Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal

Cauliflower Mash-Up

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on February 18, 2011

Ingredients ~

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or light cream cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt
  • Chopped chives or green onions for garnish

Method ~

Steam the cauliflower in or over boiling water for 15 – 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. Purée the cauliflower using a stick blender or place the cauliflower in a traditional blender along with ½ cup chicken broth until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a medium cooking pan. In a small cup, dissolve the cornstarch with the remaining ¼ cup broth and add to the purée. Add cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the puree begins to thicken, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped chives or green onions.

 ~ Serves 4


Bacon and Rosemary Sautéed Brussels Sprouts & Baby Bella Mushrooms

Posted in Vegetables by Paul Gauche on September 1, 2010

I have a colleague who seems to enjoy cooking nearly as much as I do. And I’ve noticed that most, if not all of the recipes that she’s raved about include bacon. I call her on this and she readily confesses: everything’s better with bacon.

No kidding!

I’m going to find a way to help you like Brussels sprouts. And if putting a little bacon in with them does the trick, then so be it.  But just when you think this is about the tastiest thing you had in a long time (say, since the Chopped Salad with Wildfire Citrus Lime Vinaigrette!) along comes half a pound of baby Bella mushrooms! Whoa! You’re going to just love this.  2 ounces isn’t a lot of bacon. Cook it low and slow and get it nicely browned. You’ll be just amazed when you finish this off with the juice of a quarter of a lemon. 

Ingredients ~

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 8 ounces cremini (baby Bella) mushrooms, wiped clean
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces bacon, (preferred: thick cut, peppered)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ lemon

Method ~

Trim the stem ends of the Brussels sprouts. Cut the smaller sprouts into halves and cut the larger sprouts in quarters, then cut each half in half again. In both cases, cut lengthwise through the stem so that a piece of the core holds the leaves together. Cut the mushrooms in a similar manner: halve the larger mushrooms, then cut into thirds lengthwise and the smaller mushrooms in half, lengthwise.

In a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, bacon and rosemary. Season with the salt and then stir well to combine all of the ingredients. The pan will be very crowded.

Turn the heat down to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently when the vegetables begin to brown, until the vegetables are well browned and the Brussels sprouts are tender (the stems may still be a bit firm), 28-30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, remove the rosemary stems, and add the butter pieces. Stir gently until all of the butter has melted. Give a generous squeeze of lemon over all and stir again. Taste, and if needed, season with more lemon. Serve warm.

Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Mint

Posted in Vegetables by Paul Gauche on April 19, 2010

Brussels Sprouts used to conjure up memories of sitting at the table long after everyone else had gone off to homework, a good book or even sleep while the words “You’ll sit there until you eat every last one of those vegetables!” lingered in the air. Now, thanks to my mother’s reverse psychology, i.e. “Oh, don’t even try these–you won’t like this…” I can’t seem to get enough of them and the only thing that lingers in the air is the aroma (!?) of these small cabbage-like sprouts that were said to have been cultivated in 16th century Belgium after a brief (4 minute) steam. You can avoid that ‘funky smell’ in your kitchen by roasting the brussels sprouts instead of steaming. See that process below…

Ingredients ~

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup Rice Krispies or other puffed rice cereal
  • ¼ teaspoon togarashi (see Note) or cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Asian fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small red chile, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped mint
  • 1 pound (4 cups) roasted or boiled brussels sprouts (about 2 pounds), halved lengthwise


In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the Rice Krispies and togarashi and cook over high heat, stirring, until browned, about 30 seconds. Season with salt. Transfer to a plate and wipe out the skillet.

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, water, sugar, rice vinegar, lime juice, garlic and chile and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cilantro and mint.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat until nearly smoking. Add the brussels sprouts; cook over high heat, stirring, until charred in spots and heated through, about 5 minutes. It’s been said that the key to this creation is to almost burn the brussels sprouts. The charring along with the sauce makes these really delectable. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Just before serving, sprinkle the Rice Krispies on top and serve immediately.

Note: Togarashi, a Japanese blend of chiles and sesame, is available at Asian markets.

Roasting Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients ~

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method ~

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Posted in Appetizers & Hors d'œuvres,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on February 13, 2010


  • 2 Acorn Squash
  • 3-4 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, diced
  • olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon All Spice
  •  ¼ teaspoon Cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds. Cut the two squash halves into several sections following the ribs and place into a large bowl. Toss with the brown sugar, butter, olive oil and spices and salt.

Bake 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes—or… 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Feisty Green Beans

Posted in Appetizers & Hors d'œuvres,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on February 7, 2010

Use a white wine that you’d want to drink after opening. And for those of you looking to speed things up, you don’t need to slice the green beans, but the extra work is worth the effort.

