Cabbage Chard and Mushroom Galette

It's amazing how just a few days (about 10 to be exact) can change so much.
It feels like spring.
It looks like spring.
It sounds like spring.
It's almost Easter.
The only thing that is still missing is food.  Some new potatoes, fiddleheads, asparagus, greens.  It will come... my chives are almost ready to start being harvested.  What I'm really trying to say here is that we are still eating cabbage, squash, rutabaga, turnip... you get the picture.
Looking back over the last four months I feel proud of myself.  I don't think that there has ever been a time in my life when I've cooked as close to the season.  It's been a huge shift for us and at the start I didn't know if everyone in the house would be as keen as I was.  The changes have been:
A. Eating more seasonal food, including squash, rutabaga, turnip, parsnip and winter greens.
B. Including more beans in our diet on a regular basis.
C. Shrinking our meat eating to one dish a week.

What I've learned:
1.  When I don't cook with meat I also don't need to worry about meat going bad in the fridge or taking it out of the freezer to thaw (that sounds kinda lame but it really was a nice discovery), coming home ready to cook and discovering that even though my brain thought it put out the meat in the morning it really didn't in reality and... you get the picture.
2.  When food tastes good most people (not Kid #2 however) don't care what's in it, or not in it as the case may be.
3.  When not cooking with meat I enjoy the vegetables more AND they work really well in group situations (ie. stew or casserole)

Buoyed by my seasonal success and cabbage and chard in hand I launched headlong into the world of 'galette'.  Galette sounds cool and french almost intimidating.  But... it's not.  It was easy.  The veggies worked well, the crust came together easily and it tasted good.  Not scary, very cool, tasty and seasonal... Yup.

Cabbage, Chard and Mushroom Galette inspired by Smitten Kitchen
serves 6

2 tbsp butter
4 cups cabbage, sliced in thinish strips
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed... whatever
3 cups mushrooms, sliced in about 4 slices each
2 cups chard, sliced thin
1 1/2 tbsp thyme, dill
1 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
dash pepper sauce or cayenne (to taste)
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)
1/3 cup grated cheese (your choice)
3 tbsp grated parmesan

In a large pot, heated over medium heat, add the butter cabbage, onion and mushrooms.  Cook together for about 7 minutes.  Turn the heat down to low and add the garlic and chard.  Cook together for another 7 minutes or until the chard is wilted.
Add the thyme, dill, paprika, salt, cumin and pepper sauce to the cabbage mixture.  Cook together for another 5 minutes (add a little more butter if you need to)
Add in the lemon juice, sour cream, grated cheese and the parmesan.  Mix well and let the cheese melt.  Check the tastes and adjust if necessary.  Set aside to cool.

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter in small pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
squeeze of a slice of fresh lemon
1/4 cup cold water

Combine the flour and the salt in a bowl.
Combine the sour cream, lemon and water in another bowl.
Add the butter to the flour and cut the butter in until it forms a good crumb.
Slowly add the sour cream mixture to the flour until it forms a nice ball.  Refridgerate for about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
Roll out on a lightly flour surface until it's about a 1/4 inch thick.
Transfer the flattened dough to a lined baking sheet, the edges of the crust will hang over the sides - that's ok.
Spoon the filling into the centre of the crust, leaving about 4 - 5 inches all around the edge.  Fold the crust up over the sides of the filling.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is turning golden brown on the edges.
Remove from the oven and cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Date Squares from Dana... kinda

I've got to update my 'favourite blogs' list.  I should do it right now.
In my internet travels over the last year and a half or so I have come across many sites that have interested me.  Some briefly and others have somehow managed to connect with me.  Well... the person writing the blog has somehow connected with me.  I feel connected to them... I don't know... it's weird.  Like I'm kinda reading someone's journal but it's what they want me to read but I still like them and I kinda think the same goofy things and I think that if we had the chance to hang out that we might get on well and maybe be cool friends that could be totally rad and laugh and shop together and do yoga classes and then our nails.  I don't know.... it's weird.  That's how I've grown to feel about this blog.
I just like her vibe and her food and that she likes/practices yoga and is a veggie (even though I'm only a wannabe) and lives in a cold place too and has kids... like I said... it's weird.
Dana blogged this post about date squares and how the recipe was all kinda jacked and how then she fixed it but was still pissed because, well, when you pay for a recipe book then the recipes should kinda work, right?  I hadn't really thought about dates squares before but I totally love them when I go to the bakery.  (BTW, I've had it with all the well known cafe/bakery crap out there.  I'm sorry... tastes like crap.  Hey Big Coffee Chains (you know who you are).  If you really want to boost the local economy then how about getting real, local bakeries to bake crap for you and selling it in your stores... like this place does?  Just a thought.)  So, I got the idea into my head.  It's been there for a while.  Just kinda bouncing around in the fog that is me. Waiting for a day when the fog may clear, the clouds may open and just maybe date squares would burst through.

Today, I made date squares.
I didn't make date squares with oatmeal, 'cause the big flaky stuff that I have didn't appeal and I don't have anything right now to whizz them down to a flour (don't ask about my kitchen gadget situation right now, ok).  I didn't make them with desiccated coconut 'cause that stuff makes me want to hurl (if the idea doesn't make you feel like lunch is coming back up then by all means add some in - I'll add it to the recipe).

I made the dates squares that Dana made first, and fixed.  So now I just want to thank Dana for fixing the  jacked date square recipe and not making date squares with oatmeal.  It was really awesome that you went through all that for me... I appreciate it.  And the date squares taste really good.

Date Squares (adapted from Dana Treat adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey - I never get the words in the right order)

Date Stuff:
1 lb of dates, pitted and chopped (I used organic Medjool)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
(1 cup desiccated coconut)

Combine all the 'Date Stuff'' in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Turn down to low heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or so, until the mixture has boiled down a bit and is quite gooey.  Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add in the vanilla and salt and whisk together for a minute or so.
Gradually add in the flour, mixing well with each addition (I added a cup or so at a time) until all the flour is added.  (Add the coconut at this point if you wish).  The mixture should form a dough if you squeeze it together into a ball but still crumble easily.
Press about a 1/3 of the dough into the bottom of the greased baking pan.
Bake the pressed dough for about 20 minutes or until just barely browning on the edges.
Remove and cool slightly.
With a potato masher (the gadget situation again), mash the dates to get out any lumps.  Pour the dates over the bottom dough layer.  Spread it evenly.
With the rest of the flour (you might have to make little balls with it in your hands first - that's what I did) sprinkle it in largish chunks over the dates.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges are just nicely browned.  Feel free to sprinkle just a little more desiccated coconut over the top if you feel so inclined.
makes about 24 bars or 28 or so if you cut them small.

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St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

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  • Naparima Girls High School Cookbook
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Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
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