Thursday, July 16, 2015

Low Carb Cauliflower and Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Low Carb Cauliflower "Mac" and Cheddar Cheese Casserole


Total Time:
35 min

15 min

20 min

Yield:6 servings

1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets

Vegetable oil spray

1 cup heavy cream

2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, plus 1/2 cup for topping the casserole

Equipment: glass baking dish


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with salt.

Spray the baking dish with vegetable oil spray.

Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. 
Drain well and pat between several layers of paper towels to dry. 
Transfer the cauliflower to the baking dish and set aside.

Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, and whisk in the cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese and whisk just until the cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, pour over the cauliflower, and stir to combine. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until browned and bubbly hot, about 15 minutes. Serves 6 people

My home grown Cauliflower just in from the garden. I am cooking low carb and staying away from Pasta and other processed foods but still want the comfort of a Mac and Cheese. I tried this recipe adapted from the food network and was pleasantly surprised at how satisfying and delicious this dish turned out to be. There was something special about it, having grown it this summer in my backyard garden so I wanted to do something special. 

Happy Low Carb Cooking,

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lemon Cheesecake with Brown Sugar Pineapple Sauce with Freshly made Whipped Cream

I made this recipe for Easter Sunday Dinner 2015 and it was quite delicious.

2 c. crushed Graham Crackers
1/2 teasp. ground Cinnamon
6 Tbsp. Melted Butter
3 Tbsp. Sugar
Mix together all the ingredients in a springform pan and press into the bottom and up the sides about 1/2 inch with your fingers.

Lemon Cheese Cake Filling

Combine in a mixing bowl:
2 Eight Oz. packages Cream Cheese
3 eggs
1 sugar
2 c. sour cream
1/2 lemon zested
1/2 juice of one lemon
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract

Mix very well for several minutes. Then pour into graham cracker crust and bake for 1 hour 
in 350 degree oven. Chill cheesecake several hours or overnight.

Pineapple Brown Sugar Sauce

Place in a saucepan:

3/4 c. Brown Sugar
2 c. Pineapple pulverized in a food processor
Cook on med heat for several minutes until thickened.  Serve over chilled Cheesecake with 
Freshly Whipped Cream.

Freshly Whipped Cream

1 c. Whipping Cream
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
Beat with Mixer for several minutes until thickened. Chill until ready to serve.

To Serve:

Slice Cheesecake with heated sharp knife and top with either heated or cooled pineapple 
sauce and fresh whipped cream on a pretty plate. Serve with a dessert fork immediately.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Melissa's Lobster Quiche - Great for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner!

This is so great because once it is baked, you can heat it up again or even eat it cold. It's just a good all round thing to make for the weekend. Out on the boat late, dinner is ready. Wake up and want a nice breakfast or brunch on Sun Morning. All ready. 

Lobster Quiche

Preheat oven to 400

4 free range eggs
1 c heavy cream
1 1/4 c. grated swiss cheese
1/4 large onion chopped finely
3 button mushrooms cut up
butter and olive oil for sautéing 
1 cup + or - of Lobster cut up in small pieces

1/2 of Pate Brisee Recipe See Crust recipe at this link:

Roll out dough and line a pie plate with it. Dab some cream on the crust 

After you get the Pie Crust rolled out and in the Pie Plate. I like a glass Pie Plate.
Saute onion, mushrooms, zuchinni in butter and olive oil. Place on bottom of pie crust. Lay lobster chances on top of the vegetables. Place grated 1 c. swiss cheese in a mixing bowl with eggs and cream. Mix well and pour into pie crust. Sprinkle the 1/4 c. of Swiss Cheese on top of of the whole pie and place in a 400 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn down to 350 and cook and additional 45 minutes on a lower rack. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Serve with Salad for a Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner! Delicious!

Quiche right out of the Oven!
There could be so many variations on this. I thought some fresh corn kernels in this would be amazing. I love the mushrooms in it with the Swiss Cheese.  Very good, especially if you use free range eggs and and heavy cream but it works with milk if thats all you have in the house.

