Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes I’ve ever Tasted (makes 12)

I have waiting too long to taste something this good1

I have waiting too long to taste something this good!

My daughter, The Young Baker of this blog decided to challenge herself last night and make something a little more adventurous than her usual sweet repertoire. She wanted to make cupcakes like the ones she has tasted from great bakeries like the Cupcake Cafe on the West Side of Manhattan: a challenge indeed.

The Young Baker managed to have time to give herself a harido right before her marathon baking session

The Young Baker made time to give herself a hairdo right before her marathon baking session

I told her I would help find a good recipe but that she could forget about any idea of trying to replicate their beautiful Buttercream Frosting flowers. She was fine with that. She just wanted to achieve that melt in your mouth gooey-ness without feeling like it was a glorified chocolate muffin that crumbled with every bite.

cupcake city

Cupcake city

The best place to look for a recipe was certainly in one of my American cookbooks. The cupcake to me is quintessentially American so no French or Italian influence would do. The best book for the job was going to be from my brand new giant Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook. What better place to find an authentic cupcake recipe than from the most recognized Test Kitchen in the country.

My lovely cookery bible

My lovely cookery bible

And sure enough, when I read to her what the Test Kitchen had to say about cupcakes, how their goal was to make a moist, tender cupcake that wasn’t crumbly, with deep chocolate flavor, and a frosting that was creamy with no sugary sweetness, she was excited to try it.

We happen to have nice cases for the job (note the chocolate-y hands!)

We happen to have nice cases for the job (note the chocolate-y hands!)

They were a bit of work for sure and she was confused at how many bowls she had on the counter at one time with the various chocolate mixtures, but the reward of being able to lick many different flavored spoons made up for all that. All I’ll say is “thank God for dishwashers!”

Quite pleased

Quite pleased

These were all she had hoped for, and at this point she is such the expert when it come to chocolate, her opinion is all that is needed to recommend the cupcake challenge to you!

___________________________________________

You will need:

* I used Ghirardelli Brand chocolate*

for Ganache:

2 oz bitter-sweet chocolate

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tbs confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar)

For cupcakes:

3 oz bittersweet chocolate

1/3 cup (1 oz) dutch-processed cocoa

3/4 cup brewed coffee, hot

3/4 cup (4  1/8 ozs all-purpose or bread flour

3/4 cup (5 1/4 ozs) granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate soda)

6 tbs vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

for Frosting:

1/3 cup (2 1/2 ozs) granulated sugar

2 large egg whites

pinch of salt

12 tbs 6 ozs, 169 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

6 oz bittersweet chocolate

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Make ganache: melt ganache ingredients together very slowly in little pan on low heat until barely melted. Stir and transfer to a bowl and set aside.

make ganache

make ganache

Make Cupcakes:

preheat oven 350*

1 – Brew the coffee. Place chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl and add hot coffee. Let it sit covered for 5 minutes, then stir gently until melted. Cool completely in fridge (about 20 minutes)

add hot coffee to cocoa adn chocolate

Add hot coffee to cocoa and chocolate

Stir gently

Stir gently

2 – In the meantime add flour, sugar, salt and baking soda to medium bowl and whisk together to incorporated.

Whisk dry ingredients together

Whisk dry ingredients together

3 – In small bowl mix together eggs, oil, vinegar and vanilla.

mix eggs, vanilla, oil adn vinegar together

Mix eggs, vanilla, oil and vinegar together

4 – Whisk the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate and then mix in the flour mixture.

Finish cupcake batter

Finish cupcake batter

5 – Place muffin liners into muffin tray and divide the batter between the 12 cups. Place a dollop (good-sized teaspoon) of the ganache in the center of each filled cup. Place in center of oven for about 18 to 20 minutes.

fill muffin cups

Fill muffin cups

7 – Remove from oven and sit tray on cooling rack for about 10 minutes before removing to let cool completely.

Cool cupcakes completely

Cool cupcakes completely

Make Frosting:

1 – Melt the chocolate on low heat in small pot, then set aside to cool.

Melt chocolate

Melt chocolate

2 – Place a cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a bare simmer. Using a bowl that will fit into the pot (one that sits on the edges, not touching the water) add the egg whites, sugar and salt. Whisk at low-speed for about 2 minutes (the mixture will take on a silky creamy look).

