Monday, January 21, 2013

Snow Storm Scramble

We are at the end of a brilliant three day weekend, which means it feels like Sunday, and I’m pretty disappointed that Downton Abbey isn’t on tonight…. because it’s not really Sunday.

Anyway, Saturday was my birthday and Future Hubby took me to Grand Rapids to see the Great Lakes Shipwreck exhibit at the Grand Rapids Public Museum and then out for dinner at HopCat. If you are anywhere near Grand Rapids, MI, go to HopCat, order the ultimate mac and cheese with your favorite add-ins and a local beer. Do it!  So, long story short, there has been threat of a mighty winter storm, so we ate dinner with the early crowd to make it back home before dark . 

Dark came and so did the storm.  Fifty mile-per-hour winds and snow. The winds were so strong they were rattling every window in our old townhouse. It was so loud that Matt ran around our house about 10:30pm stuffing foam insulation into the window tracks to quiet things down enough so we could get to sleep. 

And Sunday it snowed. And today it snowed. Which put a real kink in my usual schedule…that includes buying groceries for the week on Monday morning, meaning things in our pantry are meager at best. What is a girl to do?

Use what you’ve got and make galette! Alana Chernilla (my food hero… everyone needs one and I would recommend her) has a great post about one here. I use the crust recipe in her post and it works beautifully every time. So boogie on over there, read the post and get the crust recipe. I’ll be here waiting….  go on… 

Great, you’re back! So let’s talk about how I made the galette that saved my butt during a dinner crisis during a winter storm. When you last were here, we had almost no rational food in our house. 

So I whipped up a crust, filled it with odds and ends and made this:

You too can make one with what you have on hand!
(Sorry the photos are a bit wonky.. there hasn't been any natural light all day)
First, the crust. 

Mix the flour and salt and cut in HALF of the butter (I did this in my food processor, because I was lazy tonight… you can do it with a pastry cutter or a fork too). 

Gently toss in the rest of the butter. You want it to stay in big lumps (I transferred to a bowl at this stage).

Slowly add water and mix with a fork. 

Carefully put the dough together with your hands. The warmth of your body will help it meld together, but not too much handling, this is a pastry crust. Then pop it into the fridge while you prep your fillers. 

This is the fun part. My formula for these is always cheese + root vegetable + something else. Tonight that looked like this Ricotta (extra from lasagna last night) + Yukon gold potatoes (on sale at the grocery last week) + bacon (6 strips left, looking sad in my freezer). 

Future Hubby said that this was his favorite filling combo ever and I should buy ingredients to make it again on purpose, not because I was desperate. 

Spread your cheese on the bottom leaving about 4 inches around the edge. 

Layer on your root veggie (I added some parmesan cheese on top of the potatoes). If you slice them thin they don't have to be pre-cooked, but if you have leftovers cooked potatoes or yams would be fine.

Sprinkle on your something else (this could be ANYTHING…nuts, veggies, bacon, sausage, chicken… you get the idea, right?).

Fold up the sides and press down to seal it together a bit. 

Put it on a baking stone or sheet and bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes. Make sure that if you are using a baking stone you put a cookie sheet on the next rack down. This crust is FULL OF BUTTER and it will fill your kitchen with smoke if it drips onto the bottom of your oven (and then you will have to clean your oven.. making this the worst dinner ever). Trust me, I know. 

Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes (molten cheese is bad).

Then do a little dance, because you made dinner when there was NOTHING in your house!

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