I’ve been dreaming about getting my hands on my French Canadian grandmother’s tortiere recipe for years, possibly decades, now that I come to think of it.
But it wasn’t until they moved Mamere from one nursing home to another earlier this year that someone finally found a copy of the original to send out to all of the kids and the kids of their kids. I’ve been itching to make it ever since, but the idea of a hearty, meaty pie didn’t really jive with our warmer than usual Ontarian fall.
So, now that it’s starting to be cold weather eating season, it seemed more than appropriate to give the old girl a whirl. What you see above is a rather decimated version of Antoinette’s tortiere; I didn’t have the presence of mind to take a picture for myself until after we’d already dug in. No matter. It will wow you all the same.
The original made 4 pies, but I have scaled the recipe down and added bay leaf for a little extra whiff, other than that, it is as she wrote it down, many years ago. Bon appetit!
1 lb ground pork
0.5 lb ground beef
0.25 tsp cloves
0.25 tsp allspice
0.5 tbsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
double pie crust
Combine all of the ingredients except the pie crust in a pan and cook over low heat on the stovetop, adding small amounts of water every 15-20 minutes to prevent the meat from scorching, until it has simmered for about an hour and a half. Preheat the oven to 375*. At this point, taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as necessary. Allow the filling to cool slightly, then pour into a parbaked pie shell of your choosing. Add a top crust and crimp the edges with a finger or fork. Slash the top a few times to allow steam to escape, then bake on a sheet pan in the oven until the crust is golden brown, about 35-45 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of spicy ketchup, homemade relish or chutney.
Makes 1 pie.
Until next time…
Bread class this week was a trip down a path a little more ascetic than usual, with a pair of 100% whole wheat loaves and a double of compact spelt ones to keep them company.
Even though the 100% whole wheat was quite dense, the addition of vital wheat gluten helped to make it relatively springy, though nowhere near the unnatural bounciness of a loaf of one of those grocery store spotted foil bag wheat breads.
The spelt, on the other hand, never really rose up much, but its flavour is peerless. I’m envisioning using the second flat loaf for a round of hors d’oeuvres crostini, since the first one went to work with the Everyman and a few jars of jam.
One of the things that I’ve been able to do since I started taking bread classes again is to build up quite a reserve of fancy loaves in our freezer. At this very moment I have 5 or 6 ready to spring into action, and all they need is 10 minutes in a 350* oven to make them taste just like new. It’s the dirty little secret of the bread baker’s world, but bread tends to be frozen a lot more often than you’d think.
I suppose you could say we’re flush with carbs! Do you have any ideas for how to use up all this bread? If so, drop me a note in the comments section. I’m sure we could use it!
Until next time…
After whipping up all that homemade pumpkin mash for the sweet buns earlier this week, I started looking for ways to use up the litre of excess puree that were a little more out of the ordinary.
Pondering what might be the optimal pumpkin delivery system, I settled on a filling for handmade ravioli that would combine it with creme fraiche, roasted garlic and fresh thyme; all things that I had kicking around in my fridge that also happened to sound vaguely complimentary. Deciding on a course of action, I prepared the filling and left it to chill in the fridge for a few hours to firm up a bit.
Once I’d whipped the filling into a lather, I dug my hand crank out of a drawer and set to work rolling out gossamer sheets of dough. Being that I don’t make stuffed pastas too often, my technique is a little less than stellar, yielding ravioli of varying shapes and sizes, but personally I think that makes them look all the more authentically handmade.
Two imperative things to note when making your own ravioli;
1) Resist the urge to over-stuff your ravioli, because it will come back to bite you later
2) Make sure all of your ravioli are well sealed without air pockets before dumping them in boiling water
30 semi-frustrated minutes later, I was finished assembling a motley assortment of pasta pockets and was ready to start dropping them into the vigorously boiling salted water.
Before I even had time to walk away from the dancing pasta, the ravioli began floating to the surface so I heated some butter in a pan until it was nutty and brown and tossed the cooked ravioli until they were completely coated. A sprinkling of cracked pepper and a drizzle of syrupy aged balsamic was all it took to take the meal from humdrum to fireworks in 2.5 seconds. Given that I knew the Everyman wasn’t a huge fan of pumpkin (or any gourds) going into this experiment, I wasn’t expecting much of a reaction from him. Instead, I looked away and looked back a minute or two later and his whole plate was empty. That would be a fairly honest testimonial to exemplify exactly how scrumptious this pasta really is.
