Mushroom, Beet and Swiss Chard Crêpes

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This recipe came about with a need to use a few produce items in the fridge that wouldn’t last much longer. Swiss chard and mushrooms became a staple combination in our house last summer using the beautiful chard we grew. Missing those flavors, I picked up some chard and oyster mushrooms at the store with the intention of using them in that night’s dinner.

Fast-forward almost a week and I still hadn’t done that. Pete working overtime and then my being out of town for work got in the way. Last Thursday I remembered those delicious ingredients while at work and planned out that night’s meal in my head. A little fresh parmesan and some beets would go into the mixture, along with my new favorite, whole wheat angel hair pasta. It was a great week night dinner with leftovers for lunch the next day.

With beets being such a tasty addition to that Swiss chard-mushroom mix, I wanted to make it again, but amp it up a bit given the extra time I had for cooking on the weekend. Crêpes came to mind, thinking this would be the perfect filling for thin and savory French pancakes.

Because of the red and green color combination, it also seemed a fitting dish for the Christmas season. A dollop of crème fraiche and a sprinkling of lemon zest on top, and you’ve got yourself one visually appealing and scrumptious meal. And it’s special enough for company, which I hope you’ll have lots of during the holidays. Enjoy!
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Mushroom, Beet and Swiss Chard Crêpes

If you want to give your crêpes an extra pretty touch, reserve a ¼ cup of the shredded beets and a little Swiss chard, chopped extra fine, to add along with the crème fraiche and lemon zest for garnish. The unfilled crêpes can be made ahead of time, wrapped and refrigerated for a day or two or frozen, tightly-wrapped, for up to a month.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ a large onion or one whole small onion, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz. mushrooms (maitake, oyster, crimini), or a mixture of all three, chopped

½ a large bunch, or whole bunch if small, Swiss chard, large rib removed and sliced into ribbons

1 large beet, peeled and shredded

Salt & pepper, to taste

8 oz. fontina cheese, shredded (gruyère or parmesan would work as well)

Crêpes, recipe follows

Crème fraiche

Micro-planed zest of one lemon

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Stir in the beets and mushrooms and cook about 2 more minutes. Mix in the Swiss chard and cook another 2-3 minutes or so, until the chard is tender. Add additional salt, along with freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

To serve, place a cooked crêpe in a skillet over medium heat and sprinkle about a quarter cup of the shredded cheese down the center (the first-cooked side of the crêpe is usually prettiest, so make that the outside). Cover pan and let crepe warm and cheese melt, about a minute. Spoon chard-mushroom filling down the center and roll. Top with a dollop of crème fraiche and a sprinkling of lemon zest.

Alternately, you could preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and fill crêpes with cheese and filling, roll, and place in a baking dish. Bake until hot, about 20 minutes. Move crêpes to serving plates and garnish as described above.

Crêpes
Recipe from Myra Goodman’s The Earthbound Cook, one of my favorite cookbooks.

1 cup plus one tablespoon, whole wheat pastry flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 ¼ cup whole milk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Additional melted butter for the crêpe pan

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add eggs and milk and whisk until mixed. Whisk in melted butter and continue whisking until the batter is very smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.

Place a cast iron skillet or crêpe pan over medium heat and when hot, brush with some melted butter. Pour or ladle ¼ cup of batter into the center of the pan, lift the pan off the stove, and tilt and swirl the pan so that the batter spreads thinly across the bottom of the pan in a widening circle; don’t worry if the crêpe isn’t a perfect circle (and in my experience, the first crêpe never turns out pretty, but the rest do).

Cook until tiny bubbles begin to appear in the crêpe batter; depending on how hot your pan is, the crêpe will be ready to flip in 30-45 seconds. With a spatula, lift up a corner of the crêpe to check if the cooked surface is lightly golden around the edges, and if so, flip. Cook the second side about 30 seconds. Remove crêpe to a platter, with a sheet of wax paper or parchment between each crêpe. Continue with remaining batter. Makes about 8 crêpes.

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Swiss Chard and Mushroom Galette

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2016 was the first summer Swiss chard has graced our garden, but it certainly won’t be the last. I’ve had fun incorporating it into many dishes, but my favorite is to pair it with mushrooms. After recently cutting several large bunches of chard and enjoying it with mushrooms in pasta, I decided to look for a little different recipe for this delicious combination. The one that rose to the top after googling “Swiss chard mushroom recipes,” was a savory galette from Epicurious.

