Blueberry Galette (Pan Less Pie)

Summer time is the right time for fantastic fruit flavored desserts. Pies, tarts and crumbles are some of my favorite hot weather desserts, but the French galette is a true crowd pleaser and you dont have to be a pro baker to make it. A galette is like a pie without a pan, filled with a fruit filling and topped with ice cream, whipped cream or powdered sugar. I like to make this dessert because the prep is easy and the outcome is wicked awesome!

You can make the dough from scratch or use store bought pie dough, crescent dough and puff pastry. The fruit filling can be made from all types of berries, and other summer fruits like cherries, peaches, plums and even rhubarb. And remember if you can't get fresh fruit, frozen will work great too.

Blueberry Galette (Pan Less Pie)

  • 1 Pie Dough
  • 3 C Blueberry Filling
  • 1/4 C Flour
  • 2 tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • Pre heat the oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. The parchment will keep your baking sheet clean and make the surface non stick.

    Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a surface dusted with flour. Roll the dough out into a large circle about 13 inches wide, don't worry about creating a perfect circle. Place the blueberry filling in the middle of the dough, and leave a 2 inch border. Carefully fold the dough up and around the blueberry filling to create crust, overlapping the dough is all good.

    Brush the edges of the galette with the milk and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown, turning halfway through cooking. Remove front he oven and let cool until serving.

    Pie Dough

  • 1.25 C Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 stick Cold Butter, small dice
  • 2 tbsp. Ice Water
  • Place the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and toss to combine. Place the butter chunks into the mixture and press into the flour with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the ice water and press the flour mixture into a ball of dough, the mixture will be crumbly. Wrap the dough ball tightly in plastic and flatten to form a disk. Place in fridge and chill for 2 hour or until very firm.

    Blueberry Filling

  • 3 C Blueberries, washed and dried
  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon Zest
  • Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and toss to combine.

    Falafel - Chickpea Fritters

    Falafel is a staple street food in Middle Eastern countries and throughout Europe. A good falafel is made by stuffing a big pita with fried chickpea fritters, seasoned with warm spices like, cumin, paprika and coriander. These crispy fritters are then topped with salads made from fresh chopped tomato, onions and cucumber as well as a parsley and bulgar wheat salad called tabouleh. A falafel is then finished off with a drizzle of tahini (sesame seed paste) and dollop of greek yogurt tzadziki. If your lucky, some places will top the whole thing off with French fries.

    This sandwich is inexpensive to make, has all of the food groups, is vegetarian and bursting with fresh flavors and textures.

    Middle Eastern Falafel - Chickpea Fritters

  • 16 oz. Canned Chickpeas, drained
  • ½ Onion, minced
  • 1tsp. Cumin
  • 1tsp. Coriander
  • 1tsp. Paprika
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ C Bread Crumbs
  • ¼ C Parsley, chopped
  • ¼ C Vegetable Oil
  • Place the first 8 ingredients into a quart sized freezer bag, seal tightly and smash with hands to combine. You can also pulse the all of the ingredients in a food processor until combined. Form 4-8 equal sized balls and then press into patty. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil starts to smoke lightly, carefully add the patties to the pan. Fry the patties on one side for 2 minutes and then turn, continue to cook the other side until golden brown. Drain the falafel well on paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

    You can serve you falafel on pita bread or any middle easter or greek flat bread. Top your falafel with chopped tomato, cucumber, pickles, greek yogurt, hummus, tabouleh, tahini and even french fries.

    Crispy Summer Squash Pancakes

    Crispy Summer Squash Pancakes

  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 5 C Yellow Squash or Zucchini, small dice
  • 1/2 C Onion, small dice
  • 1/2 C Red Bell Pepper, small dice
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 1.25 C Saltine Crackers, crushed or Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 C Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. Red Chili Flakes
  • 1 C Cornmeal or Polenta
  • 1/4 C Oil
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, when it smokes, place the squash, onion and bell pepper into the pan. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with squash with salt/pepper then place the mixture into a sieve, strainer or colander. Place the sieve into a bowl, and let this drain for 1 hour in the fridge. The goal is to drain as much of the liquid from the veggies as possible while cooling it down.

    Place the squash mixture into a bowl and smash together with the crushed crackers, eggs, cheese and chili flakes, until a chunky batter forms. Place this mixture into the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up. Remove the squash from the freezer, drain off any water that has come to the top.

