Confetti Cauliflower

image courtesy Food Network
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Confetti Cauliflower

I saw this recipe on Rachel Ray's show and decided to make it myself. It is very good and vegan! My recipe is slightly different than the original in that I roast everything rather than use a skillet.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword cauliflower, mediterranean cauliflower, roasted veg
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author misangela

Ingredients

  • 1 head Cauliflower cut into 1" florets
  • ½ cup jarred roasted red pepper or one flame roasted pepper, 1" dice
  • ½ cup pitted oil cured black olives OR pitted kalamatas
  • 1/3 cup diced flat leaf parsley
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes or more to taste
  • S/P to taste
  • olive oil

Instructions

  • Prep all your veg first to make your cooking go faster. It is called "mise en place" and it really helps make cooking easier.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. On a half sheet pan (you can cover with foil to make cleanup FAST), toss everything EXCEPT parsley with enough olive oil to coat. Season with about 1-2 tsp salt and pepper - go lightly, you can check again at the end of cooking.
  • Put sheet pan on center rack and let veg roast for about 15-20 minutes. If the veg is getting brown before it gets cooked, turn down the heat and let it go longer. Cauliflower should be soft and browned.
  • When cauliflower is done, pull from oven, toss again and let stand 5 minutes. Toss in parsley and check seasoning. Serve warm.

Notes

This recipe can be cooked in a skillet, but I prefer roasting for best flavour. If you want to speed up the roasting, you may blanch the cauliflower before tossing with other ingredients. 
Image from Food Network site on the original Ray recipe. 

Angela’s Beef Stifado

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Beef Stifado
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Angela's Beef Stifado

This is a spin on Greek Stifatho. It is a beef, tomatoes and onion stew that many swear is better the next day. This dish can be cooked on the stove or in a crock pot. Photo credit: Echo Echo https://www.food.com/user/121690
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword beef and onion stew, beef stew, greek beef stew, mediterranean beef stew, stifado, stifatho
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Crock Pot Cook time on HIGH 5 hours
Servings 8
Author misangela

Equipment

  • 6 qt dutch oven or crock pot

Ingredients

  • 1 pound stew beef cleaned and cut into 1" dice
  • 2/3 cup pancetta small ½ inch dice
  • 1 cup flour + 1Tbl cumin + 1tsp cinnamon + 1tsp salt dredge for beef
  • 3 Tbl olive oil cover bottom of pot
  • 2 large onions, frenched OR 2 cups boiler onions
  • 1 large green or red bell pepper 1" dice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste Or 3 Tbl from tube
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes san marzano or fire roasted
  • ½ cup dry red wine or sherry
  • ½ cup beef broth or sub chicken
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ancho powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1 tsp sugar Optional: to taste if tomatoes are overly acidic
  • dash fresh nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • S/P to taste seasoning

Toppings to serve

  • feta cheese
  • toasted pine nuts
  • chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Prep all the veg, spices and dredge mix before you start. I use small bowls for all the spices so they are ready to toss in. This is called "mise en place" and will help your cooking go much more smoothly.
  • Put pot on medium heat with olive oil and pancetta. Render the pancetta slowly, turn down heat it if starts to get too brown. You want it crispy, not burnt. Add in onions, peppers and garlic and sweat them. Keep the heat fairly low, you want them translucent, not browned. About 5 minutes.
  • While the aromatics are cooking, dredge meat in the flour mixture. Turn up the heat to medium high and add meat to pot with veg. Brown meat, keeping it moving in the pot. When it begins to stick, deglaze with wine and broth. Scrape up the fond (brown bits) from the bottom of the pot. About 6 minutes.
  • Next, add tomato paste, all the spices, lemon zest and nutmeg. Stir. Add diced tomatoes and stir. Check seasoning. Now is when you'll add sugar if the tomatoes seem too acidic. When seasoning is correct, bring to boil then reduce to simmer.
  • Keep at a slow simmer for about 2 hours, lid slightly ajar, stirring occasionally. If the stew starts to reduce too much (gets too thick), add a little more broth and turn down heat a little.
  • When beef is very tender, stew is done. Add in the lemon juice and check seasoning a final time.
  • Serve with toppings suggested and crusty bread. Or over rice or couscous.