Whisk eggs whites with sugar & salt

Whisk eggs whites with sugar & salt

3 – While continuing to whisk, add the soft butter one tablespoon at a time.

add butter

Add butter

4 – Then add the melted chocolate and vanilla and whisk until incorporated.

add chocolate & vanilla

Add chocolate & vanilla

If the frosting appears thin (ours did), place it in the fridge for about 10 minutes. It will thicken up and get it ready for the next step.

Frost Cupcakes:

Spread a thick layer of frosting on each cupcake with a butter or palate knife.

spead with tons of frosting

Spread with tons of frosting

If you don’t devour them all in one sitting, they can be stored in a big plastic container and left at room temperature. They can also be stored in the fridge, but take them out at least a half hour before serving.

The best cupcakes ever!

The best cupcakes ever!

To Say That He or She “Can’t Even Boil an Egg!” Is A Bit Unfair, since Boiling An Egg Correctly Can Be Quite A Difficult Thing To Do!

Saying somebody cannot cook because they “can’t even boil an egg” is not my definition of a culinary failure or a lousy cook. Try doing the same thing my brother did and I would have no problem saying you haven’t a clue when it comes to food preparation! 

not exactly what I wanted

Not exactly what I wanted (a matter of seconds can ruin your egg and turn your runny yolk hard – I still had to eat it!)

There were many disadvantages growing up female in our house in Ireland in the early 70’s and thank God, that has mostly changed, (yes, only mostly). The girls in our house had to do things for our brothers that they were never expected to do for us. We made them tea for breakfast, and whenever tea was requested, we girls had to make it. Tea always came with a sandwich, or toast (or a biscuit) and we had to make that too. That was just tea, we also dressed their bed, polished their shoes and did anything else for them that remotely whiffed of domesticity. I  thought this was the norm, but when I got a little older and wiser and questioned “why?” I was made feel like an upstart.

Sea-salt flakes (Maldon & freshly ground black pepper

Sea-salt flakes (Maldon) & freshly ground black pepper)

Anyway, that is in the past, and looking back on my childhood experience (in this regard at least) there were many advantages to being a female. For one I became very self-sufficient, learning to do all things we humans have to do on a daily basis until the day we die: cook, clean, grocery shop, organise a living space. Yes, all those years of domestic training have paid off and I must say that mastering the art of boiling an egg took a lot more practice and patience than you would think. And, the funny part is that it was my father, not my mother who taught me this skilful art. Boiling an egg where the yolk remains soft, is all in the timing, and my father had it down pat. Every time he made me an egg it turned out perfectly and when I tried using a timed method (he just guessed correctly every single time!) would get it wrong more often than right, and end up having to eat an egg that was jelly-like, or as hard as a bullet. The way I learned was by timing him every time he made one for breakfast and eventually I got it down.

kug

The best accompaniment to a soft boil egg: Hot buttered Toast!

What did my brother do to prove his ineptitude in the kitchen all those years ago? He boiled a pot of potatoes, something he ate every day from the cradle to adulthood, without adding a single drop of water to the pot! Even the smell of burnt potatoes wafting through the house did not give him cause to wonder if perhaps he had done something wrong. My sides ached with laughter when I found out what he did and I’m laughing right now just thinking about it. To his credit he has since become quite competent in the kitchen, but he still calls me for advice on things that I learned how to do in-between making tea and polishing shoes!

______________________________________________

*This is a Blood Type A Diet Recipe (eggs are neutral). Eat alone or with a sprouted bread with a little extra-virgin oil & sea-salt (no butter or black pepper)*

You will need:

1 large fresh egg

1 slice fresh bread

unsalted butter

sea-salt

freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1 – Place egg in small pot and cover with cold water. Place on high heat.

put egg in cold water

Put egg in cold water

2 – The moment the water begins to boil, put timer on for 2 minutes 50 seconds. While egg is boiling, toasted bread and slather with butter.

