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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette

As there was not a lot left of my rhubarb plant, I decided to use the remainder of it up by making a strawberry-rhubarb galette. Having made a galette before, I found it easy to make, and always enjoy the rustic look of the free form dough shape. Or maybe I was just too lazy to make a proper pie.
Considering my mom is the queen of pies, and I was serving her this easy to make free form pastry, I was nervous that it would not turn out. Overall it turned out good. I found the juice of the fruit did make the bottom of the crust a bit wet… so I put it in the oven without a pan to crisp on the bottom a bit, as well as let it cool on a cooling rack, both seemed to help.

This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Rhubarb Galette. I added strawberries, and used the dough recipe from the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut in 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup cream cheese, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tbsp lemon juicewater as needed

Combine all ingredients except water in a food processor. Remove ingredients from food processor into a large bowl. Knead dough together with hands. Add a bit of water as needed (not too much or will be sticky) until ball of dough forms. Let sit covered for 30 mins.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough in to make approximately a 14" imperfect circle. Then lightly trace a circle in the middle of the dough where the fruit will be pilled. Depending if you want the fruit to be exposed or completely covered will depend on how big your fruit circle will be. For details photos of making the dough, see my apple-rosemary galette recipe.


1 lb rhubarb, sliced into 1/2” chunks
2 cups sliced strawberries
Juice of ½ lemon
1/2 cup granulated sugar (or less)
Pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg (ground or freshly grated)
1 egg white beaten

Place rhubarb, strawberries and lemon juice in a large bowl; toss to combine.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add sugar mixture to the rhubarb mixture and toss until well coated.

Arrange the fruit mixture on top of the dough, leaving a 2” border all the way around. Fold border over the fruit mixture, overlapping where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds.

Brush the edges of the dough with egg white.

Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 450F.

Reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes.
and my delicious Rhubarb Loaf.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Feta and Dill Slather

If there was one food I could not give up it would likely be cheese. Cheese, crackers and apple or grapes are my staple snack. I also frequently serve cheese as an appetizer, typically brie or goat cheese with fruit and bread or crackers. I wanted to try a different cheese appetizer my norm.

The LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine featured a wonderful feta cheese slather. The aroma and tang of fresh dill and lemon zest went perfectly with the saltiness of the feta. I also cut up small cherry tomatoes and layered them on top of the cheese slather, which improved the taste. I have been eating it regularly on crackers, on sandwiches and even on my burger. Very yummy!

250g feta cheese, crumbled
2 garlic clove, whole
1 T olive oil (original recipe called for 3T)
The zest of one lemon
1 T lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
3 T fresh chopped dill
2 T fresh chopped chives

Place the feta, oil, garlic, zest and pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth. Stir in dill and chives. Serve with crackers, baguette, top with tomato slices if desired. Also a great spread for sandwiches, turkey burgers or wraps.

You might also enjoy these cheesy recipes:

Baguette with Brie & Mango Chutney


Friday, June 5, 2009

Lemon-Rosemary Chicken Kebabs with Greek Inspired Couscous

As soon as you open the backdoor to my house you are hit by the invigorating aroma of rosemary and basil. Smelling the fresh herbs in the house inspired me to use them in last evening’s dinner. When I think rosemary I automatically associate it with Mediterranean cuisine as well as chicken, although it has many culinary uses (I added it to an cranberry-apple galette a few months back). The following lemon-rosemary marinade provided a woody and fresh citrus flavour to these grilled chicken kebabs. The kebabs were complimented with a Greek-inspired couscous salad. Could also serve chicken skewers with flatbread/pita and tzaziki or a greek salad.

Lemon-Rosemary Kebabs

1 lbs chicken breast skinned and cut in to large cubes
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic minced
1 T grainy Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon zest
2 T fresh rosemary chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste

In a medium bowl mix together all the ingredients. Add the chicken chunks and let marinade in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Using pre-soaked wooden skewers, skewer an even amount of chicken chunks onto each skewer.

On a pre-oiled and pre-heated grill (med-high) cook the skewers on medium heat 6-7 minutes a side, until white in center.

Serve on a bed of Greek inspired couscous.

Greek Inspired Couscous

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cups diced plum tomatoes (about 3-4)
1 cup diced peeled cucumber
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup black or kalamata olives, ripe and halved
3 T diced red onion
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Lemon juice (optional)

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in couscous and oregano. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Combine couscous, tomatoes, and next 5 ingredients (tomatoes through chickpeas) in a bowl; set aside. If desired could squeeze fresh lemon juice over couscous prior to serving.

More BBQ Kebab Recipes

Grainy Mustard Beef Kebabs

Grilled Salmon Skewers

Grilled Blackened Scallops

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rhubarb Loaf

What to do with all that rhubarb?

This is the first season I have a garden other than potted herbs. It is a great feeling to go outside pick fruits or vegetables growing in your own garden and use them to cook or bake. As my back yard has a lot of shade, I am limited in what I can grow. And anything that can grow is still subjected to the gluttonous squirrels, as well as the gophers and rabbits lurking nearby.

So far I have rhubarb, spinach, chives, oregano, rosemary, and basil that have survived. The squirrels have eaten one spinach plant and my coriander seeds again and again. My rhubarb plant is rather small considering it is in the shade, but it still made a wonderful tart tasting rhubarb loaf. I adapted the recipe found in the the Canadian Living magazine, it made one large loaf and about 9 mini muffins.

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chopped rhubarb
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In separate bowl, blend sugar with oil; whisk in egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients along with rhubarb and walnuts just until flour is incorporated.

Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin tins, filling three-quarters full, or spoon into two greased loaf pan.

Bake in 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes for muffins, 15 min for mini muffins, 45 to 55 minutes for large loaf, or until cake tester inserted into centre comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to let cool completely.