I still have about half a jar of pumpkin puree left in the freezer, but with a dish as delish as this, I may forgo trying to come up with alternatives uses and just make more of this again. The meatless nature of the filling would also make it a fine spread for a toasted crostini with a little bite of tangy or pungent cheese.
Foodie’s Pumpkin Pasta Filling
2 c. pumpkin puree
2 tbsp creme fraiche
6 cloves roasted garlic
8-10 sprigs of thyme, stripped
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl or food processor and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use and pour off any liquid that may have separated from the filling, then depending on the size of your pasta sheets, use 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of filling per piece. Once your sheet is full, wet the four sides of the pasta around the ravioli filling with a finger, then gently press the top sheet over, using the tips of your fingers to ease the air pockets out from around the filling. Seal the edges and use a crimping roller to ensure a tight seam. Let air dry for 10-15 minutes, then boil for 1-2 minutes, or until light and floating. Serve with the sauce of your choice, balsamic and freshly cracked pepper.
Makes 32-40 2.5 inch ravioli
Until next time…
Our friends to the south will celebrate American Thanksgiving tomorrow, so with that in mind, I’ve whipped up a batch of salted caramel pumpkin pie rolls that would be equally at home on a breakfast plate or a dessert platter.
It all started when I found a small pie pumpkin lurking at the back of my overstuffed fridge on the weekend. After brainstorming and rejecting my initial thoughts on its usage (pumpkin chocolate chip bars) I settled on the idea to make cinnamon rolls (which the Everyman loves) but tinge them festive and orange with pumpkin and pie spices. After googling for a while, I came across several recipes that had elements of what I was after, but no hard and fast winner. Instead, I decided to come up with my own.
First, I roasted the pie pumpkin cut-side down until it was collapsed and yielding. Once it had cooled a little, I ran it through the food processor until it had the consistency of baby food. I’ve often wondered why homemade pumpkin puree is a light ochre-ish yellow and the stuff you get in a can comes out technicolor orange. After pondering this for a bit, I’ve arrived at the hypothesis that they grind the whole pumpkin up, rind and all to obtain such a vibrant hue.
Incorporating my puree into a basic sweet dough, I left it to bulk ferment for an hour while I roasted some things in duck fat and salad spun some other things. Some of the rest of this pumpkin mush will be making an appearance in another dish later this week, too.
When I returned, the dough was rolled out on a floured counter, brushed with copious amounts of butter and sprinkled with a brown sugar-based spice blend. Rolled into a tube, it was sliced and placed in a silcone pan and left to final proof on top of the oven.
Once the buns had doubled in size and filled in all the crevices in the pan, I popped them into a hot oven to bake, and began assembling the ingredients for the salted caramel frosting. 10 minutes after they came out of the oven, they received a sticky, glistening bath of salty sauce, soaking them to their very core. Delish!
Foodie’s Salted Caramel Pumpkin Rolls
2 c. flour
0.5 c. pumpkin puree
0.33 c. milk
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
2.25 tsp yeast
0.5 tsp salt
0.5 tsp cinnamon
0.25 tsp ginger
0.25 tsp cardamom
0.33 c. brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp ginger
0.25 tsp nutmeg
0.125 tsp cloves
2 tbsp butter, melted
4 tbsp butter, melted
0.5 c brown sugar
2 tbsp milk
0.5 tsp vanilla
1.5-2 tsp salt
0.5 c. powdered sugar
Heat the milk and butter until warm and the butter is almost melted, stirring to incorporate (microwave or stovetop will do). In a large mixer, combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom, and beat until well blended. Add egg and yeast and continue to beat. With the machine running, add in half of the flour and mix on low until combined, scraping down sides frequently. Add remaining flour and mix thoroughly. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Gently pat the dough on a lightly floured surface, pressing out any large air pockets with the tips of your fingers. Fold the dough over 3 times, then rest for 10 minutes. Roll out on your floured surface until the dough is about the size of a sheet of legal paper.
