10.20.2013

My First Galette: Tomato, Zucchini, Corn and Chard

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In preparation for Poetry Night (oh yes, there's such an event; we filmed it, so stay tuned for the video), I decided to do a test run for a galette. My plan was to make three galettes for the first annual poetry reading hosted by the husband. And having never made one before, the husband kindly offered to be the taste tester and encouraged me to make one first, for just the two of us. I agreed, but did not appreciate his lack of faith.

After Googling many galette recipes and making myself seriously hungry, I decided to go with one from the Smitten Kitchen. I gathered the last of our summer tomatoes from the garden, picked baby chard, and got to work on making a the dough.

I am not a baker. I actually hate working with flour. It gets all over the kitchen and just bugs me. But, this recipe was very simple and fairly mess free. I made the dough the night before and assembled and baked my galette on a weeknight, in no time at all. And, I actually enjoyed the process. Who knows, maybe me and flour can be friends one day.
 Garden bounty.

The galette was as delicious as it was pretty, with flaky, buttery crust. I immediately began dreaming up all the things I could wrap in this dough. Poetry Night featured three very different fillings.
Tomato-Zucchini Galette
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill again
1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream, I used sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, I had limes on hand, so used lime juice instead
1/4 cup ice water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse Kosher or sea salt
3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1 ear corn, cut from the cob (about 1 cup)
1 small (8 ounces) zucchini or summer squash, diced
1 bundle scallions, thinly sliced
2-3 leaves of baby chard, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Dough: Whisk the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. With your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 2 days.

Filling: To your sauté pan add olive oil, tomatoes, salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes (if that’s your thing) then cover and heat over high heat. Roll the tomatoes around from time to time so that they’ll cook evenly. In a few minutes, the tomatoes will burst a little. When most have, remove lid, turn heat down to medium and add zucchini chunks and chard. Saute for two minutes, until they soften. Add corn and cook one minute. Add scallions, just stirring them in, then turn off heat. Adjust seasonings if needed. Transfer mixture to a large plate and spread it out, so that it will cool faster. You want it cooled to at least lukewarm before assembling the galette.

Galette: Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. It doesn't need to be perfectly shaped. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle tomato-zucchini-corn mixture with half of Parmesan and spoon the mixture into the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Sprinkle with almost all of remaining Parmesan, leaving a pinch or two behind for the crust. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze. Sprinkle glaze with last pinches of Parmesan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

10.14.2013

Fish Cooked in Fig Leaves (and other stuff!)

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I have been waiting for fall impatiently -- complaining about the heat, praying for rain, and wearing sweaters and then regretting it. But it's finally starting to cool down, and even though my phone tells me it's going to be near 90 again this Wednesday, I know fall is here. It's dark by 6:45 pm and too cold to eat outside. That is what I'll miss the most about summer, sitting outside and enjoying a leisurely dinner in the backyard.

Although I've said goodbye to summer a while back, I keep stumbling upon meals I've photographed and forgotten to post. This one stands out because it was definitely the most spontaneous and uncertain of the bunch. We invited friends over and hadn't planned out the menu. Last minute the husband suggested this fish recipe from the book, Spain... A Culinary Road Trip, and he took off foraging for fig leaves, while I searched my pantry for fig jam. I picked tomatoes from the garden for a tart and we decided to make fresh pasta and pesto.

I had full confidence in my tart and pasta, but, this fish dish seemed fussy. It ended up tasting good, the fig leaves gave the halibut a very subtle earthy flavor. I'm just not sure I loved it. It was pretty and interesting, but, I wanted it to be better. You can find the recipe here.
The tart on the other hand, could not have been better. It was as good as the original I prepared for the first time for ladies brunch.
 The pasta was also delicious, coated with nutty pesto.

I sat in the backyard long after our guests departed, enjoying the summer night and sipping on vodka lemonade. Now I can't wait to sit by the fireplace, knit and drink red wine.