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I am no longer sure how long it’s been since I was really able to cook. I managed a few dishes while vacationing in Canada…

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This was a night of Banchan which was great fun–considering that I had to meet the standards of one Min from Korea who could readily attest to the success of her homeland’s cuisine via my humble hands (was she being polite? She liked it).

Most recently, stalwarts A&B volunteered their kitchen to me on a recent Friday night, so I elected to make an Italian dish I found on New York Times cooking website, Cauliflower Parmesan. Other than being slightly underseasoned (in my humble opinion), it was reasonably successful. Also–it could have used a bit more fresh mozzarella than the 1/2 pound it called for.

Eggplant or Veal Parmigiana are most typically made, but with cauliflower, it proved a worthy substitute. Layers of mozzarella, tomato sauce, and grated Parmesan are all piled up in a baking dish, along with bits of cauliflower which was floured, dripped in egg, and pasted with panko bread crumbs…then shallow fried in a skillet to a delectable, browned result. After 40 minutes or so in the oven, it comes out a bubbling, delicious casserole.

Along with this was some quickly-made Rosemary flatbread crackers…flour, water, butter, a little salt, and boom. Baked for 8-10 minutes and savory heaven.

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Of course, I needed some sort of side dish for this, and besides the sopressata and Italian olive mix I offered for antipasti, as well as the Rosemary flatbread crackers, I quickly boiled some brussel sprouts, then finished them with some diced pancetta and garlic with a bit of ground pepper for a nice contrast.

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Of course, no meal put together is perfect without a dessert so I made a simple blueberry and pluot galette to wrap things up. As an aside, both the cracker dish as well as the pastry dough for the galette had no baking powder included and yet…the results were negligibly different from times when I dutifully incorporated them. Below is the unbaked galette waiting on an eggwash and 25 minutes in the oven. As dear heart Astrid doesn’t do a lot of baking, there was nary a flat baking sheet in the house, not to mention a lack of baking powder, but we persevered by using a handy pie plate.

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