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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Laura Calder's Rough Apple Galette (

(Note: I have since tried this recipe and have to note that there is a level of difficulty that I hadn't anticipated: rolling out the dough and then transferring it, with the apples, to the baking sheet. Perhaps find a sheet without edges so it can be done on the cookie sheet?)

Bonjour mes amis. This easy French dessert recipe comes from my good friend, artist, writer, photographer, and bon vivant, Dan.

According to Dan: Laura Calder's "rough apple galette" has wowed family, in-laws and friends and is now part of my repertoire of "This old recipe? - Gosh it's just something I whipped up..." 100% delicious, easy and foolproof. You can play around with the sugar and cinnamon quantities (I've tried it with more of both with decent results) - of course, depending on how thick you make your pate sucree, you may need a bit less (rarely more) apple pieces. Seriously - this thing rocks, especially when you've already made something involved for dinner.

~ Enjoy!

Yield: 6

1 cup plus 2 Tbsps flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
About 2 Tbsps ice-cold water

4 tablespoons brown sugar, more to taste
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
About 6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon butter (optional)

Make the pastry: Put the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and pinch with the fingers to create a crumb texture. Make a well in the middle, and pour in the vanilla and water. Quickly work in the flour to create dough. Do not over-mix. Pat into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 15 minutes.
eat the oven to 450°F/230°C. Roll the pastry into a round and lay on a baking sheet.

Heat the oven to 450°F/230°C. Roll the pastry into a round and lay on a baking sheet. Stir together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl. Toss in the apples to coat, and dump onto the pastry. Dot with the butter. Bring the edges of the pastry up over so they lay in, rough-edged, on the apples. They won’t cover the apples completely. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden and the apples soft to a fork and caramelized, 40 to 45 minutes.

Dissing Deen - Breakfast in Bed

I love everything about Miss Paula, so I thought the baked goods featured on this episode would be great to have around for weekend guests. Yikes - not sure if it was a mistake by Food Network staffers, but it seems Paula and my grandmother have something in common - their recipes are more guesstimates rather than precise instructions. Here's what happened.

Recipe number one:
Spinach Gruyere Puff Pastry
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Doesn't it look good? In theory, I knew my vegetarian guests would like it, but look closely at the recipe. It is void of ANY seasoning, let alone common elements like onions/leeks/shallots. Huh? Looks like Paula was channelling grandma. I ended up adding Montreal Steak Spice (the 'gitty up' of spices if one was ever invented), onions, nutmeg, thyme, salt, etc. In the end it was fine, but:
~ Cook beware!

Recipe number two:
Spicy Cinnamon Cake
Courtesy Paula Deen

My bad! What made me think that a cake made with pudding and cake mix would taste homemade? Guess I was pressed for time and swayed by the many great reviews (with the exception of Diane from Miami Beach, who was so right when she called it "Awful"). Anyway, live and learn - it tastes like every processed cake you've ever eaten and it was over cooked to boot. If you do decide to try it, reduce the temperature and/or cooking time.

~ Cook beware!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Emeril's Essence

This is a stock spice for me. Keep the Essence in a plastic storage bag for when needed. I add Cumin and Chipotle Pepper to my mix. It's amazing how many things you can throw it into! Really good for an easy grill spice for chicken and pork, in Chili recipes and, one of my favorites, Martha Stewart's Easy Paella. (Photo - I'm not saying it's authentic Paella; it just has really good flavors. I use spicy sausage and add cooked chicken at the end. Last night I used Arborio rice (risotto) to satisfy a pasta craving and it worked out just as well.)

~ Enjoy

Epicurious Pork Schnitzel
This is a really easy recipe that turned out wonderfully because I followed the comments of the reviewers. The original recipe called for chicken, but I had pork in the freezer and used it instead. I added dijon mustard to the egg wash and deglazed the pan with lemon, as suggested, before adding the butter, capers and parsley for the sauce. Just be careful how much lemon you use - we liked the tartness, so it turned out well. I served it with boiled potatoes smothered with butter and dill (like my grandmother used to serve). ~ Enjoy!