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Tag Archives: appetizer

Fried Cauliflower (and dipping sauce)

One of my very first jobs out of college was a hostess at Applebee’s, and eventually becoming a server. It was one of the jobs that I hated and loved at the same time. I loved getting to talk to guests and making decent tips by up-selling a beer or an appetizer (or “For 2.99 more you can get shrimp on your steak”). It was pain in the you-know-what when we were packed and every table was sat, but if you were “cut,” you still had to wait for the tables to ask for the check, pay, and leave. Nevertheless, it taught me a lot about customer service, kindness, and was my first dabble in the culinary world.

You might ask, “Well Morgan, how does this connect to cauliflower.” I mean, it really doesn’t, but whenever I left Applebee’s I would smell like a mozzarella stick or a boneless wing, which are fried goodness. The new craze now is fried eggplant, zucchini, and yes, cauliflower. I wonder if Applebee’s is following the cauliflower bandwagon nowadays. Anyway, cauliflower is one of the most nutrient-dense and low-carb vegetables you could eat. It’s versatile and easy to cook, which is also a plus. Cauliflower, like broccoli, are members of the cruciferous vegetables family, meaning it helps with digestion and inflammation. I bet you didn’t know you were getting a nutrition lesson here huh? #boom.

Frying cauliflower is new to me, and so I wanted to make this recipe simple and easy to do. This recipe only calls for four ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour (of choice – I prefer cassava, but wanted to finish up my AP Flour)
  • Salt
  • Oil for frying (I used EVOO – I prefer not to cook with canola or vegetable, other than olive.)

Start by cutting the cauliflower into florets, whether small or large is your prerogative. Crack three eggs into a bowl and whisk. Pour the flour into a separate bowl and begin the assembly line. Pour the oil into a pot (I used an entire bottle) and heat it up, using a thermometer to gauge the temp: the oil should reach around 350* to start frying.

Dip the cauliflower into the egg-wash, then into the flour, and set on a plate. Repeat until all of the cauliflower has been coated with both the egg and then the flour. Fry in batches of 10-12 florets at a time, placing them on a plate with lined paper towel to absorb excess oil. Season with salt as you go.

I also made a dip, but won’t take credit for it as it was from a recipe book by Yotam Ottolenghi:

  • 3 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

The cauliflower comes out beautifully browned, crisp, and tender on the inside. Go ahead and dredge the cauliflower into the dip and you’ve got a delectable appetizer, and you absolutely do not have to share! NOMaste 🙂

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Herbed Baked Sweet Potato Fries (with garlic aioli)

When I was younger, I was always told that sweet potatoes were unhealthy. The reason? Because they are sweet. I’m sorry, what? I could have doughnuts, and all sorts of things, but sweet potatoes were made on occasion. It was the craziest notion. Sweet potatoes happen to be on incredible tuber and phenomenal for weight loss and overall health. They are packed with vitamin C, fiber, vitamin A, and magnesium. Sure, they are on the starchy side, but sweet potato, especially sweet potato fries, are certainly a great addition to your eating lifestyle.

This recipe is incredibly simple and doesn’t require much prep. Sweet potato fries became more popular most recently in the last 15 years or so, around the same time that studies came out saying “sweet potatoes are good to eat!” because why would anyone not do research on their own…. *shoulder shrug*

Making homemade sweet potato fries may not taste like a restaurant, especially because most restaurants fry their potatoes or bake them coated in flour. This batch only calls for a toss of avocado oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, and fresh ground rosemary. What are fries without a sauce to dip in? Whipping up a garlic aioli is super simple too, using mayo, garlic, lemon juice, and salt.

The result are beautifully baked, tasty fries paired with a delicious dipping sauce. I can’t wait to try different seasonings and combinations. NOMaste 🙂

Herbed Baked Sweet Potato Fries (with garlic aioli)

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword aioli, baked, fries, garlic, herbed, sweet potato
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

For the fries

  • 2 medium Sweet potatoes rinsed, sliced, then sliced into fries
  • 3 tbsp Avocado oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • dried rosemary to taste

For the aioli

  • 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Minced garlic
  • salt to taste
  • lemon juice to taste

Instructions

For the sweet potato fries

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Begin by rinsing and slicing the sweet potatoes into fry shape.