*for a slightly runny yolk remove the egg after 2 minutes 45 seconds*

bring water to a boil

Bring water to a boil

3 – Remove egg from water with a large spoon and place in egg cup fat side down. Tap a knife or a small spoon (I use the spoon I will egg my egg with) evenly just under the top of the egg, working your way all around in a circle. Do this immediately as the egg will continue to cook.

,ug

The perfect egg for me: runny in the middle and beginning to slightly harden around the edge of the yolk

4 – Place tip of your spoon all the way through the crack to the other side and lift up on the spoon and the top with come off.

the piece de resistance

The piece de resistance. I eat the top first as it gets hard fast!

Eat directly from the shell, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go and enjoy with lovely warm buttery toast

How to Char Any Pepper 101 – Really Handy Pantry Item!

Charring peppers is a cinch, and they are so great to have on hand. They are quick and easy to prepare and can be cooked right when a recipe calls for them. Also, make a whole ton when you are so overrun with peppers when they are in season and you don’t want a single one to go to waste.

roast the cayenne peppers too

Charred cayenne peppers from my garden

I roast peppers and keep them in a jar in the fridge with extra-virgin olive oil and they last for weeks. You can get even more adventurous and add things to the oil like fresh herbs to infuse more flavor, but they are so good on their own too.

the spectrum of color

You can do this to jalapeno peppers too!

The oil that the peppers marinate in also takes on a lovely flavor and can be liberally used whether you are using the peppers in a sandwich, a salad or a stew. Sometimes I even drizzle the oil by itself on a piece of toast for a snack: really delicious.

roast the peppers & onions

Any pepper can be roasted and stored

Once you get the hang of charring peppers you will find yourself looking for excuses to use them. The process intensifies the sweetness or heat, depending on the variety, and the smoky flavor is right up front.

georgous roasted red peppers

These peppers were charred on the grill

My friend Tom does the same thing but he loves to use his grill, hail, rain or shine. His pepper choices are on the scary hot side and I’m sure at this point he has burned all of his taste buds!

really hot!

Really hot!

So, no matter what kind you like, I suggest that you start burning peppers and see where it leads you.

____________________________________________

Method:

Place your oven rack about 4 to 6 inches away from the broiler and turn broiler to high.

1 – Wash and dry whatever peppers you choose to use and place on a baking sheet.

lucious peppers, and lots of 'em!

luscious peppers, and lots of ’em!

2 – Place the tray under the grill and broil peppers on all sides until charred (blackened). You will eventually get use to the timing, but it is important to check every few minutes.

grill peppers until charred

4 – When they have cooled (but still warm – about 15 minutes or so, depending on how many peppers in the bag), remove the charred skin by peeling off with your fingers. Then remove the seeds, stem and veins. DO NOT do this by rinsing under the tap as this will wash away lots of lovely oily flavor.

dice peppers

dice peppers

6 – After that you can cut into strips, dice them or leave whole, depending on what the recipe calls for. Store in a glass jar with some good quality olive oil and store in the fridge for several weeks.

They are great in rice, stir-fry, salads, Quiche, stews, pizza topping, pasta dishes and sandwiches.

guyg

Yum

June’s Famous Chicken Dinner!

I am missing my sisters back home in Ireland, and thinking about all the lovely food we cooked together. It is many months since my leaving and now there is a hole in my life. I am already plotting on how to see them again as soon as possible.

ug

Beautiful fields of Rape Flowers close to our house in Ireland

I love every aspect of cooking a meal, from the planning, to the more menial tasks like washing dirt off the potatoes. I find I am the most comfortable when I work alone or rather, it is nice being by myself not feeling lonely at all. That is not to say I don’t like activity while I am getting on with things. Mostly it is quite the opposite, and the din of family and friends coming in and out, or parking themselves for the duration on a chair and chatting with me through the entire process is when I have had my most memorable conversations. 

June's roasted potatoes

June’s roasted potatoes

There is an easiness that comes with cooking and the energy in the kitchen permeates through the entire house, sets the tone. That is why I find it so hard to understand why people choose take-out/away food over something that you can make yourself? When food is brought home in a bag or plastic containers you have missed out on the lovely clatter in the kitchen and the smells that put you in a good mood, that draw everyone together.

