August 27, 2013

Ella’s Kitchen – A Taste of September

A Taste of September – Whether it is the last of the produce from the garden, the comfort food longed for on cool September days, or a new twist to an old campfire favorite, enjoy the many flavors and aromas of September.

– Ella

[Ella can be contacted at or Ella – 50+ Lifestyles, 804 W Lombard Street, Davenport, IA, 52804]

Cauliflower Bake

2 lbs cauliflower florets
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
8 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
8 oz block cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons heavy cream
2 bunches green onions, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
6 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 clove garlic, grated
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Steam cauliflower florets until tender.
While cauliflower steams, cream together 6 oz. of the shredded cheddar, 6 oz. of the Monterey Jack, cream cheese, and heavy cream. Stir in sliced green onions, chopped bacon, and garlic.

Set aside. Drain any liquid from steamed cauliflower. Add cauliflower to cheese mixture. Stir. Taste for seasoning, and add salt or pepper as necessary.

If you want a finer texture, give a few mashes with the potato masher.
Pour into a 2-3 quart casserole and sprinkle on remaining cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
Cover dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes; remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is brown and bubbly.


Breaded and Fried Zucchini/Green Tomatoes with Dill Sauce

2 zucchinis – washed and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
4 or 5 green tomatoes washed and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or
chili powder
Dash of salt and pepper
1 1/2 cup coarse bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
Grease or oil to fry in

Create an assembly line by mixing together the flour, cheese and
seasonings in one bowl, bread crumbs in another bowl, and the beaten eggs in a third bowl. Melt the grease or oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip each vegetable slice in the egg to coat, then in the flour mixture. Dip the floured vegetable slice back into the egg, and then into the bread crumbs. Place the coated slices in the hot skillet, and fry until golden brown on each side, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Add more grease to the pan, if necessary. Serve with ranch
dressing or dill sauce.

Dill Sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 teaspoons dried dill weed or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
Combine all ingredients. Makes about 3/4 of a cup sauce


Zucchini / Vegetable Bake

1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 med yellow onion
1 tsp. minced garlic 1 med zucchini
1 med yellow squash 1 med potato
1 med tomato 1 tsp. dried thyme
to taste salt & pepper
1 cup shredded Italian cheese (Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Fontina, Romano and Aged Asiago.) You can use one or all of these cheeses mixed together.

Preheat the oven to 180 (400 degrees f) Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté both in a skillet with olive oil until softened (about five minutes). While the onion and garlic are sautéing, thinly slice the rest of the vegetables. Spray the inside of an 8×8 square or round baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread the softened onion and garlic in the bottom of the dish. Place the thinly sliced vegetables in the baking dish vertically, in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and thyme. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, top with cheese and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown