Caramelized Onion Galette with Gorgonzola Dolce

Recently, we had the luxury of a slow weekend. Of course, once Sunday rolled around, the to-do list for the week was annoyingly at the forefront of my mind… mainly because, every 3-4 hours, someone would look at me and say “I’m hungry.” Again. Listen, I love to cook, I really do. But grocery shopping and errands, in general, I rather dislike. I began to read the writing on the wall: the leftovers were all eaten up at lunch, and I’d need to make a run in order to make dinner. First, there was a school project to help my Sofia with, then I was determined to get a shower in before the sun set, and I was feeling too tired to get in the car and go for a big haul. Gosh, can I tell you how I’d be a fair and gentle ruler if I could have a household staff of just, oh, say 20-50 people? Yeah, I know. The consequence of not marrying Enrique Iglesias, like my Grandma Salazar had hoped. Anyway…

So the new recipe for a leek and goat cheese galette I wanted to try went from “THE” dinner plan, to a pipe dream. But wait? I didn’t have leeks, but I had lots of onions. Hmmm. Oooh! And I had a nice piece of gorgonzola dolce. Baby. Then after some rummaging in the freezer, I found what appeared to be some frozen pastry dough I’d made around the new year. Perfect. I’d just make my own version of a galette. So, I got started on the onions, and pulled the pastry dough out to thaw… Which, a little bit later I discovered, upon a closer examination, was sugar cookie dough. Foiled again. No problem. That’s what my food processor is for. And so it came to be that I was creating a fun new pastry dough, since I was out of buckwheat flour (a favorite of mine for savory galettes) and even out of whole wheat flour (because I used up every last bit in the latest breadmaking recipe). Times like these remind me that it really is true that “necessity is the mother of invention.” I reached for some flaxmeal.

The pastry was totally light and flaky with a subtle nutty flavor from the flax meal, and the onions and gorgonzola complimented each other perfectly. Dave poured a Kabinett Riesling which was a fabulous pairing and we suddenly felt like we were celebrating. And I was. I never did go to the store.

CaramelizedOnionGalette

Caramelized Onion Galette with Gorgonzola Dolce

recipe by Stephanie Kunstle, inspired by Deborah Madison’s Leek & Goat Cheese Galette

Ingredients for the pastry:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup flaxmeal
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter cut into small pieces
  • about 4 Tbsp. ice water
  • 1 egg, beaten (to be brushed on the the dough before baking)

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 3 yellow onions, sliced in half lengthwise, then cut into thin slices
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup créme fraîche
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 oz. gorgonzola dolce, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 Tbsp. parsley (keep 1 Tbsp of this reserved for garnish)

Preparation of the pastry dough:

  1. Let’s get started with the pasty dough. I love to make my pastry dough in a food processor — it’s super fast and the dough is always so light and flaky. Add your dry ingredients to the food processor bowl, give it a quick pulse or two to mix the ingredients, and then add the butter you’ve already cubed. “Process” the butter with the dry ingredients until the butter is well distributed and is cut into little small pieces, pea-sized or even a bit smaller.
  2.  With the food processor running, add the the ice water, one tablespoon at a time until the dough suddenly turns into one big ball.
  3. (If you don’t have a food processor, mix your dry ingredients in a bowl, and then cut in the butter with a fork or a pastry cutter. With a fork, stir in the ice water and incorporate using your hands if you need to until you have a smooth dough, but be careful not to overwork it or it will be tough).
  4. Take your dough and divide it into two pieces and give it a good 4-5 smears on a clean countertop to distribute the butter. Mash into one ball, and flatten into a 6 inch disk. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for about an hour (or cheat, like I do, and throw it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes but don’t forget about it!).

