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Convection Meal - Holiday Brunch


Since Holiday meals usually involve lots of protein rich foods, it's nice to give your digestive system a break and make some simple flavorful vegetable dishes instead. And of course it's so much easier with Convection.  For this meal, I roasted cauliflower for soup and butternut squash for a simple side dish with sauteed spinach and white beans. I also made some spicy cheese crackers to serve with the soup.....easy and so delicious.

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Ingredients

Roasted Cauliflower Soup


1 - medium head cauliflower, coarse stem removed, cut into 1” thick slices or florets

2 - cloves garlic, minced

¼ - teaspoon mixed Italian seasoning

2 - tablespoons olive oil

1 - large leek trimmed washed free of any dirt and sliced into thin rings

1 - tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter

6 - cups chicken, turkey or vegetable stock

Optional - chopped chives for serving


Roasted Butternut Squash with Sauteed Spinach and White Beans


1 - small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1” dice

2 - tablespoons olive oil

¼  - teaspoon dried oregano

Pinch of cayenne or other chili spice

1 - tablespoon olive oil

1 - small yellow onion cut into 1” dice

2 - cloves garlic, minced

1 - bunch fresh spinach, washed, dried & stems removed, coarsely chopped

1 - 14oz can cannellini or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

¼ - cup chicken, turkey or vegetable stock


Spicy Cheese Crackers


½ - cup softened butter

1 ¼ - cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1 - cup all purpose flour

⅛ - teaspoon salt

¼ - teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 ¼ - cups Rice Krispies

Preparation


Roasted Cauliflower Soup


Combine all the ingredients and spread onto a rimmed baking sheet.

Heat the oven in the Convection Roast Mode 400 - 425 degrees and roast for 20  - 25 minutes until the cauliflower begins to caramelize and is soft.  Stir once during the cooking to avoid overbrowning on one side. 


Meanwhile, heat a 2 qt capacity saucepan on moderate heat and add the olive oil and butter .  When the butter is sizzling stir in the leeks and cook over moderate heat to soften.

Add the stock and bring to a gentle simmer.

Stir in the cooked cauliflower and simmer for 5 minutes, then puree till smooth.


Roasted Butternut Squash with Sauteed Spinach and White Beans


Combine the butternut squash with the remaining ingredients and spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. Heat the oven in the Convection Roast Mode 400 degrees and roast for 25 - 30 minutes until the edges begin to caramelize.


Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet and stir in the yellow onion. Cook the onion to soften then stir in the garlic, cook for a minute then stir in the spinach and cook till wilted.


Stir in the stock and the drained white beans, cover and cook over low heat for five minutes.  Gently stir in the cooked butternut squash and add salt and pepper to taste before serving.


Spicy Cheese Crackers


These crackers are very easy to make. Once combined, the batter needs to be rolled into a log and refrigerated for an hour or overnight prior to slicing and baking, so plan ahead. Since they are baked at 325 degrees Convection they can be baked before or after the vegetables are roasted.   The surprise ingredient of rice krispies gives these cookies a nice crunch.


Beat the butter and cheddar cheese in a large bowl till blended.

Whisk the flour, salt and cayenne together in another bowl and gradually beat into the cheese mixture. Stir in the rice krispies, then turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a stiff dough.

Shape the dough into an approximately 7” long roll, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.


Heat the oven Convection 325, cut the cookies into ¼” slices and place 1” apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 14 - 16 minutes until the edges are golden brow

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Almond Orange Olive Oil Cake

One of the great mysteries of the the appliance industry is that most ovens sold nowadays feature Convetion cooking modes; however, recipes rarely reference cooking with Convection.

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Larissa Taboryski

PDF Recipe

Ingredients

Preparation

1 - cup whole raw almonds lightly toasted and cooled

¾ - cup twice-sifted cake flour

1 ½ - teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of kosher or sea salt

4 - large eggs

1 - cup sugar

1 - teaspoon vanilla extract

Finely grated zest of one small orange or Meyer lemon

⅔ - cup extra virgin olive oil

Toast the almonds in the Convection Mode 325 degrees until golden brown inside, set aside to cool completely. 


Leave the oven set at 325 or change to 350 degrees if using standard Bake Mode.


Butter the bottom and sides of a 9” round cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.


Place the almonds in a food processor with one third of the cake flour and process until almost as fine as sand.  


In a medium sized bowl whisk together the remaining cake flour, baking powder and salt then whisk in the ground almond mixture.


In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until well-blended. Add the sugar gradually then add the vanilla and orange zest. Continue whipping on high speed until the mixture triples in volume, about 3 minutes.


On low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with the olive oil and beating just until the batter is blended. 


Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until firm to the touch in the center.  Cook in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a rack.


Recipe from “Wine Country Table ” author Janet Fletcher

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