Friday, 23 September 2016

Drunken Cherry Galette

Let's talk about galettes.

Galettes are basically just a fancy name for a pie that is "ugly".  Except these galettes are SO PRETTY.

Straightforward ingredients...  Sugar, flour, salt, butter, water.

In a large bowl, combine the flour,

With the salt and sugar.

Then add in the pieces of butter.  It's best if the butter is cold.  For the majority of baked goods - butter should be at room temperature (or melted if the recipe indicates).  But for pie - COLD.

Then, using a fork or a fancy schmancy pastry cutter if you have one, cut the butter into the flour until it is about the size of peas.

I prefer my pastry cutter - but a fork works just as well.  Though it might take a little longer.

Then you're going to add in cold water (again - pie crust ingredients must be cold), and stir the mixture until it comes together.  Knead it until it holds together in a dough ball and then refrigerate.

On to the filling.

Remove the stems and pit the cherries.  I used a chopstick to remove the pits and it worked really, really well.  Just press the chopstick through the cherry from the stem end and the pit will pop out the other side.

Once all the stems and pits are removed, put the cherries in a shallow dish.  I used a pie plate.

In a measuring cup, combine the wine, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Then add in the sugar.

Stir the wine, lemon, and sugar mixture together and pour over the cherries.  Stir around to coat the cherries.  I would probably use a different vessel for this next time.

Let sit for about an hour.

After the hour is up, strain the liquid from the cherries and transfer into a pot.  The recipe says to remove 1/4 cup of the wine mixture from the pot, but I didn't.  And it turned out just fine.  Just took a little longer to cook down.

Start simmering the wine mixture until it is reduced to 1/4 cup.  (Mine was only a couple of tablespoons because I halved the recipe).  Then stir in the cherries and add in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.  Stir again.

The get your dough ready.  Split the dough into equal portions and roll out to desired thickness. 

Top with the cherry mixture and fold the edges up and over the cherry mixture.  It doesn't need to be perfect!

Brush the top of the crust with an egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Then bake.

I topped mine with freshly whipped cream.

Oh - MY this turned out so good.  It's slightly time consuming - but altogether worth it.  

I loved a number of things about this recipe.  1 - the crust was so easy to put together.  2 - the wine, lemon, and cherries came together completely perfectly.  3 - it is easily halved.  4 - It is BEAUTIFUL in its imperfection.

The last thing.  Probably that I abandoned my fork and ate it like a pizza.  I have no shame.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!  xoxo - Heather

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Million Dollar Spaghetti

If you're a resident of Alberta, you know that September long weekend sits on a knife-edge of weather.  Either it will be freezing cold or smoking hot. 
This long weekend of 2016.  Freezing cold.  Which is fairly average.
So let's do a pasta casserole. 
That name though - it cracks me up every time.  I suppose it's because the casserole itself is quite rich.
Feel free to use a fancy spaghetti sauce if that's what blows your skirt up.  But an inexpensive sauce like President's Choice Marinara Sauce is perfect (and tastes delicious).

In a large bowl, combine the cottage cheese.

Sour cream.  And the cream cheese (I forgot it's picture!).

Cook up the ground beef and add the pasta sauce.

In a 9 x 13 baking dish, place half the butter (cut into "cubes) in the bottom of the dish.

Then add half the cooked pasta. 

Spread the cottage cheese mixture on top of the pasta.

Then add the rest of the cooked pasta and the rest of the butter.

Top with the cooked beef.

Bake for 30 minutes, top with desired amount of cheddar cheese (I wish there'd been more!), and bake a little longer.

Very rich - it's a hearty meal that's ready pretty quickly.  Definitely use a pasta sauce that you love!
I would reduce the amount of cream cheese for the next time as I found it to be a little overpowering.  (I'll note the change in the recipe below)

While this pasta is not great for your waistline (so few casseroles are!), it's a great "feel good" recipe for when the rain is persistent and the wind is cold. 
Every now and then, a cold and gross September long weekend turns into a beautiful and spectacularly warm fall.  I've got my fingers crossed that we're in for that.  While we're waiting for that to happen - fill yourselves up with casseroles!
Xoxo - Heather