Cream of Broccoli

BroccoliSoup-MayaOryan

Last week, my husband had to travel to Dubai for few meetings, so the kids and I excitedly tagged along, since I also had a one-day shoot for Al Marai brand and my daughters had a long weekend at school.

I found it a great opportunity to spend quality time together and with our beloved “Dubaïote” friends.

From airport to my meeting, kids didn’t mind at all playing around in the big studio and mess with the cameras.

It’s true that I had to work the next day but this in fact was an invitation from heaven to them to Candylicious where they could buy all the sweets they crave for, that Mommy (myself) never allow it and Daddy APPROVES it occasionally. In the evening Axel’s tongue was so green that I had to brush it and Kaia had candy wrappers inside her clothes. Gosh!

I’m blessed with friends like Zeina, Roula, Angy and Fares! During the day we roamed around playing areas, aquariums, the wildlife park and kids places and in the evening my friends offered to baby sit my children so we had the chance to club and celebrate Valentine like honeymooners☺ Dubai you are my kind of getaways: I LOVE YOU!

Family+Collage

Back to reality, I usually come back with batteries fully charged and energy overloading but this time I got back and my heart still there, wish this trip was a little bit longer I really need a break, I’ve been shooting commercials every week since September.

So with the little energy I have, on this week’s menu was soups and salads.

I cooked Cream of Broccoli. I used fresh broccoli, home made stock and skimmed milk, which made my soup a hearty meal to enjoy in front of the fireplace.

Tip: This can also be served in a tea cup as a starter for guests.

Cream of Broccoli

Ingredients

  • 450g fresh broccoli florets, cooked in boiling water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cup warm vegetable stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt & White pepper, to taste
  • 50g Feta (optional)

 Preparation

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan and sauté onion until lightly brown and wilt.
  2. Add the cooked broccoli and stir for 2 minutes. Add the warm stock and simmer for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Off heat, purée mixture into a blender.
  4. Stir in milk and simmer for 3 minutes. (Add milk or stock until desired consistency).
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Decorate with feta cheese and serve.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin

Dad can combine any 3 vegetables to his delicious béchamel sauce and make a palatable gratin. The secret for a delightful gratin is fresh vegetables. Try always to choose fresh ingredients over frozen and use rich cheese on the top.

Before long kitchen became my place to unwind, I once bought a cooking book on vegetables and sampled few recipes. I fondly remember Serge eating my first gratin made with cauliflower and carrots! Gratifying!

Gratin is easy to make and my daughters Kaia and Axel love it. Fortunately, a way to make them eat their veggies;-)

Broccoli and cauliflower gratin

Ingredients

  • 250g (8oz) broccoli
  • 250g (8oz) cauliflower
  • 30g (1oz) butter
  • 30g (1oz) flour
  • 500ml milk (full fat or skimmed milk)
  • 50g (2oz) Gruyère, grated
  • 50g (2oz) Cheddar, grated
  • Parmesan, to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg

Directions

1. Steam the broccoli and cauliflower until just tender.

2. To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes to make a smooth paste. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Season it with salt, pepper and nutmeg. When the mixture begins to bubble and thicken, remove from heat.

3. Now coat an oven dish with a thin layer of the white sauce then arrange the vegetables in an oven dish and sprinkle with salt and parmesan cheese.

4. Top with the rest of the white sauce and cheeses. Bake at 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) for 30mn.