Learning about food, photography, and writing. Sharing what I find.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

California Nectarine Cobbler

The best souvenirs are edible ones.

My in-laws returned from a trip to Fresno the other day, their carry-ons stuff with nectarines.

Now, these things would have been delicious in almost any form, but I've never made a cobbler before, so they became the guinea pigs. I went with the Joy of Cooking for this one, though I was quickly cursing those little old ladies who edited the dessert section. I basically made this up as I went along, forced to fill in their blanks with what very limited knowledge I have of baking. Again, these could have been drizzled with gasoline and still tasted heavenly. So, despite the insufficient directions and the real ugliness of the preparation, the cobbler wasn't a total disaster.

The preparation is very "Joy of Cooking" in its rusticity. You can just see how the cobbler was born out of leftover biscuit dough and overripe fruit. In fact, good ol' Joy had me flipping pages three times over to get from the biscuit recipe, to the pie filling recipe, and back to the cobbler recipe to confirm (for the thousandth time) that they really didn't mention how to prepare the filling.

When you have it all in one place, it's very easy to get a basic cobbler together. Read on for assembling the California Nectarine Cobbler.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Veggie Phyllo Galette

I am going to admit that a few weeks ago I couldn't have told a galette from a tart. Even now, one just looks lazier than another to me.

Tart: Try hard to make your crust look pretty.
Galette: Don't.

Some peasant in ancient France probably laughed at the people who assigned a name to her poor attempt at dealing with the excess crust hanging over the edge of her tart pan.

Whatever the reason for the existence of a galette, eating one is pretty nice (as are most things that involve pastry crusts). I heard about a vegetable version of this usually fruit-based food (recipe found here and modified to make my galette) and I thought it would be a good summer side dish. I also wanted an excuse to buy more phyllo dough, so I decided to make it a Summer Veggie Phyllo Galette.

What you don't see above are the three cheeses all melty underneath the veggies. Mmmmmmmmm.

It wasn't terribly hard to make, honestly. Read on to learn how.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sweet Cherry and Apricot Crunch Pie

Do your cooking endeavors evolve as much as mine do from start to finish?

For example, when I set out to make a pie yesterday, I thought the bright-pink stalks that were poking out of a plastic bag in the fridge were rhubarb. I made it through two of the three major steps to prepare a Deep-dish Rhubard Crisp Pie when I realized these stalks had massive leaves attached to the hidden ends. It was Swish Chard. Not quite the same.

So, I had a lovely maple & oat crust all baked and a top-crumble chilling in the fridge, but nothing to put in between. It was then that I decided to kill two birds and make a "get-rid-of-the-aging-fruit" pie. I had wrinkly apricots and more cherries than could be eaten by two. So, while I pitted 50+ sweet cherries, I googled "summer cherry pie," found a recipe, totally modified it, and came out with this:

All in all, a beautiful disaster, if I may say. I shall call it, Sweet Cherry and Apricot Crunch Pie.

Let me consolidate my ridiculous process for you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baguette Apizza

Do I only eat pizza, you ask? Well, in a perfect world and in my version of Heaven, yes. Only good pizza, of course (I affix the prefix "a" to pizza that makes the cut).

So, this "pizza" is really more like bruschetta or an open-face panino, but what the hey.

These were created after a visit to a ten year anniversary celebration at Roots Market in Olney, MD. However, ingredients were items I almost always have on-hand. Just add a freshly baked baguette and you have dinner (or at least a very sharable appetizer).

Assembling these things is not rocket science, but ingredients are vital. For example, I like the firm, fresh mozzarella that comes bobbing around in liquid or that can be plucked directly from the liquid at an olive bar. When combining cheeses along an Italian theme, I like gorgonzola with my mozz. Plain, pitted calamata olives add oodles of flavor to everything and marinated artichoke hearts are divine. As always, fresh herbs are the icing on the savory cake.

I don't need to do much explaining, but here's the play-by-play on putting these babies together.