Preheat the oven to 350*. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Brush the rolled out dough with butter, then sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture until completely covered. Starting with the long side closest to you, roll the dough away from you, tucking it in tightly as you roll. Once rolled, pinch the seams to seal the log closed and place seam-side down. Gently slice the log into 12 pieces taking care not to press down, and arrange cut side up in a buttered baking pan. Cover with a tea towel and allow to final proof until nearly doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
Bake the rolls for 18-22 minutes, or until golden. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before icing, or else the icing will completely melt.
While the rolls are cooling, combine the butter, milk and brown sugar in a bowl until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar, adding your salt to taste, and whisk vigorously until smooth. Add additional powdered sugar (up to 1/4 cup) if a thicker icing consistency is desired. While the rolls are still warm, pour or spread the tops with the prepared icing. Allow to soak in to the rolls completely before eating.
Makes 12 rolls.
Until next time…]]>
So, how’ve you been?
Me? I’ve been swell, if more than a little tired as of late.
It occurred to me that perhaps it’s about time to share with you what I’ve been up to these past 10 weeks…
As I think I mentioned the last time I stopped by, I’ve been in school. What I didn’t say was that I’ve been working towards my artisan baker’s certificate! I’m doing this on top of my boring day job, and after a week or two, I began to wonder how so many people manage to do this without burning out or breaking down. Needless to say, I was on the cusp of both of those options for a while, but, as the weeks have passed, I’ve slowly but surely been working my way into a routine and now it’s almost getting to feel normal.
Allow me to take you through a retrospective of the delicious things I’ve churned out over the past 10 weeks;
Week 1: Portuguese Cornbread (the yellowest loaf)
Week 2: Pane Altimura (the bread that sings!)
Week 3: Baguettes; Straight and Poolished (also fabulous for jousting)
Week 4: Sweet Rolls and Tuscan Saltless Bread (sweet good, saltless bad)
Week 5: Quebecois Miche (the bread that was bigger than my head)
Week 6: Ale Bread and Potato Chive Loaves (the beauty and the spongy spongy goodness)
Week 7: Grissini and Lavash (the week of party snacks aka Everyman crack)
Week 8: Multigrain Bread and Sprouted Grains Loaf (good and bad uses for grains)
Week 9: Oatmeal Bread and Whole Grain Oat Bread (the only bread I’ll ever need and the bran-muffin-loaf)
Week 10: White, Dark and Marble Rye (no pictures)
I actually missed week 10 due to flu shot related sickness and lethargy, but I wasn’t too heartbroken about it because I hate rye bread.
So, that’s the gist of what’s been going on around these parts. Lots of starchy, carby goodness has come to town, and I can’t say the Everyman’s been too upset about it. In fact, I think if I asked him, he’d probably say we’ve been eating like kings, hell ass kings!
I’ve only got 2 more weeks to go in this module, before Rustic Breads is done. In the new year, I’ll be studying Sourdough and Global bread, and the astute ones amongst you may have already realized that the many pictures of sweeter pastry-like breads last spring were the result of my Enriched Bread artistry.
Is there anything better than the sweet taste of wheat?
Until next time…
Until next time…]]>
No, seriously though.
I’m sorry it’s been so long between updates, really I am! Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
Since I signed off in early July, a few small but significant things have happened.
1) I finally started to drive (and before I turned 30, too!)
2) I have gone back to school (albeit part time)
The ability to do one was precipitated by the other of course, but knowing that I would be going back to school in the fall, I wanted to take the time off this summer to enjoy myself a little, before my whole world as I knew it went sideways.
Looking back a week in, I can say I’m a little more exhausted, but still excited by the whole proposition. As I begin to ease back in to managing my time, I will begin to post more often again.
It’s just that at this very moment I don’t have anything earth-shattering or interesting enough to share, food-wise.
But I will! Soon! Honest!
Until next time…
When the Everyman and I were in Chicago recently, we went to a restaurant called The Publican for dinner that we’d heard amazing things about.
One of the items they had on their menu that I absolutely had to order was a chilled beet and burrata salad, because a girl can never have too much burrata.
Imagine my dismay when the plate set before me was covered with daubs of ricotta cheese instead (and I like ricotta!)
Receiving no explanation as to why there was no burrata, I half-heartedly ate my salad, all the while inwardly sulking over the missing cheese. Had the place been less packed and frantic, I would have said something about it, but it hardly seemed worth the fuss at the time.
