Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower

Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower

Cauliflower is boring!

But it doesn’t have to be with a good roasting and the addition of a vibrant Gremolata.  Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower is anything but boring with its caramelized edges, fresh garlic, parsley and a good dose of lemon zest.  The Gremolata is a game changer for plain, boring cauliflower, transforming it into a flavourful and zesty side dish.

What is Gremolata?

Gremolata is an Italian condiment/accompaniment that is made with Italian flat leaf parsley, lemon zest, fresh garlic, olive oil and salt. It’s vibrant and fresh with a slight bitter note from the parsley and flavour punch from the garlic. If you have parsley, lemon and garlic, you’ve got a simple sauce that will spruce up so many things. It’s a classic accompaniment for the Italian dish Ossobuco but also great with fish, lamb and of course vegetables. 

Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    5-6 people 20 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    5-6 people 20 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      5-6 people 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      30 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      5-6 people 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      30 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 400℉
      2. In a large bowl stir together parsley, lemon zest, garlic, salt and 3 tbsp of olive oil. Set aside.
      3. Remove outer leaves from cauliflower and cut the head into quarters. Easily core the cauliflower by cutting it out of each quarter, allowing any remaining leaves and stem to come away with it.
      4. Break or cut the cauliflower into large bite-size pieces. Toss cauliflower with remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and a few grinds of a pepper mill. Spread out evenly on a large baking tray.
      5. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning once, allowing the bottom edges to become golden and caramelized.
      6. Remove from oven and add to the bowl of Gremolata along with the parmesan cheese. Toss to coat evenly and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      -make as a vegan option by omitting the parmesan cheese or using your favourite alternative cheese.

      Affiliate Disclosure

      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Apricot Brandy Sparkler

      Apricot Brandy Sparkler

      Cheers to a new year with Apricot Brandy Sparkler!

      Apricot Brandy Sparkler is my way of saying goodbye to 2018 and cheers to the new year ahead. Can you believe another year is already over?  Where has the time gone?  It is the sentiment I have often felt, but with the approaching new year, I have a sense of accomplishment and a strong purpose moving forward.  While 2018 was still a year of routine, plucking forward just trying to keep up with work, household and blogging, it was also a year that a few things got done.

      One of my greatest joys this year was the construction of our new deck/outdoor space, and for many, it would not be a big deal.  For me however, it was a project that was put off for a variety of reasons for many, many years.  It was also designed and built by my husband, who did an amazing job. It ’s a beautiful space, complete with furniture and gas fireplace.  I love it and couldn’t be happier to share it with family and friends or simply sit quietly spending quality time with my husband.  

       

      The Year Ahead…

      The past year was also a year of learning and working hard to create our first video for Mark Bouliane/Overland Explorer, which follows my husband and me on our over-landing adventures.  Creating and editing video is definitely a skill and has its own set of challenges. We are both excited to improve this skill and have fun being creative.  We hope it’s the first of many videos for both of us, which leads me to another goal for 2019.  Video production for Compelled to Cook is set for my 2019 to do list, as is monetizing my food blogging efforts.  Both are substantial goals for myself but definitely in the realm of possibility.  The learning, progress and firsts are what excites me for 2019.  So, even though 2018 must go, the new year looks amazing and I’m ready to get started.  How about you?

      Author: Compelled to Cook, from “Cooks Workshop” Cocktails & Party Drinks 1984

      Apricot Brandy Sparkler
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        1 cocktail 10 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        1 cocktail 10 minutes
        Apricot Brandy Sparkler
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          1 cocktail 10 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          1 cocktail 10 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: cocktail
          Instructions
          1. Combine vodka, apricot brandy, lemon juice, and Grenadine in a cocktail shaker. Fill half full with ice. Shake until cold, about 30 seconds. Pour into a champagne glass and top with champagne. Serve immediately.

          Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

          Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

          Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes…oh my!

          One of my quick and easy weeknight meals consists of broiled fish with a creamy caper paste.  It takes mere minutes to cook and is tender, moist and full of flavour.  I decided to use this same paste on smashed baby potatoes for an easy side dish that’s super delicious and pairs well with roasted meats and fish. 

          Capers are the unripened flowers buds of Capparis spinosa or Capparis inermis and are generally dried and pickled.  Here’s a handy link from The Spruce Eats that tells you a little more about the amazing caper. 

          You won’t be disappointed!

          Roasted mini potatoes get a gentle smash and topped with a creamy caper paste made with capers, lemon, dill, mayonnaise, and parmesan cheese.  Crispy little potato disks with fluffy centres are the perfect base for the briny capers, fresh dill and creamy mayo.  

          If you’re not familiar with capers, they’re a handy pantry item to have kicking around.  They’re pungent and briny and not all that good on their own, but combine them with cream, butter or lemon and you have a flavour explosion. They add a salty depth of flavour that enhances sauces, dressing, salads, and more. Enjoy!

          Author: Compelled to Cook

          Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            3-4 people 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            30-35 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            3-4 people 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            30-35 minutes
            Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              3-4 people 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              30-35 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              3-4 people 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              30-35 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Preheat oven to 350℉. In a medium bowl toss together potatoes, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
              2. Spread out evenly on a baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once, until just tender.
              3. While potatoes are baking, combine together mayonnaise, parmesan, capers, dill, lemon juice and pepper.
              4. Remove potatoes from oven and gently flatten each with a flat surfaced utensil (I use a metal potato masher) to a third of its original height.
              5. Set oven rack to 7" from broiler and turn oven to broil. Spread 1 tbsp of paste onto each potato. Broil for 2-3 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately, garnishing with fresh dill if desired.

