Wednesday, 27 February 2013

World-food Wedensday. Soup soup soup and some cake.

It is no secret that living in the cold north I have months on end where I am pretty much addicted to root veggies in any kind of food. I love the little buggers. Mostly they just get washed/peeled and stuffed in the oven with oil and garlic but sometimes I like to experiment a little bit. Also combined with this was the fact that my bestie was visiting us on Friday and I felt like spoiling her with a 3-course meal that wouldn't cost the world. So I set out to plan a full meal with minimum cost, kicked the husband out of the kitchen and gave him one task; to take pictures of the food. While he did manage to snap a few good ones of me and the bestie he forgot the food. So you will have to look at me only:

Our menu ended up looking like this:

Starter: Potato blinis with smoked and marinated salmon, Greek yoghurt and finely chopped onions. I won't share the recipe for the potato blinis with you as it turned out more like plate sized pancakes with a weird consistency (nothing wrong with the flavour though), but the salmon was marinated in sesame oil, soy, lime juice and garlic and turned out really well. Even husband who doesn't like smoked salmon was nuts about it.

Main: Cheesy cauliflower and carrot soup with roasted Sarrano ham and homemade bread.
Now this is a dish that I have adapted from an old Jamie Oliver show and it has been hiding out in my food binder for years until I got a new cook-book by Mr. Oliver and it was there again! My husband thinks that I have an unhealthy obsession with cauliflower but it is much more versatile than people give it credit for. We use it for millet-cauliflower mash (as a healthier alternative to mashed potato and also a remnant of the first year of our relationship and my husband being a vegetarian) or as a main ingredient in curries.
To make this soup you will need for 4 people:
2 carrots.
2 sticks of cellery (can be left out if you as us have either allergies or just don't like the taste)
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic.
100-200 grams of cheddar depending how much you love your cheese. Do yourself a favour and get a decent one as it adds so much flavour to the soup.
800 grams of cauliflower (one large)
2 cubes of stock unless you are fancy and make your own.
Spices to your liking (would recommend at least chilli oil/sauce to give it a kick and stay back on the salt depending on which cheese or meat you use.)
1 tsp of mustard.

Meat or vegetable garnish of your choice and bread are optional but highly recommended.

Prep carrots and sellery and dice. Prep onions and chop them in medium sized cubes. Chop the garlic finely. Cut the cauliflower into 1½ cm thick slices to ease the cooking time. Heat up 2 tbsp of oliveoil in a large pot and cook the vegetables without lid for 10 mins on medium heat or until the onions turn a light brown and carrots are soft, but not mushy. Boil 1 3/4 liter of water and add stock. Add to the pot. Get it to boiling and then let it simmer with lid for 10 mins.
Remove the pot from the heat and add cheese, mustard and spices. Blend and serve with the garnish of your choice.

Dessert: Strawberry and chocolate Mille feuille which looks something like the cake below.

These puppies are complicated business and although I was not quite happy with the outcome they tasted very nice and posh. They were also the single most expensive item on the menu, but so totally worth it. 

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