For Crock Pot

  • The recipe is basically the same, but you'll need to brown the pancetta, aromatics and meat in a skillet before adding to crock pot. Do the first three steps of the recipe, then all the other ingredients can be put in the crockpot (wait to check tomato acidity until the end of cooking). Cut down olive oil to about a Tbl. Cut down broth and wine by half (¼ C of each). Put beef and pancetta in last. Cook on HIGH for about 5 hours or when meat is very tender. As with the stovetop recipe, hold the lemon juice until the stew is done or it will become bitter.

Notes

Always add citrus juice at the end of cooking. Adding in early will make it bitter. 
Wait to check tomato acidity until the end when you use the crock, because the tomatoes are cooking for a very long time. 
If the diced tomatoes seem to have a lot of juice, then only use half of it in the crock pot.  Crock pot cooking does not lose as much liquid as stovetop, keep that in mind. 

Seafood Stuffed Shells

seafood stuffed shells with bechamel
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Seafood Stuffed Shells

Shells stuffed with scallops, shrimp, spinach and ricotta in a creamy parmesan sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword parmesan sauce, seafood pasta, stuffed shells
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author misangela

Equipment

  • 4-5 qt pot for cooking pasta
  • skillet for cooking filling
  • 2 qt pot for making sauce
  • large cooking dish for baking pasta
  • food processor or blender for processing filling
  • plastic bag for piping filling

Ingredients

  • 8 jumbo pasta shells cooked
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • 1 Tbl butter, salted
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium shallot finely diced
  • 1 cup bay scallops small scallops, frozen is fine
  • ½ cup salad shrimp frozen is fine
  • ½ cup fresh basil finely chopped
  • ½ cup frozen spinach drained and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 cup parmesan shredded
  • dash freshly grated nutmeg

Sauce

  • 2 Tbl butter
  • 1 Tbl flour
  • ¾ cup parmesan (preferably reggiano)
  • cup half and half
  • 2 Tbl Dry Sherry or white wine
  • 1 tsp lemon juice fresh if you have it
  • dash freshly grated nutmeg
  • S/P salt and pepper to season

Instructions

Prep

  • Prep all ingredients and hold for use. This is called "mise en place" and it will make cooking MUCH easier for you.

Method

  • Fill large pot 2/3 with water for pasta and set on high heat to boil.
  • Melt butter and olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. When melted, add garlic and shallots. Turn down heat to medium and sweat (do not brown) until translucent.
  • Add in scallops and shrimp to shallots and gently cook until they are opaque. 3-4 minutes. Hold.
  • While seafood cooks, add spinach and parmesan to food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to break up spinach and incorporate parmesan.
  • Season pasta water (which should be at the boil by now) with 2 Tbl of salt and add shells. Moderate heat to a boil, but not boiling over. Cook pasta until al dente - use package instructions for time.
  • Add seafood and all pan drippings to spinach in food processor and pulse until incorporated, but NOT a paste. You want to have chunks of seafood here. Add ricotta and nutmeg and pulse once or twice to combine. Check seasoning.
  • Check shells for doneness and when finished, drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Put mixture from processor into a large plastic bag. Cut off one corner (about ¾ inch from tip) to make a piping bag. Spray baking dish with food release spray and put a few swirls of olive oil in the bottom. Pipe filling into shells and place into baking dish. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • This is a bechamel sauce. Melt sauce butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat. When butter is bubbly, add flour and stir for a minute or so to make roux. Add half and half and bring to boil, stirring constantly to incorporate roux. Turn down heat to medium and add parmesan, stirring constantly (use a whisk if you have one). Add nutmeg. You should have a thick, cheesy sauce. If it's too thick, add a little water. If it's too thin, add more parmesan. When you've got the consistency right, turn off heat and check seasoning.
  • Pour bechamel sauce over pasta and bake at 375°F for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and has browned a little. Let rest 5 minutes before you serve.
  • Serve with crusty bread or a green salad.