Archive for the 'veg' Category

Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Galette

Screen Shot 2014 10 28 at 8.45.12 PM 585x584 Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Galette

Squash pie. Right? Because pumpkins aren’t only for carving.

This could be pumpkin – the small, sweet sugar pumpkins most often labeled “pie”. They aren’t as woody and sinewy as their grandfathers, and easier to handle for baking. But really it’s butternut – the most common of the winter squash, but congenial in shape, allowing easy access to its innards. I like to buy ones with thick necks, then cut them off, peel and thinly slice and lay over grainy pastry with caramelized onions and cheese – goat, mostly, but I imagine Boursin would be a treat, or Stilton if you like it like that. (I just realized I’m posting a squash double header – ’tis the season, I suppose.)

Galette Collage 585x366 Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Galette

I still don’t have an oven. Some mornings, when it’s still dark, my neighbours see me sneak Bigfoot-like across the street to my sister’s house to put something or other in her oven. It’s like back in the day of Dickens, when families brought their turkeys to the community bake house to roast.

But! After a long lull and a few spurts of painting (although I got distracted and wound up painting the bannister on the stairs in the hallway instead – not an easy task with a large black dog) we’re going to make some major headway this week, when both the fridge and stove arrive AND the countertops are installed – serendipitously on my birthday. Coincidence? Totally. So here’s hoping there are no disasters, and everything was measured properly and fits together nicely like it’s supposed to.

But the upper cabinets are in! the trim is on! there’s a nice box just for the fridge to slide into! I’ve never had a new car nor a new fridge in my life – I think this makes me an official grown-up.

Kitchen Collage Oct 28 585x289 Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Galette

Look how clean and white it all is! Now I just need to get moving on a makeover here and clean it up to match. Oy. Can I just call a time out? Who’s with me?

By the way, I’ve been meaning to apologize for being all chatty on social media and tending toward MIA here. Once I post something (or send off a story) I tend to not look at it again, for fear I’ll want to change everything once it’s too late. And I sometimes forget I can go into the dashboard to reply to comments, and when I do the sheer volume of spam slows me down. But I do love chatting with you here, and if you have questions I promise I’ll be more timely with my answers.

In this galette I used a combination of whole grain flours – whole wheat, oat and barley – play around with these too if you like, or go the traditional all-purpose route. I liked the tweedy, sturdy whole grain crust – so much in fact that this was breakfast one day, and then lunch, and then I made another the next day. It’s just as good cold, so it’s the sort of thing you can leave on your dining room table and swipe slivers of every time you walk past.

Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Galatte

Pastry:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour, or some of each
1 tsp. sugar
big pinch salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into bits
1/4 cup cold water

Filling:
1 medium butternut squash
olive or canola oil
a dab of butter
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup soft goat cheese (or crumbled blue cheese)

To make the pastry, combine the flours, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and blend it in with a fork, pastry cutter or even your fingers until the mixture is well combined, with pieces of fat the size of a pea remaining. Add the water and stir just until the dough comes together. Shape it into a disc and let it rest for at least 20 minutes, or refrigerate for longer.

When you’re ready to make the galette(s), preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the thick neck off the butternut squash, peel it with a sharp paring knife and cut it in half lengthwise. Slice each piece into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place in a glass (or microwave-safe) bowl, drizzle and toss with oil, cover with plastic wrap or a lid and microwave for 3-4 minutes, until the squash is tender.

Meanwhile, set a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil and a dab of butter and saute the onion for 4-5 minutes, or until turning golden. Pull the leaves off the thyme or rosemary and add them to the pan (if it’s rosemary, finely chop them first) and season with salt and pepper.

If you like, divide the pastry in half or quarters. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a circle about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Layer the squash and caramelized onions in the middle of the pastry, adding dabs of goat cheese too. Leave at least half an inch uncovered around the filling, and fold up the edges to enclose the squash, crimping them a bit wherever it naturally folds in order to keep it in place. Bake for 20-30 minutes (for smaller galettes or a larger one), or until golden.

Slide out onto a cutting board and cut into wedges. Serves 8.

button print gry20 Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Galette

October 28 2014 | veg and vegetarian | 13 Comments »

Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

berry potato salad text Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

We’re back in the city, back to eating on the back porch where all the appliances and boxes and torn-out stuff isn’t, back to walking Lou on the sidewalk instead of the beach. What I miss most about having a stove on this particular day is the ability to cook potatoes – the new ones with the thin skins that are just being pulled out of the dirt and sold in farmers’ markets. I could live on these sweet baby potatoes, for awhile, anyway – forked and doused in butter and lemon, with steak and gremolata, or in an uber-creamy potato salad. (It’s not just for picnics anymore.)

Berry potato salad Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

My pal Chef Michael Allemeier, one of the best chefs around, the guy who taught me to proof bread in a warm, steamy dishwasher after it finishes a load, came up with this recipe. It has blackberries (!) and fresh mint, along with all the other things that make a potato salad great, plus a hit of cream for maximum creaminess. I love that he uses peppery arugula and balsamic vinegar – this isn’t evident in the photo because when I pulled out my arugula, it was all shades of yellow, and my garden is struggling this year. If you have some, go for the greens.

Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

Recipe from Chef Michael Allemeier for the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

5 medium yellow-fleshed potatoes (about 2 lbs./1 kg)
2 hard cooked eggs, peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp grainy or Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 green onions, thinly sliced (green parts only)
1/4 cup loosely packed, thinly sliced fresh mint
salt
2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
1 cup firmly packed baby arugula leaves, stems removed
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Scrub potatoes and dice into 3/4-inch pieces. Cook in large pot of salted water until tender. Drain well; let cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mash eggs with a fork. Whisk in mayonnaise, whipping cream, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, onions and mint, until creamy. Add warm potatoes to dressing; season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

To serve, in a medium bowl, toss berries, arugula and balsamic vinegar; reserve some of the berries and arugula. Fold berry mixture into potato salad. Serve in a bowl or on a platter; garnish with reserved berries and arugula. Serves 6.

pixel Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint
button print gry20 Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

August 17 2014 | salads and veg | 6 Comments »

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