Tag Archives: Bon Appetit

Swiss Chard and Mushroom Galette with Whole Wheat Crust

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Swiss chard seems to be riding the popularity train with kale. Thick, slightly bitter, slightly tough greens that are hearty enough to weather the chilly months in your garden. They also happen to be very good for you, so my healthy friends say, which is why this recent Bon Appetit recipe appealed to me. Plus I loved the rustic look of it.

Savory galettes are a wonderful thing, don’t you think? I love the idea of folding pastry around something other than spiced apples or glossy peaches. It’s a bit of a mind trick (should this be sweet or salty?) and feels very French to eat pastry for dinner.

I went through the trouble of making the whole-wheat crust by hand, folding it to cup a mixture of sauteed mushrooms, chard, garlic and Swiss cheeses. The whole process reminded me what a bother it is cooking from scratch! Can’t believe I used to cook like this all the time, but I’ll stick with  my once-weekly cooking projects until I get my hands free.

I didn’t follow the original recipe exactly just because I forgot to buy ricotta cheese. And the new, frugal, time-saving me only goes grocery shopping one time per week. We enjoyed the nuttiness of the Swiss cheeses, so use your preference. I believe goat cheese would also be good, notably with the fresh lemon and grassy herbs.

Original Recipe:

Swiss Chard and Mushroom Galette

Ingredients:

WHOLE WHEAT DOUGH

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) chilled
  • unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Pulse all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces of butter remaining. Drizzle with vinegar and ¼ cup ice water. Pulse just until a shaggy dough comes together; lightly knead until no dry spots remain (do not overwork). Pat into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours. (let sit at room temp for around 30 minutes to soften before rolling out)

GALETTE

  • 1 cup ricotta (or mix of 1 c. Swiss/Gruyere cheeses)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 package mushrooms, sliced, about 1 cup (I used baby bellas)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch large Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves cut into bite-size pieces (I bought Trader Joe’s pre-chopped bag of chard)
  • 1/4 fresh herbs (I used parsley and cilantro leaves)

Preheat oven to 400°. Season ricotta with kosher salt and pepper; set aside (skip this step if not using ricotta).

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; season with kosher salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add half of chard, season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until slightly wilted. Add remaining chard and cook,
tossing occasionally, until completely wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment to a 14” round about ⅛” thick. Transfer on parchment to a baking sheet. Spread three-fourths of cheese over dough, leaving a 1½” border. Top with reserved chard, then
mushrooms. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bring edges of dough up and over filling, overlapping as needed, to create a 1½” border; brush with egg.

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Bake galette, rotating once, until crust is golden brown and cooked through, 35–40 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet.

Sprinkle herbs over top, then zest and juice of lemon, cracked pepper and flaky sea salt.

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Slice, and enjoy, friends! xoxo

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Chicken Caesar Salad, Deconstructed

Who hasn’t ordered the chicken Caesar salad at The Olive Garden? Or pretty  much any other restaurant, regardless of cuisine, over the years? Typically, it consists of romaine lettuce dripping with creamy “Caesar” dressing, with cold chicken on top, along with more Parmesan cheese and stale croutons.

This is my new spin on chicken Caesar salad, inspired by a recent Bon Appetit recipe. But instead of piling everything high on a smudged plate, the diner gets a unique salad-eating experience with a deconstructed restaurant staple.

The panko-Parmesan-crusted chicken is lovely along with the seared romaine flecked with garlic and minced anchovies. I love the whole seared-lettuce thing. Really changes the flavors.

I highly recommend adding this dish to your summer menu – a wonderful entree for dining al fresco, if you can.

Deconstructed Chicken Caesar Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 7-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
  • 2 large hearts of romaine, halved lengthwise
  • 4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained, minced
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Preheat oven to 450°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Season chicken with salt and pepper; place on prepared sheet. Combine cheese, panko, 2 Tbsp. oil, parsley, and 1 garlic clove in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Pat panko mixture onto breasts. Roast chicken until crumbs begin to turn golden, about 10 minutes.
Drizzle romaine with 1 Tbsp. oil and sprinkle with remaining 1 chopped garlic clove and anchovies. Season with salt and pepper. Remove sheet from oven; place romaine around chicken.
Roast until chicken is cooked through and lettuce is browned at edges, about 5 minutes (mine was even less).

