Friday, March 03, 2006

Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Galette

This is a great savory pie for spring. It's very simple to make... but very impressive when you bring it to the table.

Swiss chard stems have a very distinctive flavor, earthy and strong like fresh beets. If you don't like that taste, leave the stems out and use more leaves.

You can make the filling and dough ahead of time, and then throw everything together when you're ready to eat.

Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Galette

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar
12 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

1-2 bunches Swiss chard, between 1 and 2 pounds
2 Tbsp olive oil pinch
crushed red pepper, or to taste

1/2 cup dry white or red wine
3 medium onions, chopped
1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
8-12 ounces goat cheese or feta cheese
salt, ground pepper
2 eggs

1. Mix the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal.

2. Add the water in stages (as little as possible) and pulse until the dough begins to hold together. Don't mix the dough too much. Gather the dough together and press it into a disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

3. Clean the Swiss Chard well. Chop the leaves well and chop the stems onto 1/2 inch pieces. Blanch in bowling salted water until the leaves are wilted and the stems are tender, about 4 minutes. Drain, rinse, and press the water out of the chard.

4. In a frying pan, heat the oil with the red pepper. Add the onion and saute until the onion is soft and picking up some brown spots, 10-15minutes. Add the wine and then the chard. Saute until most of the liquid is thick or absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool a bit.

5. In a mixing bowl, combine the onion-chard mixture, creme fraiche, goat cheese (broken up into small pieces), eggs and salt and ground pepper to taste. Set aside.

6. When you're ready to make the gallette, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

7. remove the dough from the fridge. With a rolling pin, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it's about a 14" circle. Fold it and pick it up and place it on a baking sheet. Unfold it.

8. Put the filling on top of the dough and then fold the dough around it, piece by piece, overlapping to make your galette. (Don't worry if it looks a little wierd: RUSTIC is the look we're going for.)

9. Bake it in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until it looks and smells done.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Belle and Sebastian Live on NPR March 6

I just found out one of my favorite bands Belle and Sebastian will be broadcasting a live concert on NPR's website Monday night, March 6 starting at 8 pm EST.

It's especially welcome news because the band is skipping my hometown of Atlanta this tour.

Check out the concert's website on or by clicking on the picture.

Spring... and new look for Film Stock

Spring comes early to Atlanta. It's the best time of year in our fair-ly awful city.

I can't stand cold weather, so when spring comes I'm incredibly psyched to see it. (I suppose in the scheme of things Atlanta's winters are pretty mild, but the way I complain about the cold you'd think I lived in the Arctic Circle.) Winter's a bore, and in the perfect world it would last about four weeks, beginning a little before Christmas and ending in mid-January.

It was 72 degrees yesterday, and it felt really wonderful. Jeff and I brought the camera with us on a long walk and got some pictures of the first flowers of spring... The park was totally colorful: even the parking lot of Kroger was getting in on the act.


The wide format of the slideshow required some changes to the format of the site: wider margins and bigger headlines, things I've been meaning to do for a while. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Eggplant Puree in Seasoned Yogurt: Recipe

You can think of this recipe as a variation on the classic Middle Eastern dip and sandwich spread baba ghanouj.

Eggplant purees or baigan bharta are also classic in India. This one has seasoned yogurt. It's delicious right after you make it, but it achieves greatness if you let it sit for a day and use it as a cold dip or sandwich spread the next day.

Eggplant Puree with Seasoned Yogurt

1 eggplant (about 1-1 1/2 pounds)
2 Tbsp Ghee or vegetable oil
1 green chili, minced
1/4 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
3/4 cup yogurt
1/2 tsp garam masala

1. Cook the eggplant in a 425 degree preheated oven by pricking it a few times all over with a fork and then roasting it on a baking tray or piece of tin foil for one hour, turning every fifteen minutes or so. By the end, the eggplant should be totally pooped and deflated looking.

2. Let the eggplant cool for a while and when you can handle it, scrape the flesh away from the skin. Discard the skin.

3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Throw in the cumin, asafetida, and cumin and cook until the cumin seeds are brown.

4. Add the eggplant, coriander and salt, and cook the mixture for ten minutes, breaking up the eggplant with a wooden spoon until it's an even mush.

5. Allow the eggplant to cool in a bowl. Add the cilantro, yogurt and garam masala. Stir well.

6. It's ready to eat, but does well if prepared a day ahead. Spread on frenchbread or pita for a sandwich or serve with flatbread as a dip.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Claire's Smoothies: Recipes

My niece Claire is eight (almost nine) years old. She recently did a report on smoothies for school. I think she did such a great job, I asked her if I could reprint some of her recipes and thoughts about the subject here. Enjoy Claire's Smoothies!



For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed smoothies. Whether in winter or summer, smoothies have brightened my day.

The smoothie I've enjoyed the most is the original banana-nutmeg smoothie. Here is the recipe:

The Original Banana-Nutmeg Smoothie

1 banana
1 cup vanilla yogurt
2 cups milk
pinch of nutmeg

For my project I decided to try many different smoothies. Some were better than others in certain ways. I hope these recipes will help others learn about smoothies.

Grandma's Tropical Smoothie

Grandma's tropical smoothie makes you feel as though you were sitting on the beach on a lazy afternoon. This smoothie recipe comes from my grandmother.

6 strawberries
1 banana
3 pieces of pineapple
1 cup fruit yogurt
1 cup of juice, apple or orange
1 kiwi, optional

Jackson's Fruit Shake

When I had this smoothie I had a stuffy nose and couldn't taste anything that wasn't that strong. However, I could taste the orange in Jackson's smoothie.

6 strawberries
20 blueberries
1/2 banana
orange juice
ice cubes

This smoothie may not be ideal for winter when there are only frozen blueberries. It can really hurt your fingers counting out 20 blueberries. Fresh blueberries would be better.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Keith Haring Interactive Coloring Book

Create your own Keith Haring masterpiece online.

This site is way too much fun.