Monday, September 10, 2012

Soup, Salad, and Tart, Part 2

This week the weather was cooler, so we turned to heartier fare: warm, roasted vegetable salad, Swiss chard soup, and apple peach hand pies. The kids are getting into the idea of themed dinners and remembered that last week we did variations on the same courses. It's fun to watch them compare meals and become educated eaters.

Warm Roasted Vegetable Salad

1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2 to 3/4" cubes
1large onion, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 beet, cut into 1/4" cubes
2 zucchini, 3/4" cubes
4 medium tomatoes, 3/4" cubes
6 minced garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 225.

Toss all ingredients together and spread out on a cookie sheet. Bake for 4 hours, stirring once halfway through, adding more oil if it looks dry. Taste at the end and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Cream of Swiss Chard Soup

1 large onion, chopped
1 TBSP olive oil
2 bunches Swiss chard, washed and thick stems removed
5 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
6 small potatoes, cubed into 1/4" pieces
1/2 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion in oil until starting to brown, ~ 10 minutes.

In a large pot, add onion, Swiss chard, broth, and potatoes, and simmer for ~ 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.

Using an immersion or regular blender, blend until smooth. Add lime. Add salt and pepper if necessary.


Hand Pies


This recipe makes twelve 3-bite-sized pies, or enough for 6 people for dessert.

Preheat oven to 350.

Dough

2 cup flour
2 sticks salted butter, frozen
1/2 cup ice water

The dough can be made by hand or in a food processor. See either step 1A or 1B, then go to step 2.

1A. If using a processor, cut butter into slices and put it and the flour into a food processor. Pulse until roughly blended but there are still small chunks of butter. Add water. Pulse briefly. 

1B. If doing by hand, cut butter into slices and put it and the flour into a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers, break butter into the flour until it is pea-sized. Then rub butter chunks into flour until it is evenly broken up and the entire mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Add water while stirring with your hands for a few brief strokes.

2. Dump onto a lightly floured tea towel. Using your hands, bunch into a tight ball and then flatten with the palm of your hand into a round disc. Let it sit 30 minutes. 

Filling

2 cups apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp. garam masala or cinnamon
2 peaches, peeled and sliced thin

In a sauce pan, add apples, sugar, and spice. Cook on low, approximately 20 minutes, until apples reduce to a thick sauce. Stir frequently and break up chunks with a spoon. 

Have peaches sliced and ready to go for the next step.


After 30 minutes, roll out dough into 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.

Cut into 12 squares. Fill each one with a dollop of the apple mixture and top with 2 peach slices. Fold over and crimp closed.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until starting to brown.


Serve with wine sauce (see link for variations on this recipe, as well) and creme fraiche or bourbon peach sauce.

Bourbon Peach Sauce

2 peaches, sliced thin
3/4 cup bourbon
2 TBSP sugar

In a small sauce pan, sauté all ingredients until peaches are broken down and lumpy, ~ 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve with hand pies.