On today’s menu, Potato Galette. Super easy.
All you need for 4 generous servings: 2 large potatoes, olive oil, salt and shredded cheese of your choice.
Slice the potatoes very thin. I use a mandoline. Toss with olive oil and salt, some herbs if you wish, and then layer in a pie plate, alternating a layer of potatoes with a layer of shredded cheese (such as parmesan, gouda, gruyere, cheddar). End with a layer of potato. Bake in a 350°F oven until potatoes are tender and cheese melted. I always forget to time it, but it’s probably 30 minutes or so. Longer if your potato slices are thick.
This weekend I made Eccles Cakes, a family favorite pastry. Wikipedia says they originated in Eccles (Greater Manchester), England. My family associates them with our Scottish heritage (perhaps because my grandfather loved them?) and Demoulas Market Basket supermarkets, which was the only place you could get them locally when I was growing up in Andover, Massachusetts in the 70s. By the 1908s, they stopped carrying them.
This was before the Web. Before recipe sites. Before food blogs. So I invented my own recipe using a filling based on a raisin square recipe from a magazine.
Susan’s Eccles Cakes
1 apple peeled cored and chopped (about 1 cup)
2/3 c apple juice
2 to 2-1/2 cups raisins or currants or combination
2 TBSP granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 TBSP conrstarch
2 TBSP cold water
1 17-1/4 oz package frozen puff pastry, 2 sheets, thawed (Note: if I use raisins instead of currants in the filling I usually need 3 sheets to use up all the filling)
1 large egg (2 if using 1.5 packages of puff pastry
Granulated sugar for sprinkling
Filling - In medium saucepan, bring apple and apple juice to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes until tender. Stir in currants/raisins, sugar and spices. Bring to boil, stirring often. Boil 1 minute. In small bowl mix cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Stir into fruit mixture. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Cool to room temperature. Cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight.
Cakes - Preheat oven to 400°F. Beat egg to blend in small bowl. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll 1 pastry sheet according to package directions and cut into 3 or 4 inch rounds. I use a half-pint glass as a template to make approx. 3 inch rounds. Spoon filling into center of rounds, brush border with egg. Top with second pastry round, press and crimp edges togethr to seal. Brush with egg. Cut a couple vent holes in center, and sprinkle top with sugar. Continue rolling pastry and assembling cakes until you’ve used up all the pastry and the filling. Chill each backing sheet of cakes 15-20 minutes before baking. Bake pastry until puffed and golden brown, and sugar has melted on top about 10-15 minutes (12 is about perfect for my oven). Cool, serve at room temperature.
The Pantone 2014 color of the year is a bright fuschia pink called Radiant Orchid. And while I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, I have bought exactly four things for my spring wardrobe so far and they are all variations on this theme. A couple of accessories, a lipstick and of course nail polish to add a little pop of color and brighten up the Spring wardrobe without spending a lot of money.
1. Pendant from Moose & Nigel on Etsy. I originally spotted it on blogher.com in December and finally broke down and bought it this March. It’s nice now with a turtleneck but in the spring, it’s going to be the centerpiece of my casual wardrobe — white t-shirt, jeans and light jacket. $30
2. Bonjour Paris Scarf from amazon.com I tumbled on the pendant. But searched for just the right scarf to add to my wardrobe. Scarves are by far the easiest way to inexpensively add a pop of color to an outfit, but I really wanted something with orchid, not pink, notes, as I already have a great multi-color scarf from Ford’s 2011 Warriors in Pink collection (no longer available from the Ford website but check out the 2013 version.) The Bonjour Paris one is simple, and has the added attraction of featuring Parisian architecture, a reminder of one of my favorite cities. $19
3. Radiant Orchid lipstick from Sephora. This particular color originally was an exclusive for VIB Insiders but most lines have a similar shade, and I think this one is now generally available. $18
4. Footloose from the Spring 2006 Essie collection. $8.
Total investment, less than $100.