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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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A Star is Born - Winter Galette

Uploaded: Nov 18, 2022

Here's a perfect appetizer for the holiday season, with extra special flare, but still easy to assemble. Prepare the dough yourself or use frozen pie crust. Roast the squash and caramelize the onions the night before, assemble and bake the galette next morning, and serve that night, no reheat required. And if you make extra Elaine's Pepitas, why not give jars of the homemade goodie as this year's gifts?

Sage Pumpkin Galette w/ Spiced Pepitas & Jerky

½ cup or so olive oil, divided
1 large red onion, sliced thin and caramelized
1 (2# or so) kabocha or red kuri squash, peeled, seeded and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 cup full fat ricotta cheese – buy the best, freshest you can find, or try almond vegan ricotta
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
2-3 tablespoons kalamata olives, sliced thin
Dry Monterey Jack cheese, grated (sub. Parmesan)
Date Galette Dough (or sub premade pie crust)
Elaine’s Spiced Pepitas
Jerky (your favorite/ also try vegan) grated fine or substitute crisp bacon or prosciutto

Heat oven to 400°. Mix kabocha squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper, put single layer on a baking sheet, and bake, covered with foil, for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake till lightly browned, 5 – 10 minutes more. Cool.

Roll galette dough (or premade crust) into a 12” -14” round on lightly floured surface. Transfer to baking sheet covered with parchment. Cover with ricotta, a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper, then squash, onions, sage leaves, leaving a 1” border. Sprinkle with olives and grated Jack cheese. Fold the pastry over and on top on squash. Brush with olive oil and bake 35 – 40 minutes until crust is browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Garnish with Elaine’s Spiced Pepitas and grated jerky or crisp bacon.

Elaine’s Spiced Pepitas
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
Olive oil

Combine first three ingredients. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in pan or iron skillet to medium heat. Add 1 cup pumpkin seeds and stir to coat. When seeds start to puff, add spice mixture and toast until light brown.

Caramelized Onions
Slice your onion thin. Add 1 tablespoon oil to a NOT-nonstick pan, bring to medium heat, add onions, stir. Don’t add salt yet. Brown the onions on medium heat till well caramelized, at least 10 minutes. Don’t rush the onions or they will burn, so control the heat. Add stock when moisture is needed and to deglaze the pan (scrap up the browned bits). Add salt when onions are well caramelized. Adding salt before interferes with the browning process.

Date Galette Dough

1.5 cups all-purpose flour (substitute gluten-free flour)
2 teaspoons date sugar or sugar of choice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup cold, cubed unsalted butter

Whirl together flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse into pea-size pieces. Drizzle 1/4 cup very cold water over crumbs and pulse just until moistened. Add additional 1 – 2 tablespoons of water if needed. Turn dough onto a work surface and gather into a ball, turning to pick up crumbs. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least ½ hour.

If you want even more flavor, add some finely chopped olives, or shredded cheese along the section of the pastry where it folds over, creating a “stuffed crust” as seen in pizzerias.

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Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 30 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away almost $10 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.