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Orange Cauliflower Soup

I love it when a new idea comes together on the first try and is a hit with the family. I just decided to make a cauliflower soup today because I had a head of cauliflower and I needed to make something with it before it was no longer edible. A nice soup came to mind because although we have been having nice warm weather during the day it is a little chilly at night. Besides, I can eat soup any day of the year because I just love soup!

I am calling this one Orange Cauliflower Soup because I used diced red peppers in the soup which made it turn a pale orange color. I was not sure how everyone else would react to the color but I liked it so….. Orange Cauliflower Soup was born. Just making cauliflower soup was not enough. I wanted to add a slight richness to the soup and decided what better way to make it taste rich without a ton of calories than to add a little cheese. I think I have had cheesy cauliflower soup in the past but it was a little too rich for my blood. Adding just a little cheese keeps the calories down, adds thickness to the soup and definitely adds another level of flavor.

Whenever I put together a post I have to set up the food and take pictures of each step of the process. The last step of course is taking a picture of the finished product. After taking a picture of my new creation I figured I would clean up the kitchen so that I could enjoy a bowl of soup without thinking about the slight mess I had made. Well, my youngest son descended upon the kitchen with his girlfriend and immediately wanted to know if I had taken my last picture of the soup. I didn’t think he wanted to eat it (silly me) but he asked if he could taste it. Of course I said sure since I always need a taste tester for my recipes. The first words out of his mouth were “This is what I am going to miss!” That put a smile on my face because he is headed to college in a few months and I know he is going to miss my home cooking. My smile got even bigger when his girlfriend asked if she could try it and again I said sure. She said it was delicious and being the mom that I am I told her to take some home. Seems the soup fairy was on my side today and gave me a hit recipe on the first try. Thanks soup fairy!

Orange Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients:

1 medium head of cauliflower cut into small pieces

1 small onion diced

½ red pepper diced

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 cup milk

1 cup shredded monterey and/or Colby jack cheese

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp parsley

½ tsp basil

½ tsp red pepper flakes

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add diced onions and red peppers. Saute until slightly browned. Add seasonings and stir. Add cauliflower and stir to mix with onions and peppers. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add chicken broth and water. Stir then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Let simmer until cauliflower is soft. Using an immersion blender, blend cauliflower until smooth but leave a few florets to create texture. Turn heat down to low.

In a small pan melt butter and add flour. Whisk until flour and butter are blended and form a paste. Add milk and whisk until sauce is thickened. Season with a little season salt and black pepper. Add white sauce to cauliflower and whisk to blend. Stir in cheese. Continue stirring until cheese is well blended into the soup. Taste to see if a little more salt or black pepper is needed.

Enjoy!

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Curried Fish

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Have you ever had a day when you were prepared to make one dish but wind up preparing something totally different? I just had one of those days. I was ready to try out a new chicken dish on the family when my hubby made the statement that we were eating a lot of heavy meat lately. He told me it would be nice to have a light salad and/or fish. Keep in mind that I include salads with our meals almost 5 out of 7 days each week. Besides, I don’t consider chicken wings to be a heavy meat like beef or pork. Anyway, I was in a good mood to be flexible and took up the challenge of switching gears and coming up with a lighter meal.

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The only fish I had available in the freezer was cod. I didn’t want to just bake the cod so I tried thinking outside the box and prepared a Curried Fish dish over chopped cabbage along with the requested salad. Granted, I had no idea how to make Curried Fish so I decided to tweak one of my curry chicken recipes that would adapt well to using fish instead of chicken.

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The biggest difference in making my Curry Chicken dish and the Curried Fish was adding a jar of Marsala. The elevation of both the heat and flavors was amazing. As I have always said, my family loves spicy foods and the Marsala definitely made the Curried Fish spicy. If you don’t like a lot of heat in your food just cut down on the amount of Marsala you use or purchase a milder version of the sauce.

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In the end, I was pleased with how the Curried Fish turned out and my hubby was quite happy. He got both a spicy fish dish he loved and the salad he requested. What more could a hungry man want?

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Curried Fish

Ingredients:
2 – 3 large cod fillets
1 small green pepper sliced thin
1 small red onion sliced thin
1 clove garlic minced
1 jar Marsala red hot curry sauce
1 13.6 oz can light coconut milk Thai Kitchen
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup prepared rice
¼ cup chicken broth
3 tbsp olive oil

Seasonings:
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp Adobo
1 tbsp onion powder
½ tbsp cumin
½ tbsp nutmeg
½ tbsp thyme
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tbsp coriander
8 – 10 dashes of hot sauce
pinch of sugar

Cut fish in to large cubes. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Place in a container then pour buttermilk over the fish. Add hot sauce and stir to mix well with fish. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Saute onions and green peppers with olive oil in a large frying pan for 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Do not let the garlic burn. Add cumin, nutmeg, salt, black pepper, turmeric and chili powder. Stir until well combine and cook for a few minutes to release the flavors. Add coconut milk, curry powder, tomatoes with juice and broth. Stir to combine. Add Marsala and continue stirring. Bring to a low simmer. Drain fish from buttermilk and add to sauce. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and let fish cook for 20 – 25 minutes. Serve over rice or chopped cabbage.

Tip: Use milder version or less Marsala if you do not like really spicy foods.

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