“Roasted Root Vegetable Slab Pie in a Gluten-Free Corn Flour Crust”

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“Roasted Root Vegetable Slab Pie with a Gluten-free Corn Flour Crust”

Purple & deep red sweet potatoes, white parsnips, turnips shaded from lavender to white, onions of all sorts, beets from golden to deep purple, variegated fingerlings potatoes, tri-color carrots……..I am obsessed with the abundance piled gloriously in the farmer’s markets. They glow as the sun sets and I choose a few of each to roast for this pie.

One of the things I love about photographing food for my blog this time of year is the soft blue cast that seems to be ever-present. It reminds me of North Sea light or a bright snowy day.

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Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Cornflour was the base for this crispy crust. Some Gruyere shredded, softened herb goat cheese dollops & thyme leaves added to the mix. Very easy dough to make in the processor & simple to press into a baking sheet pan while the vegs are roasting.

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People often ask me if I do a lot of cooking at home. Although I am surrounded by food every day in my job as  a food stylist we still eat at home most nights. I cook very simple foods like this pie that can be eaten for a couple of nights with a change in the salad to accompany it. This is the sort of recipe I make on a Saturday or Sunday for supper. Easy & quick using fresh vegetables with a bit of cheese baked in a very simple crust. Salads and more salads at least 4 nights a week as the stand alone entrée. One day I will blog on our “variations on the salad” which are the basis of most of our meals.

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Parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic cloves & baby red potatoes slightly roasted & scattered across the bottom of the cheese topped dough.

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Baked  with slices of Feta cheese on top. Freshly ground black pepper & crunchy sea salt.

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Cut into slabs, eaten warm with a simple green salad & a glass of wine for a November supper.

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Roasted Root Vegetable Slab Pie in a Gluten Free Corn Flour Crust

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print

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Ingredients for crust:

  • 2 cups gluten-free corn flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere Cheese
  • 1/2  stick butter cut into small pieces & frozen
  • 1 egg
  • ice water

Ingredients for roasted vegetables:

  • 2 parsnips, peeled & cut into chunks
  • 1 carrot, peeled & cut into chunks
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled & cut into chunks
  • 6 baby new potatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper cut into thick slivers
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • a few tablespoons of olive oil
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere Cheese (divided)
  • 4 ounces softened herb goat cheese
  • 4 to 6 ounces Feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place all the chunked vegs & garlic cloves on a sheet pan. Drizzle on a few tablespoons of olive oil, black pepper & sea salt. Toss well.
  3. Bake vegs just until al dente. About 12 minutes. Remove from oven to cool a bit. Turn oven down to 375 degrees.
  4. While the vegs are roasting make the crust. Put the corn flour in the bowl of a food processor along with the pinch of sea salt & thyme leaves. Pulse a few times to mix.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of the Gruyere shreds & cold butter pieces to the bowl and pulse until the mixture becomes grainy.
  6. Add the egg & pulse a few times. Drizzle in the ice water until a soft dough forms. Scrape dough from the processor bowl. Form into a flatten dough ball, wrap in plastic and chill while vegs are cooling or for about 15 minutes.
  7. Press chilled dough into the bottom and up the sides of a baking sheet pan using your fingers.
  8. Scatter the remaining 1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese over the bottom of the crust & top with dollops of the softened herbed goat cheese.
  9. Scatter the roasted vegs over the cheeses & top with pieces of Feta cheese.
  10. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the crust browns & vegs are softened. Serve hot or warm with a side salad of arugula or baby kale & a glass of your favorite wine. A good way to end a November weekend, with some leftovers for later in the week.

Note: This would also be great cut into smaller pieces to serve as an appetizer during the Holidays. Add chunks of butternut squash or pumpkin.

This was my first time using corn flour to make a savory pie crust. It is like a shortbread crust rather than a flakey crust which was really great with the roasted sweetness of the root vegs.

“Rustic Ratatouille Tart for the January Dark” (Gluten Free)

rustic ratatouille tart

“The days are short, The sun a spark Hung thin between The dark and dark. (Poem by John Updike, “January”)

January has been a month of extreme cold & many sunless days. It has been a month of long days for me on photo shoots..arising before dawn and returning home way after dark. It has been a month to test the hearty, tire out the tireless and make us all yearn for lighter times.

In January I crave homey foods such as rich hot soups, winter greens salads with crusty homemade croutons, roasted vegetables of any kind topped with crumbly cheeses.  Comfort foods that are easy to make but complex in flavor…dishes that I can whip up from whatever is in the pantry & refrigerator at any given time…dinners that require no grocery runs or long lists of ingredients.

