Sunday, October 5, 2008

Redemption! Acorn Squash! Apologies!

I have redeemed myself. Tonight I made the most perfect meal I've made to date. Not only was it delicious, it turned out exactly the way I'd planned it and looked beautiful too! You'll have to believe me because we ate it before I could think to take a picture of it.

I have given it the fancy title of Autumnally Themed Galette or How I Redeemed Myself From The Last Cooking Disaster* and it is based on this recipe.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
8 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg, slightly beaten

1 Acorn Squash, peeled (this is annoying and tricky but possibly with a potato peeler and sharp knife)
1 Crispin apple (any good baking apple would do, I happened to have Crispin apples handy - complain as I do about Ithaca, the apples here are plentiful and delicious)
1 small yellow onion, peeled but leave the root intact to hold it together (I love onions, but they don't really like me very much - this recipe allows thorough cooking though, which always helps mellow them out)
3 tbsp melted butter (I melted mine in a bowl suspended in boiling water as I do not have a microwave)
1 tbs1.5 tsp zata (you can just use thyme or thyme and rosemary or whatever. Fresh would be best. I used zata because I had no thyme, rosemary or anything really like that. Plus zata is delicious. The amount is approximate)
salt (to taste, I have no idea how much I put in, maybe 1.5 teaspoons?)
fresh ground black pepper (I started with about a teaspoon of peppercorns)
2 teaspoons real mustard (the dark coloured stuff with actual mustard seeds in it, none of this bright yellow crap. The original recipe called for more, but I really hate when mustard overwhelms things that are a little sweet already. This amount provided enough bite without making it too mustardy)
1/4 cup grated sharp chedder (what I had in the fridge - stilton or bleu would go wonderfully as well)

Measure out the flour in a large bowl and stir in the salt. Add the butter and mix with a pastry knife or fork until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few bean-size bits of butter in it. Add the egg and mix it together more. The dough should be a little crumbly. If the dough seems very dry (as mine did), add a few drops of water, bit by bit, as you mix it in - do not over water. Bring the dough together by hand - if this is proving difficult, add a few more drops of water as needed. Form into a ball, the dough should be flaky but still sticky enough to do this. Flatten dough into a disk about 6 inches in diameter, wrap in plastic, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (I did 1.5).

For the filling: Halve and core the apple. Cut each half into 8 wedges and put them in a large bowl. Slice the squash about 1/4 inch thick and add to the bowl. Cut the onion into wedges; some of the wedges may not hold together, but that's okay. Add the onion to the bowl. Add the melted butter, zata, salt and pepper to taste, and toss gently to combine.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 12-inch disk, the dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and brush with mustard. Starting 2 inches from the edge, arrange the slices of apple, squash, and onions, alternating and forming overlapping circles. You may have leftover filling, as I did. You can either roast them on their own or reserve them for a second galette or toss them in a soup or do whatever you like.

Fold and pleat the dough over the edges of the filling. Bake until the crust is deep golden brown, and the apple, squash, and onion are tender and caramelized, about 35 minutes. Scatter the cheese over the filling and bake until melted, about 5 more minutes. Cool the galette briefly, then cut into wedges and serve.

I served it with diced tomatoes, spinach and diced garlic that I steamed quickly while the galette was in the melted cheese step - I tossed the garlic in a cast iron skillet with some olive oil, then tossed in the diced tomatoes. Then I tossed in de-stemmed spinach leaves (put the stems in your container in the freezer that you keep for stock flavoury bits), squirt a bit of lemon juice over it. The liquid from the tomatoes both steams the spinach and, because it's acidic, picks up a some of the iron from the skillet. That combined with the high iron content of the spinach makes this a very good source of iron for those of you who are in need of it.

Once you the spinach is sufficiently wilty, serve it along side the galette for a great contrast.

*Samantha from Earthbound Farm commented on that entry where I grumble and groan about the butternut squash gnocchi recipe. She said that they had taken the recipe down until they could further test it. I'd like to say that I really appreciate the attentiveness and it furthers my faith in Earthbound Farm, even beyond their delicious boxed salads that I used to buy when I lived in California - theirs was the only packaged salad that I have ever found to be satisfactory. I would take them on airplanes with a 3 oz container of homemade dressing and be ever so happy. I did not mean my blog entry to reflect anything negative about the company, merely that I had had an unsatisfactory experience with that particular recipe - which I wouldn't have even tried, had I not felt it came from a good source.

1 comment:

Samantha said... offense taken. I meant it when I said that it's great to get that kind of feedback from people who try our recipes! We'll take it any time.