Cauliflower Soup… and a dry, dry winter

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If it has been a dry winter for us around here… really dry. Not a drop of moisture in the air. Rain water tanks and dams have been drying up, and we have been so lacking in moisture, in fact, that it has forced the closure of several local brothels, causing uproar throughout local fat business man circles. The word moist has been banned from public use under the incitement to riot act. It’s been so dry people are opting for jerky as a moist cut of meat for their Sunday dinner. On a serious note (yes, I know those serious notes have no place on these pages. I’m sorry) local fire authority though it would be a good idea to enforce a total fire ban. Fine with me. But last night the peeps upstairs decided they’d had enough of all of this fire ban business and let the wet shit rip from above. It was time to make amends before the end of winter so they gave us a soaking. They gave us our whole winter in three days, which is totally fine, but a little more even distribution next time is also fine by me…

I made soup to take away the coldness that was slowly enveloping my body and soul. It was cauliflower soup and it went a little something like this…

I was quite literally eating that fried crumb goodness from the spoon
I was quite literally eating that fried crumb goodness from the spoon

You know what time it is little soupy? Time to get in my belly
You know what time it is little soupy? Time to get in my belly

CAULIFLOWER SOUP (for 6)

1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped into 2-3cm chunks, stem included
2 large leeks, white/very pal green part only, sliced (a couple of onions would do the trick)
2 anchovies
2lt vegetable stock or water if that’s all you got
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
torn croutons, grated gruyere cheese and chopped parsley to serve

• Sauté leek and anchovies in a little oil until soft
• Add the rest of the stuff I said you will need to make this soup and simmer for 1 hour
• Blitz that bad boy with a stick wizz or in a blender (do it in small batches… it is steaming hot soup remember, not your fricking green smoothie) and check seasoning
• Serve it up, garnished with the stuff I told you to garnish it with

We had gruyere with our soup, but it could handle just about any cheese you threw at it; cheddar, blue, parmesan, etc. also the croutons were made by tearing day old bread, crusts and all, into chunks and the frying them over low heat with a little olive oil and garlic.

Jennee’s Sunday Spread… Braised beef to warm our bellies

Dodgy photo #1
Dodgy photo #1

It has got cold here very quickly over the last few days. After an absolutely cracking Summer this year, it seems those warm days have finally left us, headed to the proverbial greener pastures. Somewhere like Hawaii or Tahiti no doubt. But it’s not like winter has sucker punched us in the face either. There’s no rain – not a drop. The nights are just plain cold but the days are still sunny just like a very sunny day. Those days are just trying to trick us though, as they are bleakly contrasted with a biting mofo of a cold wind that I can only deduce has made it’s way up from the icy tundra’s of Antarctica… possibly by way of a secret under ground tunnel so as not to attract attention. The sun is like the hot woman and the wind is like the icy cold shoulder she gives you when you get into bed… very, very ungratifying. Back to the chill; This chill is lazy. Nary will it take the time to go around you, but instead goes straight through you just like the lazy bitch of a chill it is. This is officially baby making weather… and now sports. Over to you Brian… Brian? Whoops, flashbacks from my days as news anchor on the local carnival community access TV station…

So to compensate for the lack of warmth in the air, Jennee braised some beef to put warmth in our bellies… I told her I was more than happy to put warmth in her belly by other means, but she said that was disgusting and not fit for print… baby making weather indeed.

Keep in mind this is not just a recipe for braised beef. It is a great base for any type of braised meat you could think of; pork shoulder, lamb neck, ox tail, beef or pork cheek, chicken marylands or even mushrooms or potatoes if your not into the meatier side of things. Just tell your brain to think secondary cuts. The cheap stuff that needs a long time to cook and inadvertently fills your house with the sweet, sweet smell of success. This is what winter is all about baby!

Thesmellofwintercookingisthebestshitever.

Dodgy photo #2
Dodgy photo #2
Dodgy photo #3
Dodgy photo #3

BRAISED SOMETHING TO WARM THE BELLY
800g beef chuck or blade, dusted with seasoned flour
2 brown onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup sherry or red wine
4 bay leaves (thyme or rosemary also finds a happy home in shit like this)
• In an oiled casserole pot fry off onion, carrot, celery and garlic
• Remove from pot, add a splash more oil, and then brown beef
• Remove beef and deglaze pot with sherry or other booze
• Add vegies and beef back into pan, add bay leaves and stock/water (a tin of tomatoes could also go in there now if you feel the calling) to cover. Stick it in 180C oven with lid on for 2 hours
• Serve with yum

And sorry about the shitty photos. Just sorry.