Aunt Suzy says . . .

This roasted cauliflower is not only delicious, it’s good for you!  In a prelude to the original recipe, it states “The turmeric, white peppercorns and coriander seeds are beneficial to the respiratory and circulatory systems; the kumquat, with its sour and bitter tastes, warms the chest and eases coughs.”  And I will say that the shallot I used was hot, hot, hot, –  adding to the overall warming effect.  Served with these Indian-spiced chicken burgers, which made for a great meal. A French Pinot Gris was a perfect match for the spices of these two dishes.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

One 3-pound head of cauliflower, cored and separated into 1-inch florets

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced and separated into rings

4 kumquats, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and sliced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, spices, salt, garlic and crushed red pepper.

Place the cauliflower on a large foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle the cauliflower with the olive oil mixture and toss to coat. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.  Check and stir after 15 minutes.  Scrape the cauliflower into a serving bowl. Add the sliced shallot, kumquats and cilantro and toss well. Can be served hot, warm or room temperature.

Korean-inspired Chicken Soup

February 22, 2011

Aunt Suzy says . . .

After a day and a half of snow, what could be better!  This soup has great warming ingredients – the hot peppers of the kimchee and the fresh ginger – along with a wonderful earthiness.  It may be the very definition of Umami, the fifth taste. The original recipe called for making the chicken stock with a whole chicken and then using all the meat from the chicken in the soup.  I pared back on the chicken to one cup cooked which I think allows for a better balance of all the great flavors in this soup.  Indeed, I think that chicken meat is optional given all the other goodies!  A Riesling that’s on the sweet side or an Alsace blend is a perfect match for the flavors in this soup.

  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock or 8 cups of boxed or canned chicken broth
  • 8 ounces udon noodles, broken in half
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup peeled fresh ginger, finely julienned
  • One 12-ounce block firm silken tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup kimchee, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or in 1/2-inch cubes (optional)

Cook the Udon noodles according to package directions.  Drain, rinse and set aside.  Bring the chicken stock to a boil and simmer uncovered until amount is reduced to 8 cups, about 5-7 minutes.  In a Dutch oven, saute the mushrooms in the oil, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until golden, about 3-4 minutes.   Add the 8 cups of chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen  any browned bits.  Add the ginger, tofu, kimchee, fish sauce and sesame oil.  (Start with 1/2 tsp sesame oil and add more to taste.)  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the cooked udon noodles and simmer another 5 minutes or so.  Add the chicken, if using, and heat to serving temperature.  NOTE: The udon noodles, kimchee, fish sauce and sesame oil can be found at Asian supermarkets, Whole Foods or your local food co-op, if indeed you have local food co-ops.