Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Delicious revelation

Um, let me just say that my mouth had another flavor explosion when I first tried the roasted cauliflower that I made last night. Holy cow! I had no idea that this vegetable could go beyond the usual creaminess that you get when you just lightly steam it or mash it. This was completely different. It had a very nice caramelized flavor that sweetened the vegetable. It's sweet and savory combined. Just delicious!
I'll get back to how I cooked these tasty babies in a bit. I'll make sure to next time cook two heads instead of one because one is just not enough!
Dinner was another quick toss but this time I used sweet potato as a base instead of pasta or rice. I chopped up 1/2 a red onion, 1/2 a red bell pepper, 1 large tomato, 1/2 an eggplant and 4 cloves of garlic. I also used 4 sweet potatoes and pulled the rest of the leftover game hen meat I had to add a little meat texture to the dish. I first set the oven to 450 degrees and put the potatoes in (punched some holes in them with a fork) for about 30 minutes before I added the cauliflower.
For the cauliflower I cut them into smaller sized florets and spread them on a baking pan. I sprinkled on some dried herbs (Italian seasoning), black pepper and salt. I then poured on some olive oil and tossed them about with my hands until well coated. You may have to add more oil depending on the amount. Just make sure they are coated well (don't drown them either!).
I placed them in the oven along with the potatoes. After about 13 minutes I tossed them about and put them back in another 13 minutes. I kept an eye on them to make sure they got browned well on most sides.
While the potatoes and cauliflower where baking I heated some olive oil in a pan and sauteed the garlic, onions and peppers until the onions where translucent.
I added just a tad more oil and then the eggplant, 1/2 cup vegetable broth, some salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Cook stirring moderately at medium heat until the eggplant is a little darker in color and softer.
Added in the chicken and tomato, cooked for about 10 more minutes.
After 10 minutes I added 2 tablespoons red sauce and another 1/2 cup vegetable broth and simmered about 5 more minutes.

I removed the sweet potatoes when they were done (toothpick enters in smoothly) and cut them in half lengthwise and plated them, poured the chicken mixture (ragu) over the potatoes and the cauliflower on the side.
Roasted cauliflower with a chicken ragu over baked sweet potato.

It turned out very well! The cauliflower was amazing and the sweetness of the potato with the heat of the semisweet of the sauce (thanks to the crushed red pepper) really came together well. This recipe should work with or without meat. I know it seems a bit odd of a combo, but it's worth a try. I know I'll be making it again.
Another revelation: My little baby is turning into a little boy! I can still remember my little 6 pound infant rolled up into a little ball. Now he's getting so tall, just like his sister. I have a feeling they will both tower over us one day. When Bella falls asleep on the couch or our bed and we have to carry her to her bed, it's a chore. She's so very long now. Pretty soon our backs aren't going to be able to handle it anymore. They will have to carry us to bed instead.

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