How are you doing? I’m doing okay, but not great. I’m sick of working from home, of worrying, of days on the couch leading into evenings on the couch. Of no surprises and small worlds. Of insurrection and racial injustice and the failings of democracy. Of my playlists and sweatpant rotation and yoga apps. Of the book I should just stop pretending to read because I haven’t finished a book in months. Of my job, adjusted for *these times* but nowhere near as fulfilling. Of being worried about my family and friends and coworkers, and for myself every time I cough. Of idiots not covering their noses with their masks, or walking too close to me, or just generally low on respect for others. Of online trivia and online hangouts and online games and online rehearsals and online shopping. What I wouldn’t give to eat a piece of pizza on the subway on the way to a concert. Or to sit at a bar by myself and get one too many happy hour cocktails while waiting for a dance class. Or to go onto kayak and search flights and then just decide to buy one because I miss people and I miss adventure and I’m a grown ass woman who can afford to go to Miami for a weekend, thank you very much.
And yet I’m also anxious about our impending “return to normal”. Will we stay in our own comfort, having gotten used to solitude? I can’t help but think back to pre-pandemic life, a blur of restaurants and performances and bars and hangouts and trips and late nights. I maybe only cooked once or twice a week.
Now we cook alllll the time. I’ve actually documented it, one picture a day since last March, linked somewhere on a previous post that I’m not too eager to reshare. They’re not beautiful photos, but forms a pretty amazing diary of a year of dinners, mostly homemade. Lots of experiments, and weirdly only a handful of repeats. You can see the moment when we deemed it safe to get takeout, track the seasons through what CSA produce appears, see the blur around the election where I baked a bunch and didn’t eat a vegetable for a week. You can see two visits to New Hampshire, with a change in dishware and surroundings. I can tell the meals we shared with our building and community, distanced and at times awkward, but with such relief to be around people and share food again.
It has not been an ideal year. But looking back over almost a year of dinners, baking projects, success, and only a couple failures, gives me pride. Cooking dinner has been a source of creativity, meditation, and community for me the past year. I’m so thankful. We’re going to get through this.
On that note, here’s an onion galette we made with our ridiculous CSA haul. It was so freaking good. Onions take time to caramelize, dough needs to rest, the galette takes it sweet time to bake. But you have some time these days, right?
ooo, some recipes from Februarys past:
one year ago – garlic bread “chilaquiles”
two years ago – baked rolled eggplant, Sicilian-style
four years ago – miso ginger kale salad
five years ago – roasted tomato and kasha bowl
Caramelized Onion Galette
a Swanky Original, I guess
First, make your dough. I used the smitten kitchen galette dough, which is just a dream. It needs to chill in the fridge for an hour before using. Use whatever recipe you love, or puff pastry.
Peel and slice 3 pounds of yellow onions into thin-but-not-too-thin strips. (Very thankful to be a contact-wearer for tasks like this.) This is a lot of onions!! It takes a while! That’s okay. Melt a big nob of butter and a drizzle of olive oil in the biggest pan you’ve got, over lowwww heat. Add onions and sprinkle with kosher salt. If you can’t fit all onions at once, add in batches once they’ve shrunk down a bit. Cook on low, stirring occasionally, for as long as you can bear it. These ones took me close to two hours. When they’re deeply golden, meltingly tender, and smell amazing, call it. I added some black pepper, some splashes of sherry vinegar, and a touch of fish sauce, and let it cook for 3 minutes more. Taste and adjust however you see fit.
At some point, preheat your oven to 400F.
On a floured surface, roll out your galette dough to about a 12 inch circle. Carefully transfer onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Leaving a 1-2 inch border, spread with grainy dijon mustard. Top with a healthy dusting of microplaned parmesan. Next add all your onions in an even layer. Fold galette dough edges attractively onto itself. Mix 1 egg yolk with a little bit of water, then brush this over the dough. Dust the whole thing (dough + onions) with another dose of parmesan. Mine took about 40 min to bake, though start checking at 30. It’s done with galette is puffed, evenly browned, and bottom has some color. Let cool slightly before eating. Also great at room temp.