Divide among plates. Garnish with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Doesn’t that look yummy? Also good as sack-lunch leftovers – just reheat the chicken and serve with the cold romaine and squeeze a lemon wedge over.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Parmesan Shortbread with Black Pepper, Fennel and Sea Salt

This is a cookie so unique that I think tasters are perplexed into thinking they are in love with it. Here is the experience …

First, the smell – Parmesan, nutty and warm. Second, you get the sea salt, crunchy and ripe with minerals. Then, the butter, as the shortbread begins to melt in your mouth. Next, your first bite breaks apart the fennel seeds, releasing a soft anise flavor. After swallowing, the black pepper blooms with heat down your throat.

I just love savory cookies. I’ve made blue-cheese shortbread crackers and had all sorts of cheese coins since living in The South, and these little darlings make me think I’m on to something.

So delicious, especially in the afternoon, with a nice cup of tea. I prefer Earl Gray.

Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

Parmesan Shortbread with Black Pepper, Fennel Seed and Sea Salt

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed or pounded with mortar and pestle
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (I used fleur de sel)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a medium bowl on low speed until smooth, 1–2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, pepper, and kosher salt. Reduce speed to medium and beat, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until light and fluffy, 4–5 minutes. Add flour and cheese. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat mixture just until dough comes together.
Wrap dough in plastic or parchment paper and shape into a long cube. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 5 days ahead. Keep chilled. 

Stir together fennel and sea salt. Set aside.

Arrange a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Cut dough into cookies 1/4 inch thick.
Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Brush cookies generously with oil, then sprinkle with fennel salt.

Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until cookies are golden brown (flecks of cheese will be slightly darker), 20–24 minutes.

Let cool on sheets for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room tem-perature. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Sauteed Lettuces with Salami and Shallots

I get the sense that lettuce is becoming a food trend. Seems that more and more food shows are incorporating plain old salad greens – from iceberg to romaine and arugula – into soups, sautees and other dishes. I believe the Brits are used to having peas with lettuce, which seemed strange to me until the doe-eyed Nigella Lawson demonstrated how delicious the combination can be.

Or maybe I’m just extra alert to green-food trends now that I’m trying to eat more of them. Anyway, I saw an interesting recipe in Bon Appetit for which lettuces are sauteed with spicy salami, garlic and ginger and served over brown rice, with fried shallots up top. It looked quite good and relatively healthy, so I decided to give it a try.

Both Grant and I loved it! He favors anything with a strong ginger element, and I loved the cured meat mixed with the just-wilting lettuces and crispy shallot. My goodness, what can’t be improved with crispy shallots on top?

I adapted this a little, but not too much.

Sauteed Lettuces with Salami and Shallots

Ingredients:

  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced shallots
  • 1/2 c. chopped salami slices
  • 2 T thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 1/2 T minced peeled ginger
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Half a head of iceberg lettuce, cored and roughly chopped
  • 2 c. arugula leaves
  • Cooked brown Basmati rice (enough to feed everybody you are serving)

Get the Basmati rice cooking while you prep all your ingredients.

Heat oil in nonstick skillet over low heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until golden brown – 12 min. Remove to paper towels to drain and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Increase heat to medium and add salami, then garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Stir until everything starts to sizzle and add 1/4 c. water. Increase heat to medium-high, add lettuces and saute until just wilted, 1-2 min. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon lettuce mixture over brown rice and top with crispy shallots. I also added some green onions and parsley, just because I had them on hand.

This recipe makes me want to try more with wilting lettuce into dishes – yum! They retain a little bit of crunch, but lose any bitterness. And it filled us up just fine.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Pork Loin Stuffed with Prosciutto and Lemon

I wish I could remember what made me think this recipe would be a good idea. Butterflying or filleting things is not my strong suit. But the beautiful Bon Appetit pictures of pork loin perfectly rolled around lemon, prosciutto and bread crumbs made me think I should try it. I mean, how hard could it be?

It’s not that it was hard so much as I just did a bad job. I sliced the meat open with a sharp knife, rolling and slicing, rolling and slicing, until I had not a loin but an uneven slab of meat. Then I placed the thin slices of prosciutto and lemon on and sprinkled the panko. We didn’t have fresh chives, but for some reason Grant had dried chives in his cupboard, so I used that instead.