Since then, I’ve been unable to get that combination off my mind. So, after a trip to Cheese Boutique this week, I decided to recreate it myself.
Multicoloured beets from my garden were matched with grilled figs, the outer shell of the burrata, some white balsamic and a healthy dose of fleur de sel and freshly cracked pepper.
Rather than satiate my desire for this salad, this delectable combination further stoked my yen for all things crispy, creamy and sweet.
Thank goodness there’s still half a ball of burrata left!
As a bonus, I can also tell you that chopped watermelon, fruity olive oil, burrata and fleur de sel make an amazing post-dinner dessert, too.
Foodie’s Beet, Fig and Burrata Good Time
4 beets, gently boiled, skinned and cooled
0.5 ball of burrata or in a pinch fior di latte
white balsamic vinegar
Using a mandolin, slice beets into thin rounds and set aside. Meanwhile, grill slices of crusty bread drizzled with olive oil until smoky and char marked. During the last few minutes of grilling, add figs, turning until all sides are well marked and the fruit is almost soft enough to burst. Remove figs and bread from grill and set aside. To assemble, layer slices of beet in a pave on a large serving platter, cut the grilled figs into quarters and scatter on top, tearing chunks of burrata “skin” over top of that. Dress lightly with a sprinkle of white balsamic, a drizzle of olive oil and hearty pinches of fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Serves 2 heartily with sides of crusty grilled bread.
Until next time…]]>
Our garden this year has been somewhat of a bust.
While the weather has been continuously warm and sunny all summer long, only the hot peppers, beets, chard and sunchokes have deemed it permissible to come on in full force for 2010.
So, I’m sure you can understand how green with (familial) jealousy I was when the Everyman’s sister in law presented us with 3 monstrous specimens from this year’s Greek Freak crop.
If you can’t see it clearly from that photo, that tomato clocks in at 2 pounds, 2 1/8 ounces. Yowza! It’s 2 accompanying brothers, while smaller, still helped tip the scale to over 4 pounds total.
Let’s just say with the piddly crop we’ve got on our roof, I was only too grateful to have something this magnificent put into my hand (and sandwich).
Now, all I have to do is save some of it’s seeds for next year!
Until next time…
It’s been a while, I know.
Which is why I thought it was high time to pass along some poorly lit food porn photos.
You see, last week I had the opportunity to dine at Alinea in Chicago.
I’m not going to let all the goodies out of the bag yet, but I had to share this photo of one of the (more visible) sweeter courses on our tasting menu.
The reddish disc in the background was called a raspberry transparency, which was a lot like a fancy stained glass fruit roll-up. The tube in the foreground was filled with hibiscus jam, vanilla creme fraiche and bubblegum flavoured tapioca pearls and to eat it, you grabbed the tube and sucked it back in one big gulp, before it started shooting out the opposite end.
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a meal so full of laughter and wonder as I did here. More than just cheap parlour tricks, as soon as we entered the restaurant, you understand that nothing is quite as it seems.
It was so entertaining I’m seriously considering a season’s pass to his upcoming restaurant Next, slated to open in November.
More to come soon.
Until next time…
One of the neat things about being a novice gardener is that I am constantly filled with wonder at the simplest things.
This pea plant us just one such instance.
As you can see, it has 4 separate blooms near the top, but for some odd reason (which you may not be able to clearly discern from the photo) the blooms themselves are several not all the same colour. One of the blooms is fuchsia pink, while another is a royal purple, and yet a third is a light lilac.
For some reason this intrigues me to no end. Here, a close up look at the lilac bloom.
Until next time…
Quite possibly the strangest and most beautiful bean flowers I’ve ever seen. It’s rare to see true black in nature, but this here is it.
Until next time…
Though I’d heard of the middle eastern spice mix za’atar many times before, it wasn’t until earlier this year that I truly started to see its potential.
Za’atar is a blend of spices generally comprised of sumac, toasted sesame seeds, thyme, cumin and salt, though recipes differ depending on where in the middle east they come from. Back when I was reviewing Good Food For All for Taste T.O. one of the dishes I sampled was a za’atar-spiked chicken burger, which (incidentally was fantastic) left me with a cupful of the blend to continue using afterwards.
