It has been yet another busy week, and Laura has been doing most of the cooking. In fact, the only new item I have to share of my own doing is today’s recipe.
Fortunately, though, Laura has been putting together some pretty damn tasty meals and she’s been taking pictures as she goes, so I’ll still be able to share those in days to come!
A few weekends ago, we had some good friends over for dinner. I knew they were a little adventurous in their tastes and were open to me putting together any kind of menu, so I decided on an Italian-Hawaiian fusion three course dinner. However, the only course I ended up documenting was the appetizer, which was more Italian influenced than anything else.
I made a galette based off of the classic antipasto insalata caprese, which is a salad of ripened, thick sliced tomatoes, sliced buffalo mozzarella, and basil leaves with a little extra virgin olive oil. Of course, the fresh mozzarella I found was cow’s milk instead, and I bought some local “baby roma” tomatoes, halved them, and oven cured them overnight in the oven with the light on so they resembled tiny sun-dried tomatoes.
They were so quickly devoured, that I completely forgot to take a final picture of the plated product. Oh well.
Makes four galettes
For the Pie Dough
This is Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Basic Flaky Pie Crust from The Pie and Pastry Bible p. 22. I used her measurements, but not her overly complex procedure. Her recipe also calls for pastry flour, which can be difficult to find, so I substituted cake flour and all-purpose flour.
- 2 ounces of unsalted butter, cold
- 1.5 ounces of all-purpose flour
- 1.75 ounces of cake flour
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- A small pinch of baking powder
- 1 Tablespoons of water
- 3/4 teaspoon of cider vinegar
- In a bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, cake flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.
- Cut butter into small pieces and add to the flour.
Sifted dry ingredients and butter
- With your hands, cut the butter into the flour using rubbing motions until the butter and flour resemble a cornmeal consistency. It’s ok to have a few larger pieces of butter.
- Add water and vinegar and quickly mix together with your hands until a soft, pliable dough is formed. Be careful not to over work the dough, or it could get too warm which will melt the butter and toughen the gluten. Gluten development is discouraged when making pie dough.
- Wrap up or zip it up airtight in a zip lock and chill this for about 20-30 minutes. Dough can also be made a day or two ahead of time.
Blurry picture is blurry
- Divide dough into four even pieces. Work with one piece of dough at a time and keep the rest covered.
- Try to make the dough as round as possible. Roll it out with a rolling pin, using all-purpose flour sparingly to keep the dough from sticking to the counter and rolling pin. Roll it out evenly to about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch thick.
- Cut out a 4 to 5 inch circle. I used a large sour cream lid as my template. Transfer the circle to a greased sheet pan and refrigerate.
- Roll out the remaining three circles. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
For Oven Cured Tomatoes
Makes 1/2 pint
- Half of a pint container of cherry, grape, or similar sized tomatoes
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Halve the tomatoes.
- Toss the halved tomatoes in a bowl with the minced garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
- Lay the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut side up. Place in an oven on the top shelf overnight with the light on. If they aren’t dried out enough by morning, turn the oven to 200 degrees F and check them every half an hour.
Assemble the Galettes
- 4 pie dough rounds from above
- Oven cured tomatoes from above, or sun dried tomatoes
- 4 slices of fresh mozzarella, patted dry with a paper towel
- 4 fresh whole basil leaves
- Optional: 1 Tablespoon of smoked salt, 1 Tablespoon of sugar, and 2 Tablespoons of water, brought to a boil and strained. This is used for brushing on the tartlets before baking them.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place, in this order, a slice of mozzarella, a basil leaf, and an appropriate amount of oven cured or sun-dried tomatoes centered on all four pie dough rounds.
- Carefully fold up the sides. Some pinching of the dough may be required to ensure that the sides don’t fall while baking.
Fold those sides up
- Optional: Brush with the smoked salt and sugar mixture on the pie crust. I used Hawaiian Kiawe smoked sea salt for this.
- Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust starts to turn golden.
Baked and delicious
- Can be served warm from the oven or room temperature.
I plated this with a little balsamic reduction and extra virgin olive oil drizzled on the plate and thin sliced chiffonade basil on top as a garnish. These babies disappeared in a matter of minutes!
Too bad, again, that I didn’t get a picture of the plated appetizer!
Oh, and if you are curious, the entree was ginger scallion crusted chicken with capellini in macadamia cream sauce and grilled asparagus. The dessert was a Laura created chocolate caramac tartlets, inspired by the Hawaiian Host candy of the same name.
Of course, this is the only picture of dinner that I took