15 August 2019

Classic Macaroni Salad - and Tuna Macaroni Salad

Classic Macaroni Salad (THE best because of my mother's secret) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Macaroni salad is not the same as pasta salad. Follow this link for my more fashionable, vegetable-heavy, vinaigrette-dressed Pasta Salad. This is old-fashioned (retro) macaroni salad, comfort food from way before anyone ever thought of pasta salad or getting trendy with their food.

Classic macaroni salad is a hit at any picnic, potluck or barbecue (Notice I said "barbecue," not "BBQ," which is one of those things that's always irritated me!). It's great for Game Days, too, if you're into that sort of thing. It's perfect for the lunchbox, for parents or kids; everyone loves it.

After all these years, Mr Delightful, who grew up with tuna macaroni salad--and I'm sorry, but that's just crazy!--loves my Classic Macaroni Salad. I hope you will, too. But if you're on Team Tuna, don't click away; I've included that option as well. You can make Half Classic/Half Tuna.

I make this the way my mother made it, rather than the typical way. Nothing unusual about the ingredients--it's the method. She always layered on the ingredients in a particular order rather than stirring up the dressing separately. I don't know why, but it makes a difference. 

It's just not summer without Classic Macaroni Salad or Perfect Potato Salad! What dishes say "summer" to you?


Classic Macaroni Salad (THE best because of my mother's secret) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Classic Macaroni Salad for Her / Tuna Macaroni Salad For Him


(Makes 12 servings)

8 large eggs
1 1-pound (16 ounces/454 grams) package salad macaroni (ditalini)
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/30 ml) sweet pickle juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
3/4 cup finely chopped sweet pickles
3/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup or more finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup or more finely chopped red bell pepper, patted dry
1 3/4 cup real mayonnaise, divided

1 tablespoon coarse "country" Dijon mustard

Options for the half with tuna:

1 5-ounce can tuna, drained and flaked
1 cup frozen peas, thawed but not cooked

12 pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped

1 To hard-cook eggs, place eggs in a single layer in large pan. Add enough room temperature water to cover eggs completely and an inch over. Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as water is bubbling lightly, remove pan from the heat and cover tightly with the lid. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drain and add cold water to pan; repeat twice. Leave eggs to cool for 15 minutes in cold water. Drain, and proceed with recipe or refrigerate until ready to use. (Notice that the egg yolks are yellow and velvety, not orange and shiny-gooey!) 

2 Cook macaroni al dente according to package directions in a 5- to 5.5-quart Dutch oven. Put in colander. Rinse repeatedly with cold water until macaroni is cool. Drain thoroughly. Put back in pan.


3 Sprinkle pickle juice, salt, pepper and parsley flakes over cooked and cooled macaroni. (Sure, you can use fresh parsley if you have it; but I didn't. Dill can be good, too.) Stir in pickles, carrot, celery, onion, red bell pepper, 1 1/4 cups of the mayonnaise, and the mustard. 

4 When ready to add eggs to salad, use egg slicer to slice eggs. Reserve 7 or more pretty slices for garnish (14, if using 2 bowls); cover and refrigerate. Roughly chop remaining slices and add to salad. Transfer salad to 4-quart serving dish (or two 2-quart bowls), cover and refrigerate. Chill for at least 4 hours; but making it a day ahead is best. 

5 Before serving, stir in the reserved mayonnaise (perhaps not all of it, or perhaps a bit more), as the macaroni will have absorbed the first portion and will likely be rather dry. (And this would be the case no matter how much you put in the first time!) Garnish with reserved egg slices and perhaps a bit of chopped fresh parsley or dill, if you have it.

The Tuna Option: Divide salad between two 2-quart bowls; add tuna, peas and olives to just one of them.

And now for something completely different … apropos of absolutely nothing … just a little something to make you smile.

Classic Macaroni Salad (and this sketch has nothing to do with it!) / www.delightfulrepast.com
I set out to paint Peter Rabbit, but this chap looks more 
mature than Peter. So I'm thinking of him as Old Mr Rabbit, 
Peter's father who was made into a pie by Mrs McGregor.


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

08 August 2019

Baked Acorn Squash

Baked Acorn Squash / www.delightfulrepast.com

I spotted a few acorn squashes this week when I was scouting around for produce. I always like to see what's just coming into season, or going out, and look for things I've never had or haven't had in a long time. And it had been a very long time since I last had acorn squash.

Acorn squash comes in a wide variety of sizes, and I prefer the small to medium, three-quarters of a pound to a pound and a half. One of these was just under 3/4 pound, perfect for two of us. But cook two while you're at it; they fit perfectly in the 9-inch pie plate and will keep well in the fridge for a few days.

Baked Acorn Squash / www.delightfulrepast.com
Watercolor sketch of my little 12-ounce acorn squash


Acorn squash has a very mild, subtly sweet and nutty, flavor. Goes very well with pork dishes. You can go sweet or savory with it. I went slightly sweet with it this time, but savory is good, too, with just butter or good olive oil, salt, pepper and whatever herbs you like.

So many recipes have you cooking the squash skin side up and then turning it over halfway through. I prefer to just cook it skin side down the whole time. In the summer heat, I'm happy to skip any step that doesn't really add something to a recipe. 