But as much as I enjoyed using za’atar in western preparations, it wasn’t until a Lebanese friend educated me about her culture and food that I learned some of the ways that they would use it traditionally. One afternoon when we ordered food from a Lebanese restaurant, I fell head over heels in love with a flatbread-like object called manakeesh. Slathered with labneh and sprinkled with za’atar, it was a doughy delight unlike any I’d ever tasted before, sort of like a cross between a pizza and a toasted bagel slathered with cream cheese. Ever since that moment I have craved these za’atar and labneh manakeesh on nearly a weekly basis, but the restaurant is a fair distance from my house.
But on Meatless Monday this week I decided I wanted to make something to accompany our asparagus, fig and parmagiano salad, and I happened to have a ball of my frozen pizza dough on hand, so I thawed it out and stretched it into a large round. It didn’t take long to connect the dots and add the strained yogurt that I normally eat for breakfast and a liberal amount of za’atar to the unbaked pie. A quick rest in the oven was all it took for it to get puffy and golden brown. It wasn’t a purist’s manakeesh by any stretch of the imagination, but man, it was still freakin’ gold.
I think Rana would be proud.
Until next time…
When I was out the other day buying that ridiculously overpriced ice pop maker, I also happened to be in the neighbourhood of The Cookbook Store which was coincidentally just the place where I had a birthday gift certificate from my mother in law burning a hole in my wallet.
Knowing my habits fairly well, I have never allowed myself to set foot inside their store before. Since I already own several hundred cookbooks (and counting) going here even semi-regularly would just be a really bad idea. But, I had the gift certificate and I was in the area so I figured I might as well kill 2 birds with 1 stone, right?
Just as I suspected, The Cookbook Store was a beautifully curated room devoted to nothing but books on epicurean delights. It was pure heaven for a food/print nerd like me. After perusing the store languidly for nearly half an hour, I was in the unenviable position of finding way too many books to take home with me. Standing firm, I decided that I would only choose 1. Of course, I couldn’t decide which one it should be, so I put down the whole pile and begrudgingly prepared to leave.
Out of the corner of my eye I spied this colourful tome sitting atop a stacked table and hesitated. After quickly paging through The Flavour Thesaurus I immediately knew that this was the book for me. Aside from the vibrant colour wheel on the cover and the fuchsia-tinged pages, the concept of the book resonated with me. Since I don’t often cook from actual recipes, being able to easily identify clever flavour pairings is right up my alley especially when they’re collected all in one handy reference place!
Author Niki Segnit divides the book into 16 central flavour profiles, such as woodland, marine, bramble & hedge, sulfurous, etc and then divides each group into several pertinent subsections (i.e. sulfurous contains cabbage, brussels sprouts, eggs, etc). Each subsection then lists ingredients that pair well with the highlighted base foods in a manner reminiscent of a textbook entry. Some suggestions, such as artichoke and lemon or broccoli and cheese will come as no surprise to even the most casual reader, but more subtle pairings such as anise and rhubarb and parsnip and banana definitely intrigued me. Proving that the book is also on the pulse of the culinary world, the au courant chocolate bacon marriage gets a nod, too.
At times it does remind me of The Flavour Bible by Karen Page but I find I much prefer the layout of this Thesaurus, not to mention its smaller and more compact form immediately renders the book that much less intimidating. It’s not the kind of book I’d recommend reading cover to cover (unless you like that sort of thing) but its reference qualities easily earned it a place on my overstuffed bookshelf regardless.
It also happens to make fascinating light bedtime reading for food geeks like me. Anyone from the newest of new cooks to well-established professionals could find merit within these rosy pink pages; I guarantee no matter what your skill level, if you open a page, you will learn something new.
Until next time…
It’s been hot in Toronto recently.
Not just h-o-t hot, either. More like h-a-w-t exclamation point hot. With the humidex, most days last week were hovering in the mid 40′s, which when I did a conversion for an American co-worker turned out to be about 109* F. This is generally much warmer than we’re used to around here, so please excuse me while I bitch and moan about it a wee bit.
Anyway, all of that heat percolating around us demanded that I find a touch of sweet relief. At first that meant hauling out the ice cream maker for a few churns (lemon blueberry and fig ice creams were the frosty scoops du jour) but after a few days something a little different was on my mind.