Ingredients ~

  • 1 pound green beans, cut into half inch segments
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • ½ teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • scant ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup / 120 ml crème fraîche or sour cream
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup / one handful of finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method ~

Cook the green beans in a pot of well-salted boiling water for about a minute, just long enough that they lose their raw edge. Drain and immediately immerce in ice-cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.

In a small bowl cover the raisins with scalding hot water for five minutes, drain and set aside.

Heat your largest skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil, garlic, onion, and bay leaves. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions and garlic start to brown just a bit. Add the wine and cook until it has mostly evaporated. Carefully remove the bay leaves. Stir in the paprika, cumin, coriander, curry powder, salt, crushed red pepper flakes. Stir in the tofu and raisins and cook until heated through, a minute or so. Add the butter and green beans and stir until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the crème fraîche, then most of the almonds and most of the cilantro. Taste and add more salt and some pepper if you like. Serve topped with any remaining almonds and cilantro.

Serves 4 to 6.

Inspired by a recipe in Anna Getty’s Anna Getty’s Easy Green

Delicata Squash

Posted in Vegetables by Paul Gauche on October 24, 2009

Photo Credit: Paul Gauche Delicata Squash

The Delicata squash is also called sweet potato squash, and has a delicate pale yellow skin with medium green lines running from end to end. This could be dinner tonight.

  • 1 Delicata squash
  • ¼ cup water
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Drizzle honey
  • Drizzle maple syrup
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • various spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cayenne, etc. Perhaps ¼ teaspoon each, mix and sprinkle over the squash before baking.

There are a couple of methods to prepare Delicata squash.  With either method, the skin of the squash can be left on during baking and eaten. Delicata squash is so ‘delicate’ that eating the skin with the meat of the squash is just fine.

Method #1:

Cut off the ends of squash, cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Leaving the skins on, cut the squash into ½ inch wide slices. Place these on a baking sheet, dot with butter, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast at 375° degree F. oven until soft—usually 30 to 45 minutes.

Method #2:

Cut off the ends of the squash and with a long spoon, clean out the seeds from the inside.  Cut the squash into ½ inch wide slices. Place the ‘rings’ in a 9×13 inch pan and drizzle with olive oil, honey and maple syrup.  Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 350°

Mediterranean Salad

Posted in Salads,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on July 12, 2009

(Photo Credit:

Ingredients for the Salad ~

  • 1 large head iceberg lettuce, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 4 large tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 large red onion, sliced paper-thin
  • 12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup large round black Greek olives or other brine-cured black olives
  • ¼  cup fresh lemon juice

Ingredients for the Dressing ~

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Method ~

Whisk oil, vinegar, garlic powder, and oregano in small bowl to blend.  Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, cheese, and olives in very large bowl.  Drizzle with lemon juice and toss to combine.  Add vinaigrette to salad and toss to coat.

~~ With thanks to Jill Roos

Byerly’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Posted in Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on July 12, 2009

(Photo Credit:

Ingredients ~

  • 2 medium bulbs garlic
  • 4 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ cup grated Romano Cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp. white pepper

Method ~

Separate and peel  garlic cloves.  In a large Dutch oven, arrange potatoes and garlic cloves. Cover with water; add 1 tsp. salt.  Bring to a boil, covered, over high heat, reduce heat. Simmer until tender when pierced with a fork (25-30 minutes).  In a small saucepan, warm milk and butter over low heat.  Drain potatoes and garlic; add warm milk and butter, cheese, 1 tsp salt and pepper.  Mash with a hand potato masher and smooth.  Serves 8-10

~~ with thanks to Lund’s and Byerly’s

Stuffed Peppers

Posted in Vegetables by Paul Gauche on July 11, 2009

(Photo Credit:

Ingredients ~

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • ½ cup uncooked long grain white rice    
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 green bell peppers, remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes of the bell peppers.
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Method ~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 20 minutes.  In a skillet over medium heat, cook the beef until evenly browned.  Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes of the bell peppers.  Arrange peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upward. (Slice the bottoms of the peppers if necessary so that they will stand upright.)  In a bowl, mix the browned beef, cooked rice, 1 can tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.  Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper.  Mix the remaining tomato sauce and Italian seasoning in a bowl, and pour over the stuffed peppers.  Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, basting with sauce every 15 minutes, until the peppers are tender.

Company Potato Casserole

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on July 11, 2009


Cheesy Potato Casserole 

 Ingredients ~  

  • 1 (2 pound) package hash browns, thawed
  • 1 can Cream of Celery Soup
  • 1 cam Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons onion, diced
  • ½ to 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded

 Method ~  

Layer bottom of casserole with thawed hash browns.  In a separate bowl, mix celery soup and mushroom soup, sour cream, onion, milk, salt and pepper.  Pour over thawed hash browns.  Bake, uncovered, at 300 degrees for at least 1 ½ hours.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake another 15-20 minutes.

~~With thanks to Theone Gilbertson

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