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August Cottage Cooking Club, Cheat’s Cauliflower Cheese


Welcome to the August edition of The Cottage Cooking Club where we monthly meet to share our preparations from the cookbook River Cottage veg everyday!, written by British cookbook author and food television personality, Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall. River Cottage veg everyday, inspires incorporating more vegetables into our daily meals while being creative in the process.

Our talented and lovely group leader out of Bonn, Germany  is Andrea Mohr of The Kitchen Lioness, notes from a very small German Kitchen. Early each month Andrea provides a selection of seasonal recipes from among the cookbooks categories, then each of the members pick their choices for preparation from the list, until the 28th of every month when we come together again sharing our culinary experiences, ingredient variations, perhaps those who we shared our dishes with and the occasion, all wrapped up in varied  story lines from among our collection of unique food and travel bloggers. 



To begin, my favorite recipe of the month was Cheat’s Cauliflower Cheese shown above. An al dente cook of bite sized cauliflower in salted boiling water, the florets were then drained before tossing with a good knob of butter, some salt, pepper, and a bit of half and half. Spread into greased ramekins, the cauliflower was topped with a mixture of shredded cheddar cheese and bread crumbs. I used panko bread crumbs with quite exceptional results following ten minutes of heating in the oven before broiling to a golden crusted top. Easy enough for a weekday dinner, I additionally thought the combination lovely enough for a dinner party, thus concluding this dish as one of my favorites within the cookbook.



My second preparation for the month was Stuffed peppers with new potatoes, feta and pesto. The base of lovely red peppers were picked at an area PYO while making an early assessment on the ripeness of the peaches, which I concluded were really still a week away from beginning their peak.


So while we still managed a nice bag of peaches and nectarines on the day’s adventure, we shortly moved along to picking some of the needed ingredients for this months River Cottage veg preparations available just a short hop off the tractor ride along the fields, including some smallish sweet red peppers perfect sized for recipe two, Stuffed peppers with new potatoes, feta and pesto. Having plenty of basil and parsley for clipping off my deck planters, the fresh herbs were combined with common suspects, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice and olive oil forming a proper pesto mixture easily prepared while boiling up some new potatoes earlier purchased at the local Maple Acres farm a couple miles away. Though I would have made a special trip on purchasing the recipes’ called for feta cheese, I had so many other varieties of cheese stocked in my refrigerator that I instead opted to use goat cheese which blended beautifully tossed between the cooked potatoes and pesto then stuffed into the curved cavities of the red pepper halves before baking somewhere a bit longer than a half hour. Once prepared, I sent along a nice batch to a neighbor just returned from the Jersey shore having arrived home to an empty pantry so shared between two households they were a hit all around.


Further down opposite the gravel road just past the pepper varieties stood a small field area whose brush green vines were ripe with medium sized eggplant. Deeply colored and a perfect firmness served nicely for my third dish of the month from River Cottage veg, Aubergine and green bean curry.


A blended curry made of garlic, onions, ginger, lemongrass, green chilies, and dry spices; cumin, coriander and turmeric, served as the base once cooked in a bit of oil before combining the aubergine (eggplant) and green beans. Unclear as to weather the cooler than normal temperatures this August have slightly affected some of the seasonal vegetable production but one thing is certain, green beans, outside of those perfect found at Gene’s Roadside Market near the Jersey shore early in the summer, have been rather dry and tough, and not so abundant as usual. This would include the vine in my back garden where I sort of just threw my hands in the air and gave up on them rather early on. For this dish, I gathered the best I could find and gave them a bit of a cook in salted boiling water before adding them to the curry mixture with the already simmered eggplant cubes.


The finishing sauces of this Indian style dish included some homemade roasted tomato sauce using tomatoes picked from my garden, balanced with creamy coconut milk. The finish was quite lovely topped with some fresh cilantro picked from a planter I snagged cheaply at the orchard, given they were wrapping up their herb sales for the season. A hit with both family and friends.

Speaking of wrap-ups, things have been plain hectic, and I was a bit under the weather in the midst of things and am feeling better now, so I was not able to prepare all that I hoped, even last minute. I’m happy to be timely on my posting today! See you all soon and Thanks Andrea as always for all of your exceptional efforts and leadership. Hugs all. 

To see what members of the Cottage Cooking Club have posted from this month’s selection click here.


