Potato Leek Galette

Image by Deb Garlick

If you’re a pastry novice, consider the galette as a gateway pie. With no crimping to master or tart pan to line, a galette is a terrific way to ease into pastry. The rustic potato and leek galette, pictured above, is a mouth-watering mixture of slow-cooked leeks, a medley of cheese, and thinly sliced potatoes bundled in a flaky pastry casing. When leeks are covered and cooked patiently over low heat, they become sweet and meltingly tender. Recipe featured in EAT magazine.

 

 

Makes two 8-inch galettes (each galette serves 4-6).

Note: The pies can be assembled and refrigerated up to 24 hours before baking. 

1 recipe for Flaky Pastry Dough

Potato Leek Filling

2 Tbsp unsalted butter 

3 lbs leeks, about six medium, white part only, washed and thinly sliced about six cups  

Kosher salt 

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus lemon zest from one lemon 

6 oz soft cheese, such as goat cheese or cream cheese, about ¾ cup   

4 oz shredded Greyère cheese, about 1 cup  

5 oz of crumbled feta, about 1 cup  

4 anchovies, optional, rinsed and finely minced (or 2 tsp anchovy paste) 

2 tsp finely minced garlic, about 2 cloves 

1 tsp dried chili flakes (use less if you prefer a tamer galette) 

2 medium new potatoes 

2 Tbsp vegetable oil 

2 tsp fresh rosemary 

2 tsp fresh thyme 

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese  

2 Tbsp whipping cream (or beaten egg)  

Prepare the dough according to the instructions. Divide the dough in half and roll each portion on a sheet of parchment generously dusted with flour, into a circle approximately 12 inches in diameter, 1/8 inch thick. Cover and refrigerate.

To prepare the filling:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

 Melt the butter in a large saucepan; add the sliced leeks and ½ tsp salt. Cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally until completely soft and tender, about 30 minutes. If the mixture becomes dry and threatens to burn, add a splash of water. Remove the lid for the last five minutes of cooking to allow any residual moisture to evaporate. Add the lemon juice. Cool completely. 

In a small bowl combine the soft cheese, Greyère, feta, anchovies, garlic, chili flakes, and lemon zest. 

Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible, preferably with a mandoline or vegetable slicer.  Place in a bowl with 2 Tbsp oil and mix to ensure the potatoes are completely coated. Spread the potatoes onto two parchment-lined baking sheets in a single layer. Bake in a preheated oven until the potatoes are barely cooked and not yet browned, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven.   

Increase the oven temperature to 400°F and preheat a baking tray. (The preheated tray helps the pastry base firm up faster, thereby preventing a soggy crust.) Remove the pastry from the fridge, leaving the parchment beneath your pastry as you work. Divide the cheese mixture equally between the pastry circles, and spread the mixture evenly on each, leaving a 2-inch border. Divide the rosemary and thyme and scatter evenly over the cheese mixture. 

Divide the cooled leeks and spread evenly over the cheese and herbs, leaving a 2-inch border. 

Finally, divide the cooked potatoes and layer them on top of the leeks, overlapping slightly, leaving a generous 2-inch border. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. 

Fold the pastry border towards the center of each galette, crimping the pastry as you fold.  Brush the edges with cream (or beaten egg) and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese.

Carefully remove the baking tray from the oven, and transfer the galettes, with the parchment paper underneath them, onto the heated tray.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400°F then reduce the temperature to 375°F and continue to bake until the pastry is browned and cooked through, about 40 minutes total. Rotate the pan halfway through baking and cover with foil as necessary to prevent burning. Cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or re-warm in a low oven.


Stuffed Tomatoes

Images by Deb Garlick

Sweet roasted tomatoes pair beautifully with a stuffing of briny Kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, sautéed kale and nutty brown rice. A touch of smoked paprika lends a warm smoky note to this flavourful side dish.

Select medium, same-sized tomatoes to ensure even cooking.  

Makes 8 

8 medium tomatoes

2 Tbsp vegetable oil  

2 medium onions, minced

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

4 cups finely chopped kale

1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, finely chopped, tough leaves discarded

1 cup cooked brown rice, spelt, farro, or groats 

8 Kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped

2 anchovies, optional, finely minced

1 tsp hot sauce (such as Sriracha) 

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

1/4 cup goat cheese

You’ll need a deep ovenproof dish large enough to hold the stuffed tomatoes.  

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Tomatoes – Slice the tops off the tomatoes and reserve them. Carefully remove and reserve the flesh and seeds, being mindful not to damage the tomatoes. Slice just enough from the base of each tomato to keep it upright.

Filling – Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions over medium heat until golden, stirring occasionally, to prevent burning.  Add the garlic and stir continuously for half a minute, or until the garlic is aromatic. Add the reserved chopped tomato and smoked paprika.  Cook until the tomatoes have reduced and no liquid remains.

Add half the kale and cook until reduced, then add the balance, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When all the kale has reduced, add the remaining ingredients except for the cheese. Mix well to combine. Taste the filling and season with additional vinegar or salt, if desired.

