Monday, July 12, 2010

Stifling Heat Bakes Brain....

A quick glimpse at my alabaster skin and it becomes readily apparent that my ancestors were cold weather people. And with temperatures topping 100 degrees multiple days this past week my brain lost ability to function. It tried mind you, but every time a glimpse of thought crept into my brain it was quickly pushed out by an all encompassing focus on staying cool. For this particular reason there is a lack of my usual rhetoric this week, which I would imagine comes as a pleasant surprise to most.

The galette, formed with peaches from our CSA, was made with whole wheat flour, as I was too lazy to head to the store after realizing I had run out of white. Don't do this. The variation in flour changed the flavor and consistency of the dough, leaving us to spoon out the delicious filling and practically trash the rest. The below recipe is quite good, with the proper flour.

Galette Dough (makes about two)
1 5/8c unbleached white flour
½ tsp salt
8 tbsps butter (1 stick)
3/8c cool (not cold) water

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl placing the butter in a well at the center. Coating your hands in flour begin to break up the chunks of butter, maintaining a fair amount of flour between your hands and the butter in efforts not to melt the butter with the heat from your hands. When the butter is the size of small peas, pour half the water in and gather it into a ball, adding more water if necessary. Divide the dough into two equal portions and refrigerate until ready to use.

3 Peaches peeled and sliced (parboiling helps with peeling)
2 tsp brown sugar

Generously flour the surface of the counter, the top of the dough, and the rolling pin, before rolling the dough out to an even thickness of less than a ¼ inch. Pile the filling in the center of the dough, folding the edges back to leave a small circular area of exposed fruit. Brush the outside of the dough with egg wash and place in the oven at 350°, baking until the crust turns a golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.

The terrine, with beats sourced from the Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket, and herbs sourced from my parent’s garden, turned out well, however, in retrospect I would have sliced the beets slightly thicker, and layered the goat cheese more thickly as well. The below citrus dressing which is not incorporated in the picture, provided a fantastic acidic balance with the flavor of the beets and cheese.

Beet Terrine
2 bunches of beets (red and golden)
12 ounces goat cheese
3-4 tbsp chopped herbs (I used basil and thyme)
Tsp salt

Remove the beet greens leaving about 1-2 inches, and place in an ovenproof pan with ¼ to a ½ inch of water. Make sure to use a different pan for both beets as the colors will bleed. Cover with tin foil and roast in the oven at 400° for 1 to 1 ½ hours depending on the size of the beets, they are done when you can easily slide a fork into the side of the beat. Allow the beets to cool, and peel by hand; once peeled, they can be sliced evenly, with a Japanese mandoline.

Evenly layer the slices, overlapping each by about a ¼, and covering in a generous layer of goat cheese that has been mixed with salt and chopped herbs. Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before serving.

This should be topped with a mache salad, preferably mixed with walnuts and coated in dressing mixed with 2 tbsps orange juice, ¼c champagne vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, and a generous helping of chopped chives.

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