Archive for the 'vegetarian' Category

Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Galatte

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

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 Galatte

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 Galatte

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.

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October 28 2014 | veg and vegetarian | 8 Comments »

Broccoli & Cheddar Twice-Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes 2 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

People often ask why we spend so much time in Tofino. It’s a good question – besides the fact that it’s stunningly beautiful, and totally zen, and has some of the best food (and drinks!) and beaches and rainforests in Canada, my parents were nice enough to build a house there. So really it’s like a second home – with a kitchen that’s far nicer than mine and looks out over the ocean. So far I haven’t managed to figure out how to live there – except maybe to just go out and not come back, and claim that possession is nine tenths of the law?

Tofino collage 1 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

So it’s easy(ish) to settle in and stay for a few extra days when the rest of Canada is being pummeled with snow. And when it’s time to pack up and go, I rummage through the kitchen and use up whatever’s left – this time it meant finally doing something with that broccoli that seemed like a good idea when I saw it on sale on the day we were driving in, and a couple wrinkled potatoes that appeared to be forgotten about at the bottom of a drawer.

surfboard potato Collage Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

It’s hard not to just go for more fish & chips or burritos.

Tofino collage 2 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

This not a recipe post so much as a reminder of what you can do if you have a couple wrinkled potatoes and some cheese. Beyond that, there’s most likely something in your kitchen that tastes good with potatoes. Bacon? Cold roasted veg? Mushrooms? Sausage? Onions to caramelize? Brussels sprout slaw? A half a container of leftover butter chicken? Chop it + mash it + stuff it.

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What I love – and keep forgetting – about twice baked potatoes is that they can take on bits of anything, and are particularly good at rejuvenating those bits that otherwise wouldn’t amount to much of a meal. But a stuffed potato is a meal in itself; when I was in high school, my mom went to art college. My dad worked long hours, and with three teenagers with homework and boyfriends and drama (and only one phone!), my mom’s go-to meal was a round of baked potatoes picked up at the Wendy’s drive-thru on the way home. Remember when they were a thing? You could get them plain, doused in chili or with broccoli and neon cheese sauce, which when you’re a teenager is practically required eating.

Twice baked potatoes 6 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

I don’t think I’ve had the broccoli-cheese potato combo since – until this week. So what you do is you bake your potato (I always give them a head start for 5 minutes in the microwave first, to get them going on the insides while the oven heats up) and then scoop out the innards and mash them with all the things that make mashed potatoes delicious – butter, salt, pepper, cream. And then whatever else you like – the previous day I roasted my bunch of broccoli with olive oil and Parmesan, but we didn’t eat it all, so I hacked a bunch up and grated in some cheese. No measuring. This is a good, inexpensive thing to teach kids (teenagers!) how to make, I think. They can experiment and use their intuition rather than follow a recipe – and a twice-baked potato makes a fine meal whether you live alone or with roommates, especially when you don’t have a massive grocery budget. (Who does?)

Twice baked potatoes 5 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Scoop your embellished potatoes back into their shells, add some extra cheese for good measure and slide them back into the oven, cranking it up a bit (to 400F or so) until the cheese melts and the potatoes heat through. No particular timing required.

Twice baked potatoes 1 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Curl up on the couch with a stuffed potato and a fork and dream of spring.

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March 31 2014 | veg and vegetarian | 7 Comments »

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