Ratatouille Tart

This gluten-free “Rustic Ratatouille Tart”  is one such dish. It is quick and easy, full of roasted vegetables encased in a whole grain crust and topped with a good feta cheese…a pretty perfect meal for a dark winter evening.

Ingredients: Grape or Cherry tomatoes, Squash of any type, Onions, Bell Peppers, Garlic Cloves  (or use whatever you happen to have on hand such as potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, etc.) cut vegetables into bite size pieces except for tomatoes & garlic cloves

Olive oil, Herbs de Provence (recipe for making at home here)  or Italian Seasoning, Salt & Black Pepper

1/2 cup shredded Gruyère Cheese

1/2 cup good quality Feta Cheese

For whole grain pie crust: 1 1/4 c.  King Arthur gluten-free whole grain flour blend + 1/4 tsp salt +  7 tbsp cold butter cut into small pieces + 1 cold egg

1 egg + 1 tbsp water whisked together for brushing on crust before baking

whole wheat crust & vegetables to roast

Directions:

1. For pie crust mix flour & salt together in a food processor. Add cold butter cut into small pieces. Pulse until mixed somewhat. Add 1 egg to processor, pulsing as you add, until dough forms into a ball. Remove from processor, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic & chill until ready to roll out. (This only takes a few minutes to make. A store-bought crust works just fine too.)

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place vegetables on a sheet pan. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle Herbs de Provence, salt & black pepper over all. Roast for about 15 minutes just until tomatoes collapse & other vegetables are still firm. Remove pan from oven. Set aside to cool somewhat. Turn oven to 350 degrees.

3. On a flat surface dusted with additional whole grain flour roll dough out to a circle about 14 inches in diameter. Edges can be ragged and uneven. A gluten-free crust is not as “elastic” as a high gluten flour crust, more like a short-bread crust.

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4. Sprinkle crust with shredded Gruyère Cheese. Pile roasted vegetables over cheese,  leaving a 2″ edge all around uncovered.

shredded Gruyere over crustroasted vegs on crust

5. Gently fold edges of crust up and over the vegetables leaving  center open. Brush crust with egg wash. Sprinkle feta crumbles over vegetables. Transfer tart to a baking sheet covered with parchment & bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and crisp.

Pie crust filled with vegs

Ratatouille Tart

Stay Warm. Keep it simple. Eat well.

Baby it’s cold outside!

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“t(wo) for Thanksgiving, t for Tennessee”

We all know the phrase “t for Texas, t for Tennessee, right? This year we added “t(wo) for Thanksgiving”.  That’s right, this year was the year we had to share our children with all their other extended, far-away families. We do this every other year. If your family is like ours it is a combination of birth family, married-into families, step-families, long-time & new-friends-families. So Wouter & I had great day cooking a simple meal, a meal of not-too-much, a meal of local bounty and international recipes. We spent the day together cooking, talking, laughing and telling stories.

“t(wo) for Thanksgiving” Menu


Asian Roasted Hen & Gravy


Hutspot (A Dutch dish of Onion, Carrots, Potatoes & Meat Juices)

A simple salad of shredded spinach, julienned pears & plums (photo on finished plate image)

An Australian Malbec

Jill’s Fresh Citrus Granita with Limoncello Drizzle

For an afternoon tea time snack:

Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cookie)

Yazoo Stout & Barista Pinotage (both great with a piece of butter cookie!)

First things first…………..

“Asian Roast Hen with Au Jus-Gravy”

For recipe: Go to relishmag.com. In search enter: “Asian Roast Turkey with Sticky Rice Stuffing” This is the cover story for the November 2010 Issue.  I wanted to cook a roasting hen using the same ingredients so I just cut everything in half for the basting glaze. Also I wanted the have Hutspot, so I did not make the Sticky Rice Stuffing, although I highly recommend it. The original recipe is by cookbook author Corinne Trang and is one of the most delicious bird recipes I have ever tasted.

1. Rinse and dry bird. Make basting glaze according to the recipe. Following original recipe, loosen skin of the bird, add glaze under skin and on top. Roast following recipe based on the size of the bird you are cooking. Roast bird until the skin is very brown and crispy. Use the pan juices to make an au jus-gravy by whisking in a bit of flour & black pepper.

“Hutspot”

1. For this you will need: 2.2 lbs (1 kilo) each carrots, onions & potatoes. 1/2 lb beef sirloin (or similar cut) sliced into 2 equal pieces, 8 ozs butter, salt & pepper, 1 cup water. A large dutch oven or stock pot.

