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Santé Et Nutrition

You Should Be Making Pie for Dinner

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Every Wednesday night, Bon Appétit food director Carla Lalli Music takes over our newsletter with a sleeper-hit recipe from the Test Kitchen vault. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get this letter before everyone else.

I made this vegetarian galette a lot when it was first published, oh, four-and-a-half years ago. It has a flaky, whole-wheat crust (health halo!) and is filled wilted greens and caramelized mushrooms, with creamy ricotta atop and below. Imagine a savory pie bedazzled with all the flavors of a ravioli filling. Yes: I made it for potlucks. I made it for weekend dinner. I made it for brunch. I understood even then that I had a major advantage over most of our readers because I had gotten to taste-test it in the test kitchen before I made it at home (again and again). Risk-free cooking: I knew the recipe was a winner.

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Turns out that convincing other people that they should drop everything and make a whole-wheat crust, then fill it with ricotta, sautéed greens, and browned mushrooms before baking all those ingredients into a savory pie is a tougher proposition. That’s where I come in!

First of all: You’re going to be eating so much meat between now and New Year’s Day. Let’s get some roughage in there.

Second: The crust can be made in a food processor. Food processor! Ever heard of it? Dump in flours and salt. Add butter. Pulse, pulse, pulse. Add vinegar and ice water. Toss, toss. Smush into a disc. Badda bing, badda boom, you’re done. (Also: If you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can use 100 percent all-purpose.) That was the hard part, and it’s already over!

basics-veg-pasta-cook-mushrooms.JPG

Photo by Alex Lau

Shiitakes are a great mushroom for this galette.

Third: Brown some mushrooms. I’ll admit, I am not, repeat not a huge fan of those ordinary-looking button mushrooms in the photo, and would use some frilly oyster mushrooms, maitakes, or shiitakes for this, but for real, anything will work. A few minutes over medium-high heat with some olive oil, salt, and pepper is all you need. In the same pan, sauté some garlic and Swiss chard (or kale, or spinach, or savoy cabbage) with a little garlic, salt, and pepper. That’s it.

Now: Roll out the dough (the recipe says to do this on floured parchment paper, which is a layer of fool-proofing that eliminates any possibility that the dough will stick to the countertop and makes it easy to get the dough onto the baking sheet). Onto the dough goes some ricotta. Then the greens and the ‘shrooms, then more ricotta, and then you bake it.

I like things that go in the oven for a few, because it allows a little window of time to put my tiny kitchen back together and wash whatever pots and pans I’ve used. This is also a great time to tear some herbs and send someone you live with to the store to pick up a lemon—that’s the basis for a fresh herb salad for topping the earthy forest flavors happening in the galette.

Strategically speaking, it would be overambitious and unrealistic to make the dough on the same night that you want to eat the galette. But maybe you work at home, so you can do this when you’re procrastinating around lunch time. Maybe you’re an actor-waiter or a group fitness instructor and you don’t have to go to work till 4 o’clock—you have time during the day! If you’re a teenager who loves to cook, get the dough ready when you get home from school and let it chill till your parents get home from work and the rest of the family will love you, unless they hate vegetables in which case the entire galette is yours! Or you can do this first step on the weekend and then swing right into your veg-forward dinner another night of the week. I’m just trying to cover all the bases here.

crispy fried egg

Photo by Ted Cavanaugh

A fried egg on top turns a slice of galette into a full meal.

If a slice of veggie pie is not your idea of dinner, make this your side dish. Or bulk it up by serving it with a fried egg on top. Cut it into thin wedges and tell people it’s an appetizer. There are a lot of reasons to make pie for dinner. The number one reason for not doing it is because you haven’t had it before, and once you get over the hump, you won’t have that excuse. I hope I’ve been convincing. If not, the galette will speak for itself.

Get the recipe:

Swiss Chard and Mushroom Galette



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Santé Et Nutrition

A Good Rugelach Recipe Is Hard To Find, So We Made One

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When I think about rugelach, I think about something my grandmother said about me at my grandfather’s memorial service. We were standing over his grave, and she was giving him reports on all of his grandchildren. When she got to me (age 12), she said, “When Julia is good, she is very, very good. And when she is bad, she is very, very bad.” The same goes for most Jewish baked goods, but it’s particularly true of rugelach. (And if you want more explanation on what my grandmother was talking about with that one-liner, I’ll just be over here working on my memoir.)

Good rugelach are made from tender, flaky pastry. They have textural contrast: soft dough playing against the crunch of finely chopped nuts rolled inside. They’re evenly cooked—toasty and golden all the way through. The absolute best rugelach have a filling that spills out just enough to form a lacy edge surrounding the cookie, like the finest, thinnest smash burger.

