Thursday, August 29, 2019

Watermelon And Cucumber Stack Appetizers.

Here's a nice little appetizer for you -
watermelon, cucumber, and feta stacks.
Simple and summery.
Simply semi-peel and thinly slice the cukes,
cube the watermelon and feta,
make a vinaigrette,
and sprinkle with extra mint.
(Enough for 8 stacks.)
1 TB lime juice
zest of 1/2 a lime
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp minced mint
1 TB olive oil
(I used a neutral oil - Bertolli's extra light.)
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Whisk together all ingredients.
Drizzle over stacks.
Drizzle the vinaigrette over top
and sprinkle with extra mint.


Friday, August 23, 2019

Strawberry Popsicles

I'm on a dessert streak right now, so just bear with me.
Today, it's strawberry popsicles.
And if you're vegan, you're in luck.  These are non-dairy.  I'm using coconut milk.


Here's everything you'll need for the basic pops. 
Strawberry Popsicles
1 pint strawberries, chopped, with ½ cup reserved
1 banana, sliced
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
2 TB pure maple syrup (Please use the real thing, not the artificial chemical-laden stuff.)
12 popsicle molds

Combine 1 ½ cups strawberries, banana, coconut milk, and syrup in a blender and purée.  Spoon the reserved ½ cup berries evenly into the 12 molds.  Pour in the puréed mixture and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.

For the step-by-steps:

Everything into the processor
and ...  process.

Until nice and smooth.

Spoon a little of the reserved chopped strawberries into the bottom of each mold.

Then pour in the filling.

Lick any drippings off.

Fill all the molds and freeze.

Run mold under warm water to unmold.


 Being Rosie, I had to tart 'em up a bit.

 I’m going to take my basic popsicles and make them a bit more exciting.  I’m taking creamy and sweet and adding crunchy and salty, along with chocolate to the mix.  All it takes is a chocolate coating and some crushed pretzels and you've got yourself a real treat.

Chocolate Coating With Pretzels
(Will coat 6 popsicles.)
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 TB sugar
3 TB cream
2 TB coconut oil

Crushed pretzels

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate with sugar, cream, and coconut oil, stirring until smooth.

Coat popsicles with chocolate mixture.  I use a spoon to pour the chocolate over the popsicles then use the back of a spoon to evenly spread the chocolate.  Press crushed pretzels into the chocolate coating.  Return to freezer to let everything set.


Friday, August 16, 2019

Rosie Makes A Tomato Galette.

You know it’s summer when your kitchen counters are covered with vine-ripened tomatoes freshly picked from your garden.   You’ve waited all year for this.  You’ve suffered through those tasteless, insipid, and soulless imposters throughout the winter months and finally, you have the “real deal-“ a sun-kissed tomato, nearly bursting with juice, having that perfect balance of acids and sugars, resulting in a flavor that’s the essence of summer.  You’ve made tomato sandwiches, marinara sauce, salsa, gazpacho, tomato soup, panzanella, tomato salads, stuffed tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, grilled tomatoes, fried green tomatoes, and you’re thinking, “What else can I do with all these glorious tomatoes?”

Rosie to the rescue, here.  Make a tomato pie, or in this case, a tomato galette. 

  A galette is a rustic form of a pie.  It’s not contained in a dish.  The pastry is rolled out, the filling, which can be sweet or savory, is spooned on, then the edges are pulled up and partially draped over the filling, free-form style.  I'm going with a savory tomato galette today, but if you're in the mood for something sweet, you could check out

  my  cherry galette.


and my peach galette.

Tomato Galette

For the pastry:
1 cup flour
¼ tsp kosher salt
6 TB unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
3-4 TB ice water
Combine flour and salt in processor and combine.  Add butter and pulse a dozen times or so until crumbly.  Add water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing to combine until dough just comes together in a ball.  Place on lightly floured work surface and press into a 4-inch disk.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

For the filling:
1 ¼  pound tomatoes
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup chopped Vidalia onion
½ tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp Gray Poupon Dijon mustard
1 ½ oz. Gruyère cheese, grated  (approximately 1 cup)
3-4 TB grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
Basil, chopped

Peel the tomatoes.  I drop them into boiling water for about 20 seconds.  Drain and cool, then the skin will slip right off. 
Chop the tomatoes, discarding core.  You should have 2 cups.  Toss with the salt and place in a colander.  Let drain for at least 30 minutes, occasionally shaking the colander to get rid of excess juice.  
Combine drained tomatoes with chopped onion, garlic, ground pepper, and thyme.

Take pastry disk out of refrigerator and let rest for 10 minutes before rolling it out into a 10-inch circle, about ⅛ inch thick.  Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Brush mustard evenly over surface of dough then sprinkle Gruyère right onto the pastry.  This helps waterproof the dough so you don’t end up with a soggy bottom.  Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the Gruyère, leaving a 1-inch border all around.  Grate Parmesan over top.
Fold edges of dough up and over the filling, overlapping, gently pressing to seal, working around the circumference of the galette.
Brush dough with the beaten egg.  (You won’t need all of the egg.)

Bake in a 375° oven about 50 minutes, until crust is golden brown and tomato mixture is bubbly.  Let cool about 10 minutes, then transfer galette to wire rack and cool until warm.  Sprinkle with chopped basil and extra cheese. 

And now, for the step-by-steps:

Pulse the flour and salt together, then add in the pats of cold butter.

Pulse.  Forget what they say about pulsing until you get the texture of "coarse cornmeal."  You don't want a homogeneous mixture.  You want different sized pieces of butter in there.  From small to pea-sized.  

Start dribbling in the cold water and pulsing.
Until you get a mass like this.

Then place it on a lightly floured work surface and bring it together in a nice ball.

Press into a flat disk.

Wrap in plastic and chill.  For at least an hour.

While the dough is chilling, prepare the tomatoes.
I bring some water to a boil and drop the whole tomatoes in and leave 'em for about 15-20 seconds.  Then I peel them.  The peel comes right off.
Next, chop the 'maters and toss in a colander with some salt.  Let the tomatoes drain.
I got almost 1/2 cup of liquid out of these tomatoes.  Save the liquid for soup, to drink, or however you want to use it.

Remove dough from fridge and let it sit a bit to take the chill off and to relax.
Roll it out in about a 10-inch diameter circle.  (Lightly flour so it doesn't stick.)
Transfer dough to parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Next, brush on some Gray Poupon Dijon mustard.

Sprinkle some grated Gruyère over the dough.

Next, I added the chopped, drained tomatoes and chopped onions.
Grate some Parm over top.

Then grate some more Parm.

Start pulling up the sides of the dough and draping it over itself.
Pleat all the way around.

Brush pleated dough with egg wash.

Bake in a 375° oven for about 50 minutes, rotating halfway through.
You want the crust a nice golden brown.
Grate some more Parmesan over top.

And give it some basil lovin'.