Tag Archives: lemon

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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Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Cumin-Paprika Vinaigrette

I’ve been trying to accept the fact that quinoa is the “in” grain of the moment. The most recent Bon Appetit even has a whole section devoted to quinoa salads, and quinoa is constantly on  my Pinterest feed, so I know the populace has caught on.

I suppose I initially resisted quinoa for the same reason I resisted tabbouleh – weird hippie food they sell at the natural foods store. But recipes like this, and my baked quinoa recipe, show how versatile this extremely healthy little food is.

Boiled until the grain pearls turn translucent and a delicate thread appears, you toss the quinoa with ripe chunks of avocado, plump golden raisins and currants, crisp scallions and a vinaigrette made of lemon, cumin, coriander, paprika and olive oil. For extra crunch, toasted chopped almonds are sprinkled on top.

I mean, wow, this was surprisingly good! And vegan … right? I made it on a week night and topped it with some leftover rotisserie chicken we happened to have in the fridge. Delicious! The creamy avocado, sweet fruit, hot bite of green onions and nutty crunch from the almonds … it’s really a winning combination. I encourage all of you to try it immediately.

Adapted from the amazing Cook Fresh magazine (best of Fine Cooking).

Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Cumin-Paprika Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 3 T golden raisins
  • 2 T dried currants
  • 1 c. quinoa, rinsed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 T EVOO
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika (not smoked)
  • 2 medium firm-ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and cut into medium chunks (do this at the last moment so they don’t turn brown)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 T coarsely chopped toasted almonds
  • Black pepper

In a medium bowl, soak raisins and currants in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 c. water, quinoa and 1/2 tsp salt to boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is translucent and tender, 10-15 min (the germ rings will remain chewy and white, like little squiggles). Immediately fluff quinoa with a fork and turn out on baking sheet to cool to room temperature.

Zest and juice the lemon into a small bowl and whisk in olive oil, spices and 1/4 tsp salt. In a large bowl, gently mix with avocado, then toss with quinoa, fruit, scallions and almonds.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and top with extra almonds and scallions, if you have them.

See? Easy! And so surprisingly flavorful. I shall be making this one again.

Enjoy friends! xoxo

Lemon-Oregano Roast Chicken

As many of you know, Grant and I are sharing a CSA this year from Shore Farm Organics. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture – basically, you sign up to receive a box of farm-fresh produce every week from the farmers’ market.

Every Tuesday, I visit the cobblestone market downtown and pick up my package, overflowing with tender fennel fronds, crisp lettuces, fresh herbs and an assortment of other items: chard, beets, squash, cucumbers, cauliflower, etc. The assortment is different each week, which is why we love it!

Recently, we got a lot of fresh oregano, rosemary and basil. I had no idea what I’d do with all that oregano until I considered a Greek-inspired roasted chicken, with a lemon-oregano compound butter rubbed all over the bird.

And so this meal was born, adapted from my traditional roast chicken recipe. The lemon and herbs combo permeates all of the chicken meat, providing you with days of yummy leftovers.

Lemon-Oregano Roast chicken

Ingredients:

  • One 3-4 lb. chicken, giblets removed, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • S&P
  • Paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix softened butter with lemon zest, pinch of S&P and 1 T chopped fresh oregano. Set aside.

Place chicken on roasting rack set in roasting pan. Stuff it with remaining oregano, zested lemon sliced in half, garlic and rosemary. Rub most of the butter mixture under the skin, then rub the remaining over the outside of the chicken skin, just to coast. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. Tuck the wings under the body and tie the legs together with kitchen twine (optional).

Place chicken in oven and roast for 1:15 to 1:30 hours. When you pierce between the leg and thigh, the juices should run clear. When done, remove from oven and let rest 20 min. That will give you enough time to prepare a salad, toast up some bread or make your favorite Greek-inspired couscous (as I did).

I set my bird on a tray with more fresh herbs, just to be pretty. The smell, the sight and the taste of the chicken was all perfect – proving that roast chicken is good at any time of year!