    Place a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add the oil to the pan. Form the pancakes by scooping 1/4 C of the mixture, form a patty and lightly dredge in the cornmeal. The batter will be loose, so don't worry about making a mess or that your pancakes are not perfectly shaped. When the oil smokes very lightly, carefully place the pancakes into the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the pancakes once and cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pancakes from the pan and place on paper towels to drain well.

    Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. You can also cool/freeze these for later use. Just place them into the oven or toaster oven at 400 F or until crispy. I like to serve these with chicken and fish for a dinner or lunch and fried eggs for breakfast.

    Old Bay Potato Chips

    Homemade potato chips are truly a special treat! This recipe for fresh thick cut kettle style chips will satisfy your munchies like no other. You can toss in the classic Maryland style seasoning, Old Bay or cover in your favorite seasonings. Try salt and vinegar, bbq seasoning, cheddar cheese powder, dry ranch or italian dressing seasonings.

    Old Bay Potato Chips

  • 2 lbs. Russet Potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch
  • ¼ C Vinegar
  • 1.5 - 2 qts. Peanut Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Old Bay
  • Pre heat a large, heavy cast iron pot over medium/heat heat. Add the oil to the pot and heat to 375 F. We use peanut oil for its clean flavor and high smoke point. Next, slice the potatoes to 1/8 inch. You can hand cut the chips or using a mandolin or food processor.

    Bring a large pot of water spiked with the vinegar to a boil. Cook the sliced potatoes for 2 minutes and carefully remove using a slotted spoon, tongs or bamboo wire strainer/skimmer. Drain the potatoes and dry them well on paper towels. Cooking the potatoes in "vinegarized" water will do 3 things. First, it will quickly remove the extra starch. Second, it will pre cook the potatoes, decreasing the frying time. Last, the addition of the vinegar will make sure the potatoes will not over brown when cooked.

    If you do not want to boil the potatoes, you can soak them in cold water over night, Changing the water several times or until the water runs clear.

    When the sliced potatoes are as dry as possible, carefully place them into the oil and cook for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Move the chips around to cook evenly. Remove the chips using a slotted spoon or tongs, place on paper towels to drain. Pale the chip into a large bowl and toss lightly with the old bay seasoning. Serve hot!

    Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas

    Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas

  • 2.5 C Flour
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 lb. Russet Potato, baked and cooled
  • ½ C Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 Egg
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 C Green Peas, fresh or canned
  • ½ C Cream
  • ¼ C Fresh Herbs, chopped
  • Remove the skin from the cooled potato and shred finely on a grater. Place 1 cup of flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Place the potato, ricotta and egg in the well and start to mix. Lightly knead the dough on the floured surface adding a small amount of flour until it is light and does not stick to the surface. Cut off a small portion of the dough, roll into a snake, then cut the snake into small 3/4-inch portions and place on a sheet tray and freeze for 10 minutes.

    Pre heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan, then add the peas and toss for 3 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a simmer.

    Boil the gnocchi in salted water until they float to the top, about 90 seconds.

    Add the gnocchi to the sauce and cook until the sauce is thick then toss in the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper.

    Cast Iron Pan Pizza

    This recipe for cast iron pizza will beat any brick oven pizza joint by miles. The cast iron gets super hot and creates a crispy crust that can only be found in pro pizza ovens. I used a large 14 inch cast iron pizza pan that can be found at a Walmart, Target or Amazon.com. You can also place this pan on your grill, jack up the heat to high and get awesome pizzas throughout the year!

    You can top your pizzas with all kinds of stuff. I like grilled and fresh vegetables, pulled pork or chicken, BBQ sauce and assorted meats and cheeses. Get Funky With It!!!

    Lastly, Big Ups to my buddy Hank Vorher, who took this great picture! Yes, I really made that pizza.

    Now Get Crackin'! Chef Egg

    Link to Pizza Pan - http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Pro-Logic-P14P3-Pizza-14-inch/dp/B0000E2V3X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422640922&sr=8-1&keywords=pizza+pan+lodge

    Cast Iron Pan Pizza

  • 1/4 C Corn Meal
  • 1 Pre Made Pizza Dough, cut into 2
  • 1 C Good Quality Tomato Sauce or Pizza Sauce
  • 12 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced thin
  • 1/3 C Basil, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • First Step - Pre heat the oven to 525 F or as hot as hot as it will get.