Preparation of the filling and galette:

  1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Turn the heat up to medium flame and add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently so that they cook evenly and don’t burn, until golden in color, about 30 minutes.
  2. Turn heat up to medium-high, and add the white wine. Cook until reduced, about 2 minutes.
  3. Lower heat back to medium, add the crème fraîche, stirring until the onions are well coated and silky and the water is mostly cooked out, about 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in 1 beaten egg and 2 Tbsp of the chopped parsley.
  5. Butter or oil a large baking sheet.
  6. Prep your clean kitchen countertop with about 1/4 cup of sprinkled flour. Place the disk of cold dough on top of the flour and give it another generous sprinkling of flour. Roll the dough out to about a 14-15 inch circle.
  7. Roll pastry onto rolling pin and move the pastry dough to the middle of the baking sheet. Pour onion mixture into the center and spread evenly, leaving at least 2 inches of perimeter around the pastry (the onions will make about a 10 inch circle). Dot with cubes of the gorgonzola dolce and fold the pastry over the edges of the circle. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.
  8. Bake at 400ºF for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is a deep golden and the onion mixture is bubbling. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing. Scatter the remaining 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley over the top. Serve hot or at room temp.

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Whole Wheat Bread

Back by popular demand… another bread post! Isn’t there something so satisfying about being able to produce a few loaves of fresh bread from your own kitchen with minimal effort? Why so many of us perceive bread making as a task we’d only fail at, I’m not sure. I blame the 1930s American “Wonder Bread” craze. But  it turns out, “the best thing since sliced bread” is actually returning to breadmaking in small batches at home to the delight of your tastebuds, your health, and anyone who gets their hands on it.

MiniWholeWheatLoaves

It was such fun to hear from some of you (and to see your beautiful pictures!) about your breadmaking success after trying the Light Whole Wheat recipe. But my dear and fearless friend, Beckie, mentioned that her family was so happy with the Light Whole Wheat, that she’d love to try a 100% Whole Wheat recipe. Having only made this several years ago, I went straight to work mixing it up to give it one more “test” run and a proper photo shoot.

SlicedWholeWheatBread

Two and a half days later and we are down to just a few slices left, that’s how much my family enjoyed it. So much so, I found that my children took a butter knife to the loaf and helped themselves early one morning when I was still asnooze in my bed, slathering on Nutella and breakfasting kid-style in the playroom with their Legos. The immediate horror at seeing the loaf lopped off with a butter knife (my short people are not yet allowed to wield a real knife) was quickly overcome with the pleasure at realizing how much my girls love this bread. Try it! Let’s hear what you think.

WholeWheatBreadSliced

Whole Wheat Bread

recipe slightly adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François

Note: Now that you are getting the hang of this type of bread (no kneading, high moisture content), here’s a fun strategy… the cool thing about this bread dough is that after you mix it and let it rise for  2-3 hours, you can then keep the dough in a container (NOT air tight) in your refrigerator for a few days (with this recipe, 5 days). Every time you want a fresh loaf, pull out your bread dough, cut off a piece, shape it, let it rest at room temp (the second rise), and bake it. So if you’d rather not make several loaves at once, save the remaining dough for another baking day. Makes about 3, 1.5 pound loaves. Feel free to double or halve the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups lukewarm water
  • 1.5 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1.5 Tbsp granulated yeast
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 Tbsp regular olive oil
  • 6 and 2/3 cups whole wheat flour (do not use pastry flour or “graham” flour)
  • flaxmeal or whole wheat flour for scattering on top

Preparation:

