It’s fig season. Hooray! In celebration of this most joyous time of year, I baked a Fresh Fig Galette. The figs, Black Mission and Kadota, arrived at my doorstep from Farm Fresh to You, a fantastic new-to-me service that brings local and organically grown produce to homes and offices across Southern California. Pro Tip: Use code CATH3482 for $10 off your first order. You’ll love it, I promise.
Whereas most Fresh Fig Galette recipes call for for a layer of jam, cream, or marzipan between the fruit and crust, this recipe from Cooking Light only requires the essentials. Simple is best when it comes to highlighting the season’s finest and ripest.
Whereas the Black Missions tasted wonderfully earthy, the Kadotas were juicy and sweet. Together, they made for an irresistibly jammy filling. The crust, made from a combination of all-purpose flour and ground almonds, came together in rich and crumbly fashion, like a fine shortbread.
Figs will only be around from now until early fall, so hurry up and bake this galette before this much-too-short season comes to an end. What are you waiting for?
- 6.75 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
- 4 1/2 tablespoons almond meal (Note: Almond meal is finely ground almonds)
- 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- 1 pound fresh Black Mission and/or Kadota figs, stemmed and quartered lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, almond meal, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Scatter butter into processor; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in oil; pulse to combine. Add ice water; pulse just until combined. Turn mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap; pat into a disk. Continue reading ‘Fresh Fig Galette’
I called dibs on the fish carcass following our baked catfish feast at Phong Dinh. While little was left of the fish’s flesh, I saw great potential in the remaining bones. Namely, an opportunity to transform what would have been waste into one of the most comforting dishes ever: cháo cá (Vietnamese fish porridge).
To start, I made a light stock using the bones along with fresh ginger, scallions, and cilantro. According to Mom, the aromatics are essential for balancing the fish’s intrinsically “fishy” flavor and aroma. Next, I added rice to the broth and let it simmer for the better part of an hour. Once the rice was fully bloomed, thickening the porridge just so, sautéed fish and mushrooms were added in. Chopped cilantro and scallions topped each bowl to finish.
Even though cháo cá is essentially made with kitchen scraps, the flavor coaxed from the humble ingredients is rounded and rich. It’s hard not to feel utterly satisfied after finishing a bowl of this soulful porridge.
- 1 large fish carcass, with any remaining flesh removed and set aside
- 1 bunch cilantro
- Small knob ginger (1.5 inches long), peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts separated
- Fish sauce
- 1 1/2 cups Jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 8 ounces white button mushrooms, rinsed and quartered
- Chili powder (optional)
In a large stock pot, combine 4 quarts of water, fish carcass, cilantro (stems only), ginger, and half of the scallions (white part only, halved lengthwise). Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes on low heat.
Remove broth from heat and discard fish carcass and aromatics. Season with 1 tablespoon salt and 3 tablespoons fish sauce.
Over medium-low heat, return the broth to the stove and add in rice. Simmer until desired thickness has been achieved, approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Continue reading ‘Cháo Cá – Vietnamese Fish Porridge’
One of my proudest accomplishments while on maternity leave was managing to whip up moderately complicated recipes when June was napping. While I usually find cooking under pressure a little stressful, I loved how these kitchen challenges kept me on my toes and put my organizational skills to the test (Hello, mise-en-place!). Or maybe I was too sleep deprived to think clearly…
One of the most delectable baking-while-the-baby’s-napping creations were these Blueberry Sour Cream Cardamom Muffins. The original recipe by Eugenia Bone for Food & Wine magazine calls for cinnamon in the streusel topping and lemon zest in the batter; however, I swapped both out in favor of the warm, sweet scent of cardamom. The spice pairs beautifully with blueberries and makes streusel sing.
I didn’t manage to capture my usual step-by-step photos (that would’ve been too ambitious an endeavor), but this muffin doesn’t require much hand-holding. “Dry” ingredients are combined with “wet” ones (some lumps are a good thing), streusel is prepared and sprinkled on top, and everything is baked until done. Eat ’em warm from the oven, or if you’re in a similar boat, while the baby’s down for a nap.
Continue reading ‘Blueberry Sour Cream Cardamom Muffins’