Wednesday, August 3, 2011

In the Kitchen

There's not been a lot to bring into the kitchen from the garden, but my Swiss chard is managing to stay alive.  i found a great recipe for a Swiss chard Crostata and thought i would share it with you.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 cup mascarpone

Pinch kosher salt

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 stick cold butter, cut into pea-sized pieces

2 eggs


Extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, smashed

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 bunch white Swiss Chard, stems removed cut into 1/4-inch lengths, leaves cut into 1-inch lengths

2 leeks, tough green tops removed, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch lengths

2 to 3 tablespoons water

Kosher salt

2 cups fresh ricotta

1 cup grated Parmesan

2 eggs

Pinch cayenne pepper

Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water



Combine the flour, Parmesan, mascarpone, salt, cayenne and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse, pulse, pulse, until it looks very dry and crumbly--what I like to call the Parmesan stage. Add the eggs and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Remove the dough from the food processor, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


Coat a large saute pan generously with olive oil. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and bring the pan to a medium heat. When the garlic has become golden brown and is very aromatic remove it and discard, it has fulfilled its garlic destiny. Add the Swiss chard stems, leeks and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and season with salt. When the water has evaporated and the stems and leeks are soft, add the leaves. Season the leaves with salt and saute until they are very soft and wilted. Remove from the heat and allow the Swiss chard to cool.

In a large bowl combine the ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, cayenne and the Swiss chard mixture. Mix to thoroughly combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed (it will). Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

To assemble:

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let warm up for about 10 to 15 minutes, this will make it really much easier to roll out.

Dust a large clean work surface with flour and roll the dough into a large circle about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a large sheet try lined with parchment paper. Lay the dough out flat, don't worry about the overhang on the sides. Put the filling in a large circle in the center of the rolled out dough leaving a 3 to 4-inch border of dough along the outside edge. Fold the dough up around the filling to make a "free-form pie". Brush the top of the dough with egg wash and bake in the preheated oven until the crust is firm, golden brown and shiny, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing, this will allow it to up for easier slicing.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

We had it with baked chicken and then again the next morning with fresh fruit and cheese,

This was better than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be really good.

I also wanted to make some chewy granola bars but had trouble finding a recipe that you didn't have to bake.  I am trying not to cook as much as possible.  Here is what I came up with.

Chococonut Granola Bars

1/2 cup cashew butter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup each shredded coconut and semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat in a heavy saucepan the cashew butter, honey, and oil together just until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Line an 8x8 cake pan with plastic wrap and pour mixture in, leveling it out.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Then chill until firm and cut into desired size.  Wrap and store in refrigerator.

Ingredients-I make my own cashew butter

heating, still pretty lumpy

add vanilla

Oats-I had quick oats but I think old fashioned would be better

chocolate chips and coconut

Line your pan

That's a wrap

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