June's Roast Chicken with Bread Stuffing

June’s Roast Chicken with Bread Stuffing

Yes, of course there are days that I long for a little cardboard takeout box, complete with the narrow metal handle full of spicy Szechuan chicken, or the big corrugated square housing a pizza with everyone’s favorite toppings on its various quarters. What I’m saying is when I think about food, what comes to mind, is a roasted chicken being pulled from the oven, or the smell that comes from a pot of soup making my taste buds crazy for a taste… for a bite of something. The whole act of cooking creates an atmosphere that a take-out box just cannot compete with!

June making Pizza

June making Pizza

There is not a doubt in my mind that everyone can think of a person  that instantly conjures up the image of a dish that you uniquely associate with them. Sometimes it is the dish you think of first, and then you realize that you are missing someone, and craving their food and their company. I am sitting here on this weekend morning and I swear I can smell June’s Famous Chicken Dinner.

Famous Chicken Dinner

Famous Chicken Dinner

It was dubbed Famous Chicken Dinner by my son a couple of years ago and it is how we request it when we visit. She cannot understand why we attach so much importance to it? When she roasts a whole chicken, this is how it turns out. It is one of her standards and has never been thought of as anything but ordinary, and certainly not something she would dream of making if she was having people over for dinner.

another June Dinner

Another June Dinner

The thing is, she is unaware that when she makes something that is so familiar, so effortless to her, she has ended up perfecting something. She has unconsciously over the years worked out all the kinks in this dish, tweaking the amounts of butter, or salt and changing the herb mix until she got it the way she liked it the best. She did this, and then she left it, because it was perfect and needed no more fussing over. She will laugh if she reads this, but I know I am right. I know that if she made it for me right now, there would be no surprises. It would be exactly what I wanted, and if she changed something because she felt maybe having company meant doing things differently to make it special, she would regret it and wished she had left well enough alone.

The river Barrow at Milford, County Carlow

The river Barrow at Milford, County Carlow, a so familiar place to me

I have never asked for the recipe, which is an odd thing for me. I know it is just a stuffed roasted chicken with carrot and parsnip mash, roasted potatoes and a herby sauce made from the pan drippings, but I think it would be impossible to replicate. It would be just like my trying to master my mother’s stuffing, something I attempt to do each Christmas, and each time fail. I fail to capture that essence that made it taste the way it did. I believe there are some dishes that contain a soul, and this one happens to have June’s. I don’t know if there is a recipe for that.

June's roses

June’s roses

Indian-Inspired Pork Stir-Fry (serves 6)

So many times my dishes are born from a single spice or herb and everything else will follow. In this case it was the bag of ground coriander that was calling my name, which I  answered by making this pretty darn great pork stir-fry. One thing is for sure, pork tenderloin is a handy item to have in your fridge. It cooks super fast and it loves a good marinade.

Indian-Inspired pork stir-fry

Indian-Inspired pork stir-fry

Also adding some chopped roasted Anaheim peppers to the plain fluffy rice was a great way to highlight their lovely smoky heat, and the rice looked so pretty dotted with green flecks of color.

guyg

Roasted Anaheim peppers

This dish comes together faster than you think so don’t be put off by the list of ingredients. Perhaps you could put pork tenderloin and coriander on your shopping list this weekend!

_________________________________________

You will need:

basmati rice for 6 (cook rice according to rice cooker or package instructions and keep warm)

2 Anaheim peppers

4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

2 lbs pork tenderloin, thinly sliced, (which is about 2 loins)

1 1/2 tbs soy sauce

1 1/2 tbs mirin

2 tsp sesame oil

1/4 tsp ground white pepper

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 1/2 tbs ground coriander

2 medium onions, peeled & cut into 8 wedges

3 garlic cloves, sliced

4 cups chopped spinach

1/2 cup chicken or veggie stock (OR 1/2 bouillon cube & 1/2 cup water)

sea-salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

*cook rice according to instructions and keep warm & when peppers are roasted (method below), add to rice*

basmati rice with roasted anaheim peppers

Basmati rice with roasted Anaheim peppers

1 – Roast Anaheim peppers: Put your oven rack a few inches from the grill (I’m guessing the second rack) and put the peppers on a baking tray and place under the hot grill. Check every few minutes and turn peppers as they blacken.