A while back I’d read a product review on Serious Eats for the Zoku Quick Pop Maker and at the time (I’ll be honest) the idea of it did nothing for me. But, thanks to The Atlantic’s food channel and its spate of ice pop-related stories, the idea of crafting artisanal ice pops began to pervade my subconscious and gain a fair amount of traction.
Before I knew it, I was asking the Everyman (by way of justifying its potential existence in my already overstocked kitchen) if a machine that freezes ice pops in only 7 minutes was an unnecessary extravagance. I should have known the answer before I even asked the question (in case you’re wondering, it was that may be the very definition of unnecessary extravagance) but after mulling it over for a few more days, I ended up buying one anyway. They can be had by visiting your local Williams-Sonoma, though if you’re in Canada I would suggest hopping across the border to get one, because the exchange markup is brutal. Alternatively, you could just buy the old fashioned frozen pop makers, since they clearly also get the job done.
Once the base of the machine has been frozen for 24 hours, it’s only 7-9 minutes to any kind of frozen flavour combo that your heart desires. After a few test runs I found that juice freezes really well, but ice cream base with alcohol less so (achieving nothing firmer than soft serve even after nearly 15 minutes) and that there really are endless variations to be had.
Next on the docket will be a choco-banana filled fudge bar, some hibiscus and green tea snacks and possibly a frozen agua fresca. The Everyman is even getting in on the fun and has expressed interest in cherry pops, pineapple and a little bit of lemonade for starters. As we develop interesting recipes, I’ll be sure to pass them along.
See? I promised I’d still come with the neat stuff during my time off!
Until next time…
Hello, gentle readers of the internest!
As the primary contributor to Foodie and the Everyman, I wanted to inform you that I will be taking some much needed time off this summer to focus on gardening, reading and other things unrelated to either writing or food, and also just to generally try and sharpen my focus.
Occasional updates may still occur, but they likely won’t happen nearly as often as you’ve become accustomed to. But trust me, when I have things to share, they will be good, I promise.
I might only be off for a few weeks, or I might hold out until the beginning of September. Either way, just know that I will be coming back to check in on all of you soon.
Take care and enjoy your own summer vacations!]]>
There are a lot of things I don’t remember about my childhood.
The names of favourite candies, toys, friends and places, etc elude me, owing (I assume) to me having blocked out a fair number of memories after my parents got divorced. Or maybe they just weren’t worth remembering… who can say?
At any rate, one thing I do remember is learning to make galette. The provenance of said recipe is debatable depending on whether you ask me or my dad. I seem to recall being gifted with it after going on one of those super boring but educational field trips that are all too common during your formative years; the ones where you learn how pioneers darned socks and churned butter, etc. My dad, on the other hand, seems to think this recipe came about during the years I was in Brownies (the Canadian equivalent of the Girl Scouts and younger feeder group for the Girl Guides of Canada). Both stories are plausible, but where the recipe comes from doesn’t really matter.
In either case, once my dad got hold of the recipe, it became a tradition in our small household, one that he also recalls from when he was a boy and my grandmother would make galette for her 12 hungry children.
Every Saturday morning hence, my dad would get up, put on his stovetop espresso pot and start to work on making galette. The quick bread ingredients were all tossed together in a zippered plastic bag and then water was added to moisten them, then the bag was sealed and passed off to me for a good bit of kneading. Once he thought the ingredients were suitably combined, the bag was turned inside out and the contents mooshed onto a foil lined cookie sheet. After 20 minutes or so of me impatiently peering into the oven, he’d deem them to be ready, and I’d eagerly split mine apart, not minding that I was burning the tips of my fingers. I’d generously cover both sides with margarine (the only thing my dad would keep in the house) or occasionally jam and then dig in until my belly was contented and full.
It’s been a long time since I tasted one of dad’s homemade galettes, but recently I felt the need for this culinary stroll down memory lane so I emailed him and asked for the recipe. The only thing I’ve changed is the type of fat used, because while the original recipe called for shortening or lard, dad always used margarine and I prefer to use butter. Use whatever fat you like, just make sure to eat these when they’re steaming hot!
