Sunday, April 8, 2012


Thanks to Kat and Matt for hosting (great napkin folds!!) and cooking
up lots of turkey, ham and other goodies.  Thanks to other family
members for all the potluck contributions.  Everything was yummy!
Finally, thanks to Win for providing this fabulous photo!  Such a fun

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Sometimes I have difficulty with pastry instructions that go to extremes to keep the dough cold.  This is Minnesota after all, and at least six months out of the year our kitchens are already somewhat cold.  For example, instructions for many pie dough recipes require that the dough be made into a "patty," wrapped and then refrigerated for an hour before being rolled out.  That simply isn't necessary in my kitchen.  To make dough, I just mix the flour and fat with my pastry cutter (so as to not warm it with my hands), then use a fork to stir in the liquid ingredient(s) until a ball is formed.   I then go right ahead and roll out the crust,  without the suggested hour refrigeration.

In this recipe I followed the freezer/refrigerator instructions exactly, even though they seemed extreme, and I was very pleased with the result.  The crust was crispy and flaky - and I will use this dough recipe for other purposes when I want this result.

Source:  The Complete Seasonal Cookbook by Williams-Sonoma
For the Pastry:
*  1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*  1/4 teaspoon salt
*  1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
*  1/4 cup sour cream
*  2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
*  1/4 cup ice water
For the Filling:
*  1/4 oz dried wild mushrooms such as chanterelles, porcini or shiitakes
*  1 cup boiling water
*  2 tablespoons unsalted butter
*  3/4 cup sliced green onions
*  1 clove garlic, minced
*  1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
*  1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
*  1/2 lb assorted fresh wild mushrooms such as chanterelles, porcini and shiitakes, brushed clean and large mushrooms thinly sliced
*  1/2 lb fresh crimini (baby portobello) mushrooms
*  5 oz. Stilton or other good quality blue cheese
     To make the pastry, combine the flour and salt in a bowl.  Place the butter in another bowl.  Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour.  Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour.  Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture has the consistency of course meal (some "peas" okay).  Make another well in the center.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well.  With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form.  Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture.  Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
     Meanwhile, make the filling:  Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and add the boiling water.  Let stand for 30 minutes until softened.  Drain the mushrooms and mince finely.  Preheat oven to 400ºF.
     In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the green onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme and continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer.  Raise the heat to high, add the fresh and rehydrated mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid they released has completely evaporated, 8 - 10 minutes.  Cool.
     On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round.  Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet.  Crumble the blue cheese into a bowl, add the cooled mushrooms and stir well.  Spread the mixture over the dough, leaving a 1-1/2 inch border.  Fold the border over the mushrooms and cheese, pleating the edge to make it fit.  The center will be open.
     Bake until golden brown, 30-40 minutes.  Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate.  Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

These instructions seem quite involved but, in fact, this is really a rather easy recipe.  And the end result is absolutely delicious.  Trust me!