June, 2010 Archive

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

zucchini and ricotta galette

zucchini ricotta galette, served

I realized this week that it has been way, way too long since I made a galette. I remember being infatuated with them when I launched this site, uh, wow, hey, did you know this site is almost four years old? When did that happen? I was absolutely not paying attention. It’s kind of like when I was hanging out with the baby yesterday evening and he up and crawled over to the coffee table and pulled himself up to standing and, whoa, when did that happen? Who taught him that? Could you unteach him that, please? Thank you.

sliced zucchini
rolling out the dough

I digress: galettes! My galette obsession began with a wild mushroom and blue cheese galette a friend and I used to make every Christmas. It is unbelievably good, it will always be welcome, anywhere. Have you made it yet? You should. I moved onto a roasted butternut squash and caramelized onion galette the next fall and oh man, I would not kick that out of the kitchen for eating crackers. That’s how the saying goes, right? The next winter was all about Eastern Europe, with a cabbage and mushroom galette with chopped hard-boiled egg, dill and greens. I bet you didn’t know a little tart could be so filling, huh? And then, tsk-tsk, I apparently stopped making savory galettes and it’s such a shame because what each of these has in common is a crust so amazing, you will not believe it came out of your kitchen. Seriously. When I made it again yesterday and I was not sure I could tell it apart from store-bought puffed pastry. I’m not bragging, it’s a fine, fine recipe I adapted from an old Williams-Sonoma cookbook.

ready to crimp

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

strawberry-rhubarb pie, improved

strawberry rhubarb pie slice

Do you have a favorite pie? I always think of pies falling in two categories, the prom queens, the blue ribbon prize winners, the ones that the president can’t keep out of his thoughts, and the rest of them. In the latter category there are the soggy bottoms, the overly-gelled fillings, the mortarboard crusts, the treacly sweet and those flawlessly latticed, magazine-ready specimen that turn out to have [insert your least favorite pie filling here] under their pretty lids.

all butter crust
last gasp strawberries and rhubarb

I was invited to participate in a “cooking smackdown” yesterday on The Takeaway, a morning radio show (produced by WNYC, The New York Times, BBC, WGBH and Public Radio International) in which a pie of my choice would go up against a cherry pie from New York Times columnist and collaborator on more cookbooks than I can count on two hands and all of my toes, Melissa Clark and my first reaction was: nope, no way. Because as far as I’m concerned, cherry pie is at the top of the pie heap; it’s epic, it’s iconic and it even has a metal song this kid likes to watch me head bang to dedicated to it. Strawberry-rhubarb pie? Not so much.

chopped rhubarb, sliced strawberries

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

blue cheese and red potato tart

blue cheese potato tart

I bought the prettiest little “freshly dug!” (I could not resist this sign) red potatoes at the market last week. They’re sweet, creamy and cute and need almost nothing to make them welcome on any table — roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper or boiled until tender and tossed cold with a vinaigrette, they’re heaven.

freshly dug baby reds
some spanish blue cheese

But if I were the kind of person who even knew when to leave well enough alone, what would we ever have to talk about? And so I sifted around my endless lists of things I think I might want to cook and landed on what has to be the most pretentious recipe I’ve ever read. I’m know, I really should just focus on the positive (and I will, soon) but seriously: instead of water in the pastry crust, it calls for San Pellegrino, and instead of butter, it calls for Plugrá, an ultra-creamy European butter. Here I had been operating under the assumption that the goal of recipes were to encourage home cooks, not discourage those who don’t keep imported Italian mineral water around for pie doughs, silly me. Harrumph!

cooked potato coins

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Friday, June 18, 2010

bread and butter pickles

bread and butter pickles

So here’s one way to be just a little more welcome at that backyard barbecue slash rooftop grill-out slash pot luck picnic you were heading to this weekend. Maybe you were going to bring your usual — that pie, some buns, a slaw, an addictive potato salad, right? Maybe even some lemonade? And oh, what friends you’ll make if you do. Everyone loves a good slaw, most especially this girl.

kirbys
kirby slices

But how about something a little crunchy, a little sweet to accompany that burger recipe your dad has been perfecting since the horse and buggy days. It’s the kind of thing you might only know about from a jar, which means that you probably pass them over at picnics without a second thought. It’s the kind of thing you might not have thought to make at home, I know I didn’t, especially because we’re more of the garlickly-Kosher dill category of pickle eaters, ourselves.

salting

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

chocolate doughnut holes

chocolate doughnut holes

I was sure that I’d blinked and a whole month had passed since we last spoke, but apparently I dropped in on Friday to discuss peas. It was my birthday and I was double-fisting tissues and hoping the DayQuil would kick in soon. Fortunately, it got better from there, with my awesome husband stealthily making plans to send the baby to his grandparents while he plotted what has to have been the most fun party since our wedding. There’s been a new dress, a new camera, new measuring cups and a new tooth, countless formats of cheese, innumerable sinks of dishes and full nights of sleep, plural. Is it any wonder that I hardly remember five days ago?

it all started with cherries

There were also some cherries. I had great plans for them, the possibilities for kitchen craftiness seemed endless. But then, I ate them all. Look at them. Can you blame me? Sometimes it’s just wrong to meddle with something that arrives needing no intervention.

wet ingredients, dry ingredientssticky soft doughnut batterpat pat pat the doughdoughnut hole negativesfrom the fryerdrippy buttermilk glaze

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