  1. Mix the yeast, salt, honey, and oil with the milk and water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
  2. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using your standing mixer with the dough hook attachment (or get a work out by doing it all by hand with a large bowl with a spoon). You can even try doing it all in a 14 cup capacity food processor. I personally prefer the stand mixer method. So easy.
  3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top); approximately 2-3 hours. As I mentioned in the last bread recipe, I preheat my oven to 200ºF, turn it off, and then when the dough is mixed, I let it rise, covered with a flour sack cloth or any clean dish cloth, inside the oven with the door cracked open several inches. This prevents drafts and saves the dough from my cold granite countertops which can make bread rising painfully slow.
  4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise or refrigerate after the rise in a lidded but not airtight container and use over the next five days.
  5. The day you want to bake, lightly oil or butter a 9 x 4 x 3 nonstick loaf pan. Using WET hands, scoop out a 1.5 pound (cantaloupe-size) handful of dough. This dough is pretty sticky and often it’s easiest to handle it with wet hands (I keep a bowl of water next to me to dip my hands into to keep them very wet as I shape the dough). Keeping your hands wet, quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. I made a 2 pound loaf and then two smaller loaves in “mini” loaf pans (an old tradition my mom started…kids love mini loaves!).
  6. Drop the loaf into the prepared pan. You want to fill the pan just slightly more than half full. You can slash it with the tip of the serrated knife now for a less dramatic slash or wait until before baking.
  7. Allow the dough to rest uncovered for about an hour (it will double in size) or so. I let mine rest in the the oven (not preheated this time) with the door closed to prevent drafts. Flour or generously scatter with flax meal the top of the loaf and then slash.
  8. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  9. Place the loaf or loaves on the middle rack near the center of the oven. Pour 1-2 cups of hot water into a pyrex placed on the lowest rack. Bake for 50 or so minutes, until deeply browned and firm.
  10. Allow to cool completely (if you are that tough) before slicing.

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Warm Glass Noodles and Edamame

Just last week we were freezing. And now it’s a balmy 52ºF and I love the freedom of leaving the house without my puffy jacket, hat and hand warmers. I know that Colorado may have plenty of snowy and cold days ahead, but when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, it puts me in the mood for easy cooking with fresh ingredients.

This recipe is from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty that is too gorgeous not to own (at least, that’s how I justified buying yet another cookbook), and too inspiring not to cook from. The combination of ingredients is literally a flavor-bomb, a party for your tastebuds. Tons of freshly grated ginger, lime juice, garlic, chiles, cilantro and mint are the makings of a no-fail recipe in my opinion…they all also happen to be favorite ingredients. Makes for a nice light dinner or packs up great for lunch the next day.

GlassNoodlesandEdamame

Warm Glass Noodles and Edamame

recipe ever so slightly adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.

Note: If you aren’t a big fan of spicy food, adjust the recipe by leaving out the chile or just putting less in. And when it comes to cilantro and mint, I make sure my measurements are heaping… Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 oz. glass (cellophane) noodles

Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp grated galangal or fresh ginger root
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 3 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 Tbsp palm sugar (“coconut palm sugar” on most packages)
  • 2 tsp seedless tamarind paste or pulp (found mine in a small jar the Indian food area of the store)
  • 1 tsp tamari (a gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

To toss with the noodles:

  • 2 Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (about a pound) of shelled, cooked edamame
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced (including the green parts)
  • 1 fresh red chile (I used a jalapeño as there were no Fresno chiles available), seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 3 heaping Tbsp chopped cilantro, plus a few whole leaves for garnish
  • 3 heaping Tbsp shredded fresh mint leaves
  • 2-3 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • salt (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Start by toasting your sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium-low heat… Stir frequently and remove from heat as the seeds quickly take on a slightly golden color here and there.
  2. Cook your shelled edamame: place in a pot with about 5-6 cups of water with about a teaspoon of salt, bring to a simmer and then cook for about 4 minutes. Drain.
  3. Soak the noodles in a bowl of hot water for about 5-7  minutes, or until soft (don’t leave them in the water for too long or they will get soggy). Drain in a colander and leave to dry there.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  5. Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan or a wok and add the garlic. When it starts to turn golden, remove the pan from the heat and add the sauce and noodles. Gently stir together.
  6. Then add most of the edamame and the green onions, chile, cilantro and mint.
  7. Stir everything together while you return the pan to the heat for a few seconds, just to warm through. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
  8. Pile noodles onto a large shallow bowl or platter and scatter the remaining edamame and sesame seeds. Garnish with a few more cilantro leaves and serve. You can also serve this dish at room temperature.

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