Soupe de Chou-Fleur

This soup is not actually French, but Soupe de Chou-Fleur sounds a lot nicer than Cauliflower Soup.  I thought if I called it Soupe de Chou-Fleur people would be more apt to make it, which you should because it is really good.

Alec and I split an organic farm share with our friends Anna and Chris.  We love it! However, sometimes we end up with a lot of vegetable we aren’t sure what to do with.  I like cauliflower, but I don’t love it, and I had a lot of it.  Thus this soup.  To be honest, I did not have high hopes, but I liked it a lot.

Ingredients:

2 smaller heads of cauliflower or 1 very big head

2 shallots

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 onion

olive oil

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 cup heavy cream

herbs (I used thyme, sage, and chives)

Cut the cauliflower, shallots, onions, and garlic.  Toss in olive oil and bake at 350 for about a half and hour or until the vegetables start to brown.  They will smell great.

The above pics are the veggies before and after they have been baked.

Put the roasted veggies in a big pot–I used my cast iron dutch oven.  Add the three cups of chicken broth, the water, and the herbs.  Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then drop the temp to a simmer.  Let it simmer for about a half an hour, or until the cauliflower is nice and tender.

If you have an immersion blender, use that to blend the soup to a nice think consistency.  If you don’t have an immersion blender you can use an actual blender.

Add the cup of cream and pull off the heat.

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Bars, Bundts, and Hotdish: Classic Minnesota Recipes

I am starting a new special feature for my blog featuring Minnesota recipes.  I want to collect some Minnesota family recipes.  Do you have a favorite hotdish from when you were a kid? A classic recipe that shows up at all family get-togethers? Please send me the recipe, and I would love to feature it on my blog.  Email me at meteaandlucy@gmail.com or jennie.hornyak@gmail.com.  Also, expect another instalment of weird recipes from yesteryear this week!

Meyer Lemon and Blackberry Layer Cake

I do not often make layer cakes, but the other day I was watching Master Chef (you can judge me, I know it is a terrible show), and they were challenged to make one.   Watching all those cakes made me want to eat one, which meant I had to make one.  So I looked through a few cook books and came across one from Dorie Greenspan that I had always wanted to eat.  This cake isn’t exactly that cake but it is based on it.  It is very good, but there is one warning.  The frosting base is a meringue, so if you do not like meringue all that much, this cake probably is not for you.  Or you could replace the frosting with a normal butter cream too.

The cake:

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk (I used whole milk because that is what I had on hand.  I actually think I would have preferred buttermilk.)

4 large egg whites

1 1/2 cups sugar

zest of one Meyer lemon

1 stick butter, room temp.

juice of the Meyer lemon

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together; set aside.  Whisk the milk and egg whites together; set aside.

Put the sugar and the lemon zest in a bowl, and rub it together until the sugar is nice and fragrant.  Add the butter and beat until the mixture is very light.  Beat in the lemon juice.  Then add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the milk mixture.  Continue in this fashion, back and forth, until everything is incorporated.  Once everything has mixed together well, divide the batter into two well-greased 9″ round cake pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.  Once the cake is done, remove from oven and place the pans on cooling racks.  After about 15 minutes take the cakes out of the pans to let them cool completely.

The frosting:

1 cup sugar

4 large egg whites

3 sticks of butter at room temp.

1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the sugar and eggs together in a double boiler over medium-high heat.  Whisk constantly as the mixture is heating.  It should take about 3-5 minutes to get the mixture to look white, fluffy, and shiny (a little like marshmallow cream actually). Pull the mixture into an electric mixer.  Beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes–the mixture should now be cooled down.  Add the butter, one stick at a time until completely incorporated.  Turn up the mixer to medium-high and beat for 6-10 minutes, until the mixture is very light and fluffy.  Add in the juice and the extract, beat until incorporated.

The blackberry layer: 

This is the easier part by far.  Warm about 1/2-2/3 cup blackberry preserves until easily spreadable.  That is it.  You could use any preserves really.  I used seedless preserves for this cake.

Assembly:

Once the cake layers have cooled, use a sharp knife and slice in half horizontally–you will end up with 4 cake rounds at this point. Obviously you need a sharp and long  knife, but it is easier to do than I expected.  Now you will start the layering process.  Lay the first cake round down on a cake stand or plate.  Spread a thin layer of the preserves on it.  Then spread the frosting over the preserves.  Try to keep the layers from mixing together here.

Once the frosting is spread, add the next cake layer and repeat with the preserves and the frosting. Do this with the bottom three cake layers.

Place the forth layer on top; now it is time to cover the entire cake with the remainder of the frosting.

Now it is ready to cut and enjoy.

I topped the cake with a few raspberries from the yard.  It would be great with some actual blackberries too.

Rhubarb-Rosemary Frozen Yogurt

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t posted for about a week or so.  Well that is because Lucy started to crawl, and then started pulling herself up.  I have been a little overwhelmed with how to keep her safe.  She can sniff out danger anywhere and crawls towards it as fast as she can.

Above is a perfect example.  It took her about 30 seconds to figure out how to pull the electrical plug safety things out.  Great.  I will be buying a different brand of those.

Needless to say, cooking and blogging hasn’t been my top priority.  I did make some frozen yogurt the other day that was quite good though.  I know rhubarb and rosemary sounds a little weird, but it works really well together.

Ingredients:

2 cups rhubarb, cut

1 cup cugar

2 sprigs of rosemary

2 cups yogurt

1 cup whole milk

To make the rhubarb syrup:

Put the rhubarb, rosemary, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Cook stirring occasionally until the rhubarb are falling apart and the liquid is thickened.  Drain through a fine sieve.   The liquid will be a beautiful pink color.

Once the liquid has cooled a little, add in the yogurt and milk.  At this point follow the instructions for your own ice cream maker.

I didn’t get a very good picture of the frozen yogurt, so you are just going to have to take my word for it that it turned out.  Since it is really hot this week, I will probably be making more ice cream recipes.