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A cauliflower the size of a Volkswagen

and maybe some other veggies, too, but LOOK at that cauliflower!!!

The day after we came home from up north for the Big Celebration we went to the Midland Farmers Market for some fish.  Specifically, Lake Superior Whitefish.  Perhaps I should back up a couple weeks…  The “Big Celebration” was a freaking food fest of epic proportions.  (And I’ll be the first to admit that I overuse the word “epic” these days; I am not crying wolf this time.)  Our week’s menu consisted of things like crab-stuffed whitefish roulade, roasted corn & fromage blanc cannelloni, the most precious beef tenderloin, whitefish cakes with lemon mustard sauce, savory balsamic peaches, fried mac & cheese balls in tomato basil soup, and some totally memorable chicken, shrimp & beef fajitas.  There was also an abundance of good wine, Bud Light Lime and a wedding cake (more on that later).

So when I got home I wanted to hug my Kitchenaid I was feeling so inspired, and under such withdrawal from not cooking anything in over a week.  We woke up Saturday morning to a soaking Michigan rain, so logically, we wasted not time & immediately hopped in the Suub & went to the market for fish.  And veggies.  And fruit.  And that cauliflower the size of a small car.  The fish was great, by the way, but surprisingly, the veggies were the star of the show. 
 
This was also the Michigan football opening game day, mind you, so I was charged with creating a tailgating menu fit for a Wolverine (or two).  In no time, I had corn niblets flying off the kernels on command, that cauliflower wrangled into manageable pieces and a husband with some bloody knuckles (hey, it is NOT my fault that he has not yet learned how to grate a zucchini without injury – he OFFERED!)  Heh heh….  I made a huge pot of corn & cauliflower chowder and some delighfully crisp savory zucchini corn cakes.  Here’s the spread:

points to anyone who notices the REALLY confusing item in this pic...

Remember it was raining, so the flash in the pic could not be helped.  Anyway, this was a most spectacular way to begin our Labor Day weekend.  Those zucchini cakes were even pretty good heated up (in the OVEN) the next day as an appetizer.  I served them with warmed up pizza sauce & fresh basil.  Delish!

Here’s some rough guidance on what I made:

Corn cauliflower chowder:

One small onion & one sweet bell pepper, diced (I used a yellow one because they were SO pretty at the market) & sauteed in a swirl of olive oil in a soup pot.  When they are soft, add about 2 tablespoons of butter and

the niblets of four ears of fresh sweet corn (you get extra points if you use a bundt pan, balancing the end of the ear on the center post – but I just got it all over the house, the dogs enjoy the clean-up – or you could even use canned & drained or frozen sweet corn, cheater).  Cook the veggies for a few minutes until they get a little color on them, then add

about two cups of chicken stock, a cup of whole milk and about 2 cups of cauliflower florets (hm, that sounds redundant…).  Cover & cook until the cauliflower is fork tender, maybe 10-20 minutes or so.  Ladle about half the soup & veggies into a blender, cover & puree to your desired consistency, then blend the second half (or not, if you like it chunkier).  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Frankly I might have added some other stuff, too, but I don’t remember (read the Hello World post below for the disclaimer – this is NOT a recipe site!)  It could have used a little more umph, like maybe a jalapeno or two or some hot sauce, or even some grilled chicken or shrimp, but it was great with the zucchini cakes.

Zucchini Corn Cakes

Simple:  buy some self-rising corn meal & follow, pretty much, the corn pancake recipe on the package (milk, eggs, oil as described) adding 1 cup of finely grated zucchini, a teaspoon of sugar and about 1/4 tsp salt (give or take; just fry up a tiny bit & taste one of the cakes before going to town on all the batter).  Fry on a hot griddle or skillet in a good dose of vegetable oil with a pat of butter melted in for flavor.  Keep warm in the oven while finishing each batch – the recipe on my cornmeal made about a dozen 3″ cakes. 

I served these with pizza sauce but the next morning I made a sweet batch with cinnamon & nutmeg and served them with apples sauteed in brown sugar & butter – YUM!

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About kozubalk

Lawyer by day, baker by night, full time creative spirit.

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