The Bored Vegetarian

Cauliflower Soup with a Parmesan Crisp and Truffle OilWhen I’m feeling a little uninspired in the kitchen, sometimes all it takes is a visit to an amazing restaurant or two to get the wheels turning again.  Usually it’s because I’ve had a new combination of ingredients or take that I hadn’t considered, but sometimes I get inspired to recreate a dish that isn’t as good as I think it could have been.  Case in point the cauliflower soup I had a place in Bushwick recently.  While it wasn’t terrible, I thought it was missing the rich silkiness (ew, that word) that cauliflower can create.  I decided I should try my hand at it at home to see if I could make a version that captured the comforting and warm feeling that soup should give in the deep hellish depths of winter (also known as February in New York.)1 head Cauliflower, trimmed of stalk and leaves1 cup chopped Onion2 cloves Garlic, minced1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil6 cups Vegetable Stock1 cup Half & HalfSalt and Pepper to tasteTruffle Oil (optional)In a large pot, saute chopped onion and garlic on low/medium heat until translucent.  Chop cauliflower into small, manageable pieces.  Add to pot and cover with vegetable stock.  Turn heat to medium/high until cauliflower is very soft, about 15-20 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly.  Using an immersion blender, blend the stock and vegetables until smooth.  Add half & half and continue to blend.  Salt and pepper to taste.  If soup is too thick, you can add a little water or more half and half.  If it’s too thin, continue to cook until to desired thickness.  Serve hot in a bowl with a drizzle of truffle oil and a parmesan crispFor the Parmesan Crisp1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese(for those asking, BelGioioso makes a rennet-free parm)Preheat oven broil.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread cheese in an even layer so that you can’t see the area of paper, about 4-5 inches around.  Broil in oven until cheese melts and begins to crisp and brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Break into pieces and serve with soup.  Thanks to Mardi of Sprout & Pea for coming over for dinner and to share an amazing bottle of First Fruit from Shinn Vineyard on Long Island that I’ve been holding onto for far too long.  It’s time I made a trip back there…   View high resolution

Cauliflower Soup with a Parmesan Crisp and Truffle Oil

When I’m feeling a little uninspired in the kitchen, sometimes all it takes is a visit to an amazing restaurant or two to get the wheels turning again.  Usually it’s because I’ve had a new combination of ingredients or take that I hadn’t considered, but sometimes I get inspired to recreate a dish that isn’t as good as I think it could have been.  Case in point the cauliflower soup I had a place in Bushwick recently.  While it wasn’t terrible, I thought it was missing the rich silkiness (ew, that word) that cauliflower can create.  I decided I should try my hand at it at home to see if I could make a version that captured the comforting and warm feeling that soup should give in the deep hellish depths of winter (also known as February in New York.)

1 head Cauliflower, trimmed of stalk and leaves
1 cup chopped Onion
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 cups Vegetable Stock
1 cup Half & Half
Salt and Pepper to taste
Truffle Oil (optional)

In a large pot, saute chopped onion and garlic on low/medium heat until translucent.  Chop cauliflower into small, manageable pieces.  Add to pot and cover with vegetable stock.  Turn heat to medium/high until cauliflower is very soft, about 15-20 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly.  Using an immersion blender, blend the stock and vegetables until smooth.  Add half & half and continue to blend.  Salt and pepper to taste.  If soup is too thick, you can add a little water or more half and half.  If it’s too thin, continue to cook until to desired thickness.  Serve hot in a bowl with a drizzle of truffle oil and a parmesan crisp

For the Parmesan Crisp

1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

(for those asking, BelGioioso makes a rennet-free parm)

Preheat oven broil.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread cheese in an even layer so that you can’t see the area of paper, about 4-5 inches around.  Broil in oven until cheese melts and begins to crisp and brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Break into pieces and serve with soup.  

