Friday, December 7, 2012

Creamy Cauliflower Soup & Catching up on Beef Daube

A double hitter this week.  Nana was caught up, as usual, but a business trip put me behind a week.  Our families still enjoyed two great recipes......

Per Nana:
Creamy Cauliflower Soup Sans Cream~
The perfect soup for a cold winter's night. 
As I was reading the P & Q section I noticed that Cher
 suggested using crumbled bacon in the soup and
 someone mentioned Cheez-it-ish crackers  on top.

The bacon was easy, but  Cheez-it-ish crackers were hard to find
..... since we ate them all last week. They were so good, but I'll save
 that for another time. I did grate a bit of Swiss cheese on top 
that gave it such a lovely flavor.
I used the food processor to puree the soup and it turned out so smooth.
 I did add a pinch of cayenne pepper to it just because I love it.
The soup was quite good and I was disappointed that I had halved the 
recipe, but I will certainly be preparing this again.  It's amazing 
that a few simple ingredients that are usually on hand can turn
 out to be such a wonderful dish.

Beef Cheek Daube with Carrots & Elbow Macaroni~
First, let me say I wish I had my camera with me at Wegman's 
when I asked one of the butchers if they carried beef cheeks.
The look on this young man's face was hilarious, I believe he
 thought I was pulling his leg. Since it is difficult to find a real butcher
 shop in our area that would even carry anything as unusual
as beef cheeks, I decided to just go with a chuck roast.

The recipe is really a snap, very little preparation other than browning
 the meat and veggies. Add all the other ingredients and in the oven it
 goes for around 2 hours. I will admit that the chuck had to be trimmed
 quite a bit, so I had more than 4 pieces of meat. Actually, it  looked
 pretty much  like stew meat when I finished.  (I'm very picky about grizzle)
I used the Syrah wine as Dorie suggests and thought it all blended 
well.  After two hours it was so tender and delicious.  I added 
the chocolate which was not overpowering at all.  
Hubby kept raving about the meat and the delicious flavor. 
My first thoughts about adding elbow macaroni was that it would 
not work.  I guess when I think pot roast, I think of potatoes.  But
 Dorie was right again, and this was perfect.
Per Tricia:
Creamy Cauliflower Soup Sans Cream~
Long post so I will keep this short. We LOVED this.

 Easy and amazing. As Nana said- the recipe took very ordinary items
 and made them very special. We sprinkled cheese and cob smoked bacon
 from the Wallingford Locker on top.   YUM !!  This is one of my favorite 
FFWD recipes  to date and plan to revisit it very often this winter.......

Beef Cheek Daube with Carrots & Elbow Macaroni~
True story. I crank out the FFWD recipes on more Thursday evenings than
 I would care to admit, but such is life. Two weeks ago got particularly crazy 
with a week long business trip.  I would have just done it late, but the
 "special" beef (not cheek, however) that I bought while visiting 
Wallingford, Vermont was already defrosting. The clock was ticking. 

So for the first time ever....I asked my guys to make the 
recipe while I was away and handle the "Dorie Food". 


Nana lends a hand all the time but for this occasion my husband and
 two sons tackled the task and emailed me back their opinions.  It 
was hilarious and very cool.  My guys did not find the chocolate to
 be a worthy addition, so we will not be combining this flavor with beef
 in the near future. But they actually still all loved the recipe and raved
 about the quality of the meat, which does not surprise me. It's very
 heartwarming to discuss cuts of meat with the owner of butcher 
store in a small town and get his opinion. He did not have cheek,
 but raved about how tender it is. He thought long and hard and suggested
 shoulder as  a substitute.  I jumped on it.  While I am not sure they will 
be up for contributing on a more frequent basis- this time was a hoot for all. 

 Happy French Fridays !


  1. Nana and Tricia: both your Creamy Cauliflower Soups and your Beef Daubes look wonderful - the additions of grated Swiss cheese and bacon to your very creamy looking soups look like a very delicious idea! The Beef Daubes sound like they were a huge success too, this is a wonderful recipe and a meal that we all loved too!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Well Nana, both your dishes look wonderful and sound delicious! I added a bit of nutmeg to my soup…it actually was quite nice! I loved this soup…but my hubby doesn’t do cauliflower…so I enjoyed it alone!
    Tricia…love that your guys did these recipes and did them so well…kudos to the men!! The beef daube looks great!

  3. Two wonderful dishes for this week...well done. The men always get excited about anything that resembles beef stew...ours also loved the flavors. And I loved the cauliflower soup...such a lovely base for many toppings ideas.

    1. Both of these were very tasty and I will definitely be making them again.

  4. Yay for the boys stepping in and helping out Tricia! And Nana, your dishes look lovely too!

  5. Nana - thank you for the lovely card.

    Ladies - bravo on all accounts and how fun that the "troups" pitched in on a dish. It's always nice to have an extra hand or two...

  6. Awesome! All four dishes are quite lovely. Nice job, ladies!

  7. A good week for both your families! Glad you enjoyed both these dishes! Have a wonderful weekend~

  8. No beef cheeks here either, but my kitchen smelled heavenly with chuck steak. Great that you get to do all this together.

  9. Everything about your Post this week was terrific and funny and, Tricia, hooray for the men in your life, stepping up to the stove. I was surprised that so many of us enjoyed the cauliflower soup. Maybe we all just needed a break from the rich and sugar-laden holiday goodies. Plain. SImple. And, low in calories. I wasn't able to find beef cheeks either but I was just as impressed as the both of you and your families with the flavor of the daube. Nice Post.

  10. Tricia your turning French Friday into a family project:) Both dishes look great for both of you ladies. We loved both of them too:)

  11. Wow. Amazing double recipe post! Both dishes look fantastic. I still need to catch up on the daube.

  12. Love this post! I think the stew was popular among the menfolk. I liked it the first couple of meals, but lost interest after a few days. My husband, however, did not get tired of it. The soup, however, was really good and I will make that again, with some cayenne- great idea!

  13. I really wish I'd put bacon on top of my soup. I saw Cher's comment on P&Q, but didn't follow through. Looks fantastic! A pinch of cayenne is a great idea too.
    I love that Tricia's guys expanded your mother-daughter cooking project into an entire family affair!

  14. Wow ladies! This is an info-packed post! I love that your guys made the daube for you Tricia - I should make my husband try cooking Dorie Food sometime.

  15. Oh my goodness, you two. I just opened your holiday card and it has MADE my day. First, it is so clever and creative. I have a memory of each and every one of those recipes on the front of your card. I think your photo with Lidia is wonderful and, who knows, next year, maybe Dorie. A goal. I do have a few bones to pick. Several posts back, Rosemarie (Nana in disguise), you told us your age. You lied. 63, tops! And, Tricia, in my mind I had you as a blonde. Although you are gorgeous, you aren't my vision of you (which was pretty good also). Thank you for making such an effort on our behalf - your card just made me so happy.

  16. Your soups and Daubes look wonderful. I've yet to make the Daube, but the photos look so good that I'm going to have to make time for it. I love that you had some pinch-hitting help, Tricia - it's so much fun to involve the whole family, isn't it?