Enjoy your next chicken dinner, friends! xoxo

Old-Timey Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Lemon and buttermilk – makes me think of summer winds, cotton dresses and thick slices of freshly baked Bundt cake… the perfect recipe to make with  my buttery yellow Bundt pan…

In celebrating the vintage nature of my cookware, I give you an old-fashioned cake recipe, seasoned only with buttermilk and fresh lemons, with an extra lemony glaze drizzled all over.Adapted from Baking and Books – a great foodie blog you should check out!

Old-Timey Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Grated zest of 2 large lemons
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)

For the Glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan (mine was smaller, so I poured the extra in a little loaf pan) and set aside. Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until fluffy and pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Don’t overmix; just fold gently until the batter looks well blended. Fold in the lemon zest and juice.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, stopping about 2 inches from the top, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan (Note: if using smaller pan, check it at 45 min.). Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze.

For the glaze: in a medium bowl add the lemon juice to the 2 cups of confectioners sugar, mixing vigorously to get rid of any lumps of sugar. If the glaze isn’t thick enough to coat the cake, add more sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well between additions. The glaze should be thick but pourable.

Invert cake onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Spoon the glaze over hot cake and allow to cool completely before cutting. Best the day it is made, it will keep fairly well, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days.

Just because I couldn’t ignore the bright daffodils in Grant’s front yard, I picked a bunch and arranged them with a few dogwood sprigs for a little Bundt centerpiece. So pretty!

The cake is moist and flavorful – and that glaze! I thought it tasted like something you’d get from a bakery at $3 per slice.

Yum – enjoy with coffee or tea.

Happy Spring, 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

Chicken on an oven rack

One of my Southern Belle friends, Miss Valentine, told me a tale about a chicken that you roast by placing it on the bare oven rack. That’s right – no roasting pan or dish holding the bird. Just flesh and metal. It’s genius, she says, because the chicken juices drip onto a pan of potatoes placed below, essentially FRYING the potatoes! I’m so glad someone finally figured out how to make chicken juices even more magical: using them to fry things!

I’ve never met a roast chicken that I didn’t like, so I immediately requested the recipe.

The dish is quite simple, as all roasts really are. You season the bird and let it roast with other vegetables for an hour or so while your house fills with that mouth-watering aroma. A simple, hearty and thrilling dish to make for company or even a date!

I recently did just that, and here’s how I made it mine…

Write Gal’s Unusual Roast Chicken

  • One 4-lb whole chicken, giblets removed and skin checked for pin feathers
  • One lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • Two sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Four sprigs fresh thyme, chopped (use any herbs you like)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced, separated
  • EVOO
  • 2.5 lbs yukon gold potatoes
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400.

Wash and dry the chicken, then season the inside well with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in half and place inside the chicken. Mix 4 T EVOO with 2 crushed cloves of garlic and rub all over the chicken. Sprinkle the skin well with salt and pepper, then tie the legs together.

Cut the potatoes into thick chunks and spread on a large baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil (I also added one sliced onion here, but use your imagination! Fennel? Carrots? Parsnips?) and salt and pepper. Place the potatoes on the bottom rack of the hot oven and place the chicken directly above it, so all juices will fall on the potatoes.

Roast for 45 – 50 min., or until juices run clear when you pierce between the thigh and body. Remove the chicken to a serving platter and tent with foil. Sprinkle the potatoes with the remaining garlic and herbs. Continue roasting until they turn a bit golden and are sizzling. Remove and prepare to eat!

Carve yourself big slices of the tender-as-all-get-out meat and spoon up the veggies, topping with parsley, if using. I highly recommend using an organic chicken because the taste is so much better and it is way juicier.

I’m sure you’re wondering if this made a huge mess in the oven. I have no idea … do I look like a girl who does her own dishes? 😉

Another night, another bottle...

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Chicken Vesuvio

Chicken Vesuvio is a whole lot like one of my favorite chicken dishes in the world: chicken piccata. A light dusting of flour, salt and pepper sends the chicken cutlets into a hot pan where they brown slightly on each side. Then, you make a lemony sauce rich with wine, smooth with butter and punctuated with caper berries.