Thanks to Mardi of Sprout & Pea for coming over for dinner and to share an amazing bottle of First Fruit from Shinn Vineyard on Long Island that I’ve been holding onto for far too long.  It’s time I made a trip back there…  

Brie & Dijon Mustard Apple Slaw Sandwich2 slices of bread (I used a baguette that was leftover from Thanksgiving)3-4 slices of Brie2 Tbsp Grained Dijon Mustard3/4 cup Apple, cut into matchsticks 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar In a bowl, whisk together mustard and apple cider.  Add apples and toss together with the dijon vinegar mixture.  Layer bottom piece of bread with brie.  Pile with a generous amount of slaw.  If there’s any leftover liquid, pour on to other piece of bread and make a sandwich with the brie side.  Grill in a pan, flipping once one side is brown and cheese begins to melt.  Serve hot. View high resolution

Brie & Dijon Mustard Apple Slaw Sandwich

2 slices of bread (I used a baguette that was leftover from Thanksgiving)
3-4 slices of Brie
2 Tbsp Grained Dijon Mustard
3/4 cup Apple, cut into matchsticks 
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

In a bowl, whisk together mustard and apple cider.  Add apples and toss together with the dijon vinegar mixture.  Layer bottom piece of bread with brie.  Pile with a generous amount of slaw.  If there’s any leftover liquid, pour on to other piece of bread and make a sandwich with the brie side.  Grill in a pan, flipping once one side is brown and cheese begins to melt.  Serve hot.

Kale & Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes2 lbs Potatoes, skin on (optional)5 ounces Goat Cheese2 cups Kale, raw, stems removed, leaves chopped thin3 Tbsp Butter1 1/2 Milk4 cloves Roasted GarlicSalt & Pepper to tasteCut potatoes into 1-2 inch pieces and put in a large pot.  Cover with water and add a few pinches of salt.  Bring to a boil and cook potatoes until very soft.  Drain and put back into the pot.  Add 1 cup milk and 2 Tbsp butter and mash with a potato masher. As the potatoes start to get smoother, add goat cheese, garlic, remaining milk and butter.  Mix in chopped kale.  Warm on low heat until kale wilts.  Seasonal with salt and pepper.  Serve hot.  View high resolution

Kale & Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs Potatoes, skin on (optional)
5 ounces Goat Cheese
2 cups Kale, raw, stems removed, leaves chopped thin
3 Tbsp Butter
1 1/2 Milk
4 cloves Roasted Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cut potatoes into 1-2 inch pieces and put in a large pot.  Cover with water and add a few pinches of salt.  Bring to a boil and cook potatoes until very soft.  Drain and put back into the pot.  Add 1 cup milk and 2 Tbsp butter and mash with a potato masher. As the potatoes start to get smoother, add goat cheese, garlic, remaining milk and butter.  Mix in chopped kale.  Warm on low heat until kale wilts.  Seasonal with salt and pepper.  Serve hot. 

Egg-In-A-Hole with Sauteed Kale, Sundried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese There are a few different name variations for “egg-in-a-hole” : Egg in a basket; Bird’s Nest; Frog in a Hole; Moon Eggs; Gas House Eggs.. the list goes on.  What did you call it growing up? 
1 slice good Bread1 Egg1/4 cup Sundried Tomatoes, chopped3 cups fresh Kale, stems removed, leaves choppedJuice from 1/2 Lemon2 Tbsp Crumbled Goat CheeseSalt & Pepper to taste1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil1 Tbsp Butter 
In a sautee pan, heat olive oil.  Add kale and toss.  Salt & pepper to taste.  As you continue to cook the kale on low/medium heat, melt butter in another sautee pan.  Cut a round circle in your slice of bread and add to the pan.  As it’s browning, crack an egg into the “hole” in the middle.  Salt & pepper to taste.  Add sundried tomatoes to the sauteed kale and toss.  After a minute or to (or whenever the egg starts to firm) gently flip the egg-in-a-hole to cook the other side.  The goal is not to break the yoke, so take your time.   Let the other side of the egg firm up a little before removing from heat.  Place on a plate, with the yolk side up.   Squeeze lemon juice onto kale & tomato mixture and make sure it’s seasoned to your liking with salt & pepper.  Spoon kale mixture onto the egg-in-a-hole and sprinkle with goat cheese.  Serve hot.  
I’m headed out to LA on Wednesday to visit some friends for a few days and though we have some plans already (Disneyland!!), I would love any advice on where to eat, drink and explore.  I haven’t been to that area since I was a kid, so I have zero idea of what to expect… perhaps I can recreate this 20 years later:

If you have advice, please send me a tumblr message or email theboredvegetarian@gmail.com.  View high resolution

Egg-In-A-Hole with Sauteed Kale, Sundried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese
 
There are a few different name variations for “egg-in-a-hole” : Egg in a basket; Bird’s Nest; Frog in a Hole; Moon Eggs; Gas House Eggs.. the list goes on.  What did you call it growing up? 

