Archive | February, 2013

Country Apple Galette

24 Feb

I saw this Jacques Pepin recipe last fall in Food and Wine Magazine (October 2011) and immediately bookmarked it.

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I still had a fear of the pie crust last year – I hadn’t had a lesson with my mom yet where she taught me her pie crust recipe. But I desperately wanted to make something apple pie-like for Robb since that’s his fave. This recipe was awesome because the crust gets made in 10 seconds in the food processor!!!

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I got to use my apple peeler/corer/slicer that my mom gave me last year! I love this thing and HIGHLY suggest it if you don’t have one. This is the ultimate tool for someone who works with apples a lot. And some of the best baking apples that I used are: honeycrisp, pink lady, and granny smith.

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I really liked that the crust for this open-faced pie was made quickly in the food processor. No mashing the Crisco into the flour mixture by fork! Even though making pie crusts by hand are easy, too. IMG_1295

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Luckily for my lack of perfectionism, this crust is free-form and you can shape it however you like. It can be rectangle, square, round, whatever! Mine are mostly oval with some deviations 🙂

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The apple-cinnamon-sugar mixture tastes amazing – but with the honey in the mix, too, it’s out of this world!!!!

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I know my edges look burnt – but that was just the sugar that leaked out over the sides of the crust.

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OMG sooooooooo good. This is an awesome apple pie alternative if you have some friends come over. It’s easy to assemble and looks great for a casual meal.

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Country Apple Galette

Ingredients:

Pastry:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup ice water

Topping:

  • 4 Golden Delicious apples
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey, preferably wildflower
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:

In a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar, salt and butter and process for about 5 seconds. Sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture and process until the pastry just begins to come together, about 10 seconds; you should still be able to see small pieces of butter in it. Transfer the pastry to a work surface, gather it together and pat into a disk. Wrap the pastry in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate until chilled. (You can also roll out the pastry and use it right away – which is what I normally do.)

Peel, halve and core the apples and slice them crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Set aside the larger center slices and coarsely chop the end slices and any broken ones; about half of the slices should be chopped. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.

Preheat the oven to 400°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-by-14-inch rectangle and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Spread the chopped apples over the pastry to within 1 inch of the edge. Drizzle the honey over the chopped apples. Decoratively arrange the apple slices on top in concentric circles or in slightly overlapping rows. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the apples and dot with the pieces of butter. Fold the pastry edge up and over the apples to create a 1-inch border.

Bake the galette for about 1 hour, until the pastry is nicely browned and crisp and all of the apples are tender. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the galette cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

NOTE: The buttery pastry can be refrigerated overnight if you want to make the crust ahead of time.

Herbed Mushrooms in Wine

19 Feb

Robb and I LOVE having mushrooms as a side dish. We sautee them mostly – and sometimes we’ll keep it simple with a regular butter/shallot sautee…and sometimes we use this other mushroom recipe that we love. We like to use a mixture of mushrooms – white, portabella, oyster, maitake, etc….

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But we were looking for something a smidge different that used a bit less butter but offered more taste.

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Robb went onto AllRecipes.com and perused some recipes and found this gem! As soon as I looked at it I knew it would be great.

I didn’t know how great.

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This mushroom side dish is DELICIOUS and so simple. I was able to use fresh herbs from the garden still (thank god they haven’t died yet). The wine tasted great with the shrooms, too! And the salt really pulls the flavor of the wine through.

Herbed Mushrooms in Wine

Ingredients:

  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 tblsp non-salted butter
  • 1.5 pounds fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (I used oregano and thyme and basil)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tblsp fresh chives or parsley

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place mushrooms in the skillet, season with Italian seasoning, and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Mix the wine and garlic into the skillet, and continue cooking until most of the wine has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with chives. Continue cooking 1 minute.

Rustic Roasted Tomato Salsa

17 Feb

Who doesnt love salsa? Seriously…..find me someone who doesnt LOVE salsa.

Robb has the Rick Bayless “Mexican Everyday” cookbook. It has become one of our mexican cooking bibles.

