Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winter Blooms

I couldn’t help myself yesterday…the sun was out, the air felt warm and the garden section at the grocery store was filled with blooming Hellebores! This one is Helleborus niger, or Hellebore Joseph Hemper. They typically flower in late January to February and the leaves are most often evergreen. This lovely lady will live happily in my little cottage garden.
Over the weekend, our neighbor Shirley, brought over the most delicious cauliflower casserole, with the most unusual name - Dish of Brains! Thanks so much, Shirley, we loved it! And it was so good that I asked her for the recipe and thought I would share it with you:

Dish Of Brains

1 cup Orzo pasta
1 head cauliflower, leaves and core discarded
2 cups grated (8 oz) medium Cheddar cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 375 F. Butter a 1 ½ to 2 qt. baking dish and set aside. In a skillet toast the Orzo over medium heat, stirring often until golden brown, about 4 mins. Transfer to prepared dish and spread evenly.
Cut cauliflower into small florets. Place in a large microwave-safe bowl and cover. Microwave on high 10 mins. Add 1 ½ cups cheese, heavy cream, broth, thyme, salt and pepper; toss until combined well. Spread out over Orzo in baking dish and top with remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbly and cauliflower is slightly caramelized, 40 to 45 mins. Makes 8-10 servings.

The original recipe called for couscous (Israeli large grain) instead of Orzo, but the Orzo really works! You can also use Gruyere or white cheddar cheese.


Gran said...

Beautiful picture and a delicious reading recipe. I am going to try it with the orzo. Thinking of you.

Purple and Paisley said...

oh, yum! cauliflower tops my favorite list...and cheese, too! thank you for the recipe...☺

Stephanie said...

The brains sound just delicious. I happen to have a bag of Israeli couscous and some orzo in my pantry. Off to the grocery store I go this week for some cauliflower. The flowers are lovely...I heard birds sing today and the sun is shining. Hurry Spring!

Stephanie said...

thanks so much for your kind words about my quilt, candace.
i am especially partial to your red & white "cut the corners" block.

Stephanie said...

thanks so much for your kind words about my quilt, candace.
i am especially partial to your red & white "cut the corners" block.

Carrie P. said...

Beautiful flowers. The ingredients look good in the recipe but I think I would have to change the name. I have a recipe for a cake and it is called a "Dump Cake" which doesn't sound good either.

Anonymous said...

Love the Hellebores. I have never owned one..I just might have to go on a hunt this week..I did get excited on Thursday last week when I saw a forsythia starting to bloom at a sweet little corner plant store in Fairhaven. Okay so it was forced but as our high school English Lit teacher used to tell us ..it is the harbinger of spring!! I will try the casserole but think I might rename it..

Karen said...

Yay! New flowers! I visited a nursery today, myself, but didn't buy anything.

Red Geranium Cottage said...

OMG that sounds soooo good.

*karendianne. said...

Oh my gawd I can't eat this. Not with a name like that! Oh my goodness.

My dad told me brussel sprouts were "little peoples heads" when I was but a wee-tot and I never could get past that. I hope I can overcome this visual with cauliflower.

Hannibal Lecter Hangs Here, *karendianne.