1 slice good Bread
1 Egg
1/4 cup Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
3 cups fresh Kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
2 Tbsp Crumbled Goat Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Butter 

In a sautee pan, heat olive oil.  Add kale and toss.  Salt & pepper to taste.  As you continue to cook the kale on low/medium heat, melt butter in another sautee pan.  Cut a round circle in your slice of bread and add to the pan.  As it’s browning, crack an egg into the “hole” in the middle.  Salt & pepper to taste.  Add sundried tomatoes to the sauteed kale and toss.  After a minute or to (or whenever the egg starts to firm) gently flip the egg-in-a-hole to cook the other side.  The goal is not to break the yoke, so take your time.   Let the other side of the egg firm up a little before removing from heat.  Place on a plate, with the yolk side up.   Squeeze lemon juice onto kale & tomato mixture and make sure it’s seasoned to your liking with salt & pepper.  Spoon kale mixture onto the egg-in-a-hole and sprinkle with goat cheese.  Serve hot.  

I’m headed out to LA on Wednesday to visit some friends for a few days and though we have some plans already (Disneyland!!), I would love any advice on where to eat, drink and explore.  I haven’t been to that area since I was a kid, so I have zero idea of what to expect… perhaps I can recreate this 20 years later:

If you have advice, please send me a tumblr message or email theboredvegetarian@gmail.com. 

Sriracha & Sesame Brussels Sprouts
1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed3/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar2-3 Tbsp Sriracha2 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar1 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds (I used bamboo smoked)1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive OilSalt to tasteDepending on the size of your Brussels spouts, either cut in half, fourths or leave whole.  In a saute pan, heat olive oil.  Add Brussels sprouts, toss in olive oil and season with salt.  Begin to cook over medium/high heat, turning often to brown evenly.  It’s ok if they get a little crisp.  In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, Sriracha, sesame oil and sugar.  Once Brussels sprout are cooked through, turn down heat to medium/low and pour Sriracha mixture over the sprouts.  Toss to coat and turn up heat towards medium/high.  The sauce will begin to bubble, so be careful not too burn.  Once the sauce starts to reduce and get a little sticky to coat the sprouts, remove from heat.  Move to a serving dish and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. View high resolution

Sriracha & Sesame Brussels Sprouts

1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
3/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
2-3 Tbsp Sriracha
2 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds (I used bamboo smoked)
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste

Depending on the size of your Brussels spouts, either cut in half, fourths or leave whole.  In a saute pan, heat olive oil.  Add Brussels sprouts, toss in olive oil and season with salt.  Begin to cook over medium/high heat, turning often to brown evenly.  It’s ok if they get a little crisp.  In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, Sriracha, sesame oil and sugar.  Once Brussels sprout are cooked through, turn down heat to medium/low and pour Sriracha mixture over the sprouts.  Toss to coat and turn up heat towards medium/high.  The sauce will begin to bubble, so be careful not too burn.  Once the sauce starts to reduce and get a little sticky to coat the sprouts, remove from heat.  Move to a serving dish and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Roasted Fig and Ricotta Crostini with Sea Salt and Meyer Lemon Zest
5 Mission Figs1/3 cup Ricotta1 Meyer LemonSea SaltFrench BaguetteExtra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the stems off of the figs and slice in half lengthwise. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, tossing to coat.  Roast in oven for 5-10 minutes or until the sugars start to caramelize.  Remove from oven and set aside.  Slice 5 1/2 slices from french bread and place on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven until crunchy and starting to brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  To assemble, spread each crostini with a generous amount of ricotta and spread two fig halves onto each one.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.  Using a microplane,  zest the lemon over the crostini.   View high resolution

Roasted Fig and Ricotta Crostini with Sea Salt and Meyer Lemon Zest

5 Mission Figs
1/3 cup Ricotta
1 Meyer Lemon
Sea Salt
French Baguette
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the stems off of the figs and slice in half lengthwise. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, tossing to coat.  Roast in oven for 5-10 minutes or until the sugars start to caramelize.  Remove from oven and set aside.  Slice 5 1/2 slices from french bread and place on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven until crunchy and starting to brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  To assemble, spread each crostini with a generous amount of ricotta and spread two fig halves onto each one.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.  Using a microplane,  zest the lemon over the crostini.  

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