uh

Roast Anaheim peppers

2 – Remove peppers and place in a brown paper bag (I use the bags I get when I buy a bottle of wine) and close. Leave for about 15 to 20 minutes undisturbed. Remove from bag and peel off the skin, remove the stem and seeds. Do not rinse with water or you will lose flavor and texture. Dice peppers (& add to warm rice)

3 – Mix together in a large bowl (one that can hold the sliced raw pork) 3 tbs of extra-virgin oil with the soy, mirin, sesame oil, cumin, white pepper, and coriander.

mix spices adn oils for marinade

Mix spices and oils for marinade

4 – Add the sliced pork and mix together until everything is well coated (I use my hands for the job). Set aside for at least 15 minutes (or can be done up to a day ahead and stored in the fridge).

marinate pork in spice blend

Marinate pork in spice blend

5 – Put large saute pan on medium heat and add a tbs of olive oil. When it has warmed, add the onion wedges and garlic slices. Cook, stirring often for about 8 minutes., (onions will soften and start to brown in spots, while still retaining a crunch)

saute onions & garlic

Saute onions & garlic

6 – Turn heat up to high and add the pork. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock (or water and bouillon) and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes. Turn off heat.

add pork, then liquid

Add pork, then liquid

7 – Add the spinach and mix gently. Place lid on pan and let the spinach wilt slightly for 5 minutes (you want the spinach to still have a raw “feel”)

mx in spinach

Mix in spinach

Serve immediately in warm shallow bowls with a scoop of rice and pass the hot sauce (we love sriracha!)

Really Great Turkey & Bacon Ragu (serves 6)

 This was a great mid-week dinner. Wednesday is the day my kids are a little tired of the school week but in the evening are beginning to look forward to the weekend (I know that’s wishing their young lives away, but this is a hard lesson to teach little people who think they will live forever!).

This was a great mid-week treat

This was a great mid-week treat

I put this sauce together the moment I got in the door and that left me free to do all of those other things that needed to be taken care of (science project panic!). I wanted to use a lighter meat for the ragu and I had some turkey that I though would work. It was not ground, but that didn’t bother me (Ragu is made with ground meat but f you don’t have it, don’t worry about it).

I was a little concerned with the meat not having as much flavor as say lamb or pork, so I added some bacon. I think bacon is the secret ingredient that waylays lots of disasters!

It was really lovely and made the hum-drum feeling that Wednesdays can bring fade away.

________________________________________

* This ragu sauce can be made the day before (or in the morning) and reheated slowly on the stove-top while the pasta is cooking*

You will need:

1 tbs olive oil

8 strips bacon (streaky), sliced into 1 inch pieces (approx.)

1 lb turkey cutlets, cut into bite-sized pieces (thin sliced turkey breast – if you can only find whole fillets, slice it yourself)

1 medium onion, cut into large chunks

3 cloves garlic,

1 carrot

2 or 3 tender inner celery ribs, including leaves

1 28 oz can tomato puree (894 grams)

2 tbs tomato paste ( sun-dried or smoky varieties are fine to use)

2 cups water

1 tsp sea-salt

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tbs cold unsalted butter (optional)

6 cups freshly chopped spinach

1 1/4  lbs rigatoni pasta, or another hearty pasta like bucatini, ribbed penne or shells (I use Barilla brand)

1 1/2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated (optional)

Method:

1 – Put large saute pan on medium heat and add the oil and chopped bacon. Cook until bacon starts to get crispy (anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes).

fry bacon

Fry bacon

2 – Season the turkey with the salt and several grinds of black pepper and add to the pan. You will have to turn up the heat slightly. Cook turkey until it takes on a white color (about 5 to 8 minutes). Stir occasionally.

add turkey

Add turkey

3 – While meat is cooking, prep the veggies: slice carrot, onion and celery into chunks and add to a food processor with the garlic cloves. Pulse until it resembles large rubbly bits.

chop veggies in food processor

Chop veggies in food processor

4 – Add the veggies to the pan and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes (adjusting the heat down slightly).

add veggies

Add veggies

6 – Add the tomato paste, tomato puree, water, and chili flakes. Bring to a boil. When it boils, turn it down, cover and simmer at a bare bubble for about 2 hours. Check every 1/2 hour (or less) and give it a stir. If it gets very thick, add a 1/2 cup of water at a time to adjust consistency. However, it should be very thick.