              Affiliate Disclosure

              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
              Spiced Rum Caramel

              Spiced Rum Caramel

              Delicious doesn’t have to be complicated.  Spiced Rum Caramel signifies how only a few ingredients can be transformed into something amazing.  With its burnished colour, creamy texture and buttery caramel taste, it’s the perfect topping for ice cream, cakes and apples to name just a few. 

              There’s no need to ever buy store bought again, because making your own is easy with a little know how.  Mainly, you don’t want any sugar crystals to form.  NO stirring is key to help prevent sugar crystals forming on the side of the pan. Sugar crystals form when the hot sugar hits the cold pan side or cold whisk if you were to stir it. This, in turn, can cause the whole sauce to become crystallized. You can brush down the sides of the pan with water and a pastry brush if a few crystals start to form. 

              The second important thing is timing.  It takes seconds to go from a light amber colour to a dark, overcooked colour.  The goal is a deep amber colour and knowing where that is, comes by doing. It may take a try or two to know exactly where you like it.  If in doubt, it’s best to opt for a slightly lighter colour than to go too far the other way, which will have a bitter taste.  Your caramel will still be amazing. Enjoy!

              Spiced Rum Caramel
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                1 1/4 cups 10 minutes
                Cook Time
                12 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                1 1/4 cups 10 minutes
                Cook Time
                12 minutes
                Spiced Rum Caramel
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  1 1/4 cups 10 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  12 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  1 1/4 cups 10 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  12 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: cups
                  Instructions
                  1. Assemble all ingredients prior to cooking.
                  2. Combine sugar and water in a medium-large saucepan (I used a 3 quart). Heat over medium-high until sugar is dissolved, gently swirling pan once or twice. DO NOT STIR. If any crystals form on the side of the pan, brush away with water and a pastry brush. Allow to cook at a boil until starting to turn an amber colour, about 10 minutes.
                  3. Once the outer edge starts to turn colour you can gently swirl the pan a couple of times to evenly distribute, once again, do not stir. When it becomes a deep amber colour, remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream. The mixture will bubble vigorously. Once it has smoothed out, whisk in butter and salt. Stir in rum. Pour into a sealable jar and allow to cool completely prior to storing in the fridge.
                  Recipe Notes

                  -If in doubt about the colour, opt for slightly lighter.  Going to dark will result in a slightly bitter/burnt taste.

                  -Makes about 1 1/4 cups and will keep in a sealed jar for up to a month in the fridge.

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                  Affiliate Disclosure

                  I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                  Lamb Meatballs with Olives and Feta

                  Lamb Meatballs with Olives and Feta

                  Do you like lamb?  I certainly do, and I believe it’s a meat you either like or don’t.  I also believe that some people associate lamb with mutton, which has turned them away from it. Mutton is from the same animal as lamb, but stronger in taste and usually much tougher due to the age of the animal.  Mutton is meat from a sheep that is 1-3 years old, which yields a stronger, gamier taste, and is tougher due to the muscles working longer.  Lamb, on the other hand, is meat from young lambs that are less than a year old.  Young spring lamb is tender and milder in comparison to mutton.

                   

                  My personal favourite in cuts of lamb is chops, specifically grilled chops, which are delicious with a mustard rub.  I also enjoy lean ground lamb and lamb shoulder.  The wonderful thing about lamb is that it can take on robust, bold flavours and pairs wonderfully with the tomatoes and olives in this Mediterranean style dish.  Saucy, rustic and full of flavour, Lamb Meatballs with Olives and Feta is a welcome change from regular beef meatballs. Perfect with rice or toasty bread!  Enjoy!

                  If you’re a lamb lover like me, you’ll also want to try Braised Lamb Shoulder. Fork tender lamb shoulder braised in a creamy mushroom sauce.

                   

                  Recipe source for Lamb Meatballs with Olives and Feta:  Compelled to Cook

                  Lamb Meatballs with Olives and Feta
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    3-4 people 30-35 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    45-50 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    3-4 people 30-35 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    45-50 minutes
                    Lamb Meatballs with Olives and Feta
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      3-4 people 30-35 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      45-50 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      3-4 people 30-35 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      45-50 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Meatballs
                      Sauce
                      Servings: people
                      Instructions
                      Meatballs
                      1. Add all ingredients except oil to a large bowl. Gently combine with your hands or a wooden spoon. Roll mixture into 17-18 evenly sized meatballs approximately 1 1/4 ounces each.
                      2. Heat oil in a cast iron or oven safe skillet over medium heat until hot. Arrange meatballs in a single layer and brown on all sides, about 20 minutes. Remove meatballs to a paper towel lined plate and drain all but 1 tbsp of fat from skillet.
                      Sauce
                      1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
                      2. To the skillet add chopped shallot and garlic, sauté for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until soft, stirring often. Pour in white wine to deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits in the pan. Add chicken broth and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes.
                      3. Using your hands, crush tomatoes and add to skillet along with oregano, paprika and pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Add meatballs back to pan, stirring to coat with sauce.
                      4. Place in oven uncovered and bake for 20-25 minutes until sauce is reduced, stirring once. Remove from oven and stir to coat with sauce. Sprinkle with feta cheese and olives, return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with chopped red onion and fresh oregano if desired and serve immediately on top of rice or with crusty bread.
                      Recipe Notes

                      -dampened hands help to roll meatballs.