Happy Summer, 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Melissa's Lobster Marsala with Zuchinni Noodles

Lobster Marsala cooking in the pan!

Lobster Marsala Recipe:
Serves 2

2 Boiled Lobsters Shucked
1/2 Large Vidalia Onion
2 Tbsp. Butter - 3 Tbs Olive Oil
Several Mushrooms sliced
2 Tbs Flour
1 c. Marsala Wine
Large heavy skillet for sautéing
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Shuck 2 boiled lobsters and set aside meet
Saute 1/2 large Vidalia Onion with Mushrooms in Butter and Olive oil, when cooked mound them up on side of pan and lay in the Lobster meat. Add more butter if needed, lightly sauté lobster turning once. Do not overcook. Whisk in some flour into the butter on one side of pan to make a roux. Turn up heat. Add 1 c. of Marsala Wine and gently spread mushroom onion mix over the lobster. The Wine should thicken to make a lovely sauce. Serve immediately

Plated Lobster Marsala Served with Zuchinni Noodles

I served the Lobster Marsala with some freshly made Zuchinni Noodles made with a nifty hand crank machine I have that turns zucchini into spagetti. I cook the zucchini in some butter, olive oil, chopped basil, and onions. Salt and Pepper. Steam for a few minutes. Basically steams in its own juice. Serve with the lobster Marsala. Delightful!

Photo of the Shore off of East Gloucester
where these lobsters originated!

This is creative summer cooking at it's Best!
Melissa Abbott

I think I am on to something here with this Lobster Marsala Dish! Turned out really great! 
This is the brand of Marsala I used, it comes in a big bottle
and its very light, good with chicken and seafood!

Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Cutter - I bought mine on Amazon

Friday, June 13, 2014

Easy Rhubarb Raspberry Honey Cake - 1 pan

Need a quick dessert and you have some Rhubarb in your garden and some nice local honey? I paired my fresh garden Rhubarb with some fresh Raspberries I had but you could use Rhubarb alone or pair it with Strawberries or even Apples. Whatever fruit is available would make an easy but stunning dessert. The raspberries are particularly wonderful because of the additional red color it naturally gives the dessert.
Rhubarb Growing in my Garden

RECIPE Rhubarb Raspberry Honey Cake

2 c. fruit combination chopped Rhubarb and raspberries
1/3 c. + 2-3 Tbsp Honey
Cinnamon/Nutmeg to taste
1 Lemon
1 c. + 1 Tbsp Flour
3-5 Tbsp. Melted Butter
1 teasp. baking powder
dash of salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk

Place 2 c. of combination Sliced Rhubarb 
and Raspberries (or other fruit)
in a greased cake pan or pie plate
Drizzle on 2-3 Tbsp honey, touch of cinnamon/nutmeg, and juice of 1 Lemon and a bit of grated rind. Dredge the fruit mixture with 1 Tbsp of flour. Pour over the fruit dredged with flour 2-4 Tbsp of melted butter.

Beat together a batter of 1 c. flour, 1/3+ c. honey, 1 teasp. baking powder, dash of salt, 2 eggs, 1 Tbsp melted butter, 1/2 c. milk until well blended but do not over mix or you will toughen the cake. Use a quick light touch. Pour the batter over the fruit and bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. Let cool and use a knife to loosen sides. You can serve right out of the pan or invert the cake onto a pretty plate. 
Best if served warm with freshly whipped cream.

My Honey from my Backyard Hives
There is something supremely satisfying about making a Rhubarb Cake. It is a thing I do every June. I have sometimes covered the whole thing with whipped Cream and served it. I have even made 2 layers and covered them with Whipped Cream. The tang of the Rhubarb and the redness of the Raspberries makes the most incredible color to end your meal. Pairing it with local honey instead of using sugar makes this extra special. 

If anyone is interested in East Gloucester honey please click here to visit my website where it is available to purchase.

