recipes

The White Dinner

The White Dinner – by Kate Davies

We all know them: the Picky Eaters, kids who only eat white foods. I’ve often told my kids that I will never force-feed them anything weird or gross, so if I put it on the table the odds are good that the food is both edible and nutritious. Somehow, even when faced with such wisdom, I get complaints.

We are quite lucky, as our dinners can literally be quite colorful (see Lettuce Wraps). One evening I served a meal everyone loved, and after we tucked in we realized that I had inadvertently served every kid’s dream dinner: all white. Here it is, I hope your kids like it as much as mine do!
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The White Dinner

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • cauliflower: 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste (don’t be shy)
  • pasta: I like orecchiette because the ‘ear’ shape holds lots of tasty sauce.
  • sauce: 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 oz (150g) bacon or pancetta, diced
  • 1-2 leeks, chopped
  • chicken stock or white wine, for deglazing
  • 10 oz (300ml) cream
  • 3 oz (85g) shredded parmesan
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste

Instructions

1

cauliflower: combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands. Kids can do this part.

2

spread the cauliflower out on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil, and bake at 425 F (220 C) for about 20 minutes

3

prepare the garlic, shallot, bacon, and leeks and set aside.

4

heat a large sauce pan to medium, and add the bacon.

5

once the bacon has melted and you have some liquid fat in the pan (about 5 minutes), add the shallots, garlic, and leeks.

6

saute until the ingredients turn translucent, stirring only occasionally. If the mixture looks dry, deglaze with chicken stock, white wine, or a bit of water.

7

add the cream and turn the heat to low.

8

simmer the sauce until it has thickened and reduced at a low bubble, about 10 minutes.

9

taste the sauce and add the seasonings, keeping in mind that the parmesan will add a bit of salt at the end. I like to add just a tiny pinch of nutmeg.

10

stir the cheese in right before you serve the sauce.

11

add the cooked pasta to the sauce, stir well, and serve.

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Take care when reheating, because the sauce likes to break. It will still taste delicious, but it can come as a surprise.

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