Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

When I first saw this idea on Pinterest, I thought how much fun it would be to try. Of course, we've always loved roasted vegetables anyway...so much more flavor....so I knew it would be delicious, although do try to get a very large head of cauliflower as we only got three decent steaks out of ours. Not that we didn't use it all, we did. Just add the extra florets to the pan and oven and they'll be every bit as delicious as the steaks.

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

1 large head cauliflower
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.
Slice the cauliflower through the center, keeping as much intact as possible. Season the “steaks” with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and place cauliflower carefully in the pan. Sear the cauliflower for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until deeply golden. 
Remove from skillet and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until nicely caramelized. Serve immediately.


Chunky Apple Walnut Snack Cake

I've made a lot of apple cakes over the years, but this one is quite unlike any I've ever baked. Cathy says her Mom got the recipe from a woman she used to work with in downtown Los Angeles over fifty years ago . Nobody seems to know any more history about it than that. Oh, and that it was her dad's favorite, now hers. 
You mix it all by hand....the batter is quite thick, so it takes some muscle. I didn't change much, but made it in a slightly smaller pan (Looked everywhere for my 9 by 13 but since I moved, I've stuck it someplace and now can't find it; I used an 8 by 11), so my slices are a bit higher than Cathy's, which means I also had to bake mine about 10 minutes longer. I also used the Maida Heatter method of greasing the pan....butter, then sprinkled with dry bread crumbs. Also, I think there is too much salt, so cut back on that a bit if you want. 
It has a lovely crunchy top and I found this to be quite a sweet cake, so no frosting needed, but it definitely needs a dollop of whipped cream on top. When you bite into it, you get a mouthful of chunky apples, crunchy walnuts and a lovely hit of cinnamon. Yum!

Note: Leave the apples chunky; it you slice too thin, the cake will be wet. I think Cathy has a photo of the size the apples should be cut on her blog. I peeled, cut in quarters, seeded and then sliced into chunks. Also, my Granny Smith apples were quite big so I only needed 5 to get 4 cups. Another nice thing about this cake: you can cut the recipe and make it in any size pan you like. 9 by 13 makes a lot of cake.

Apple Walnut Snack Cake
From Cathy at Noble Pig

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2  large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups (6-8 apples) Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered and diced coarsely
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Prepare a 9 x 13 pan by spraying it with cooking spray. (See above for the method I always use)
In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl combine eggs, oil and vanilla; add this to the sugar-flour mixture in the large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Batter will be stiff (do not use mixer). 
Add the apples and walnuts. Pour into baking pan and cook for 50-60 minutes or until the middle springs back when touched. 
Serve with whipped cream. Even better the  next day!


Pumpkin Pie Brioche

It's time for a pumpkin recipe, don't you agree? Fall's not officially here yet, but it's never too soon for pumpkin fever! I made these last year so you can save this one for Thanksgiving...but be warned...make plenty because I ate three of them before I realized what I was doing! So tender (I adore brioche of any kind) and these gems turned out so well, so easy, you really must try them for the holidays.

Pumpkin Pie Brioche
From Girl Versus Dough

3¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
? teaspoon cloves
? teaspoon nutmeg
2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) Red Star PLATINUM yeast
½ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup warm water (about 120 to 130 degrees F)
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
2 eggs
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)

This makes a dozen rolls.
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1¾ cups flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and yeast. Add pumpkin, warm water, butter and eggs. Stir, adding just enough of remaining 1½ cups flour until a dough forms that pulls away from sides of bowl.
Knead dough with dough hook attachment in stand mixer on medium speed 5 minutes until smooth, soft, elastic and only slightly sticky. (or you can knead by hand) Shape dough into a ball, then place in a large lightly greased bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let proof in a warm place 1 hour until doubled.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down risen dough, then divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then place on prepared baking sheet spaced at least 2 inches apart. Cover with a tea towel or lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes until doubled.

Just before baking, use scissors to snip tops of rolls about ¼-inch deep. Brush tops and sides of rolls with egg wash. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.


Layered Vegetable Torte

Thought all you gardeners would love a terrific early fall veggie dish. I don't have a garden anymore, but I remember wanting to find recipes for using up the last of my veggies each fall. I gave my zucchini and yellow squash to anyone and everyone back in my gardening days! 
With this recipe, you grill your vegetables so they have that lovely smokey flavor and then add a delish garlicky crumble on top. Don't you love crumbles? Sweet or savory, doesn't matter to me. But you just can't beat this savory one for flavor. Perfect with the vegetables.

Layered Vegetable Torte
From The New York Times

1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
 freshly ground black pepper
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons minced garlic
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
½ cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh

Heat oven to 400 degrees. 
Put a grill pan over medium-high heat, or prepare a grill; the heat should be medium-high, and the rack about 4 inches from flame. Brush eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms lightly with half the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; if roasting, grease 2 baking sheets with oil. Roast or grill vegetables on both sides until soft.

Coat bottom and sides of 8-inch springform pan with oil. Layer a third of the eggplant slices into bottom of the pan, then layer in half the zucchini, mushrooms, tomato, garlic and basil, sprinkling each layer with a bit of salt and pepper. Repeat layers until all vegetables are used.

Press the top with a spatula or spoon to make the torte as compact as possible. Sprinkle top with Parmesan and bread crumbs, and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon oil.

Bake torte in oven about 30 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before removing outer ring of pan, then let cool for another 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.


Baked Hasselback Apples

Well, hello September! And here's an apple recipe to start it off. I know I'm late to the party on this one (what else is new?)......I've got to be the last blogger to post hasselback apples! Nonetheless, here it is and it was worth the wait. If you haven't made these yet, don't delay....sooooo good. You can serve this with a lo-fat ice cream, or any ice cream you choose. Might be good with just some coffee cream poured over too...the way my mother used to serve baked apples. We had it for dessert of course, but my daughter has been eating the leftovers for breakfast.

Note: According to Cooking Light, choose firm apples with sweet-tart flavor, such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp; it appears Fuji and Granny Smith fall apart. As indicated below, I used Galas, and they were perfect.

Baked Hasselback Apples
From Cooking Light

2 large firm apples (I used Galas)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon                

Ingredients for the second coating:
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly grease an 8” square baking dish.
Peel and core the apples, then cut them in half vertically. Starting at the outermost edges, cut most (but not all) of the way through each apple half at about 1/8” intervals. Place apple halves, cored sides down, in the baking dish.

Combine 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon and brush the mixture evenly over each apple half.  Cover the pan with foil.  Bake 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully lift off the foil.  Return to the oven and bake for 10 additional minutes uncovered.  Remove pan from oven.

Combine remaining 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, oats, flour and salt.  Carefully fan open the cuts in the apple halves.  Spoon the oat mixture evenly over the apples, pressing some of it into the grooves.  

Bake 10 minutes uncovered.  Remove from oven.  


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