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  1. Posted August 28, 2015 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi Peggy, I prepared the Cheat’s cauliflower cheese and the eggplant and green bean curry too and I have to tell you I thought the eggplant was one of his best recipes in his book, loved the way it turned out. I agree this summer is speeding by at lightning speed, I wish it would slow down. Another great month!
    cheri recently posted…Cottage Cooking Club Month of AugustMy Profile

    • Posted August 29, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Hi Cheri, seems we agree on the great flavors of the Cheat’s Cauliflower Cheese and the Eggplant and Green Bean Curry, both lovely! I did use more of the curry than called for in the recipe since my family leans toward the more full flavor of spice combinations such as in Indian foods, or even Thai as you suggested in your post. It has been a good summer but so busy that I indeed have to reflect to myself a poem I once saw on how the winter is really the most quiet and peaceful time of the year, perhaps she has something there. Nevertheless, I’m trying to enjoy each moment as it is and transpires, the seasons will come in their time. See you over the month. Big Hugs out there to you.

  2. Posted August 29, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Hi Peggy! I hope you’re feeling better. Hugs.

    The cauliflower looks delicious! 🙂
    Kelly recently posted…By the NumbersMy Profile

    • Posted August 29, 2015 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kelly, thanks so much! The cauliflower is outstanding, if interested I’ll pass along the recipe, if you like cauliflower and cheese you will love it! Hugs back at you!

    • Posted September 2, 2015 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Hello Dear Friend Kelly. In fact, I am feeling much better now. Yikes a few days being wiped out in this day and age seems like an eternity! The cauliflower is delicious, let me know if you want me to send you the recipe, it is so quick and easy, and I think you would love it! See you soon.

  3. TheKitchenLioness
    Posted August 30, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Dear Peggycertainly hope that you are feeling all better now, dear friend! And all of your dishes look amazing, not that I doubted for a minute that you would ace them all! With all those fresh, seasonal and local ingredients all that you prepared looks quite company-worthy! So every thoughtful of you to share the peppers stuffed with your homemade pesto, cheese and new potatoes with your neighbor!
    Thank you for your lovely post and for being such a fabulous participant!
    See you very soon!

    • Posted September 2, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Hello Dear Kitchen Lioness, Andrea. Thank you so much and I am feeling much better now and that one week rather knocked me for a loop! Thank you on the dishes, I’m terribly sorry I was not up to finishing out all that I had planned, and given that most all of the recipes are so easy in their preparation. I loved your dishes and photos this month, as always. I will say that, with the exception of green beans I had a huge selection to choose from in the fresh vegetables category, and we are also enjoying the final days of sweet corn that I so enjoy from our local farm a couple miles away. I do very much love sharing food with others, though recently I have wondered to myself how I possibly did so much of it, and extensive entertaining while working full time years ago! I guess maturity gives us a different frame of mind! Thank you for all you do to make the CCC such a special group, and for all of the lovely photos and inspiration you share along the way! Sending a big hug across the sea, see you soon!

  4. Posted August 30, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Peggy, I am so sorry to hear that you’ve been ill this summer, but am glad to see you here! Over the last 3 months of visiting the CCC blogs, I’ve really, really enjoyed coming to yours as the photos are breathtaking. The peaches and nectarines photo looks like a model for a Flemish still-life painting, with the dishes, etc. You just a need a fly in there (I think it connoted death for them and was often in the paintings) and it would be nearly exact with some moody lighting. Anyway, utterly gorgeous–it just really caught my eye. The rest of your photos are also absolutely beautiful as well. As for the dishes, sounds like you got quite a bit done! The cauliflower looks scrumptious as does the curry and the stuffed peppers, too. What a bummer about the green beans in your area this year. They are my favorite veggie and I’d be so disappointed. Glad the dishes worked well for you this month and wishes to keep on improving health-wise!
    Katie recently posted…CCC August: Looking BackMy Profile

    • Posted September 2, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Hi Katie, thanks so much for your thoughtfulness. I was rather taken for a loop for five days, a little mind baffling for someone like me with a lot of energy, but nevertheless, I’m back up and at em. It has been such a pleasure having you as part of the CCC and I absolutely love your stories en route too, terrific! Thank you so very much for the best compliment ever on the peaches and nectarines photo for I adore the Flemish still life paintings. Your comment inspired me back to a memory of a lovely museum in Brugges that hosts so many beautiful paintings, many still life, and what a pleasure they were to stroll by and savor. Thank you again for stopping by and see you again soon.