2. Brown butter in a pan over medium-high heat, add meat seasoned with salt & pepper. Meat will sizzle & turn brown, lower temp and continue to cook for about 1/2 hr. until meat is tender.

3. While meat is cooking, wash & cut carrots into thick “coins”.

4. Place carrots in the bottom of pan and top with slices of cooked beef.

5. Chop onions into large chunks and add to pot on top of carrots & meat. Add 1 cup water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for about 1.5 hours. Carrots & onions should be very “mashable” soft.

6. About 1/2 hour before carrots & onions are cooked, peel potatoes, cut up and put into a pan of water. Cook for about 20 minutes until very soft.

7. When soft remove potatoes from heat, drain and mash-up.

8. Remove meat from the pot of carrots & onions. Set aside for later use. Drain liquid from pot. Add mashed potatoes to pot of drained carrots & onions.With a potato masher or large fork “stomp” all the vegetables together until they are well incorporated. Add salt & pepper to taste. This dish has everything you like about mashed potatoes with the added sweetness of carrots with a hint of onion added it. Wouter used Yukon Gold potatoes which are very “mashable”. Cover and keep warm until ready to eat.

(Note: If we were just having Hutspot as our main dish we would serve it with the pieces of cooked meat thinly sliced. Since we are having it with our “bird” we saved the meat for another meal.)

“Boterkoek”

For this you will need: 150 g all-purpose flour, 125 g butter, 125 g basterdsuiker (more about this later) or castor sugar.

Basterdsuiker – Wouter brings this back from Amsterdam and is what all his dessert recipes  call for. I have investigated and found there is no comparable sugar sold in our supermarkets. You can substitute Caster Sugar, or in a pinch regular sugar I suppose. Basterdsuiker has the wonderful consistency of our light brown sugars but is a very white, moist sugar that incorporates into your recipe more readily than our regular granulated sugar. You can order this online just by Googling it. After using it for desserts I really love it and wish we could buy locally.  I like that Wouter used Irish Kerrygold butter, Dutch sugar and Tennessee White Lily flour in this recipe!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, mix all ingredients together in a bowl until you can form a pastry ball. Add a bit of flour to your fingers if necessary.

2. Press soft dough into a buttered & floured pan.

3. Bake for about 25 minutes or until dough is a light golden brown. Remove from oven to cool. Dough will still be a bit soft, but as the sugar & butter cool the dough will set up like a cookie.

4. To serve, turn out on a cutting board and then invert onto a serving plate.

Serving suggestion: We had originally planned to have this in the afternoon with hot tea, but as the day got darker and windier and it got cozier inside we decided the boterkoek would be fabulous with a glass of Nashville’s Yazoo Brewery Onward Stout for Wouter and a glass of Barista Pinotage from South Africa for me, both very dark wintry tastes. As we thought….the perfect tea time!

Salad Note: At the last minute I rummaged through the fridge and came up with a simple salad by shredding fresh Spinach leaves, cutting some baby Pears & ripe Plums into julienne strips and drizzling with a bit of a Feta Vinaigrette. This is a non-recipe dish and you could substitute any greens or fruits that you have for the ones I used. I always like to have something a bit crunchy, green and fruity with my Thanksgiving dinner.

“Jill’s Extremely Fresh Citrus Granita with Limoncello Drizzle”

Recently the Relish Magazine folks were shooting some video at our house and Jill made this great Citrus Granita. I did not get the actual recipe but it is so easy that anyone can do it without a recipe. Jill made this on camera, put it in my freezer and there is has been for a couple of weeks. Yesterday I wanted something really easy & fresh tasting for after dinner. This fit all my requirements. When I showed it to Wouter and let him taste it he loved it and said that it would be really great with a drizzle of my Limoncello. This is how recipes are born I think.

For this recipe you will need:

6 cups of freshly squeezed Citrus Juice – Jill used a combination of blood oranges, ruby-red grapefruit, navel oranges & lemons. Try clementines, tangerines or any of the wonderful citrus that is available all year-long.

A simple syrup made using granulated sugar & water.  About 1 cup.

1. Mix together the cooled down simple syrup and the 6 cups juice. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary. Pour mixture into a freezer container. Freeze until hard.

2. When ready to serve, use a sturdy fork to “scrape” frozen juice into “granita”

The color is so absolutely lovely. As I scraped I could actually see all the different colors of each citrus used.

3. Put Granita into a short glass & drizzle with very cold Limoncello. Very elegant, very easy and the perfect after dinner dessert-nightcap.

The table was set……

…night fell, we filled out plates, poured some wine……

….and toasted our day….bon apetit.