Saturday, January 2, 2016

roasted butternut squash and caramelized onion galette

Hmmm. Let's see if I can remember how this works.

It's been nearly a year since I've posted anything here. That's not to say that I haven't been cooking. But between babies and moving and a book and, well, life, making something delicious and also writing down notes while cooking, snapping prep and food pics and penning witty posts... the former I like to think I do a decent amount of, but the rest has not been high on my priority list.

This is not to say that will necessarily change. But if I find myself with some rare and treasured free time, perhaps now and then I'll be inspired enough to both create good food and even take some pictures and write about it. No promises, though. There is another baby on the horizon, so much time will be spent there, however perhaps I'll receive culinary inspiration from the little darling as well. And there are already two little boys who show an early interest in food and cooking, which is another worthy reason to spend good time in the kitchen.

Speaking of which, this past holiday week has involved a lot of good time in the kitchen. I did something that I haven't done for a very long time: I got out a few cookbooks and flipped through them. I had a stack of post-its and a pen in hand, used to flag pages with recipes of interest and jot down ingredients needing to be procured. This exercise has led to a number of yummy things: molasses oat bread (Avery and Dorian made their own mini-loafs!), citrus barley risotto, hedgehog potatoes, poached sole with lemon caper and white wine reduction, kale salad with cherries and walnuts, whole wheat bread, a potato/bacon/green onion frittata, and—what I would consider the highlight of the week's kitchen adventures and the topic of this post—roasted butternut squash and caramelized onion galette.

The recipe is from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (which I'm pretty sure was gifted to me by Marika; if so and you're reading this, thank you!). It takes a little time, but none of the steps are particularly difficult—unless you consider yourself mostly inept at making pastry crust, like me, though the great thing about a galette is its "free form," which for me removes the requirement of pretty-looking pastry that I never seem quite able to achieve, a shortcoming that's much less visible here than in items like pies and tarts. The result is aesthetically interesting (which is my nice way of saying my dough was still ugly) and incredibly tasty.

With a quick internet search, I was also able to find the recipe on the Smitten Kitchen site (here), though it looks like it's for about an 8-inch galette serving six, while the one in the cookbook that I followed is for a 12-inch galette serving eight. Like the author, Randy, the boys, and I were able to get three full meals out of it. If you're going to go through all the work of making the pastry, roasting the squash, and caramelizing the onions, I'd recommend the following big version so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for a while!

I followed the pastry ingredients and instructions exactly, but read through the rest and executed from memory (and experience), so there are probably some minor variations from the original. Here's what I did:

Roasted Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Galette
Yields 12 inch galette serving 8

For the pastry:
2 c. all purpose flour (I had bread flour on hand, so used that)
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1/2 c. sour cream
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar (I substituted champagne vinegar because I was out of wwv)
1/3 c. ice water
1 egg yolk, beaten (for glaze on assembled galette, not dough)

For the filling:
1 butternut squash
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. butter
2 large yellow onions
a pinch of sugar (I used muscavado)
a pinch cayenne pepper
2 c. grated fontina cheese
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

Start by making the pastry. Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Add whole sticks of butter and use a pastry blender to break up butter until the mixture is the texture of cornmeal. In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vinegar and water. Pour over butter-flour mixture. Stir until dough forms, kneading it a bit of needed to bring it together (I did, mine was a bit dry though probably because I was a little shy of the 1/2 c. sour cream). Pat dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator while you prep the rest.

Next, roast the squash. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the squash, halve it and scoop out seeds. Chop into roughly 1/2" pieces. Pour olive oil onto rimmed baking sheet. Add squash and stir to coat. Arrange squash in a single later. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until squash is tender, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

While squash is roasting, caramelize the onions. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cut onions into thin half moons. Add to pan, along with sugar and cayenne. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Mix squash, onions, grated cheese, and thyme together in a bowl.

Now, you're ready to assemble the galette. Roll out dough on a floured work surface to a 16- to 17-inch round. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread squash mixture over dough, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border around the edge. Fold over the border, pleating the edge to make it fit (the center will be open). Brush outside of crust with egg yolk.

Bake in 400 degree oven until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for five minutes, then slide onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges. The galette can be served hot, warm, or at room temperature.

One year ago: lamb flatbread
Two years ago: mmm...hamburgers!
Three years ago: black bean brownies
Four years ago: chocolate pistachio shortbread
Five years ago: sautéed green beans with fried shallots
Six years ago: my very first post! where the magic happens

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