  5. Posted August 30, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Love results you got there! Your cheat’s cauliflower and stuffed peppers are enticing me to make them! Hope your health have improved and you are feeling much better now! Take care, till next month!
    EmilyC recently posted…CCC ~ August 2015 offeringsMy Profile

    • Posted September 2, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Hi Emily, thanks so much. Loved the Cheat’s Cauliflower and thought the peppers stuffed with the potato pesto were unique and tasty, both good picks for the month. Looking forward to the month ahead. See you soon, enjoy the rest of the warmer climate temperatures remaining!

  6. Mary Hirsch
    Posted August 30, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Peggy, I really hope you are on the mend. Hate that you feel a bit punk during this wonderful season. I will say that you (again) came up with an amazing post even if you were under the weather. I am so glad you made the Cheat’s Cauliflower. I love cauliflower in every way, shape and form but just didn’t get to it (and the Leek Toasties). I will make both this month. I am going to e-mail you Melissa Clark’s recipe posted in February of Cauliflower Parmesan. It is delicious also. I had fun with the peppers but used a variety of colors and kept the stems on like Hugh did. It was fun and, yes, dinner party fare. I do like curry but didn’t know if I’d enjoy this curry. Glad that you all tried it. Unfortunately our peaches are O-V-E-R. Frost ruined the Colorado crop so we just got a few weeks of those babies. Great Post, Peggy. Feel Better.

    • Posted September 2, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Hi Mary, so good to see you and I very much enjoyed your post and of course, the monthly nature photos in Colorado. You’ve become like my monthly peek into the wild forests and ranges. I did love the cauliflower and do think you will agree when you prepare it. Thank you, I would love to give a go at Melissa Clark’s recipe of Cauliflower Parmesan. Such a versatile vegetable, the cauliflower, even in simplicity. I did notice how you left the stems remaining on the peppers with the potato pesto stuffing and thought they looked quite beautiful and very appetizing. The curry was good and enjoyed but I might alter it again and on the other hand, have some better favored Indian curry dishes. Sorry on the short peach season. It seems you waited so long for the warmer weather to arrive- and I feel as if that was a very short time ago, hard to believe you’ve actually already had a frost. While our PA summer weather has been temperate I do believe the cooler mornings and evenings more so than usual, have somewhat shortened the summer bounty. See you soon and Big Hugs out to you!

  7. Posted August 30, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Peggy, I’m sorry to hear you were under the weather but am glad that you’re feeling better now.

    Your photos are beautiful and the food looks so gorgeous, I want to make everything (in some cases, again)! The cheat’s cauliflower cheese was a big hit in my family, especially because of the panko crumb topping, and we all loved the peppers with their unusual but tasty stuffing. That’s so strange about the green beans but at least you had a great supplier for them. I hope your health continues to improve. Until next month…..
    Zosia recently posted…Cottage Cooking Club – August 2015My Profile

    • Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much Zosia, I thought the recipes were lovely as always this month though I wasn’t able to prepare all that I had hoped. Agreed, and I shall definitely prepare the Cheat’s Cauliflower dish again, quite possibly as a holiday side dish too. Using the panko bread crumbs did indeed give the dish an added crunch and it seems you thought it a good match as well. I know about the green beans, it is the oddest thing, it just goes to show you how dependent we are on weather for our foods and any varying seasonal changes. See you soon.

  8. Posted August 31, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Stunning photos, Peggy! I have never seen such gorgeous looking eggplant – almost too beautiful to eat. Love the mini gratin dishes – makes the cauliflower even more appetizing. Glad you are feeling better! Have a wonderful week ahead!

    • Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Hi Cathleen, Thanks so much, I know what you mean on the eggplant, I was thinking the same thing when it finally came to cutting it up and using it! I love the mini gratin dishes too, so pretty and they do showcase foods well, including the delicious cauliflower dish of the month! Hope you have a wonderful month ahead too and see you soon on the CCC!

  9. Posted September 3, 2015 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    I hope you’re feeling better!

    I love the details of how you got the ingredients for your dishes this month. There’s nothing better than harvest season!
    Teresa recently posted…Cottage Cooking Club – August 2015My Profile

    • Posted September 5, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Hi Teresa thanks so much. Just one of those one week sort of things. Loving the fresh ingredients and taking advantage of them over the weekend since for some ingredients, as yellow peaches, they are just about wrapping up with maybe just a week to go. I will so miss the tomatoes and sweet corn! Nice to see you and best wishes on some of your new blog initiatives!

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.