Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Summer Can't Be Over!

The end of summer is always very tough for me to acknowledge. I LOVE fall, but with fall comes the threat of winter. So, before the leaves turn and before I turn my garden, I wanted to share an awesome dough recipe for a galette, or rustic tart, in which I used the last of my summer produce. I saw this recipe on Julia Childs but decided to modify it ever so slightly, I used buttermilk instead of water. You could put anything into this tart. I chose a little tomato sauce, ground beef, onions and peppers mixed with ricotta, then topped with fresh tomato slices and a thick slice of fresh mozzarella. Basically, it was an open topped calzone, but with a cornmeal crunchy crust.

Galette Dough


3 Tablespoons of Sour Cream
1/3 Cup of Buttermilk
1 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
3 Tablespoons of Cornmeal
1 Teaspoon of Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
7 Tablespoons of Butter, Cut into Small Pieces


Mix the sour cream and buttermilk together in a bowl and set aside. Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Add the butter small bits at a time, and crush into the dry mix with a fork, aiming for pieces of butter that range in size from bread crumbs to small peas. Slowly mix in the wet sour cream mixture into the dry, gently bringing it all together. The dough should be just moist enough to come together, if not, add a small amount of water at a time to reach that point, being careful not to over moisten. Gently knead the dough together into a ball, then divide in half and wrap in plastic, place in fridge and chill for at least 2 hours.

After this, you can roll out the dough to 1/4 thickness and add sugar and berries or pears or apples for a dessert galette. Or add any number of savory fillings, like leeks and mushrooms and goat cheese, or zucchini and parmesan. The possibilities are endless with this awesome, versatile recipe.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Joys of Having Awesome Neighbors

The other night, our wonderful neighbors came over to join us for a one of our patented "what do you have in your fridge?" dinners. I LOVE these dinners! They're creative and usually very local, but best of all, they're casual and cheap. There's not a lot of pressure and it's lovely to enjoy home-cooked food with fun people. This last dinner, we were swimming in our local, organic butternut squash, and since we also had some leftover risotto (arborio) rice and bacon, I decided to make some Butternut Squash Risotto. It's a lot of stirring, but so worth it.

Butternut Squash Risotto

1 Butternut Squash, Peeled and Cubed
3 Strips of Bacon, Chopped

6 Garlic Cloves, Minced 1 Onion, Diced
2 Tablespoons of Honey

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon of Paprika

Salt and Pepper

2 Cups of Risotto or Arborio Rice

6 Cups of Stock (Your Choice, but I like Chicken)

1-1/2 Cups of Pecorino Romano Cheese, Finely Grated (You could substitute Parmesan)

Salt and Pepper to Taste


Throw your squash into a pot of salted boiling water. Cook until fork tender, meaning when a fork slides easily into the squash, approximately 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a big pot, toss in your bacon, garlic and onion and saute until the onion is translucent. After the squash is done, strain and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the honey and olive oil over the squash, then sprinkle with the paprika and some salt and pepper. Toss to coat and throw it in the oven at 400 degrees until the squash starts to brown slightly on the edges. Into the pot, add your rice. Stir until the rice is glossy and almost translucent. Smash your squash into a mash, then add to the rice. Add 1/2 cup of stock. Stir until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat with stock and stirring until the rice is cooked through. This is usually about 30 minutes. You may need less or more stock, it's all about how al dente you like your rice. Finally, once the rice is cooked to your liking, add the grated cheese, of which you could reserve a little for topping. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve and top with the remaining cheese.