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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Apple, Craisin & Walnut Galette

So a galette is pretty much a free form pie. Okay, it's a lazy pie. It's all the deliciousness of a pie crust and the filling, without having to make it fit the pie tin and making a top crust. 

Having said that, I don't feel the slight bit guilty for making a galette. In fact, it's the perfect, quick, rustic end to a home cooked meal and it seems much less work and much less daunting than making a pie. You can fill it with whatever your heart desires, or whatever you have just kicking around in your fridge. Some great examples would be frozen fruit tossed in some cornstarch and sugar, some fresh sliced peaches or apricots, or a thick spread of your favorite jam.

Oh, and the best part is, there is no leftover, wasted dough. Nope, you roll it all out, put on your filling, and just fold it over. Easy as pie!

Apple, Craisin & Walnut Galette
Makes 1 Galette

For Whole Wheat Pastry Crust
1 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/8 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Butter, cut into cubes
3 tbsp Ice Water
(**In this case, I made a whole wheat pastry crust, but you could use a the same recipe with white flour)

1 Egg beaten with 1 tsp of water (Eggwash)

For Filling
2 Apples, sliced
Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
1/2 cup Walnut Pieces
1/3 cup Craisins
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
3 tbsp Plain Yogurt
2 tbsp Butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make Pastry Crust
In a food processor, mix together flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a course meal. Slowly add the ice water, pulsing just until the dough starts to stick together in a ball. Remove the dough from the processor, form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

Filling and Baking
In a bowl, stir together apples, lemon juice and zest, walnuts, craisins and brown sugar.

Roll out pastry dough to about 1/4 cm thickness. Place on a a parchment or greased baking sheet. Put the yogurt on the dough and spread in the centre, leaving a 2 inches border around the edge of the crust clear. Place the apple mixture on top of the yogurt. 

Rustically fold over the borders of the pastry (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches all around), pressing down to seal it around the filling. Brush with the egg wash. Place spots of the butter onto the filling. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (and a slight mini peanut butter cup variation)

I love peanut butter and oatmeal. And oatmeal and chocolate chips. So I guess that means I would like peanut butter chips and oatmeal?

Okay, where this is really coming from is... I have this random bag of mini peanut butter cup chips in my pantry. I actually think it was an accident. I certainly don't remember buying them so perhaps I picked them up by accident instead of chocolate chips? Anyhow, regardless of how they got into my kitchen, I've got to use them. And to my surprise, they look and taste exactly like peanut butter cups. Hmmmm....

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies 
(and a slight mini peanut butter cup variation)
Makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup Butter, room temp
1/4 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg
2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
2/3 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cups Quick Oats
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips (or mini peanut butter cup chips or mixed!)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Stir together flour, baking soda and salt and then add to butter mixture and mix until just combined.  Stir in oats, walnuts and chocolate chips.

Roll into 3/4 inch balls and flatten slightly with your fingers. Place onto silpat or parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Quick and Crunchy Fried Fish

Hi everyone. So sorry I have been absent for a while, but we've been moving into our new house! Actually, we haven't exactly done the moving part. It's been more like sanding, priming, painting, ripping out carpets, cleaning and everything we can possibly do to prepare for the move.

So, for anyone that's ever been through this, you know that cooking takes the back burner. Your kitchen is half packed, you start to live off restaurants and pantry items, and a hot, home cooked meal seems a distant memory. 

As the stress starts to build, the cravings begin. For me, it was fried chicken. The problem is, fried chicken is not close by for us, and it's not as quick to make as I would like.  However, fried fish is super easy and fast. So, that's what I made. Fried fish.