Cooking Method: Baking
This is the first batch of buffalo cauliflower that I have ever made. And I don’t know why, because it was so easy and delicious. It flies out the door when it’s stocked in our deli case. But for me, I suspect that it’s a matter of chef-esthetics; just roasted, fresh-out-of-the oven trumps pre-made, cold-in-the-case any day. So, if you have the time, make it yourself.
I chose to turn my roasted buffalo cauliflower into a pizza, mainly because I was curious to try the frozen cauliflower pizza crusts, aka “cauliPower” ! (This recipe makes enough for 2 cauliPower crusts.) Roasted buffalo cauliflower would also be good mixed in a baked macaroni and cheese dish or as the star ingredient in a rice and grain bowl.
This recipe began with an idea about using a new product on our produce shelves: Cleveland Kraut sauerkraut!
It’s not just any ordinary sauerkraut. No indeed! It’s colorful, flavorful, crunchy and delicious.It’s cut thicker than most other krauts and comes in a variety of intriguing flavors: whisky dill, curry, garlic and spicy to name a few. It’s a live, fermented and unpasteurized probiotic product. All those ‘good for you’ attributes, currently making nutritional headlines. I’ve made a gratin of potatoes without cream and/or cheese. I wanted the sauerkraut to not be masked by dairy fat…but I did add a bit of smoked bacon to the dish and suggest that you serve the gratin with a side of kielbasa, or other smoked pork, beef or chicken sausage. I also used Yukon Gold potatoes. They are less starchy than an Idaho potato, but more starchy than a Red Bliss potato. They work well in a gratin and because they will keep their shape when baked. Choose larger potatoes to get a better slice. And as an added time-saver, they really don’t need to be peeled before using, the skins are very thin and tender. Just wash and dry the potatoes before slicing. (It is safer to slice a dry potato, it’s less likely to slip under the knife.)
This is a recipe that uses leftover rotisserie chicken, a good quality store-bought cream of chicken soup and a sheet of ready-made puff pastry! In the words of a well-known TV Chef: “How easy is that” !
Choose any pie dish or baking dish, combine ingredients with the creamed soup, top with a pastry sheet and pop it in the oven.
It’s dinner, on the table, in under an hour, definitely.
(I used a 9” standard pie tin and 1 sheet of puff pastry and based the recipe on this.)
Many years ago, a working mother (mine) would make individual mini pizzas using split English muffins as the base. They were buttered and toasted under the broiler first to crisp-up the surface and then the usual pizza toppings were piled on top and then back into the oven to melt and ooze. The sauce was always a bit of leftover ‘red gravy’ (marinara sauce) from the weekend’s cooking; never sauce from a jar!
Fast forward to 2020 and we have a plethora of pizza crusts and substitutes readily available. In this recipe I have used the ‘slipper-shaped’ naan bread, which is a traditional Indian flatbread. At Foodies, we sell Stonefire Naan…there are two ‘slippers’ per package at 4.4 ounces each. The naan bread comes in plain, whole wheat and garlic varieties.
It’s the base for this quickly made meal, using only vegetables and NO cheese!
And on the table in well under an hour!
Cauliflower is now a mainstream vegetable!
At our Prepared Foods counter, I am surprised (and impressed) at our Millennial customers’ whole-hearted embrace of all kinds of vegetables. Their mothers were so successful at getting them to eat their vegetables that they continue to do so long after they have left the nest (and moved into South Boston).
This recipe ‘embraces’ roasted cauliflower. Roasting cauliflower is a game-changer; roasting expresses cauliflower’s hidden sweetness without the ‘cruciferous stink’ associated with boiling or steaming the vegetable. The cauliflower is then cooled, chopped into smaller pieces and folded into the
mac n’ cheese base, adding texture and earthiness to the finished dish.
There are varying online discussions about the difference between a calzone and a Stromboli.
And each have there ‘own story and are sticking to it’.
First, Stromboli is a place. It’s a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily; with a not completely dormant volcano. And It is an American invention from a famous Philadelphia pizza shop; apparently conceived to eat your pizza, ‘sandwich-style’.
And, calzone, or ‘pants leg’, like pizza, was born in Naples and meant for eating-out-of-hand while strolling. (Apparently, pizza was always eaten at the table with a knife and fork!)
The fillings being pretty much equal; it seems to be a question of shape. If your stuffed pizza is folded over and crescent- shaped, then it is a calzone. On the other hand, if you’re stuffed pizza is rolled and log-shaped, then it’s a Stromboli.
…And I won’t even get started on the sauce-inside or on-the-side debate.
I had cherries and I had very, very, very ripe pears.
I know that a cherry-plum or cherry-nectarine crisp is more common than a cherry-pear crisp, but I had these very ripe pears to use (as I have said…) and I knew that the pears would soften during baking and wrap their arms, as it were, around the firmer cherries. It would be a compatible match.
I used a 12-inch ceramic, fluted quiche dish - a wide shallow baking dish, to ensure that the ratio of crisp topping and cooked fruit would provide equal bites of both in your mouth.
And finally, I replaced some of the all-purpose flour with almond flour, making the crust crumblier and crunchier, both desirable attributes.
With a nod to the famous children’s author, I’ve made a batch of molded green egg ‘frittatas’ to serve with an Easter Sunday brunch. They are green from pureeing sautéed swiss chard and leeks with egg whites and cream. I’ve baked them in small, silicone, prism-shaped molds; never-opened treasures found in a yard sale. But fear not, bake them in non-stick muffin tins or in one larger well-buttered casserole dish. For convenience, they can be made and baked ahead and gently re-heated in a microwave before guests arrive.
Claudia is our Deli Chef in the South Boston Foodie’s Market. She has been in the Foodie’s family for a number of years; working first in the Duxbury store. She is a master at producing large quantities of beautiful, tasty food. She knows what the customers want and exceeds their expectations.
These stuffed peppers ‘fly-out’ of the case; with some customers even calling ahead to ‘reserve’ their weekly portion.
This recipe sprang from a desire to eat a glorious, steaming bowl of French Onion Soup with grilled crusty bread and gooey Swiss cheese.
But I was more than reluctant to invest the hours it would take to make an excellent beef broth; and anything less than an excellent broth would not be satisfying. Hence, this is how the ingredients of a classic French Onion Soup ‘shape-shifted’ their way into a pizza topping.