Bad rugelach is dry and pasty. And yet it’s also simultaneously burnt and greasy. It tastes like it was made sometime during the last world war. And worst of all, it looks basically identical to a good rugelach. You won’t know the truth until you’ve taken a bite, and it’s far too late.

So, I was curious how my colleague, definitely-not-a-member-of-the-Tribe-senior-food-editor Chris Morocco, would unleash his unerring exactitude on this iconic Jewish deli cookie. Turns out, he made a few key modifications to ensure that his rugelach, which are not just any rugelach but the cover stars of the Bon Appétit December issue, would land in the “good” camp—and then some.

One: He adds a hit of orange zest and (this is key) a full teaspoon of salt to the raspberry jam-and-walnut filling, giving it the seasoning it rarely receives.

Two: Rather than rolling each rugelach into its own mini croissant shape, Chris makes one big log, then slices off triangular rectangles (a mathematical impossibility, I know). This makes for a speedier process and a more evenly rolled cookie, which ensures that the center will bake through.

Now, all of this was going fine until I got to the third and final modification in Chris’s recipe, which was to top the rugelach with blitzed freeze-dried strawberries, which give the cookies the sparkly red luster that makes them look and feel so, you know, holiday-ish.

I question what the rabbis would say about this. I also question where one buys freeze-dried strawberries. I also, to be completely honest, tried my hardest not to F up this recipe but also to complete it during actual Hannukah. So please, no one tell Chris, but I made these without the freeze-dried strawberries. And they were very, very good.

Get the recipe:

raspberry-rugelach-03.jpg



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Santé Et Nutrition

These Shortbread Christmas Cookies Will Redeem All the Not-That-Careful Bakers

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It was very brave of Bonappetit.com senior editor Sasha Levine to assign me this article. Sure, I’ve made decent cookies and brownies many times before. But any dessert item that involves making two doughs, measuring the size of the dough based on 6×2” rectangles, and creating layers of said dough is a world beyond my pastry comprehension.

Sasha, for unknown reasons, had blind faith that I could handle it. And ya know what, friends? I did okay! Better than okay even! A sugar-happy four-year-old and several colleagues confirmed that my cookies tasted great—like shortbread meets a not-too-sweet chocolate Oreo, minus the cream filling. Plus, they looked mostly like the professionally styled photo, minus some uneven blue sprinkles and a chocolate layer that didn’t make it all the way to the edges. I found myself eating “several” at a time.

If I, a person who has stains on her shirt more often than not, can make these cookies, then I feel very confident that you can too. So bust out that pastry ruler and keep these things in mind:

1. Don’t be intimidated by the swirl.It’s right there in the recipe headnote: “Here’s a fancy-looking swirl that novices can succeed at too.” This is a forgiving swirl. Let’s say, hypothetically, that you make your two doughs and discover that somehow you have a bit more vanilla dough than chocolate dough…and the vanilla dough is a little more pliable. Soldier on, comrade! As long as you can still stack the doughs per the recipe instructions (see more below), it’s all going to be fine. If you’re a perfectionist, I’m sure your cookies will look amazing. If you’re the kind of person who consistently discovers food in your hair many hours since you last ate (hi! Let’s be friends!), these cookies can still be part of your repertoire.

2. You can make the dough three days ahead of time.Cookie projects are fun, but then life gets in the way—grocery shopping took longer than you thought, you have been meaning to go to the gym, that cheesy Netflix Christmas movie is beckoning you… It’s all good. Make the dough, put it in the fridge, and bake the cookies another day. These are cookies for sort of lazy—but not entirely lazy—people.

3. These cookies can help you get out some rage.The step I was dreading the most was when you have to stack the vanilla and chocolate layers on top of each other to join them into one black-and-white log. My doughs were, um, not exactly the same texture (as previously confessed) and I was worried about that final swirl. In the end, though, this ended up being my favorite part. The instructions say to “pat into rectangles” but I interpreted “pat” as “aggressively mold the layers while working through some “feelings.” It was cathartic. May the layering offer you the same respite it did for me.

Get the recipe:

zebra-striped-shortbread-cookies.jpg

You know what would make a pretty great holiday gift? Our magazine! And a cool tote bag, plus some great baking tools for holiday cookies. More details here.



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Santé Et Nutrition

Crispy Smashed Potatoes and Chickpeas with Greek Salad Recipe

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In a medium pot, cover potatoes by about an inch and a half of water. Season generously with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until just cooked through, about 15 minutes, do not overcook. Drizzle a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Drain the potatoes and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Let sit until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.



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