I also knew that I wanted to make a galette and I wanted to have pears in it. I seem to recall my mum making a blackberry pear jam when we were kids and I thought it would be a really good flavour combination. And I’d never made a galette but they always look so beautiful. I also knew I wanted to use goat cheese and I got the idea for sweetening it with honey from this Food Network recipe. As a total aside, did you know that Melissa is actually Greek for honey bee and Meli (my nickname) is Greek for honey? Appropriate, yes?
The family loves this dish. It comes out juicy with amazing flavor. With the gravy over top, you can't beat it. This dish requires you to start it 24 hours in advance. I start this dish for the next day after I finish cleaning up dinner from that night.
When I am looking for side dishes for special meals this time of the year, brussels sprouts always come to mind as they are one of my favourite winter green vegetables. There are so many great ways to serve brussels sprouts and I have to say that a creamy gratin is top on my list, especially when you have the oven on already for something like the roast beef that I made on the weekend. As far as gratins go, this brussels sprouts gratin is pretty simple. You start out by blanching the brussels sprouts to make sure that when they come out of the oven they are nice and tender and fully cooked. Salty and smoky bacon pairs particularly well with brussels sprouts and I always enjoy adding them to a brussels sprouts gratin! Next up is the creamy sauce which I like to start out with sauteing some diced onions and garlic before moving on to making the bechamel sauce with the butter, flour and milk. For this gratin a tried something a little different and I added some grainy mustard to the mix to add a bit of a kick and a nice contrasting texture along with a bit of colour. Now you could throw the gratin into the oven like this but a crunchy crust is always nice and super easy to make with some panko bread crumbs mixed up with some finely grated cheese.
I LOVE brie cheese. Well, I actually love all cheeses… but that’s another story. However, there is nothing quite like a good baked brie! I usually make mine topped with jam and wrapped in croissant… it’s a sure-fire winner. So why was I surprised that this baby was a hit as well? Who knows! One thing I’ve learned is that people love a good baked brie! It’s the #1 request I get when people come over or I’m invited to a party… hah If only they knew how EASY they were to throw together! And this one? Even easier… no croissant, no wrapping – quick, easy, and it will blow your mind!
There are always a few ingredients that I have in the pantry, spaghetti sauce in the jar. While sometimes I make spaghetti sauce from scratch, I also sometimes need to put together a meal when I have gotten home from a long day, and it beats re-heating something that came pre-packaged and out of the freezer. I always keep a few frozen chicken breasts in the freezer. I love the individually wrapped ones because I can defrost those quickly in a sink of warm water.