Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cauldron Cooking - Smothered Brains

From the Kitchens of Cheesecake Farms
www.CheesecakeFarms.com


Cheese makes every thing
 taste better!

You can never have enough frightful fare for Halloween.


Here's another yummy recipe that will have them howling with delight!

Smothered Brains...... so yucky the kids will love it!

(Just don't tell them it's really a vegetable!!)



Smothered Brains

OK, not really brains.....cauliflower with cheese sauce. 


But kids today are so dumb they won't know the difference.

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Serves 4-6
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1 (8 oz.) package bacon (or 1/3 cup olive oil or 1/2 stick butter) 

3 medium onions (each about 3 inches in diameter - diced)
1 head cauliflower (well washed, leaves and stem removed)
1 (8-12 oz.) jar cheese sauce or Tex-Mex cheese dip
2 tablespoons bread crumbs (any type)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (well washed, stems removed and finely minced)

Rinse bacon under tepid running water.  Separate slices so all the bacon is rinsed.  Drain.  Pat dry with paper towels.



Put the bacon into a large skillet and cook (uncovered) over very low heat until crisp - about 20 minutes.  Be careful not to burn it. (See Karla's Tip below.)  Remove cooked bacon from pan and set aside.


Remove all but about 4 tablespoons of bacon fat from the pan.  
It's OK to leave any browned bits.  
No need to wash pan.


If you're not using bacon, put the olive oil or butter into a pan and heat till warm (melted).


Add the onions.  
Cook on medium-low (uncovered) until transparent and soft - about 15 minutes.  Do not brown onions.  When cooked, set aside and keep warm.


Mean while, put the whole cauliflower into a deep pot.  Add 2 inches water.  Cover pot.  


Bring to boil on high. Lower heat to simmer.  Simmer cauliflower till tender - about 20 minutes.  Drain.

To serve:
Put the sauteed onions on a serving platter to form a bed for the cauliflower. 

Crumble cooked bacon (if using) over onions.

Place the whole cauliflower on top of the onions & bacon. 

Heat cheese sauce and pour some over the top of the cauliflower allowing it to drizzle down.

Serve any extra sauce along side. 

Sprinkle with bread crumbs and parsley.

Carve the "brains" into slices with a sharp knife.

Serve with some of the bacon and onions. 



Karla's Tip #1 - Bacon
Bacon should be cooked low and slow.  It will be crisper because you render (extract) more of the fat.  Also, there's less chance of burning the bacon or the bacon fat.


Always save bacon fat.  It's wonderful in so many recipes.... even for cooking breakfast eggs when there's no bacon.


To save the fat, cool in pan then pour or scoop into a heat and freezer safe glass canning jar. Cap when completely cool.  Keeps about 2 weeks in the fridge.  Indefinitely in the freezer.


Do not store in a plastic container or bag.  Plastic is porous and the bacon smell will seep through making everything else taste like bacon, too - even the ice cream!



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