I’ve made dessert galettes several times, using pre-packaged puff pastry, for an easy and impressive (looking and tasting) fruit-filled treat, but a savory galette with homemade crust was new to me. No stranger to pastry from scratch recipes, this didn’t intimidate, but excited me, especially because it included whole wheat flour—that always makes me feel a little less guilty about a butter crust. And if pastry from scratch intimidates you, a galette is a great way to hone your skills because the rolled shape needn’t be exactly round like a pie.

The dough needs to chill for at least two hours and can be kept in the fridge for up to two days, an ideal make-ahead aspect to this recipe. I made the dough in the morning for a same-day supper.

Don’t be tempted to skip the little herb salad topping after the galette is cooked—it adds another layer of flavor and really boosts this to rock star recipe status. Enjoy!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Swiss Chard and Mushroom Galette

Slightly adapted from this recipe

Dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons (one stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Galette:
3/4 cup ricotta

¼ cup Boursin cheese

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 ounces maitake mushrooms, torn, and/or crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 large bunch Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves cut into bite-size pieces

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

All-purpose flour (for parchment)

1 large egg, beaten to blend

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup mixed fresh tender herbs (such as flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, dill, and/or chives)

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

For whole wheat dough:
Pulse all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

Transfer mixture to a large bowl; drizzle with vinegar and 1/4 cup ice water. Mix with a fork, adding more ice water by the tablespoonful if needed, just until a shaggy dough comes together; lightly knead until no dry spots remain (do not overwork). Pat into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours.

DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

For galette:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix ricotta and Boursin; set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add half of chard, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until slightly wilted. Add remaining chard and cook, tossing occasionally, until completely wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment to a 14″ round about 1/8″ thick. Transfer on parchment to a baking sheet. Spread three-fourths of ricotta/Boursin mixture over dough, leaving a 1 1/2″ border. Top with reserved chard, then mushrooms. Dollop remaining ricotta over vegetables. Sprinkle with parmesan. Bring edges of dough up and over filling, overlapping as needed, to create a 1 1/2″ border; brush crust with egg. Bake galette, rotating once, until crust is golden brown and cooked through, 35–40 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet.

Toss herbs with lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl; season with pepper. Top galette with herb salad, zest, and sea salt. Makes 4-6 servings.

Colcannon, with a Twist

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It’s getting to be that time of year when one starts thinking of what Irish dish to make for St. Patrick’s Day. A couple years ago I made these Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Frosting. You have my guarantee if you bring a batch of these babies to work on St. Patrick’s Day (or any day, really), your co-workers will gobble them up in no time and beg you to bring them again. They are amazingly good, and no one would ever guess they’re vegan.

Several years ago, in the early days of my blog (before I had a decent camera), this Shepherd’s Pie with Irish Soda Bread was our hearty St. Paddy’s Day meal, and made for some delicious leftovers.

This year I got an early start with another savory concoction and gave it a little twist to make it a full meal. Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish mainly consisting of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale (or both), along with lots of butter!

I dialed the butter back quite a bit to make this version a little less artery-clogging and used some low-fat buttermilk to give it more buttery flavor without the butter. My intention was to use both kale and cabbage, but at the grocery store I saw the most beautiful bunch of rainbow chard, which I decided to use in place of the kale. I grabbed a head of pre-wrapped organic cabbage and went home to get cooking.
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Well it turned out my head of cabbage was actually a head of organic lettuce. Grrr! Opting not to go back to the store and make an exchange, I decided to make my colcannon with just the rainbow chard—no cabbage this time.

Now for the twist that makes it a full meal: I threw the Colcannon into a casserole dish and made four indentations, each just the right size to cradle an egg. About 15 minutes in the oven and dinner was ready. Firm whites and runny yolks atop this buttery potato-chard creation—such a splendid meal that, at least in our house, will not be relegated to just St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!

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Colcannon, with a Twist

2 ½ lbs. russet potatoes, washed, but not peeled

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 bunch rainbow chard or kale, hard stems removed, cut into thin ribbons

3 or 4 green onions, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup buttermilk

2/3 cup milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 eggs

Cut potatoes into quarters and place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Sprinkle the tablespoon of salt into the water. Cover pan and bring water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook potatoes 15-20 minutes, until tender.

Drain potatoes and let them sit in the pan on the still hot, but turned-off burner, allowing them to dry a bit.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 3-quart casserole with cooking spray or lightly oil or butter it.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add chard or kale and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add green onions and cook another minute or so. Add the milks and cook until milk is hot, but not boiling.

Pour milk mixture over potatoes, and, using a potato masher, mash until potatoes and milk mixture are thoroughly combined. Add salt & pepper, to taste. Dump it all into the casserole dish and make four impressions evenly spaced. Crack an egg into each impression. Bake about 15 minutes, until whites are set, but yolks still runny. Makes 4 full meal servings.