Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blomkåls gratin (Cauliflower Soufflé)

This is a traditional Danish recipe I modified to use as the September Cooking Challenge with my Surfing Sisters ladies. I love it and it is one of my favorite Danish inspired dishes! Keep in mind it isn't a true "French style" Souffle. So you don't need a special souffle dish to make it. Any casserole dish with at least 2 inch sides will do. I only use cauliflower and leave out the ham. I plan to try the version with broccoli sometime in the next couple of weeks. I added that substitution for our challenge so I know there are a whole lot of cauliflower haters out there and I didn't want to leave them out.

Blomkåls gratin (Cauliflower Soufflé)

75 g(1/2 cup) flour
4 dl ( 1 ¾ cups) milk
25 g (1oz. Or 1 ¾ Tbsp.) butter
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
400g (2 cups) fresh cauliflower (or broccoli) florets
150 g (5.5 oz.) cut strips of ham (can leave this out for vegetarian option)
unseasoned breadcrumbs

Place milk in a thick-bottomed saucepan and add flour. Stir briskly with a whisk until the flour is dissolved. Over low-medium heat continue stirring until the mixture thickens, then add the butter. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add one egg yolk at a time and stir well between each. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Add the cauliflower, salt, and pepper to the milk and flour mixture.

Whip the egg whites until you get very stiff peaks (you can turn the bowl upside down and they don't move). Gently fold them into the mixture. Do not stir or mix. This can deflate the egg whites. Butter the sides of a 2 liter (2 quart) baking dish. And coat with breadcrumbs. The pan can be round or square-ish and preferably glass or ceramic. Pour in the batter.

Place in a preheated oven 175 C ( 350 F) and bake for 1 hour. Try and resist opening the oven door to avoid deflating the souffle!

Serves 4.

Angel's Work in Progress Grain and Veggie Burger

One day about a month ago I decided to dive in and try and create my own veggie burger recipe. I scoured other recipes online for inspiration and finally came up with a list of ingredients I wanted to include.

This recipe turned out very tasty though I have some improvements I want to try when I make future batches, I think next time I might add some soy or curry powder. Or try using some cooked brown rice. I tried my best to keep track of my measurements but I suggest tasting a bit before you add the egg. The recipe made 20 medium sized patties. I froze the leftovers and I can attest to the fact that they reheat really well. At least heating them on a pan. I also read you can take them straight from the freezer and put them on a hot grill. Haven't tried that one yet though! If anyone tries this recipe please let me know how they turn out or if there were improvements you made.

Angel's Work in Progress Grain and Veggie Burger

1/4 cup green lentils
3/4 cup red lentils
3/4 cup Bulgar
2 carrots, shredded
1 red onion, diced
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 can crushed or chopped tomatoes, drained
1 can chickpeas, drained and mashed
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 1/2 cups water

Cook the lentils in 3 cups water plus the salt for 30 min or until nice and mushy. Remove from heat and add Bulgar and the other 1/2 cup water to the lentil mixture. Allow to sit for 30 min. The mixture should be very stuff. Add the carrot, celery, tomatoes, and onion. Mash the chickpeas with a fork and then add. Add the bread crumbs and olive oil. Add remainder of the seasoning and taste test to make sure the seasoning is where you want it. Once you are satisfied, add the eggs. The mixture should be firm and easily make patties that will hold together. But not too dry. Use water or breadcrumbs to adjust. Let the mix cool in the fridge for about 20 min. You can either choose to cook them in olive in a pan or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake at 390F for 20-25 min.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blue Ribbon Apple Pie

I have started a monthly cooking and baking challenge with my girls at For the first baking challenge, I picked an apple pie recipe from Cooking Light magazine. We all follow the same recipe (allowing for a few substitutions of course) and share pictures and talk about how our pies turned out on our forum.

I really liked this recipe especially the filling. It was basic and no frills and the flavor of the apples really came through. I also thought the pie crust was good for a "lightened up" version. This was my first attempt at making any type of fruit pie so my crust shaping skills need a little work. My substitution was various apples from my garden. I used a mix of green, red and pink ones. 6 cups of apples may seem like a lot but it really worked well.

My tip for crust making...freeze the shortening and the butter then use a cheese grater to grate them into the flour. It makes it so much easier to work by hand. I don't have or use a pastry cutter and with this method I don't see that I need one.

Blue Ribbon Apple Pie

Yield 10 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)

  • Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 5 to 7 tablespoons ice water

  • Filling:
  • 2 cups thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith or other tart apple such as Newtown, Pippin, or Crispin (about 1 pound)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced peeled Braeburn or other all-purpose apple such as Empire (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced peeled Rome or other firm baking apple such as Baldwin or Winesap (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced peeled McIntosh or other tender apple such as Gravenstein or Jonathan (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons fat-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

To prepare crust, lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl; cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add vinegar and enough ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until dough is moist. Divide dough in half. Gently press each dough half into a 4-inch circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap, and cover with additional plastic wrap. Roll one half of dough, still covered, into a 12-inch circle; chill. Roll other half of dough, still covered, into an 11-inch circle; chill.

Preheat oven to 450°.

To prepare filling, combine apples and lemon juice in a large bowl. Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle over apple mixture, tossing well to combine.

Remove 1 sheet of plastic wrap from the 12-inch circle; fit dough, plastic-wrap side up, into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray, allowing dough to extend over edge of plate. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Spoon apple mixture into crust. Remove 1 sheet of plastic wrap from the 11-inch circle, and place dough, plastic-wrap side up, on top of apple mixture. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Press edges of dough together; fold edges under, and flute. Cut 6 (1-inch) slits into top of pastry using a sharp knife. Brush top and edges of pie with milk; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Place pie on a baking sheet; bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375° (do not remove pie from oven). Bake an additional 45 minutes or until golden (shield crust with aluminum foil if it gets too brown). Cool on a wire rack.

Southern Pepper Steak

Made this recipe for Pepper Steak from the Southern Food Section on Not bad, though next time I plan to add some crushed red pepper and a bit more soy sauce. I forgot to take a picture before we dived in, but I will add one next time I make it.

  • 3 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds round or flank steak
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 large green bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cold water


Heat butter over medium high heat, brown meat, which has been cut into 1/4-inch wide strips. Brown the meat in 2 or 3 batches so that each batch just covers the bottom of the skillet without crowding. Remove meat and set aside. Reduce heat, saute onions for 5 minutes. Return meat to skillet, add remaining ingredients except peppers, cornstarch, soy sauce and water. Add peppers, which have been seeded and cut in 1/2-inch strips, simmer covered for 10 minutes. Blend cornstarch, soy sauce and water in small dish; stir into meat mixture. Cook until thick and clear, about 1 minute.
Pepper steaks serve 6.

*I am making a concerted effort to post more recipes since I got a little nudge from Stephanie the other day.*