    A) Thin Crust Pizza

  • Place a large cast iron pizza pan on the bottom oven shelf and let it get hot for 30 minutes.
  • Lightly dust a counter top or large cutting board with flour. Slowly roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it is very thin.
  • Sprinkle a pizza peel or a baking sheet with no edge, with 1 tablespoon of the cornmeal and place the dough over the cornmeal. Give it a little shake to make sure it moves around a little and does not stick
  • Top the pizza lightly with sauce, cheese, a pinch of salt and pepper, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Carefully open the oven and shake the pizza off the peel or sheet pan and on to the cast iron pan. Close the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
  • Check the pizza for bubbles, and pop them with a fork if they appear. Close the oven and cook for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and the crust is crispy. Garnish the pizza with fresh, chopped basil.
  • B) Thick Crust Pan Pizza

  • Oil a large cast iron pan very well. Roll out the dough the size of the pan and place it in the pan, pushing the dough up the sides to form a deep crust.
  • Top with sauce, leaving an inch around the sides with no sauce and then top with cheese and assorted toppings. Season with salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Place on the bottom of a 525 F oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown.Top with fresh copped basil and enjoy!
  • Roasted Carrots and Beets

    Roasted Carrots and Beets

  • 1 lb. Carrots, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 lb. Beets, cleaned and skinned
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme, dried or fresh (optional)
  • Pre heat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Slice large carrots lengthwise into one inch pieces. This carrots can be kept whole. Slice the beets into 1/2 inch slices. Drizzle half of the oil onto the baking sheet, lay out the carrots and beets in a single layer and then drizzle with the rest of the oil. Season with salt, pepper and herbs then bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

    *Big Thanks to my buddy Hank Vorher, who took this awesome picture!

    How To Make Vinaigrette Dressing

    How To Make Vinaigrette Dressing

    Homemade dressing is very awesome and extremely easy to make. With a couple of ingredients that you probably already have in your house, you can make a dressing to match an salad combination you can think of.

    First start out with an acid, like lemon juice or vinegar. this is going to give your dressing the flavorful bite you are looking for. Next, you have to mellow out that bit with a little something sweet like honey, agave or maple syrup and even white or brown sugar, just a bit will do. Also, I like to add some minced shallots, which are little, sweet, French onion to the dressing to give some extra flavor.

    Now we will add some mustard. This ingredients acts as an "emulsifier" or as I like to call it "the friend maker". The mustard will add a boost of flavor but it will also combine the unlike ingredients - vinegar and olive oil - into one fantastic dressing. Whisk in a pinch of salt, pepper and dried herbs to give a further blast of flavor and then slowly whisk in the olive oil on little dribble at a time. You will notice that the dressing will start to become thick and rich as the oil combines with the vinegar and the mustard.

    Basic Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 2 tbsp. Lemon Juice or Vinegar - White, Red Wine, Balsamic
  • 1-2 tsp. Honey, Sugar, Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar
  • 1 tbsp. Shallots or Sweet Onion, minced (optional, but awesome)
  • 1 tsp. Mustard, Dijon if you have it
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried Herbs - Oregano, Basil, Tarragon, Rosemary, Parsley
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • Place the first 5 ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in the olive oil very slowly until the dressing is thick. Season with more salt and pepper if you like and store in a sealed container.

    Carrot and Apple Slaw

    Carrot and Apple Slaw

  • 3 Apples, shredded
  • 3-4 Carrots, shredded
  • 3/4 C Raisons
  • 1/3 C Pepitas or Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, sub almonds or sunflower seeds
  • 2 Lemons, juiced
  • 1/4 C Brown Sugar, sub honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
  • Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and toss to combine. Keep in the fridge in an airtight container until service.

    How to Bake A Pumpkin

    How to Bake A Pumpkin

    You can use this technique for baking whole pumpkin and any type of squash type veggies. You can use the pumpkin in smoothies, cakes, pies, pancakes, breads, puddings, baked gratins, soufles and pretty much anything else you can think of.

    1. Clean the outside of a "Sugar" or "Pie" pumpkin. Jack O Lanterns will not taste very good.

    2. Cut the stalk at the top of the pumpkin.

    3. With a heavy knife, slice the pumpkin width wise through the middle.

    4. Scoop out all of the pumpkin goo and seeds from the inside. Make sure to scrape the sides and get it super clean.

    5. Place the pumpkin halves on a baking sheet, cover very tightly with foil and bake at 350 F for 75 minutes.

    6. Remove the pumpkins from the oven and let them sit for 30 minutes.

    7. Remove the foil, cool completely and scoop the pumpkin from the skin.

    8. Smash or puree the pumpkin using a potato smasher, food processor, hand blender or blender.

    9. Place the pumpkin in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze for later use.

    Now Get Crackin'!

    Chef Egg

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