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Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

The February/March Cook the Books reading selection, Dinner with Edward, inspired my mini strawberry chocolate galettes.  Dinner with Edward, by Isabel Vincent, is a charmer.  It’s a quick read, filled to the brim with amazing food stories, menus, and inspiration.  But the heart of the book is the relationship between Edward, a retired gentleman whose wife recently died, and Isabel, a younger woman who goes through major life upheaval in the course of the book.  It’s a book about friendship and food, both of which cut across generations.  I really thought this one was, well, charming.

And so much food to choose from for inspiration (as you can see from my very sticky-noted copy)!  I initially couldn’t decide if I was going to try one of Edward’s potato recipes, or steak, or soup, or soufflé, or martinis, or chicken, or fish, or pork.  What I eventually landed on was being inspired by the apple galette that shows up around chapter three.  Strawberries are slowly making their way into season (as spring seems to finally be peaking around the corner here in the PNW).  I decided to aim for a version of the galette using butter instead of Edward’s recommended lard, and go for flavors that I love to share with friends.  Thus, I ended up with a dozen perfect mini strawberry chocolate galettes that my husband and I have been munching on all week long.

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

These mini strawberry chocolate galettes would make a great Easter dessert.  They’d also be delightful as the final course for a picnic.  You can substitute other berries for sure – I’m definitely going to be making these again when raspberries are in season.  Galettes take all the loveliness of a pie and make it into a rustic, easy to make and bake treat.  They are completely free form, so all you have to do is make the pastry, roll it out, fill and bake.  I added a touch of dark chocolate and some sugar macerated strawberries and called it delightful.

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Oh – and I’ll confess.  I did end up making a dry martini the way it was suggested in the book.  I think it may be the best martini I’ve ever had in my life.  If you are curious, check out either the book (which I highly recommend) or take a peek at my Instagram feed where there’s a photo of the martini and tips on how to make it.

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Ingredients

    For the Pastry
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • For the Filling
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 egg for egg wash

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Make the pastry by combining the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the flour, using a fork, your hands, or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour. Add the water, a bit at a time and work into the flour/butter mix until it forms a ball. Refrigerate the pastry dough for 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, combine the sliced strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar and set aside to macerate.
  4. Use parchment paper to line a baking sheet.
  5. Melt the dark chocolate chips. Roll the chilled pastry dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter or similar to cut the dough into small circles.
  6. Spoon a bit of the melted dark chocolate into the middle of each pastry dough circle. Arrange several slices of strawberries on top of each and gently fold and pinch the pastry dough up over the strawberries.
  7. Place each mini galette onto the parchment lined baking sheet. If you are using an egg to wash, combine the egg with a tablespoon of water and beat until frothy. Brush the egg wash over the pastry dough for each galette.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the galettes are light brown. Enjoy!
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This recipe is linked up to March’s Treat Petite, hosted by Cakeyboi.  Treat Petite is hosted alternative months at Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer, so be sure to check out both awesome blogs!

And to Novel Foods #29

And to the March 2017 Foodie Reads

Crockpot Posole

Crockpot Posole

I recently ran across a great blog that combines the best of two worlds: food and books.  I’ve previously participated in the Novel Food challenge on Simona Carini’s beautiful blog, and was very excited to find Cook the Books Foodie Book Club.  The book chosen for August and September was F.G. Hachenbeck’s The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo.  This is a slightly odd book that fictionalizes Frida Kahlo’s life in context of a little recipe book that Kahlo might have kept.  Recipes are sprinkled throughout the book, and then there are a few of made-for-modern-taste versions of those recipes in the back.

secret-book-of-frida-kahlo-cover

I was especially excited to see a book about Frida Kahlo as the focus of this blog adventure.  I have been a Frida fan for a long time now – and funny enough, my first really significant encounter with her art is also tied to a food memory.  When I was in my late twenties, I took off for a road adventure by myself.  I was newly single and trying to find my way.  That way led to a road trip to Portland, OR and then all the way up Highway 101 to Tacoma and into Seattle.  I stayed at the Edgewater hotel in Seattle and walked everywhere, including the Seattle Art Museum, which was having a spectacular exhibit of both Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s work.  I was transported by Kahlo’s paintings – in life, they are even more stunning than in photos.  After spending hours wandering through the exhibit, I went across the street and stumbled into a Vietnamese restaurant and ate Pho for the first time.  Different cultures, different foods, different times, but for me, soup and Kahlo are inexorably linked in my memory because of that trip.

I’ve read other books about Kahlo, but I will say I enjoyed this venture into magical realism.  Like Kahlo’s paintings, the book merges the real with the surreal and takes us to the very personal relationship that Kahlo had with death.  And with food, of course.  This book is filled with rich description of food and the rich relationship that the characters have with food.  I doubt the truth of some of the book, but do like the thought that Frida Kahlo had such a rich life full of so many interesting people coming and going.

My book is now very sticky-noted with all the possible recipes I may yet try to adapt.  For this particular blog post though, I decided to go with Posole, largely because it hits that note of comfort food that rings for me when I think of my encounter with Kahlo’s paintings.

Not so long ago, I ran across directions for making hominy through nixtamalization – the process of turning maize into hominy.  I think it may be something I try someday (this is a farm fantasy moment – that day when I can grow my own maize, have chickens and goats, and so on).  For now, I’m sticking with buying hominy in the store.  I advise using dried white corn posole.

white-corn-posole-package white-corn-pre-soak

This adds a step (the white corn posole needs to be soaked overnight), but also gives the soup a better flavor than canned hominy.  I’ve added a few more ingredients than what is called for in the book and have also gone with a pork loin roast (rather than a pork head or other parts, as advised in the book).  This is a great Sunday Supper meal, as it can be tossed in the crockpot in the morning and can cook all day.  It also makes a good freezer meal.

Here’s a picture of the pork loin all rubbed in spices:

spiced-rub-pork-loin

And then the end result, seven hours later.  This is definitely a soup that will be added into our winter crockpot meal rotation.

posole-2

Crockpot Posole
Serves 6

White corn posole, soaked overnight
1 chopped onion
2 roasted Anaheim peppers, peeled and deseeded
1 can diced tomatoes (15 ounces)
4 cups chicken broth (or 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water)
Pork Loin roast – between 1 and 2 pounds
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon oregano or Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ancho chili powder

Combine the seasonings and rub on the pork loin roast.  Add any remaining seasonings, the pork loin roast, and all other ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or until the pork can be easily shredded with a fork.

Serve with wedges of lime, chopped up cilantro, and sliced avocado.  Enjoy!

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