Using a small spoon, carefully stuff the tomatoes with the filling, being careful not to damage them. Top each tomato with a bit of goat cheese and cover with the reserved tomato tops. Transfer to an ovenproof container and cover loosely with foil.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tomatoes are soft, but still hold their shape.  Remove the foil the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Serve warm or at room temperature. 


Fritatta with Onion Relish

Image by Caroline West

 

If you’re looking for creative ways to round up odds and ends in the refrigerator, a frittata is your answer. The recipe, featured in British Columbia From Scratch, is especially comforting when we’re collectively homebound and making an effort to keep grocery shopping to a minimum.

 I love pairing eggs with leftover pasta and barely-melted feta, but your fridge may have a different character altogether. Whatever additions you include, make sure they are well seasoned with a pinch of salt.

Because I use whatever’s available, I offer no firm recipe, only suggestions and guidelines.

All you need are eggs, a non-stick skillet, and a little imagination.

Frittatas are lovely served with red onion relish, below.

1 Tbsp oil, or half  butter/half oil

½ cup chopped onion or shallots

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 tsp kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

½ – 1 cup cooked and seasoned filling, such as:

roasted carrots, peppers, cauliflowers or potatoes

diced potatoes, pasta or rice

diced ham, chicken, bacon, sausage

diced olives, cooked mushrooms

¼ – ⅓ cup cheese, such as:

crumbled feta, grated cheddar, Parmesan or goat cheese

A handful of herbs and/or finely chopped spinach

Preheat oven to 350 .

Heat the clarified butter or butter/oil mixture, in a non-stick skillet over medium heat and cook the shallots until softened, about 2 – 3 minutes. Add the eggs, salt and a bit of pepper, then add the fillings of your choice, dispersing them evenly over the eggs. Cook partially covered, without disturbing, for about 3 – 5 minutes, or until the edges are firm. Remove the lid and transfer to a preheated oven for a few minutes until just cooked through.

Serve directly from the pan or slide the frittata onto a cutting board and cut into wedges. Serve immediately with red onion relish, if desired.

Red Onion Relish

makes 2 cups

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

3 red onions, about 1½ lb, sliced

½ tsp kosher salt

½ cup red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp honey

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onions, turning them with tongs to coat them evenly. Add the salt and cook until the onions soften, about 10 – 12 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

Add the vinegar, scraping the bottom of the pan as you do so. Add the honey, reduce the heat and continue simmering until the liquid has evaporated.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

 


Borscht

Image by Deb Garlick

This savoury roasted beet soup is made special with the addition of spicy chorizo sausage and tart green apples. Buy the best chorizo you can afford, it makes a difference. And, if you have the time to make your own chicken stock, do so—there’s simply no comparison to homemade.  

A dollop of sour cream, bright crisp radishes and visually contrasting pistachio nuts dress up this simple rustic soup.

When preparing the beets, don’t toss the nutritious greens! They’re delicious sautéed with garlic and tossed with lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Makes 8 cups

1 1/2 pounds of beets, with peel, greens trimmed and set aside for another use

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

Kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

6 cups chopped red cabbage, about 1/2 head 

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped

3 1/2 ounces dry chorizo, chopped into 1/2” pieces 

6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade   

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp white sugar

Garnish

1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

1/4 cup pistachio nuts

2 radishes, thinly sliced 

Fresh mint

Preheat oven to 350°F

Place the beets on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil and roast until the beets can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife. This can take up to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the beets.  When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and grate them.

Heat the oil in a 5 1/2 quart casserole over medium heat; add the onions, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until aromatic, about 20 seconds. Add the cabbage, apple, chorizo, stock, vinegar, cloves sugar and 1 tsp kosher salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook over medium-low heat, partially covered, until the cabbage is tender, about 30-40 minutes. Add the roasted grated beets.

Taste and season with additional salt or vinegar, if desired.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and garnish with pistachios, radishes and fresh mint, if desired.


Sweet Tart Dough

Image by Caroline West

If you can make cookies, you can make Sweet Tart Dough. The pastry comes together easily and provides a firm and buttery base for your favourite tart filling. Using butter rather than shortening makes a delicious but delicate pastry with a crisp cookie-like texture. 

Roll the dough between parchment paper and plastic wrap (plastic on top to see the dough) to prevent the dough from sticking to your work surface and rolling pin. If the dough becomes too soft, chill in the refrigerator then start again.

 

Makes two 10” tarts or 4 dozen 2” tarts

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

¼ tsp table salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

3½ cups all-purpose flour

Combine the softened butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl if mixing by hand.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the flour all at once and mix just until the dough just comes together.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a disk about 1” thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Transfer the chilled dough to a sheet of parchment dusted with flour. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top and roll the dough to about ⅛” thick, from the center toward the pastry’s edge in all directions. If the dough becomes too soft to work with, place it in the fridge until it firms up again.

Remove the plastic wrap and, using your tart mold as a guide, cut the dough about an inch wider the mold for large starts (about half an inch for small tarts). Line the mold with the pastry, pressing the dough against the sides, and trim the edges.

Cover with plastic and refrigerate until firm. Pastry can be stored in the fridge, unbaked, for two days or in the freezer for up to six weeks