Shrimp baked with tomatoes and feta cheese and served with quinoa and peas. A great meal to entertain friends and family.
I'm in my little cabin in the Sierras enjoying summer's last hurrah. Fall is definitely in the air. There is some smoke from distant fires that are burning in the foothills, but our little area has been spared so far. A couple of years ago, we had a huge fire in the Emigrant Wilderness that made it difficult to be here. People living in the area had to stay inside during the day because of the smoke. But this year, people are able to come up from the Central Valley of California to enjoy the High Sierras and our lake. There are lots of hikers and campers at the forest service office who get permits to enjoy the high mountains. The Pacific Crest Trail crosses at the top of Sonora Pass at an elevation of 9500 feet. The John Muir trail is part of the Pacific Crest Trail to the south. When I do my day hikes in these beautiful mountains, I always imagine the first settlers crossing these treacherous mountains. Some areas have appropriate names like Deadman's Creek.Here in Pinecrest, we are 60 miles (as the bird flies) from Yosemite National Park. Since I can't fly, I have to go the long way around the Emigrant Wilderness to visit Yosemite. South of the lake is a charming little town called Sonora, a historic commercial center where gold miners brought their gold. Next to Sonora is Columbia, a smaller historic gold mining town. My husband's grandfather and his brother used to hitch up a wagon to deliver produce to the miners from their ranch in Knight's Ferry which is in the Sierra foothills.
Well, you ask yourself, what does this have to do with a cooking blog? Nothing really, but I enjoy sharing part of my world with my blogging buddies—just as I enjoy reading about Australia, England, Italy, and other countries where some of my blogger friends live.
Today, I'm going to share a recipe with you that I have made numerous times. It is a scrumptious meal to share with friends and is easy to make. The recipe comes from Elfie Krieger at the “Food Network.” I tweaked it quite a bit. It is not inexpensive because it requires almost two pounds of shrimp. I usually serve this dish with quinoa and peas. Sometimes I serve it with polenta, but always with crusty bread and a salad.
If I'm pressed for time, I buy shrimp that is already deveined and peeled, but still have their tails. I made this dish several times since I posted this recipe. I used large shrimp or prawns and liked it. It is such an easy meal to prepare and so delicious .
Galettes made with fresh fruit of the season
For the last four weeks, I have been obsessed with galettes. Since I rarely make them, I made quite a few to try and decide which is the best. Herein lies the problem, as all my tasters liked different ones. So I slowly worked my way though them all and decided to post this one. It is a combination of two recipes, one by Jaques Pépin published in Food & Wine and the cover recipe of the July 2015 issue of bon appétit.
Galettes are all about the dough — and keeping the bottom from being mushy. I tried making crust using cornmeal, but was not impressed with the outcome. I like my fruit to be seasonal, so I made galettes with blueberries, raspberries, apricots and plums (my personal favorite). Sometimes I mix various fruits together that are leftover in my fridge. My final galette had blueberries, raspberries and two figs in it.
Jaques Pépin’s galette is marvelous with a buttery, flaky crust that that comes together in mere seconds. I made a couple of changes, such as adding one teaspoon of sugar to the dough, putting the butter in the freezer (until it is almost frozen), and making sure the water is ice cold. The secret to this dough is not to over mix it. I also brushed a tablespoon of milk on the crust and sprinkled it with a tablespoon of turbinado raw sugar before baking. I made the galette twice, but didn’t add the marmalade on the baked crust the first time. Here is the link to the Plum Galette recipe by Jaques Pépin.
I like the idea of adding nuts to the crust, which is what the bon appétit cover recipe did. They used pecans, but I decided to use almonds instead. I also added some ground almonds, sugar and flour to the bottom of the dough to prevent the galette from getting soggy. I am pleased to share the final version with you. I served this with my homemade
strawberry ice cream.
I wrote about my Paris and Brittany trip under my Wanderlust column. If you like, you can click on the link here (Paris or Brittany) or go under my Wanderlust column on the top of my blog to read about my travels.
Enjoy and have a wonderful week. Life is deliciously beautiful.
This Galette tastes good with different fruits. I made it with blueberries, plums, strawberries, and a mixture of fruits. The most important part to remember is not to over mix the dough. I know I'm repeating myself. Have fun!
This galette makes 6 generous pieces.
Île-de-Ré and Brittany
After a wonderful week in Paris, we caught the train to Rennes. Taking trains in France can be somewhat nerve-racking. A billboard shows you the track the train will be arriving on 20 minutes before departure. After the announcement, everybody rushes up or down the assigned track, trying to find the right car where they have a reserved seat. In our case, the announcement wasn't made until 10 minutes before departure, so you can just imagine the pushing and shoving to get onto the train. I almost lost my hubby because he is so polite, allowing people to pass. Once we arrived in Rennes, we rented a car and drove to the Île-de-Ré to visit friends who own a house on this gorgeous island. The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge. Our three-day stay was relaxing and fun. We went to the local market and bought fresh fruit, cheeses, oysters and fresh-caught fish. Our first meal on the island was mules frites (mussels and French fries). It was so much fun to have our friends show us this beautiful island. I bought a lot of different sea salts and brought them home.
After a short and sweet visit with our friends, we left for a three-hour drive to Quimper, a picturesque town in Bretagne with cobblestone streets, shops and museums. Quimper is generally regarded as the cultural center of Brittany. Once a year, an annual festival celebrates the Breton Culture. From Quimper, we explored the surrounding area for the next three days.
Our first stop was Pont-Aven, an attractive little village best known for its association with Paul Gauguin. Here we had breakfast, visited the local market and walked by some old mills.
Point -Aven is a tourist destination, as is Corncarneu, our next stop. We did not stay very long because it was simply too touristy for us. Our next stop was Bénodet on the southern coast of Brittany.
We took a nice stroll along the bay watching the sail boats and found a great place to have a wonderful lunch. We had fried fresh sardines on a bed of lettuce with tomato dip. My husband had a wonderful piece of white fish on top of a zucchini ragout with olives and capers in a tomato sauce. I had a most delicious scallop salad with prosciutto. I love the pink tails on the scallops.
After our great lunch, we decided to go for it and drove to Pointe du Raz, a promontory that extends into the Atlantic Ocean. This wild and windy point is one of Brittany's most popular natural sites. It has breathtaking cliff-top walks and white-washed houses nearby.
After our stay in Quimper, we drove to Cancale. Mention Cancale to a foodie and a quick reply will be "oysters," which have been cultivated here for hundreds of years. Originally, we were to meet some friends for a night but it didn't work out. All we had left were local oysters and crab. For our first course, we sat on a sea wall eating oysters we had bought from one of a dozen vendors. It was a memorable experience eating these briny magnificent sea creatures, throwing the shells on the beach.
The next day, we drove to Rennes to drop off our car and take the train back to Paris, where we flew home the next morning. Don't ever assume that dropping off a car at the train station outside of Paris would be easy. We had no idea that the entire railroad station was a giant construction zone which made it a real challenge to drop off the car. I asked the lady at the counter if people had just abandoned their cars and taken a taxi to bring the key. She nodded yes.
Traveling is always an adventure and life is good. Bon voyage .
WELCOME TO SUNNY COVE CHEF
Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.