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Mrs. Samurai's Kitchen



Mashed Cauliflower

Posted by Mrs. Samurai, in Side dish, Recipes 05 October 2011 · 702 views
cauliflower, vegetable, side dish
This has become a favorite side dish in our house, and the only way the boys really enjoy eating cauliflower. This is super, super easy - if you have a food processor, especially. I started hearing about people using mashed cauliflower as a substitute for potatoes when I began to eat more low-carb this summer, and this is the recipe I came up with. I think it tastes great, and the mouth feel is creamy and amazing. And it's much healthier than potatoes! It's yummy on its own, or with some kind of sauce or gravy on it. One of my sons was very suspicious of it the first time I made it, but after the first few bites he said, "You need to make this a LOT!"

Ingredients

1 medium to large head of cauliflower, washed and trimmed, then cut into chunks (approx. 1 1/2 to 2 inches in size)
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into a few chunks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into a few chunks
salt (about 1/2-3/4 tsp.)
pepper to taste

Extremely Helpful Equipment

Steamer basket
Food Processor

Directions

Place the cauliflower in a steamer basket over boiling water, and steam for about 15-20 minutes until very tender. (Don't have a steamer? Boil it until tender, then drain VERY well.)

Put the cooked cauliflower into a food processor and run it until the cauliflower is partially mashed, then add the cream cheese, butter, salt (start with 1/2 tsp., then add to taste), and some pepper to taste. Run the processor until the cauliflower is a uniform, creamy consistency. Sometimes it wants to be stubborn and not really start mashing up, but be patient and let the machine do its thing - the cauliflower will yield to the might of technology.

Serves about 6 or more, depending on the size of the cauliflower. It's great left over, too.

NOTE: my mother makes this and does not have a food processor, so she just mashes it all up by hand. She says it is still good, but not quite the same creamy consistency as you get with a machine. She also finds she has to boil the cauliflower a bit longer to get it soft enough to do by hand.

Equipment Notes:

I have something like this for my steamer setup - much sturdier than the collapsable baskets.

My food processor is a Kitchen Aid - powerful and easy to use!


Corn Casserole

Posted by Mrs. Samurai, in Recipes, Side dish 18 September 2011 · 489 views
corn, casserole, side dish and 1 more...
(Originally published on Fixitnow.com Sept. '10)

This is probably my most requested recipe, which is a little embarrassing because it is so simple and relies heavily on canned/boxed ingredients. I normally like to cook with whole, unprocessed foods, but sometimes you need something quick and easy. This certainly fits the bill!

Mrs. Samurai’s Corn Casserole

Makes enough to feed a small crowd.

1 stick butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
16 oz. sour cream
3 cans cream-style corn
3 cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 pkg. Jiffy brand corn muffin mix

In a large bowl, mix together butter, eggs, and sour cream. Add corn and muffin mix and stir to combine. Pour into a large casserole dish or pan (or two 9x13 pans) and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about an hour to an hour and a half, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and it is starting to brown a little around the edges.

You can halve this recipe, using one or two cans of each type of corn – depending on how “corny” you like it. Bake this smaller size in a 2 quart dish or pan for about 45 min. to an hour.


Krispy Kale

Posted by Mrs. Samurai, in Side dish, Recipes 14 September 2011 · 520 views
vegetable, side dish, kale and 1 more...
Here’s a recipe that takes a vegetable my kids don’t like very much and turns it into something they actually get excited about - a rare find! Why do we want to eat kale? I happen to think it tastes great, but also... Dr. Mercola recently named kale as one of the top-ten superfoods we should all eat (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/10/top-ten-best-superfoods.aspx ) - here’s a fun way to get more of it in your belly!

Ingredients
1 large bunch of kale (if bunches are smallish, get 2)
olive oil
salt

Method
Preheat oven to 350 deg. You’ll need 2 baking sheets and 2 wire cooling racks that can sit on top of them.

Tear the leaves off of the stems and then into large pieces (2 to 3 inches, approximately). Wash and dry the leaves as best you can (a salad spinner works perfectly).

In a large bowl, toss the kale with a pretty good-size drizzle of olive oil and some salt, then spread it evenly on the wire racks placed on top of baking sheets. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes until nice and crispy. The leaves will darken somewhat. Enjoy right away! As soon as I pull it out of the oven the Samurai and our 2 sons immediately come and stand around shoveling it into their mouths making disturbing crunching noises and leaving little kale crumbs around the stove. Not too pretty a sight, but I console myself with the knowledge that all those nutrients are gonna be good for them.

Serves about 4 - 5 in our house.

Notes
This recipe only seems to work with kale and its curly leaves. Any of the flat-leaved greens don’t crisp up properly. Also, be sure to use the wire racks - if you put the kale directly on the baking sheets, you would have to turn all the pieces halfway through the cooking to try to avoid sogginess - tedious!





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