Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mixed Berry Galette in my 8 inch Cast Iron Skillet

Mixed Berry Galette in my 8 inch Cast Iron Skillet - Cocoawindblog

Oh, how I love berries. Berries are the most favorite part of summer, among few other things. Summer vacations are finally over and we are into the second week of school. This is going to be a very busy school year with lots of after school activities. Soccer, tennis, swimming, piano lessons, Lego meets, Spanish class.. phew.. I got tired just writing them down. 

And did I tell you that I have started my own thing as a Freelance Food Photographer? Yeah.. it has been about 6 weeks now and I am loving it so far. 

Anyways, coming back to the recipe... Mixed Berry Galette had been on my mind for a long time now.... ever since gorgeous berries hit the market. I used raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in this recipe. You can make it with just one or two kinds of berries. 

Mixed Berry Galette in my 8 inch Cast Iron Skillet - Cocoawind

  • Flour - 1 1/4 Cup
  • Butter - 1/3 Cup, cold
  • Chilled Water - 3/4 Cup
  • Confectioners Sugar - 2 tbsp (for the dough)
  • Salt - a fat pinch
  • Mixed Berries (raspberries, blueberries, raspberries) - 1 1/2 Cups
  • Lemon Zest - 1/2 tsp
  • Brown Sugar - 1 tbsp (add 1 tbsp more if you prefer it sweeter)
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tsp brown sugar mixed with a tiny pinch of cinnamon powder to sprinkle on the galette before baking (optional)
  • Egg white mixed with a little water for brushing the edges of the galette

Add the flour, confectioners sugar and salt to your food processor and give it 2 or 3 pulses. Throw in the cold butter and give a few pulses till it resembles a coarse crumbly mixture. Pour in the water and run the food processor till everything comes together. Take it out on a floured surface and gently knead it into a ball. Wrap it in a cling wrap/plastic wrap and chill it for at least 30 minutes. 

You can use a stand mixer instead. 

While the dough is chilling, take the berries and mix it with lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 400 F. 

Mixed Berry Galette in my 8 inch Cast Iron Skillet - Cocoawindblog

Grease the cast iron skillet with butter (or line cookie sheet with parchment paper). On a floured surface, roll out the dough couple of inches bigger  than your cast iron skillet and about 1/8 inch in thickness. If it is too thick it will become chewy instead of flaky.

Transfer it carefully to the iron skillet. Using your fingers gently tuck in the rolled out dough and stretch it out so that it plops over the edges. Stick it back in the fridge for another 30 minutes.

Now strain out the excess juice from the berry mixture and spread out the mixed berry mix onto the galette.

Mixed Berry Galette in my 8 inch Cast Iron Skillet - Cocoawindblog

Now gently fold over the edges and crimp as you go. Make sure that your rolled out dough is pliable enough to be folded or it will crack. The best part about these delicious pastries is that it doesn't need to be perfect. Galettes are free-form and has this rustic look to it that I absolutely love.

Mixed Berry Galette in my 8 inch Cast Iron Skillet - Cocoawind

Brush the edge with the egg wash (egg white mixed with little water) and sprinkle the brown sugar mixed with a little cinnamon if you want to. 

Mixed Berry Galette in my 8 inch Cast Iron Skillet - Cocoawind

Bake for about 25-30 minutes till the edges start turning golden brown. Take it out of the oven and let it cool before serving. The crust turned out beautifully crisp.

To ensure that the crust is at it crunchiest best, follow the tips below:
  • Roll out the dough to 1/8th of inch thickness
  • Chill the dough once before rolling out and once after transferring it to your skillet/cookie sheet
  • Make sure there's no excess liquid in the fruit mix.
A scoop of vanilla ice cream would have been perfect to balance out the tartness of the fresh mixed berry galette, but as it turns out, the husband had polished off the carton last Friday when I was really busy and not looking! So, I had a slice with a cup of steaming hot black coffee.

Mixed Berry Galette in my 8 inch Cast Iron Skillet - Cocoawind

I had some leftover dough since I used a 8 inch skillet to bake my mixed berry galette in, so I baked these gorgeous turnovers with applesauce.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

First Day at Second Grade: Back to School

Baked Wholewheat Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Glaze - Cocoawind

15th August 2016

And before we knew it, First day of Second Grade is here. The almost 7yo was more definitely more ready for it than I was. 

