The Crucifer Crucible

2012.Apr.25 Wednesday · 6 comments

in Casa SaltShaker, Food & Recipes

I hadn’t set out to design an evening around the cruciferous vegetable family, it just sort of started to happen, and so while I didn’t make a point of it, our guests this last weekend had their fill from the family Brassicacaea, or Cruciferae. It’s a grouping of vegetables that’s probably more widespread than you’d think – including the broccoli/cauliflower sorts, cabbages, mustards, turnips, radishes, and cresses. And, away we go…

Cauliflower Tarte Tatin

A variation on our popular tarte tatins – here, cauliflower caramelized in butter and olive oil with brown sugar, peperoncino, anchovy, salt and pepper, sumac and mustard. Baked under a pastry round, flipped out, served with a spicy mustard and chili puree blend and a scattering of prosciutto crumbs.

Broccoli Lemon Soup

Broccoli lemon soup – a reworking of one I made for our Ginger Rogers centennial – two changes, no cream added to the soup, just the sour cream drizzle, and added in some sauteed florets for texture.

Semolina Crepes, Eggplant Ricotta, Roasted Radicchio

A twist on a manicotti – first, if you don’t know the difference between manicotti and canneloni, it’s actually pretty simple. The latter are large pasta tubes, the former are rolled crepes – not that even, sometimes, Italians don’t mix those up. I decided not to roll them, but made semolina flour crepes, filled with a puree of charred eggplant, fresh ricotta, roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic and chilies, and some thyme and oregano. Atop, olive oil and butter roasted mixture of radicchio, cherry tomatoes, garlic and walnuts. My favorite dish of the weekend – then again, aren’t the pasta sort of dishes usually my favorites?

Braised pork breast, morbier sauce

Brought back a slow braised pork breast dish from a historical dinner last year. No real changes other than I couldn’t find any pork skin to crisp up, so went without it – last year a lot of people didn’t eat it anyway, so leaving it off didn’t seem a big sacrifice.

Apple Miso Caramel Tart

An inspired rip-off. Snackbar in Philadelphia offers up caramel apple slices that have been seasoned with miso paste and crusted in crushed wasabi peas. I’ve tried out the combination and there’s something I like about it, though I wasn’t looking for a snack. I tried out a sort of apple charlotte, topped with a miso caramel, and then the crushed peas sprinkled on top and it was okay, so I spent some time playing around with the idea and came up with this, which was a hit. Shortbread type crust, diced apples tossed with cinnamon, miso caramel (caramelize sugar, stir in honey, cream and miso), and then a brandy hard sauce spiked with powdered wasabi.

And that, my friends, was our cruciferous evening.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Vivi @ My.Beautiful.Air April 25, 2012 at 12:59

damn. I’m drooling.

dan April 25, 2012 at 16:17

So… when are you coming to dinner?

Kevin April 26, 2012 at 10:27

Hey Dan, the Cauli app sounds really exquisite… you’re so inspiring, thanks for putting us all in our place… forever student.

dan April 26, 2012 at 11:19

Hey there, your place is working alongside me rather than half a world away… we could do fun things together! 😉

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