Last week we had a mix of winter snow and spring temperatures here in Virginia! Definitely a hello, goodbye experience. I planted pansies on Sunday, and then started dreaming about the farmers’ markets around town — they will be opening soon. And, of course a new season calls for a new cookbook for ideas and inspiration.
Tyler Florence’s recently released book, aptly titled, FRESH, emphasizes fresh ingredients over courses and spotlights the importance of quality produce. It has many fabulous recipes that offer great alternatives to traditional spring fare. See the sneak peek below for a recipe you can try right now! Thanks to my pal, Allison Malec at Clarkson Potter for the book to review and the recipe.
Cauliflower Pudding and Crisp Brussels Sprouts with Sea Urchin, Raisins, and Capers
Serves 4 to 6
1 bunch red seedless grapes
Nonstick cooking spray
2 small heads cauliflower
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 quart heavy cream
7 large egg yolks
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
6 to 8 Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed
¼ cup raw pine nuts
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
12 pieces fresh sea urchin (uni)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh chervil leaves
2 to 3 teaspoons smoked extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt
Prepare the raisins. Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Remove the grapes from the stems and spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 4 hours, or until shrunken and dehydrated. Cool and set aside.
Prepare the cauliflower. Increase the oven temperature to 325ºF and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Grease a deep 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Break the cauliflower heads into bite-size florets. Blanch the cauliflower for 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. Drain well. Make the cauliflower pudding. Place half of the blanched cauliflower in a food processor and add the butter, cream, and egg yolks. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and a touch of pepper, then puree once more. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Set the baking dish inside a roasting pan and fill the larger pan with water to reach three-quarters up the side of the dish. Bake the pudding for 30 to 35 minutes, until set. Cool to room temperature, then chill overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Roast the Brussels sprouts. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Separate the sprouts into individual leaves. Scatter the remaining cauliflower florets on a baking sheet along with the Brussels sprout leaves, capers, and pine nuts. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned around the edges.
Serve spoonfuls of the cauliflower pudding garnished with pieces of sea urchin. Scatter roasted cauliflower florets, Brussels sprout leaves, pine nuts, and capers around each portion, and add the raisins, chives, and chervil. Drizzle with a little smoked olive oil and season with flaky sea salt.
What is your wedding style? Classic. Modern. Rustic. Whimsical. Al Fresco. Which one?
Abby Larson’s book, Style Me Pretty Weddings: Inspiration & Ideas for an Unforgettable Celebration, will help you imagine your special day — and bring it to life. This helpful book combines beautiful photography with to-do projects to make your wedding uniquely yours.
There are step-by-step guides within step-by-step guides which serve as blueprints for planning. The creative ideas are impressive (such as lovely tablescapes) and the lavish photographs will have you swooning. While this is a wedding planning book, it is also an excellent resource for any event. Thanks to Allison for sending me this great book to review!
Hanukkah and the holidays have begun! I was raised Southern Baptist, (with a dose of Episcopalian), in a Jewish neighborhood. The Barshaws, an elderly Jewish couple, lived across the street when I was barely in elementary school, and they were my adopted grandparents. Mr. Barshaw owned a deli and small grocery store, and he kept my family is kosher meats and other delicacies.
I could see their front window from my bedroom, and I was always excited when the menorah finally appeared in December. But, when the blue candles were placed and lit, it was really official. Eight days of pure joy — opening the front door each morning where a special treat would be waiting (I still have the blue cameo I received the first year.) Mr. Barshaw would come over during the holidays and bring a basket of food specialties. Latkes. Gilt coins. Brisket. All delivered with love.
To this day, Christmas (for me) begins with Hanukkah. And, I always think of the Barshaws, and I celebrate their religion and kindness!