  2. Toss the fries in avocado oil and season with dried rosemary.  Bake for 20 minutes.  For the last few minutes turn the oven to “Broil”

  3. Let sit for a few minutes, then season with sea salt.

For the aioli

  1. Take two tbsp of mayonnaise, one tbsp of garlic and mix together in a bowl.  Add in salt and lemon juice.  Continue to mix until all ingredients are combined.

Soupe à L’oignon (French Onion Soup)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, and I just have to brag about this one… I kinda nailed it. After going to Paris and having french onion soup at almost every single restaurant we visited, I decided to give this a try and it was a major success. Simmered, caramelized onions in a rich and hearty broth, topped with crusty baguette and melted Gruyere cheese. It’s perfect for this time of year, too. (let’s be real, it’s good anytime, anywhere..)

This is a rather easy recipe with simple ingredients: onions, flour, butter, broth, bread, and cheese. I use regular yellow onions and cut them into rounds then sliced across once. I used two large onions for this particular recipe and ensure to get as many slices as I could. After I sliced the onions, I added 5, yes, FIVE, tablespoons of butter to a dutch oven. The reason for so much butter is two fold: Butter tastes amazing, and you need that much to render down the onions and get them brown, not burnt. The onions will simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes until they’re all a nice, golden color.

Once the onions are done, I added one tablespoon of flour (cassava) to get the mixture a bit thick, then added in the beef broth – I always use bone broth as it has so many incredible benefits; to me, quality will always trump price. I love the brand Kettle and Fire for bone broths. Trader Joe’s makes a good budget-friendly broth too!

I added three cartons of broth and some salt and pepper to taste. This simmered on a low flame for 30 minutes. I sliced a day-old French baguette and turned the oven to broil. Lastly, I ladled some soup into a ramekin and place some slices of bread into the mixture, sprinkling the cheese on top and placing on the top rack to brown. Serve immediately! Nomaste 🙂

Soupe à L’oignon

Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine French, Soup
Keyword dinner, easy, french, onion, savory, Soup, winter
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 cups
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions yellow
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 48 ounces beef bone broth or stock
  • 1 French baguette crispy!
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese grated

Instructions

  1. In a dutch oven or large pot, heat the pan, then add butter to melt.

  2. Slice up two large onions and slice once down the middle to have medium length onion strings.  Add to melted butter. This will need to cook on low – med.low flame for 30-40 minutes. Stirring consistently

  3. Add tablespoon of flour to mixture.  Mix together and add in broth.  Let simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Turn oven to broil.

  4. Slice baguette.

  5. Ladle soup into small ramekins and place the baguette slices into the soup.  Sprinkle cheese to cover the bread pieces.

  6. Place in top rack of oven.  Broil until cheese is brown and crispy.  Let sit until warm.

Baked Garlic Buffalo Wings

When Football season kicks in (see what I did there? Kick? No? Okay…), it seems like there’s only two options for food: burgers and fries, or wings.  I love me some good ol’ fashioned buffalo wings, fried to perfection and drenched in hot sauce. Boneless or on the bone, they’re so freaking delicious.  I’m of the “ranch dip” type rather than blue cheese, but that’s not a problem in our home.  I’m proud to say that this recipe calls for five ingredients: wings, avocado oil, cassava flour, garlic powder, and hot sauce.  THAT. IS. IT.IMG_4274

I played around on the internet to see how other food bloggers and foodies make their wings, and realized that everyone except for moi have a wire rack.  Rather than running out to the local 99c store to buy a cheap one, I just prayed that a lined baking sheet pan with sprayed aluminum foil would work.  Honestly? It did, and it did taste pretty damn good.  I started by cleaning and pat drying my wings (I got them from an online meat-delivery system Butcher Box, I highly recommend them if you want to ramp up the quality of your meats – plus, they have add ons like bacon and breakfast sausage… mmmm, sausage.)

After drying the wings, I tossed them in avocado oil (this oil has a high smoke point and will not burn in the oven) and coated with a generous layer of garlic powder.  Lastly, I added 1/3 cup of cassava flour to crisp the wings as they bake.  Grease a pan (or use a wire rack) and lay the wings down skin side up, bake for 50 minutes at 400 degrees, and then toss in your favorite hot sauce (I’m not sure of the brand we used but it was really yummy).

The beauty about eating wings is that it is versatile and goes with just about any dipping sauce, any sides, and of course celery and carrots.  Now go throw on your Giants jersey, crack open a Corona, and enjoy them wings!