Foodie’s Favourite Breakfast Galette
1 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter, melted
0.5 c. water
Preheat the oven to 375*. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, stirring to blend. Add the melted butter and water and mix until a dough forms. Knead lightly until the dough comes together, then divide in 2 and press onto a foil lined cookie sheet. If you’re like my dad and enjoy the contrast of textures, mess around with the dough a bit so that little tufts form which will become burnished and crunchy in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Split in half and slather with butter, jam, cream cheese or whatever your heart desires, then devour quickly before they have a chance to get cold.
Makes 2 galette.
Until next time…
Now that I know how to make real croissants, the bakeries in my area may become obsolete.
Having never been to Paris before, I really had no idea how different a full butter, freshly baked croissant would taste, but having sampled my fair share now (and probably your fair share, too) I can honestly say they’re like night and day in comparison. So much of what I’ve had to date has been greasy with a faintly bitter aftertaste. I now know that’s probably because they were made with something colloquially known as rolling fat instead of good old fashioned butter. Nothing says delicious like the words rolling fat, you know?
At the top are a tray of crescent shaped plain butter croissants, which I’ve been told (but have been unable to verify) in France that shape denotes an inferior product made with rolling fat instead of butter. I guess they take their croissants pretty seriously over there. Mine were just crescent shaped because I thought it was pretty.
Next we have a box of chocolate croissants, and then a tray of almond paste and sprinkled croissants below. There were also cinnamon croissants, but cinnamon unfortunately has a tendency to singe in a hot oven, so they ended up semi-burnt but still perfectly edible.
I will most definitely be making a batch again, but not too soon. Decadence like this must be savoured in small quantities, I think.
Until next time…
I don’t like to see good food go to waste.
So whenever I buy some from my local farmer’s market or get a delivery from our farmshare, I’m always hyper aware of the imaginary ticking timer that hovers above all of our food. Each and every time I open the fridge is a reminder to use it or lose it, which is probably as much a holdover from my hungry years as a desire not to be flippant with my finances.
Recently while shelling a few quarts of peas I thought it seemed like such a shame to throw away close to 80% of the veg (the pod) and thus decided to explore ways to repurpose them.
But the bag full of cleaned empty pods sat in the crisper of our fridge for a few days while I tried to work something out, taunting me with the possibility of spoilage daily.
And then it hit me… if I just steamed the empty pods a little, their fibrousness would break down enough to make friends with my high powered blender.
So that’s just what I did.
Once the pods were soft and bright green, it was an easy mental hop, skip and jump to turning them into a light and nutless pesto.
Not bad for something that would have been compost fodder otherwise, don’t you think?
Foodie’s Pea Pod Pesto
Clean, empty pods from 1 quart of shell peas, strings and stems removed
1 oz parmagiano reggiano
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Steam the empty pea pods for 3-5 minutes over simmering water until softened and bright green, set aside. In the bowl of a blender or food processor, combine steamed pods, cheese, garlic and olive oil and pulverize until a smooth and paste-like consistency has been achieved. Add olive oil or water as necessary to thin the pesto if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste and use anywhere you would use traditional pesto, or freeze in ice cube trays for a fresh and welcome blast of spring come wintertime.
Makes approximately 1 cup of pesto.
Until next time…]]>
These pictures are now about a week old (whole lifetimes ago in garden time), but I’m posting them as part of a time lapse retrospective of this year’s garden.
In the west elevation above is the row of pea and bean plants, reaching for the sky.
The southern elevation plays host to my mixed potato and sunchoke garbage can, a large planter of baby lettuces, a fledgling pot of rainbow chard and myriad colourful beets.
On the east side, we have my newest fig tree, a pot of leeks and shallots that has yet to take off, a massive plant I thought was leftover strawberry runners (but am now unsure what it is) and a pot of various types of hot peppers. My heirloom tomato plants are smaller than I would have liked due to the later planting date as well as having to replant a bunch once we came back from Aruba. They have been potted into their kiddie pools for nearly a month now, and will hopefully start blossoming for me soon.
We’ve had a fair amount of heavy rain this month, so certain plants have not shot up as quickly as I’d like them to, but this is one of the parts of the gardening season that I love the most. Because I have been growing most of these plants indoors since early March, I feel like the season has been on for so long that they’ll never set fruit before the warmth draws to a close. But then reality sets in and I remember that it is only June and there are at least 2 more months of warm weather to go.
Here’s hoping for a bountiful harvest this year!
Until next time…