What kind of squash do you like?

Baked Acorn Squash / www.delightfulrepast.com


Baked Acorn Squash



(Makes 4 servings)

2 small (12 ounces/340 grams each) acorn squashes
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, melted
Pinch (1/16 teaspoon) salt
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Optional: 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with the brown sugar

1 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Using a large, heavy, sharp chef's knife, cut each squash in half from the tip down through the stem end. Lay each half skin side up on the cutting board and cut in half again. With a paring knife, score each wedge about 1/4 inch deep in a cross-hatch pattern.

Baked Acorn Squash / www.delightfulrepast.com


2 Place the 8 quarters skin side down in a 9-inch glass pie plate. Brush each wedge with melted butter. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Put 3/4 teaspoon of dark brown sugar in the hollow of each wedge, spreading it out a bit. Put 1/2 cup of water in bottom of baking dish.

3 Bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, until tender. Larger squash will require longer baking; check at 50 minutes, then every 5 or 10 minutes thereafter.


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean


01 August 2019

Tomato Galette

Tomato Galette / www.delightfulrepast.com

Tomato Galette is a great way to use some of my bumper crop of tomatoes. My kitchen garden got a miss for a few years, and I thought I'd go easy on myself this first year reviving it and so planted just two tomato plants. Well, my organic soil must have been dynamite because those two plants took off immediately and grew so fast you could practically see it happening!


Tomato Galette / www.delightfulrepast.com
Thought a homegrown tomato deserved to have it's portrait painted!


For this recipe I used the regular tomato, a medium-sized round variety. For my Tomato Tart (you really must try it!) I'll be using the cherry, actually grape, tomato this year. Both of these recipes make even bland store-bought tomatoes taste the way they should, so don't feel you needn't bother if you're not a gardener.

Tomato Galette / www.delightfulrepast.com


Don't even think about taking a shortcut and skipping step four of the directions. Salting and draining the tomatoes is essential. If you don't, all the excess water in them will dilute the tomato flavor and make the crust soggy instead of crisp and flaky. And stick with the tablespoon of minced shallot; it's all you need to add plenty of flavor without it overtaking the tomatoes.

Also resist the urge to add herbs and spices. Anything more than a sprinkling of chopped parsley or chiffonade of fresh basil when the galette comes out of the oven only detracts from the tomatoes, which are the stars of the show.

What do you do with a bumper crop of tomatoes? 

Tomato Galette / www.delightfulrepast.com

Tomato Galette


(Makes one 11-inch tart)

The Pastry (food processor* method)

1 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (7.5 ounces/213 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour 
3/4 teaspoon salt 
1/8 teaspoon baking powder 
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) ice water plus 1 tablespoon, only if needed
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

The Tomatoes

1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces/680 grams) tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
1 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) finely shredded medium cheddar or mozzarella or provolone or a combination
1/2 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) finely grated parmesan
About a tablespoon of beaten egg, cream or milk
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Pinch of salt

Garnish: chopped flat-leaf parsley or chiffonade of fresh basil



1 With metal blade in place, add flour, salt and baking powder to work bowl of food processor. Turn on for three seconds to combine. Add half the frozen butter and process for 10 seconds or until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Add remaining butter and pulse for six 1-second pulses, or until the frozen butter is the size of small peas. 

2 Pour ice water and apple cider vinegar over all of flour mixture; pulse for six to twelve 1-second pulses or just until dough forms large clumps; do not over-process. (The amount of water you will need depends on your climate and the moisture content of your flour. You may need to use a bit more or less water than I do.) 

3 Wrap dough in a piece of plastic wrap and flatten slightly into a 5-inch round disk; double wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to three days. (Let thoroughly chilled dough stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling.) 

4 Preheat oven to 400F/20C/Gas6. Toss together the tomato slices and salt; let stand 10 minutes. Drain off liquid and place tomato slices on paper towels or an impeccably clean kitchen towel; pat dry. In small pan, heat olive oil and saute shallot; cool.

5 On lightly floured 14-inch square of baking parchment paper (love my dispenser with slide cutter), roll out pastry to 14-inch circle (it will be about 1/8 inch thick). Irregular edges are fine; a galette is supposed to be rustic. Transfer pastry on parchment to an ungreased 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan or a 14x16-inch rimless baking sheet.

Tomato Galette - easy way to handle the pastry / www.delightfulrepast.com


6 Scatter cheese over pastry, leaving a 1.5-inch (4 cm) border. Arrange tomatoes and cooked shallots over the cheese. Bring edges of dough up over the filling, sort of pleating as you go, about every 3 inches. Brush dough with about a tablespoon of beaten egg (or cream, even milk, if you don't have another use coming up for the leftover egg!). Sprinkle tomatoes with pepper and a pinch of salt if you think the previously salted tomatoes could use a bit more. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.


7 Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, or until crust is golden. Cool slightly on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Cut into 4 pieces for a lunch serving, 8 for a first course serving, or into 12 to 16 skinny wedges for an hors d'oeuvre or afternoon tea savory. Serve warm or at room temperature.

* I've used the OXO Good Grips Pizza Wheel for Non-Stick Pans for years on galettes as well as pizza, and it cuts like a dream!

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...