Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What's Wrong with This Picture?

There are several things wrong with this picture: number one, there is a cat lounging on our dining room table; number two, the table still has a Christmas table cloth on it; and number three, the cat (otherwise known as Josie Kitty) is reclining on a stocking cap that I just finished knitting!

There is a story behind this hat. I saw it over on Wool Windings, and I knew I had to knit it. I've already mentioned this incident before, but I'll repeat it with some detail. A few months ago I was using my laptop to give a presenttion to my students using an expensive projector. In my concern that I not let anything happen to the precious projector, I managed to knock my laptop on the floor, and ended up with the dreaded "question mark" on the screen. Jake, one of my friends in IT painstakingly took the laptop apart so he could retrieve all of my information on the hard drive before the laptop was sent off to the "hopital." This meant a lot to me, especially considering I had my college evening class grades on it, and I hadn't backed them up in over two weeks. So here's my rendition of the Mac hat for Jake, my savior in IT. I hope he likes it. I hadn't tried duplicate stich before and had several false starts, but Kristen Nicholas's tutorial really helped me.My duplicate stitch could still use a little work, but I'm proud of my first try.

Tale of a Gourmet Weekend!

You can always tell that I have a lot to do around the house when I decide to be longwinded. I do have a non-knitting related experience to share though. I took a cooking school class at the The New School of Cooking in Culver City this weekend. Now that I think about it, it is kind of knitting related because I knit the cap on the drive down there. I went with three co-workers, and we had a great time. Our session was on "souffles." After we listened to the teacher's lecture and watched her demonstration, we paired off and drew straws to prepare different souffles. My partner and I prepared a gingerbread souffle, and it was pretty good, but my favoite souffle was the cauliflower souffle over baby greens. I made it tonight, and it turned out very satisfactory, even Kai ate one.I'm not saying he raved about it, but he ate it.I couldn't bare to tell him that it had cauliflower in it!

Individual Cauliflower Souffles Over Baby Greens
Serves 6

2 tbsp. unsalted butter
t tbsp. grated parmesan (We used the really good stuff!)
1 head cauliflower, quartered and cored
3 tbsp. flour
1 cup hot milk (our teacher said it could be cold too)
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup Guryere cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. minced parsley
5 egg whites

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter six 5 ounce ramekins and sprinkle the inside with parmesan. Arrange in a baking pan.

Mince cauliflower, enough to yield about 1 cup. Set aside.

In a medium saucepn over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoon butter, whisk in the flour to make a blonde roux. Whisk in the hot milk to make a bechamel. Whisk in the yolks, one at a time, until flully incorporated. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the minced cauliflower and parsley. Cook 2 minutes more. Stir in the guryere cheese and seasoning. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium, and beat 1 minute more. when the egg white are foamy, increase speed to high, and beat just until they hold soft peaks. Do not overbeat. Lightly fold a third of the whites into the cheese mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whites, until just combined.

Fill each ramekin with 1/2 cup of the souffle mixture. Smooth the tops. Bake until the tops are golden brown and the mixture is set, about 20 to 25 minutes.

While souffles are cooking toss baby greens with a god quality vinegar and oil dressing and divide on salad plates. Remove the souffles from the oven. Use a kitchen towel to hold the ramekins, and invert the souffles onto your hand, then bottom side down onto the plates with the salads.


Wool Winder said...

The hat turned out great! A wonderful gift for a Mac fan.

Knittings Nice! said...

Woww...impressive cooking...move over Jamie Oliver.