Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tuna Casserole

I decided to make tuna casserole tonight. It's another very simple thing to make, and there is no canned soup in it despite it being in the same style as some of the canned soup versions of this dish. Hope you enjoy!

4 5-ounce cans of tuna packed in water, drained
1 pound wide egg noodles, boiled for 6 minutes
1-2 cups corn (can be canned, fresh or frozen, although I usually use frozen)
1 tablespoon lemon pepper

2 tablespoons butter
pinch salt
3/4 cup chopped celery

2 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons superfine flour (like Wondra)
1 1/2-ish cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
few grates fresh nutmeg

Put the first group of ingredients in a large casserole dish. Melt two tablespoons of butter over medium to medium high heat in a small saucepan and add celery and salt. Fry the celery in the butter until the butter is browned and smells nutty, and until the celery is darkened and somewhat crisp. Spoon out celery (leaving as much butter in possible in the saucepan) and set aside. Add remaining butter and the flour to the saucepan and whisk or stir until well combined and barely browned (you are making a roux here). Whisk in the milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg and continue to whisk until it is like a VERY thick soup. Whisk in celery mixture and set aside for about 5 minutes to finish thickening as it cools. Stir soup into the casserole dish and combine well with other ingredients. Spread out evenly in the dish and bake at 350F for about 40 minutes, or until top is well browned. Serves 4.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower with Harissa Aioli

We went to a restaurant called Roost uh... a long time ago (before I was even pregnant, I think). They had this amazing fried cauliflower that had a barely memorable sauce and was sprinkled with bonito. Although the sauce on its own was pretty forgettable, the combination of these factors was mind-blowingly delicious. And I remembered it, meaning to get around to working out the sauce ingredients. Ultimately, however, I decided to just make up a new sauce and be done with it. Well, and I decided to roast the cauliflower (I actually forgot for a while there's was fried since was roasted was in my brain). Here it is. We ate this with sausage and kraut, but the cauliflower was more certainly the star of the dinner and we were VERY sad there wasn't more of that to eat. So this will definitely be repeated. If you want it to be vegetarian, leave out the bonito. But if you do that, find a salty substitute, because the bonito is, in all ways, the icing for this cake. Any leftover sauce/dressing/whatever you have is great for salad (if you went thinner like I did). Hope you enjoy!

2 heads cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons tumeric
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
3 tablespoons harissa
2 tablespoons (ish) lemon juice
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup (more or less) bonito flakes

Whisk together salt, mustard, harissa, lemon and egg. Whisk in the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. In a stream, whisk in the vegetable oil. I used about a quarter cup because I wanted it a bit thinner (plus it thickens after sitting), but if you want a more traditionally textured mayonnaise, then use the full half cup (but not more). Set aside until the cauliflower is roasted (it will thicken up a bit more during this time). Mix together the first group of ingredients and roast for 30-45 minutes at 400F. Top cauliflower with however much of the sauce you want, then sprinkle the bonito (I like a fairly thick sprinkling) over it and serve. Serves 2-4 (or 1, if you're greedy).