Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring has Sprung Menu

Spring is arriving. The bounty of food that is about to burst forth from the farmer's markets across the city leaves me very excited.  Just the thought of it had me jumping the gun with this spring 'lite' menu. The menu fed a party of 8.

There are a few photo highlights to share:

Here's the appetizer. Although the menu describes it with spiced cauliflower, it justifiably appears alone.  The cauliflower was rightly moved to the main dish at the last minute.

Next is the main dish which now features the spiced cauliflower. Here's how I made this moveable side dish:

Spiced Cauliflower:
  • 2 heads of cauliflower 
  • 3/4 cup toasted cashews
  • 3/4 cup raisins soaked in mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1 cup Vinaigrette of honey, juice of 1 squeezed lemon, and hot chili oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped italian parsley
Set oven to broil at 500 degrees.
Break cauliflower into florets, dress with olive oil, salt, pepper and place on a foil-lined baking sheet in the middle of the oven rack. Set a timer for 7 minutes and broil.  The tips of the cauliflower should begin to brown.
Place cashews on a separate sheet and into oven as you turn off the heat. After 7 minutes remove nuts, let them cool a bit, and roughly chop them.
Combine nuts with raisins and then with cauliflower.
Drizzle with vinaigrette.
Add chopped italian parsley and serve.

Jerusalem is named in the dish because it comes from that great cookbook of the same name by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

And finally I give you dessert made by my mother. Profiteroles. Everything about them made from scratch: from the puffs to the vanilla custard filling, to the amazing chocolate drizzled down the pyramid that keeps it all deliciously together.  From my early childhood this has long been my request for birthday cake. It was as good as ever.

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