fine-mesh sieve, rinse with cold water and turn it out into a bowl.

8. Gently mix the remaining saffron orange blossom water and the reserved carrot/orange syrup to the par-boiled rice. Take a large spoonful of rice at a time and gently spread it over the bottom of the pot. Give the pot a shake to even out the base. Add more spoonfuls of rice, one at a time, gradually shaping it into a pyramid. (This shape leaves room for the rice to expand and enlarge.)

9. Wrap the lid of the pot with a clean dish towel and cover firmly to prevent steam from escaping. Cook 20 minutes over low heat (I accidentally skipped the low heat part, so if you’re short on space you probably could, too).

10. To serve, arrange on a serving platter layers of rice, then the caramelized carrot mixture (discarding the cinnamon stick), then the barberry/nut mixture

 

 

Honey Pine Nut Tart

3 Mar

As I’ve mentioned about a billion times before, I just cannot keep doing winter and am doing anything I can to think spring. For lots of people, prepping for spring would mean buying capris and registering for races. For me, it means trying out new recipes for the highest of holy days: GREEK EASTER. So, when my favorite pair of MrKef’s friends invited us over for dinner the other night, I knew exactly what I was making: a pine nut tart. This comes to us from the same rando bargain-bin cookbook that brought us the Spanakopita on Crack, so if these random not-Greek chefs said a pie full of savory nuts would pass as a dessert, I was going to give it a whirl.

pine nut tart recipe

Pine nuts. Kουκουνάρι. Did you know they actually come from pine cones? Fascinating. Makes me feel better about paying almost $1/oz for them. I made this pie crust (with Greek yogurt!), mixed the nuts in with some butter, eggs, sugar, and honey, then called it a day. And yes, it really was that easy.

I was pretty nervous about this one–for all I knew I was bringing a pesto pie for dessert–but it got a unanimous vote of confidence. I made it gluten and sugar free (both options below), and all the regular eaters in the crowd agreed that the sweetness was perfect. The texture was similar to a pecan pie, but a bit lighter and without the gross corn syrup (fans of Karo: I see you, but that ish is repulsive). The tart has a nutty flavor (duh), but it’s earthy and deep and more interesting than other nut pies I’ve had. Enough talk- empty out your life savings and go make this pie!

Honey Pine Nut Tart

Ingredients

–For the pastry

  • ­1.25 c all-purpose flour (I used Cup4Cup for gluten free)
  • 1 tsp sugar (I used palm)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ c cold butter, diced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4-5 TBS Greek yogurt (I used the full fat with honey mixed in from Trader Joes)

–For the filling

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, diced
  • generous 1/2 c sugar (I used palm sugar)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 c honey (if you’re feeling really fancy, spring for an infused flavor like lavender or eucalyptus)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 c pine nuts (about 12 oz)
  • pinch of salt
  • confectioner’s sugar or homemade nutella, for garnish

Assembly

1. To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter. Mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 45 seconds.

2. Mix the egg yolk and yogurt together in a small bowl until smooth, then add to mixer. Mix on low speed for about 15 seconds, for about 15 seconds–no need to overdo it here. You want a mixture that is shaggy, just a little wet, and will form into a ball pretty easily.

3. Carefully shape the dough into a ball  with your hands and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a circle, carefully place the dough into the tart pan and trim the edges. Throw in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before baking.

4. Preheat oven to 350F*. Use a hole to poke holes in bottom of crust. If you have pie weights, use them, otherwise line the crust with parchment paper and use dry beans/lentils or uncooked rice to weigh the crust down. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

*If using Cup4Cup and palm sugar, I found my dough got just crispier than I would have liked–you might think about decreasing temp just slightly (like 340) and keeping a closer eye–but I haven’t tried this myself. Do so at your own peril.

5. To make the filling: In your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Put the lemon zest, juice and honey in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in intervals of 15 seconds until thin and runny–do this slowly so that you do not heat up the honey too much and cook your eggs in the next step.

6. Add honey/lemon to butter mixture, mix until just combined (about 15 seconds –again, no need to overdo it). Stir in pine nuts and salt until you have a pretty homogeonous mix. Pour into crust.

7. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until filling is browned and center is set. Let the tart cool, then garnish with nutella, confectioners sugar, or both. Serve warm or at room temp.

photo 2

Feta Chive Cauliflower “Hashbrowns”

21 Jan

This post could also be called “The Time I Ate 6 Oz of Feta in One Sitting,” but as I am drowning in school work, I will save that story for another day (Care to chat about anticholinergics? Call your girl). I had every intention of simply Greek-ifying this ridiculously good-looking cauliflower-based grilled cheese, but once I sampled the “bread” I got impatient, remembered I actually don’t really love grilled cheese that much, and decided to scarf down the patties on their own instead. 2015 is all about living with no regrets, right?

Anyway, these are simple and so yummy. The “bread” is plenty cheesey already and without the round of extra toasting they turned out very similar in texture and crispiness to hash brown patties.  They also marked my inaugural trial of the Ninja food processor (vs my beloved Cuisinart), so more on that later. Do any of yall use the Ninja? Any fans out there?

photo

Feta Chive Cauliflower “Hashbrowns”

Ingredients

  • small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2-3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 oz Feta (I used fat free because I am powerless in the face of Feta… but you do you)
  • 2-3 TBS chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Assembly

1. Preheat the oven to 450F. Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it is a fine grain. Throw it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. Let cool. Put in a cheesecloth or fine strainer and strain as much water as possible out of it.

2. Combine strained cauliflower, 2 eggs, and remaining ingredients. If the mixture will stick together to form a patty, congrats, you’re done. If it doesn’t, throw the other egg in there and mix again.

3. On a parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheet, shape the mixtures into patties (I used my fingers and the back of a fork). Cook for 16-25 minutes, depending on how successful you were at getting out the water. They’re done when they are browned to your liking.

Cranberry Apple Galette

13 Nov

Christmas came early to the CasaKefi–FianceKef arranged an amazing surprise that I’ll give you all the scoop on later (hint: it involves kicking off Love Actually season!) AND the replacement parts for my food processor arrived today. God is good ALL of the time.

I have been dying to try my hand at galettes–an unfinicky French dessert? Sign me up! QueijoKef has been filling up my Instagram account with all kinds of galette inspiration, so when I had some extra time between really fun night of Korean BBQ and bedtime, I decided it was time to whip one up. (PS- Follow me on Instagram @ChefKefiRN and you, too, can see the absurd food-picture tag Queij and I are engaged in.) Pastries are always a little touch and go when it comes to subbing in gluten-free flour, and I was fully prepared for this late-night escapade to be a disappointment. Imagine my shock and joy when it turned out to be a great success!

photo 4(1)This cranberry apple galette comes from our friends at Williams Sonoma, who are not playing around, and I have included my substitutions for gf/sf in their recipe below. The crust calls for both cornmeal and sour cream, which adds a fullness of flavor and texture that I haven’t come across in other gluten-free crusts, and the cranberries keep the apples from making the dessert too sweet or apple-crispy. Taken all together, this dessert toes the line of savory–perfect for a brunch or someone who’s not all that into sweet treats. A commenter on the original recipe suggested subbing 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with almond flour; having eaten several slices of this tonight, I think that sounds like the only way this crusty package could get more delicious.

Cranberry Apple Galettephoto 1(1)

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour (I used Cup4Cup for gluten free)
  • 6 TBS white cornmeal
  • 2 tsp sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 12 TBS cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 6 TBS sour cream
  • 1/2 c ice-cold water

For the Filling

  • 1/2 c sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 3 TBS honey
  • 3 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 medium Granny Smith apples (about 4 lbs total) peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 1/2  c fresh cranberries
  • 2 TBS. unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
  • Sugar for dusting (optional)

Assembly

1. For the crust: in a food processor, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt. Scatter the chunks of butter over the top and pulse for a few seconds until the butter pieces are the size of small peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and ice water. Drizzle the mixture over the dough and pulse until the dough is smooth and clings together. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

2. For the filling: in a large fry pan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, honey, lemon juice and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the apple slices and simmer until the apples begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apple slices to a bowl.

3. Add the cranberries to the liquid in the fry pan and simmer until they start to pop, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to the bowl with the apples. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil the liquid until reduced slightly, then spoon over the fruit.

4. Position 2 racks in the middle of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

5. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each half into a round about 12 inches in diameter and transfer to separate baking sheets. Divide the fruit filling equally between the pastry rounds and spread it in an even layer, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border uncovered. Fold the border over the fruit, pleating the edges to form a rim. Lay the butter slices over the exposed fruit. Spoon juice from fruit over the galette. Dust the pastry rims with sugar.

6. Bake the galettes, rotating them 180 degrees at the midway point, until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the galettes cool completely on the pans. Makes two 9-inch galettes; serves 10 to 12.

 

Kale Feta Pesto

3 Jun

I’ma tell you something straight up– Kermit has been LYING to us all these years. It is so friggin easy to be green.

All weekend I was craving green but ended up eating nachos (go figure). So when it came down to grocery shopping last night, I was a green-buying machine. I even ended up buying pre-made spinach fettuccine, which surprised everyone involved because I’m not really into pasta and I’m not really into pre-made food. But after a 12-hour shift and a 5-mile hill-interval run, anything goes.

Once I got home with all the sprouts and leaves and crowns and bunches, I had to figure out what to do with all that iron-heavy produce. I remembered this delicious and so, so easy cilantro pesto and decided to see if I could make it even greener without expending very much effort. Done and done. I really like this earthy-yet-tangy pesto and am looking forward to putting it all over my other cosas verdes this week.

photo-94

On a side note–RP’s gluten-free pasta was pretty yummy. It probably won’t become a regular in my kitchen because a) the first ingredient is rice flour and b) there’s no ACTUAL spinach in the spinach fettuccine (RP– you can do better than spinach powder!), but as a non-pasta-connossieur I found it enjoyable in a pinch.

Kale Feta Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, washed
  • 1/3 c pine nuts
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c feta cheese
  • juice of 2 limes

Assembly
1. Combine everything in a food processor. Add more leaves or oil to suit your taste and texture preferences.

2. Add as much as you’d like to hot pasta of your choice.

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