I also forgot the kitchen twine, so the loin didn’t cook as beautifully as I would hope (I had to use the one piece of twine that came with the meat).

Note – I found that the recipe’s measurements for salt were way too much, so please use tender care if you dare to make…

Pork Loin Stuffed with Prosciutto and Lemon (from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:

  • 1 4-pound boneless pork loin roast, trimmed (check the discount meat bin!)
  • 12 thin prosciutto slices (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 large lemon, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives (or dried…)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup Pinot Grigio or other dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 450.
Place pork, fat side down, on work surface with 1 short end facing you. Using long thin sharp knife and starting 1/2 inch above underside of roast, cut 1/2 inch in along right side. Continue cutting 1/2 inch above underside, unrolling roast like carpet. Arrange prosciutto evenly over pork, overlapping if necessary. Arrange lemon slices over prosciutto. Sprinkle with panko, then chives. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (I would just use a pinch!) and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Turn pork so 1 short end faces you. Beginning at 1 short end, roll up pork; arrange seam side down on work surface (fat side will be facing up). Using kitchen string, tie at 1- to 1 1/2-inch intervals. Transfer pork, fat side up, to roasting pan. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coarse salt (yikes, again, just use pinches) and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Here is my mess:
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven. Place pork on lower rack; roast 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F; roast pork until instant-read thermometer registers 145°F when inserted into center of pork, 45 to 60 minutes longer, depending on thickness of roast. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil.
Place roasting pan over 2 burners on medium-high heat. Add broth and wine; bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until reduced to 1 cup, about 8 minutes. Stir in butter. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Using kitchen scissors, cut string along top of roast; discard. Cut pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

To serve, spoon sauce over the pork. The sauce is WONDERFUL. Rich and dark, salty and smooth. The pork actually had an awesome flavor, although I pulled out the lemon bits, which flavored the entire loin. The prosciutto gave it that ham-on-ham goodness and the panko brought everything together.

I also made cheesy broccoli as a side, but any green would be a good accompaniment.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Tomato Tarte Tatin

I never paid much mind to the whole tomato fruit/vegetable debate.

Like most people, I only eat tomatoes in a savory environment, which makes it seem more like a vegetable. The following recipe proves how tomatoes can blow your mind – becoming a wonderful dessert. Bon Appetit’s tomato tarte tatin reveals tomatoes as a sweet and supple fruit, cooked in bubbling caramel and flavored with vanilla. All atop a puffed pastry.

The magazine description of this recipe says, “This dessert is a revelation. As the tomatoes cook in the caramel, they become sweet and tender but retain their clean, fresh flavor. Prepare to be blown away.” I dare you to resist a testimony like that.

My stomach didn’t want to accept that I would be eating tomatoes cooked with caramel and vanilla. But I am telling you – they tasted like sweet plums! The Bon Appetit description was dead on. Spectacular.

Tomato Tarte Tatin

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 lbs. plum (or Roma) tomatoes (8 large)
  • 3 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed, corners cut to make a rough circle
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 425. Bring large saucepan of water to boil. Cut shallow X in bottom of each tomato and blanch until skins start to peel back, 30 seconds. Remove to ice bath.

Peel tomatoes, half, core and remove seeds.

Spread butter over bottom of 9 1/2-inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle sugar over, then arrange tomato halves, rounded side down and close together, in the skillet.

Place skillet over medium heat and cook until sugar and butter are reduced to a thick amber syrup, 25 min. Remove skillet from heat and immediately drizzle with vanilla. Top with pastry round, tucking edges in with a knife and pressing close to the tomatoes. Cut 2-3 small slits in the pastry and slide it into the oven. Bake until pastry is deep golden brown, about 24 min. You will smell the vanilla and caramel – it’s wonderful.

Cool tart in skillet 10 min. Cut around sides to loosen pastry and place large plate over the top. Invert with oven mitts, allowing tart to settle on platter. Carefully lift off skillet – many tomatoes may stick, so gently peel them off and place neatly on the tart.

Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

I honestly can’t believe this recipe works. I doubted it up until I took the first bite, and then we were oohing and ahhing over it. I recommend you serve this to your hard-to-impress guests. Enjoy, friends! xoxo