For this dish, however, you add potatoes to the mix, along with fresh rosemary and oregano. After browning the potatoes, you nestle your par-cooked chicken back in and let the flavors steam together with wine and chicken broth. The potatoes and chicken come out tender and wonderful.

I found this recipe in my inbox. As you all should, I subscribe to Lynn Rossetto Kasper’s “The Splendid Table” weekly newsletter, which always gives me tasty cooking ideas and helpful tips to being a whiz in the kitchen. And as my new roommate said, “Heck, even I could make this!”

I changed the recipe a bit, adding the capers instead of peas, because I simply adore a good caper berry.

Chicken Vesuvio

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded between plastic wrap to 1/2 inch thick (mine held 3)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 large red potatoes or one small bag of baby reds cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc)
  • 2 T caper berries, drained
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Juice from half a lemon

1. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with 1 breast at a time, dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Carefully lay the chicken in the skillet and cook until lightly browned on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes, flipping the breasts halfway through. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

3. Wipe out the skillet with a wad of paper towels. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, rosemary, and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth and wine, scraping up any browned bits. Nestle the chicken, along with any accumulated juices, into the potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the chicken is just done, 7-12 min., flipping halfway through.

4. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and tent loosely with foil to keep warm. Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is thickened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the platter with the chicken. Off the heat, stir in the capers, butter, and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken and potatoes.


Serve with extra wine “on the side.” Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Lemony pasta with roasted shrimp

Pasta perfection

My boyfriend said this recipe was a pasta that women will love. Translation: it was light, with delicate flavors and a skinny pasta noodle. He prefers robust, puts-hair-on-your-chest pastas that are heavy and rich. But this pasta includes shrimp, and in my opinion, shrimp have a delicate flavor that is easily overwhelmed by robust flavors.

The citrus in this dish was not sour at all, and instead was more like an essence of lemon that met perfectly with the shrimp, which I roasted with garlic and olive oil.

In brief: I absolutely loved it! I suppose I’m always uneasy with recipes that only have five ingredients, but the balance of flavors matched perfectly and it was such an elegant dish. Really, I would make this for a first date (what are those?). It impressed me by its simplicity, yet the flavors were complex. Not bland at all.

I have made a capellini and shrimp dish before and wasn’t wowed. But I have the solution: GOOD SHRIMP! Jesse bought these fresh, wild-caught shrimp at Fresh Market (a bigger Whole Foods) because he wanted to use the shrimp de-veiner-peeler tool that he bought me for my bday. But of course you don’t need any fancy utensils. This method of cooking shrimp is easy and really enhances the flavor. I will always cook shrimp this way in the future.

Before I post the recipe, let me note: never question Ina Garten. She wrote this original recipe, and if she says 2 tsp of kosher salt, you better do exactly that. She tests her recipes a dozen times, so she knows exactly what she’s doing. Don’t believe me? Read the comments about her recipes on FoodNetwork.com. They are always rave, which is how I came upon this one. However, even perfection needs a tweak or two. I’ve changed it a bit based on my preferences (the original recipe has no garlic!).

Lemony pasta with roasted shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1.5-2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • EVOO
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb. angel hair pasta
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Chopped parsley, to garnish
  • Shaved Parm-Reg, for garnish

Method:

Preheat oven to 400.

Toss shrimp with 1 T olive oil, garlic, a little less than 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp cracked pepper. Spread in an even layer on a sheet pan and roast for 6-8 min., until just pink and cooked through. You will smell it when it’s ready. Set aside.

Meanwhile, put a pot of water on to boil for pasta. When boiling, add a handful of salt and a glug of olive oil, then the whole box of pasta. Stir and cook until al dente, about 3 min.

While the pasta cooks, make the sauce: heat butter and 1/4 c. olive oil in a large skillet. When all melted, add zest, juice from the lemons, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and 1/2 c. of the pasta water.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce and mix to combine. Add the shrimp and toss together. Top with extra zest, parsley and Parmesan cheese to taste.

This dish reminds me of airy sun dresses – sweet and sunny. It is delish! As I said, trust in Ina – she knows her ingredients and her seasonings. This one will impress. Serve with toast, salad, a crusty bread and a crisp glass of white wine.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo