This is it, folks. This may be my very last post on this blog.
I finished what is potentially my final meal for this project. For those of you confused right now, go read “About”.
As finales go, it was a little underwhelming.
I started off with a Blueberry Nectarine Crosata by Bakers Royale through Yummly.
As the picture shows, it bears a suspicious resemblance to the galette I made earlier. Be not afeared! There is a reason for that. A galette is actually a French term that refers to flat, round cakes usually made with a pastry dough. This can be everything from some crepes to cookies. A crosata is an Italian term that refers to open faced tarts. These two run together so much that the terms have come to be used interchangeably (mostly in the US) in cases such as rustic pies.
Mainly here the difference is in the crust. The galette used pastry crust, the crosata was more of a pie dough.
Anyway. The dough was really the hard part. Now that I know what pie dough looks like (see meal one) I was able to do this without too much panicking. The panicking came when I was trying to fold the crust up over the filling. I actually ended up using less filling than it showed just to keep my dough from falling apart. As it was I escaped with a few cracks and a part that just fell over. I also forgot the egg wash and the sugar, but it didn’t seem to matter too much.
In future, I might just buy the pastry dough. Or bake it without a crust, which is what I did with the excess filling.
Admittedly, I did run out of unsalted butter, so I had to use half salted and half unsalted. I was a little worried, even though I cut down on the salt some. It tasted just fine, though.
I then started on the beans. I used those cattle beans I had bought at the market (see Ballard post). They were absolutely gorgeous as I was shelling them. They are much like cranberry beans, but the pods are white with a yellow tinge and the beans are not speckled, they’re splashed red. The more mature the bean, the deeper the red, leaving some with a gorgeous maroon and some a light pink.
I didn’t know how to shell beans, so I just fooled around until I figured it out. It wasn’t all that hard, surprisingly enough.
The woman at the stall told me to simmer them for twenty minutes then saute them with onions, peppers, and whatever else I felt like. I did just that, adding garlic, thyme and a bell pepper that was almost the same color as the bean shells.
Unfortunately the beans turned a purplish color by the end of the cooking, which was pretty (and looked like my other bell pepper), but not quite the same.
I stuck some corn on the cob in boiling water. Nothing fancy here.
The big hurrah was the eggplant. I’ve had my eye on Fine Cooking’s Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta & Herbs for some time now. It was harder than I expected. The vinaigrette were the hardest part, merely because I wasn’t sure if letting it sit for more than ten minutes was OK. The question became moot when I realized there was no way to avoid it as I was too busy to bother.
The eggplant grilled nicely, with beautiful grill marks on either side. It was tender and had a flavor that was surprisingly delicate. It was also my last chance to grill this summer (I did so in between rain bursts). It came out beautifully.
I arranged them on a large platter, drizzled the vinaigrette “artfully” on top and crumbled on feta and mint (I could not find any cilantro, but it was fine without it).
It was a little salty, but that is easily fixed. Otherwise they were quite good, the best eggplant I’ve ever had, although that’s not saying all that much. I even managed to get them to the table warm.
All in all, not a bad sendoff.
I may get back to this if I find time during the school year. It will probably be infrequent, however, so for all of you who have watched as I’ve come from not knowing to dry berries before putting them in a pie to something resembling kitchen literacy, bon appetit!