We’ve tried a couple of his salsas, and we landed on this one as being the best. (I usually end up adding a bit more heat to it, too – as you can see by the additional random spicy peppers in the pan above)

This tastes divine – you can taste the roasted garlic and peppers. You can taste the freshness of the ingredients. And it’s simple to make. I made it for Mexican Supper Club back in October and it was a huge hit. I made a regular batch and then I made a SPICY batch for John and I.

Salsa is already a party food staple. Why not make your own at home? It’s so much healthier for you and you can modify it however you like!

Dip into it!!!!

Rustic Roasted Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 jalapenos (or 4 serranos/1 habanero)
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion
  • One 15 oz can diced tomatoes- fire roasted, in juice
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 tsp of fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp Salt

Directions:

Remember to wear gloves when you handle/chop the spicy peppers – dont want to burn your skin or touch your eye later on!

Set small skillet over medium heat. Lay the chiles and garlic in the skillet and dry roast until soft and blotchy black in spots, about 10 minutes for the chiles and 15 mins for the garlic.

While chiles and garlic roast, scoop onion into strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake off excess water and pour into medium bowl.

Pull stems off the roasted chiles and peel papery skins off the garlic. Scoop them into the food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the tomatoes with their juice, re-cover and pulse a few more times, until the mixture is as coarse or smooth as you want your salsa to be.

Pour the mixture into the bowl with the onion. Add cilantro and stir thoroughly.

Thin with water if necessary to give salsa an easier consistency (I typically do not do this). Taste and season with lime juice and salt – I tend to go heavy on these two items.

NOTE: If making salsa ahead of time, refrigerate and don’t add onions and cilantro until ready to serve.

Healthy Southwest Egg Rolls

10 Feb

I found this recipe online and immediately grabbed it to try. When my friend, Mel, announced she would need some appetizer assistance for her upcoming Halloween Party, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put it to the test.

These babies are EASY and AWESOME – two words you want to see when hearing about an appetizer.

The stuffing mixture is simple to whip together! And then all you have to do is roll it up in egg roll wrappers.

What also clued me in that this would be a great recipe, is the “healthy” part of the title. These egg rolls BAKE instead of FRY. They don’t taste “healthy” either – they taste indulgent and delicious. They have a smidge of spice in them from the green chiles and cayenne, too!

They were a huge hit when I made them – although I caution you to make them a tad smaller than I made them. I think they were huge and definitely a double-triple dipper! Hahaha and no one wants a double-dipper at a party.

Also – make sure to oil up your baking pans before placing egg rolls on and baking. I forgot on my first batch and they all stuck and broke open. No worries – we used them as our testers…..and THAT’S when we realized they were out of this world 🙂

I also made these babies for the Superbowl Party this year and they were delicious…..I’ll be sharing more about my other Superbowl dishes soon!

Healthy Southwest Egg Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend (I used Weight Watchers brand)
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 4 scallions (green onions), chopped
  • 1 (4 oz) can of green chiles, drained
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 24 egg roll wrappers (1 package)

 

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425. Lightly mist two baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the egg roll wrappers and stir to thoroughly combine.

3. Pour some water into a small dish and set aside. On a flat surface, place an egg roll wrapper, corner facing toward you (like a diamond) and put ¼ cup of the mixture from the bowl on the center of the wrapper. Spread the mixture in a horizontal line from the left corner to the right corner of the wonton wrapper, leaving ½ inch or so of space on each side. Fold the bottom corner closest to you up over the ingredients and give it a 90 degree roll. Fold the side corners in and tuck them as you give the filled section another 90 degree roll. Dip your finger in the dish or reserved water and lightly wet the edges of the remaining top corner of the wrapper. Finish rolling the filled egg roll over the wet corner so that it adheres. Place wrapped egg roll onto the prepared  and OILED baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

4. When all of the egg rolls are wrapped and on the baking sheets, lightly mist the tops with cooking spray. Bake for 14-15 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the wrappers are golden brown. Serve with salsa for dipping.

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