I am glad I am not Garfield or I really would have major issues on Mondays …This day started way too early and we have not stopped since.
I am taking advantage of preparing my last winter meals before the weather warms too much. Cauliflower gratin is a great winter fare but definitely not love handle friendly.
For the main meal tonight I adapted a recipe from Sheila Lukins: The new Basics Cookbook. I was first introduced to Sheila Lukins cookbooks almost twenty years ago. Every times I open one of her cookbooks a recipe jumps out and the results are great.
Tonight’s Dinner April 5th, 2010
1 whole boneless, skinless chicken cut into 6 pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
¼ cup blackberry vinegar (I used raspberry vinegar with Zinfandel vinegar)
¼ chicken stocks
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon crème de cassis
10 fresh blackberries
Rinse the chicken well and pat dry. Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the chicken and cook over medium heat until they are lightly colored, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Add the shallots to the skillet and cook over low heat until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, raise the heat, and cook stirring occasionally, until it has reduced to a syrupy spoonful. Whisk in the stock, cream and cream of cassis, and simmer for 1 minute.
Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer them gently in the sauce, until they are done. Remove the chicken and arrange on heated serving platter. Simmer the sauce gently until has reduced and thickened slightly, 5 minutes. Add the blackberries and cook for 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.
1 small head of cauliflower, waste removed and hard stalks removed
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup flour
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons heavy cream
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
¾ cup shredded cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 400. Cook the cauliflower head in salted boiling water until just underdone and slightly crisp. Drain well.
Make the white sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan, stirring in the flour; cooking for one minute and then beating in all the milk in one go. Beat continuously for 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in the cream, nutmeg, salt, pepper and half of the cheese. Chop the cauliflower roughly with a sharp knife, mix into the sauce and pour into an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over remaining cheese and cook in a hot oven for approximately 15 minutes, until the top is crisp and brown.