Saturday, August 27, 2011

Alpaha & Omega

I wish I had a picture of the cauliflower sformata
to post but for some reason, the last time I made one I didn't think to get a picture. But let me tell you, it is a very inviting comfort food to see as well as to taste. Once you read through the recipe I know you'll agree. Please leave the boring steamed cauliflower behind and give this a taste instead.

Cauliflower Sformata

2 pounds cauliflower
2 tablespoons butter plus more for baking dish
1 cup béchamel (made with 1 tablespoon butter, 1 1/2 tablespoons flour and
one cup of whole milk.)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 pound boiled ham, julienned
Freshly ground black pepper
Small grating of fresh nutmeg
2/3 plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Wash, trim and break into florets the cauliflower. Cook in salted boiling water until just tender. Drain.

In a skillet saute cauliflower in 2 tablespoons of butter, turning it over a few times until well coated. Remove to a bowl and let cool.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Make béchamel.

Put all but about 4 tablespoons of the béchamel in the bowl with the cauliflower and mix well. Add the beaten eggs, ham, salt, pepper, nutmeg and 2/3 cup of cheese and mix together.

Butter a baking dish and add the cauliflower mixture.

Top with remaining béchamel and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake in upper third of oven for about 30 minutes or until a light crust has formed on the top of the sformato. Cool somewhat before serving.

The final recipe is pictured in this blog. The fried egg is optional but, in my opinion, a nice touch making it perfect for a brunch item as well as a busy weeknight meal. OK, so there is a little work involved and it may not be the perfect Quick Fix but it goes pretty fast and is very satisfying!

Stacked Enchiladas
1 8-oz jar mole paste
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 can pinto beans, heated

Diced onion
Grated cheddar cheese
Corn tortillas
Oil for softening tortillas
Fried eggs (optional)
Sour cream (optional) for garnish
Hot sauce (optional) for garnish

In a saucepan, heat oil from mole jar. Add paste and
mash it to cook. Slowly add chicken stock and stir
with a wooden spoon being careful to get any lumps out by
mashing them against the side of the pan.
Heat some oil in a skillet and briefly fry tortillas just
to soften them.
Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Place a tortilla on a plate and top with some of the beans,
cheese, onion and some sauce. Repeat this procedure
with two more tortillas with each serving containing a stack
of three tortillas. Garnish as desired.

Top with fried egg. (Optional)

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