add liquids adn spices

Add liquids and spices

7 – Add the chopped spinach and stir. (*at this point put the pasta on and cook according to instructions – do not rinse pasta and reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water before draining to add to sauce if necessary*)

add chopped spinach

Add chopped spinach

8 – Cover and cook for a further 12 or so minutes, stirring once during this time. Turn off heat. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary (salt, and/or pepper). If it is thicker than you would like, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water. Stir butter (if using) into sauce.

cook a little more adn adjust seasonings

Cook a little more and adjust seasonings

Divide pasta between warmed shallow bowls or plates and top each with a helping of Ragu. Pass some grated Parmigiano Reggiano and pepper flakes at the table.

Turkey & Bacon Ragu

Turkey & Bacon Ragu with lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Hearty Tofu & Cauliflower Soup (serves 6)

I think that soup is the one place even a die-hard meat-eater will succumb to the power of a steaming bowl of broth-y vegetables. If it is overflowing with tons of tasty ingredients, there is a chance the protein-packed tofu will go unnoticed!

Everyone loves soup!

Everyone loves soup!

I made this because my son was sick but was still hungry for something savory. I wanted it to be full of goodness but not a heavy meal that would weigh him down. I am very lucky in that he loves tofu and lots of other foods that you don’t usually associate with the palate of a teenage boy: things like squid tentacles, miso, seaweed and sashimi. He told me his dream is to “live and die” in Japan and judging from the food he likes, I’d say it is his destiny. 

my catalysts

My catalysts (Japanese curry powder, dried celery stalks & Dulse Seaweed salt)

I was in a great shop called Kalustyan’s in New York City the other day and picked up a few things that I though would work great in a soup using tofu and cauliflower (a nice light veggie) as the main ingredients. I gave it a Japanese “feel” by seasoning the broth with a little Japanese curry powder and a lovely seaweed-infused salt from the gulf of Maine called Dulse Seaweed Salt. Dulse is a red seaweed (sometimes called Sea Lettuce) and it gives the salt an intensified ocean taste.

My son ate two bowls, which says it all really.

___________________________________________

*This is a Blood Type A Diet friendly recipe with beneficial ingredients such as tofu, garlic, escarole and onions (cauliflower is neutral so is fine to use)*

You will need:

I cake of tofu, pressed and cubed (tofu usually comes in 12 oz blocks)

1 medium onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 celery ribs, including leaves, chopped

1 head escarole, washed and roughly chopped

1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets (if it is a large head, use half)

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp cumin seeds (optional)

1 tsp of fresh thyme or rosemary leaves

1 tsp sea-salt (use 1/2 tsp if the salt you are using is intensely salty)

1 vegetable bouillon cube (I used the Rapunzel brand)

10 cups water

3 cups cooked basmati rice

Method:

*If you have leftover rice in your fridge (I always do!) take it out and reheat at lowest setting on your stove top in pot with lid. If not, cook some fresh right now!*

1 – Press tofu immediately!

tofu stacked with dinner plates!

Tofu stacked with dinner plates!

2 – Chop all veggies while tofu is being pressed.

This is the way I've been slicing onions lately

This is the way I’ve been slicing onions lately

3 – Put big soup pot (4 to 6 qt) on medium heat and add the oil. When it warms, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes before adding the celery. Cook, stirring frequently for about 8 minutes.

Add onions & garlic, then celery

Add onions & garlic, then celery

4 – Add the curry powder, thyme (or rosemary),, cumin seeds and salt to the pot and stir. Add the cauliflower and mix gently. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the tofu and stir gently and cook for another minute.

add spices, then cauliflower

Add spices, then cauliflower

6 – Add the bouillon cube (I usually roughly chop it first), followed by the water. Turn heat up and when it comes to a boil add the chopped escarole and turn the heat down to a low simmer. Cover and simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes.

add escarole

Add escarole

Serve soup alone, with a scoop of rice or crusty bread and some hot sauce if you are in the mood.

eat with whatever you like

Eat with whatever you like: rice, bread, alone and maybe a dash of sriracha!