Happy Growing, Support Your Local Grower or Your own Backyard Endeavors,
Melissa Abbott

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Melissa's Fish Dip

Fish Dip Recipe
5-6 Oz. Leftover Grilled Mackerel or other Fish
1/2+ c. Cream Cheese
1/4+ c. whipping cream
1-2 Tbs. Chopped Fresh Chives
1-2 Tbs. Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 finely chopped Shallot

Mix together in Small Bowl with a fork until completely blended. This makes about 1 c. of Dip. Serve with toasted Pita, Crackers, or toasted French Bread as a before dinner appetizer.

I admit the one of the reasons I have a food blog is so I can remember some of the things I make. For years I never wrote anything down and I vaguely remember making something and really wish I had the steps written down. Sure I have those tattered pieces of paper stuck into an old cookbook with things scribbled on them. Most of them make little sense. 

This Fish Dip, made with leftover barbecued Mackerel caught off Gloucester, MA was as elegant and delicious as anything I have ever eaten. It is hard to imagine this lowly fish making such a great appetizer. Highly recommend! I don't have any excuse for not making this again because I now have preserved the recipe.

Happy Cooking,
Melissa Abbott

Monday, June 9, 2014

Rustic Grilled Freshly Caught Gloucester Mackarel with a Wedge of Lime, Ear of Corn, and Greenbeans paired with Beautiful Homegrown Garden Salad

Your know you must be a real Gloucester Native if you relish a bit of Grilled Mackerel, if you aren't a Gloucester Native and you like Grilled Mackerel then that's as good as being born in the Addison Gilbert Hospital and going to Central Grammar in the 1960's. If you knew who Bob Karcher and All Swekla were and how they broke up all those fights while everyone passed in the halls then you probably had your share of Mackerel Dinners back in the day. You probably also know about corning a Hake and how to cook Finnan Haddie. 

I use a Simple Olive Oil, Salt
and Pepper Marinade on Cleaned Fish
This is the time of year mackerel are caught as they swim just outside and inside Gloucester Harbor. They tend to run this time of year is magnificent schools not far below the surface of the water. It is what the Striped Bass are chasing. So while you are trying to get a tinker mackerel to use as bait for a Striper, you may hook a few mackerel for your Dinner. Of course, many people think of them as lobster bait but there are very good eating with a flaky but tender meat and worth the work it takes to get out the bones.
I caught these fish on one cast on a Sabiki Rig

There is a trick to taking out all the bones and I think that is why people don't like the fish because of the bones, all the while, it is Omega rich and sustainable. If you are at all interested in subsistence living then this fish is for you. The fish is easy to catch because it latches on to a very simple Sabiki rig on any old pole. 
This ends up being pretty good considering you aren't going shopping at DeMoulas Supermarket that day and spending a wad of cashola. Pair this dish with a salad straight out of your burgeoning Spring Greens Garden and you have an old timey Gloucester meal your ancestors thought was just great. While your friends may turn up their noses at such fare, there is something supremely satisfying about the sustainability and effort it takes to catch a humble but delicious dinner.
My Dog Captain was helping me
fish off Niles Beach

There is that old Sea Shanty
"Gloucester Girls,
They Have No Curls,

Heave Away Haul Away, They comb their hair with cod fish bones,
We're on our way to Australia"

Charlie Putting them on Gas Grille

You just cook the whole fish right on the Grille. The skin gets "charcoal grilled" but you are just going to peel off the skin for the delectable meat underneath. So don't worry if it seems sort of burnt.
All Grilled and Ready to serve

I served with a wonderful Salad with the Fish made from my Freshly Picked Home Grown Lettuce. There are two kinds in the Salad, Red Leaf and Boston. I paired the Lettuce with red grapes, grated carrot, a few tomatoes, and sunflower seeds.

Here it is! The test of whether you really have it in you to Eat Locally and Think Globally. Grilled Mackerel with an Ear of Butter and Sugar Corn, Fresh Green Beans and a Homegrown Salad. Delicious!! 
My mother in law always floured and fried the mackerel and thats an old school alternative to the Grille. I spritzed both the Mackerel and corn with some lime and it was delightful!!

Happy Fishing, Gardening, and Cooking in Gloucester, MA,
Melissa Abbott
June 2014