He was home for summer vacation for a whole of eighty-two days - which were filled with laughter, silly jokes, some feet stomping and some tears. As first day of school drew closer, he got chirpier and impatient for school to reopen - he couldn't wait to meet his new class teacher and make new friends. I, on the other hand, was totally not ready to see him gone for 8 long hours at school. 

The husband hung around for an extra couple of hours in the morning before he left for the week for work. We went and got some coffee before he left. I chatted a little with PG while drinking a very satisfying cup of joe and then rambled around aimlessly for a while before heading back home. I kept myself busy for the next few hours working while telling myself that it will soon be time to go pick him up from the bus stop - but it wasn't soon enough.  

The bus came 20 minutes late, it being the first day and all. He was perhaps the 10th kid to get off the bus. He waited for his friend get off the bus and then he spotted me.

He ran all the way from the bus to me and gave me a tight hug and said - "I had a great day at school Mamma and I ate everything but I lost the cereal bar." And then he called his Baba at work and filled him in with cute little details of his day - "I had 'a' awesome day at school Baba... the playground in (his old school) was bigger but it is so much better in my new school..." and then he rambled on about how much he enjoyed his first day & how lucky he is that his teacher has a (service) dog in the classroom how he thought that it was absolutely amusing that his teacher had to take K, the dog, to the bathroom bang in the middle of class and squealed in laughter. 

It makes me happy to see him happy. I miss him while he is away at school. A lot. It will take a little getting used to, but I will get there. Soon. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Soy-Ginger Shrimp Fried Rice with Bok Choy

Soy-Ginger Shrimp Fried Rice with Bok Choy - Cocoawind

School is back on full swing & so are the almost 7 yo's extra-curricular activities which means mealtimes are all about easy recipes - quick to make but with no compromise in the flavor department. This is a quick fix Shrimp Fried Rice flavored with soy sauce and lots of ginger with a healthy amount of bok choy thrown in. 

Mostly I buy baby bok choy, but this time I got a big bunch of regular bok choy which added a lot of greens to this Shrimp Fried Rice. Since I throw it in right before I turn off the heat, there's a bite to it and we just love how this dark green leafy vegetable easily adds another layer of delicate flavor. 

I make this particular recipe often and many a times switch out rice with cooked quinoa. It is also something that I pack in the husband's lunch-box. I do not to give the 7 yo old shrimp in his lunchbox since it is an allergen which can be a scary deal if another child from school is allergic to it. 

Soy-Ginger Shrimp Fried Rice with Bok Choy - Cocoawind

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
  • Cooked Rice - 1 Cup
  • Bok Choy - the biggest bunch you can lay your hands on, washed and chopped
  • Green Onions - 1 bunch, washed and chopped
  • Frozen peas and carrots - 1/2 Cup (you can use fresh carrots too)
  • Grated Ginger - 1 tbsp
  • Garlic - 2 fat cloves, chopped or minced
  • Shrimps - 10-12 pieces, cleaned and deveined
  • Eggs - 2, at room temperature
  • Soy Sauce - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp for marinating the shrimp
  • Vinegar - 1 tsp for marinating the shrimp
  • Oil - 2 tbsp (I use canola or sesame oil - sesame oil adds a lot more flavor)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper - 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp for marinating the shrimps
  • Salt - to taste

Marinate the shrimps with soy sauce & vinegar & freshly cracked black pepper and set aside. 
Heat oil (preferably sesame) in a pan. Once it is hot enough. fry the shrimps in it till they turn pink. Do not over cook or the shrimps will turn tough and rubbery. Take the shrimps out of the pan and drain the excess oil on a paper towel. 
To the remaining hot oil add the grated ginger, chopped garlic and chopped green onions (save a little for garnish) and fry till fragrant. Throw in the carrots and peas cook for a couple of minutes. Make a well in the middle of the veggies and crack open the eggs directly into it. If required, add a few drops of oil before adding the eggs. Whisk vigorously till the eggs scramble and turn into a soft pillowy mush and then mix it with the remaining veggies just so that the scrambled eggs stick to the veggies - oh, how I love that! 
Drizzle the soy sauce and stir to coat the veggies. Season, taste and adjust for salt. Since the soy sauce already has sodium in it, you might want to go easy on the salt. Add a healthy sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper. 
Spoon in the rice, while tossing and stirring gently till the rice and veggie mix gets mixed nicely. 
Take it off the heat and throw in the chopped bok choy and fold the leafy green veggies in. Garnish with the remaining chopped green onions and serve hot. 

I usually make enough for 2-3 servings - just enough for our family - we are not a big fan of leftover fried rice. 

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