Tag Archive | "cheddar"

Cheese Gives This Cauliflower Soup a Silky Texture

CauliflowerCauliflower Cheese Soup

Cauliflower is ideal for warm soups on cooler evenings. This Irish concoction comes together simply, feeds four and is meat-free. Butter up some brown bread, toss a small salad and you have a full meal.

1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 quart vegetable stock
1 large cauliflower, divided into small florets
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
4 ounces freshly grated mature cheddar cheese (see note)
1 cup whole milk
4 teaspoons heavy cream, for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Gently sauté the onion and potato in the butter over a very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent. Add the stock and cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through. Purée in a blender or food processor, then return the soup to the pan and bring back to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and milk. Reheat gently, adjust the seasoning and serve, topped with a spoonful of cream and some chopped chives.

Note: Already shredded cheese is likely to be treated with potato starch or corn starch to prevent caking. If you use this in this soup recipe, it will likely make it thicker and gummier.

Makes 4 servings.

From “The Avoca Café Cookbook” by Hugo Arnold with Leylie Hayes

(photo: Monika Szczygieł)

Posted in Featured, RecipesComments (2)

Fight Winter With Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

CauliflowerCheddarSoupThis winter warmer is silky on the tongue, yet full of flavor from the combination of onion and sweet potato as well as cauliflower and cheddar cheese.

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

1 large onion, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 quart vegetable stock or chicken stock
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Salt, to taste
Lemon pepper, to taste
1 cup heavy cream or fat-free half-and-half, plus more for garnish
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

In a large stockpot, sauté onion and sweet potato in butter until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add stock, cauliflower, salt and lemon pepper. Bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.

Let cool 10 minutes. Purée in small batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return to the stove and reheat, stirring in the cream and cheese until the cheese is melted.  Serve hot with a drizzle of cream on top.

Makes 1 1/2 quarts soup.

From John Griffin, freely adapted from “Avoca Cafe Cookbook”

Posted in RecipesComments Off on Fight Winter With Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

Candied Bacon Adds a New Dimension to Apple Pie


What could be better than an apple pie with crisp, Granny Smith apples? Add some smoky bacon for an unexpectedly appealing taste.

This twist on the classic apple pie grew out of years of playing around with the original, first by adding nuts, then raisins, etc. I like to use a mixture of apples, such as a golden delicious, Braeburn and Gala, to get a mixture of textures as well as varying levels of tartness and sweetness. Of course, you can leave out the bacon, if the idea doesn’t appeal.

Candied bacon:
4 slices bacon, preferably maple-cured or applewood-smoked (not pepper- or garlic-cured)
Sugar, to taste
Cinnamon, to taste

Pie filling:
5-6 large pie apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
4 slices candied bacon, cut into tiny strips
1/3 cup pecan pieces
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of flour

2 pie crusts
1 egg white
Sugar, for garnish
Sharp cheddar, for garnish, optional

For candied bacon: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place bacon on a baking sheet. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Turn bacon. Sprinkle more sugar and cinnamon on top. Continue baking until crisp, another 5 minutes. Remove to a rack over paper towels. Let cool. Crumble.

When ready to make pie, preheat oven to 425 degrees.

For filling: Prepare apples, toss with melted butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, bacon and pecans. Let sit while you roll out the pie crust.

Place bottom pie crust in pan. Fill with apple mixture. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the top and a pinch of flour you’re using to roll out the crust on top. Then top pie with second crust. Fold top crust over bottom crust and crimp the two together using a fork or your finger. Cut vents into the top crust.

Mix egg white with small bit of water. Brush over top crust. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 30-40 minutes more, until pie crust is golden brown and juices and bubbling through vents. Serve warm with melted cheddar on top, if desired.

Makes 1 pie.

From John Griffin

Posted in RecipesComments (1)