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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)

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Alton Brown’s Welsh Rarebit


Rarebit2Welsh Rarebit

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup porter beer
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 ounces (approximately 1 1/2 cups) shredded cheddar (see note)
2 drops hot sauce
4 slices toasted rye bread

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to brown the flour. Whisk in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add beer and whisk to combine. Pour in cream and whisk until well combined and smooth. Gradually add cheese, stirring constantly, until cheese melts and sauce is smooth; this will take 4 to 5 minutes. Add hot sauce. Pour over toast and serve immediately.

Note: Grate your own cheese for this dish. Already shredded cheeses include potato starch or corn starch to prevent it from sticking. That starch can cause the dish to thicken too much.

From Alton Brown/Food Network

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