August 31, 2014

Happy last day of August!

Although technically it's still summer-ish
I always have the mind set that once September
rolls around- it's pretty much Fall.
Well, at least the beginning of it for sure.

Most school's are back in session, pretty soon
many tv shows will be airing their Fall season openers
and the leaves will be changing colors as the days get
shorter and shorter.

Hey, summer of 2014- it was pretty good.
I participated in 3 different Food Festivals
along with catering company lunches and dinners.

I look forward to the Fall and all things apples,
pumpkins and hearty Autumn veggies!

Zestfully Let's Cultivate Food.........  day 31 of 31 days

August 30, 2014

Flour-less chocolate espresso cake

Not much to say other than
it's SO hard not to eat the whole cake!

1 lb. semisweet chocolate (coarsely chopped)
1 lb. unsalted butter (diced)
1 cup freshly brewed espresso
1 cup brown sugar
8 eggs (beaten to blend)

1. Line bottom of a 9 inch diameter cake pan with 2 inch high sides 

    with parchment. Place all chocolate in large bowl.

2. Bring butter, espresso and sugar to boil in medium saucepan, 
    stirring to dissolve sugar.

3. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth and cool slightly.

4. Whip eggs till blended. Stir eggs into chocolate mixture until blended.
     (Do not whip)

5. Pour batter into prepared pans. Place cake pan in roasting pan.
    Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway

    up sides of cake pan.

6. Bake until center of cake is set and tester inserted into center 
    comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 minutes

7. Remove pans from water and chill cake overnight.

8. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Using oven mitts as aid, 
     hold pan bottom over low heat for 15 seconds, warming slightly 
     to release cake. Place platter over pan. Hold pan and platter 
     together tightly and invert. Lift off cake pan; peel off parchment 
     and dust top of each cake with cocoa powder. 

9. Cut cake into ten slices and garnish with fresh raspberries 

    and raspberry sauce.(raspberry sauce can be made by 
    simmering raspberries in a little butter or more easily 
    by microwaving raspberry jam/jelly)

Zestfully Let's Cultivate Food.........  day 30 of 31 days

August 29, 2014

Bang Bang Cauliflower

Ever have bang bang shrimp?

I am a self pronounced  'flexitarian'.
What the heck is a flexitarian?  It's when you're
not a fully committed vegetarian but you love
vegetables enough that you can totally go for
all veggie days but you also need other days
where all you want is BBQ  galore!

Cauliflower is great to eat in place of chicken
because it is a super hearty veggie where you can
deep fry or saute or steam or boil or bake and
it stays together without falling apart and
keeps great flavor.  yum!

Take the head of a cauliflower and cut it into a quarter (for 2)
and cut the quarter into small bite sized florets.  You can just bake it 
in the oven on 350 for 30 minutes or you can batter it just like chicken 
or shrimp.  I like to cook things on the quicker side because there are
just too many things to do and not enough time in the day!

I like to boil the cauliflower first for about 5-7 minutes so it gets
a head start in the cooking and getting a little softer.

Then, I strain the cauliflower florets in a strainer and then let it sit
on some paper towels to get the excess water off.

I mix the sauce which is Frank's hot sauce 
(to your liking of spiciness) and 2 TBSP of melted butter and 
1 heaping TBSP of mayo to thicken the sauce a little.
Then I lay the cauliflower on a baking tray and bake it until 
it gets a brown hue and charred on the tops.  
350-375 degrees for about 15 minutes.   

Even the meat lovers will enjoy this!

You can simply use ranch dressing as a dipping sauce.

Zestfully Let's Cultivate Food.........  day 29 of 31 days