Thursday, December 10, 2009

big huge pastry time.

now that winter is here, its time for down-home-comfort food. and nothing says "comfort" more than a mouthful of cheesy, gooey, flaky goodness. methinks it's time to share my potato-leek galette recipe. basically "galette" is french for giant, delicious pastry - at least that's my interpretation. there are many variations on galette styles. the way i construct them results with something between a quiche-y tart and a calzone.

may i add, this savory wonder has amazing meal versatility. a galette is most popular for brunch but because they are so massive you'll most likely end up with leftovers. not a problem since they save quite well. you could appropriately eat a galette for dinner and absolutely as a late night snacky-snack. plus, they taste way better than those frozen pizza bagel bite things.

the possibilities are endless when it comes to filling your galette. you could put any combination of vegi-cheese or add eggs, meat (bacon) or not. or you could go to the sweet-side and fill with fruit and perhaps... nutella.

the thing that's great about this
rustic, free-form style tart is that you don't have to fuss with a pie dish. this means you don't have to roll the dough into a perfect circle and ultimately you'll have one less dish to clean. if you don't have a food processor, or the time/patience, a store bought 9-inch pie crust will suffice. but i'm telling you, a homemade crust will take things to the next level. and truly, making a crust is not rocket science. however, it takes more effort than opening a box. the good news is most time spent is unattended. here, i will demystify the pastry crust for you:

ze crust:

1¼ cups all-purpose flour - plus extra for rolling

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

10 tablespoons frozen/very cold butter - yes that's right. how else do you think pastries taste so good?

1 egg yolk

3 tablespoons ice water (or a tad more)

1. combine flour, salt, sugar and pulse a couple times in food processor. add 8 tablespoons of butter cut into chunks and process until uniform. (the extra 2 tablespoons will be used in the final stages of galette construction.) add egg yolk and process for a couple more seconds.

2. transfer mixture to a bowl and add ice water. work into a ball with your hands adding a little bit of ice water if too dry, or more flour if too wet. wrap the ball in saran wrap and freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for 30 before proceeding.

3. sprinkle parchment paper with flour and roll out the crust to about 12 inches in diameter. by no means do you need to make a perfect circle - this is the beauty of the free-form approach. transfer parchment paper onto a baking sheet and set aside.

{ crust recipe adapted from "how to cook everything" by mark bittman.}

my savory filling of choice:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced into circles or half-moons

1 medium zucchini or summer squash cut into half-moons

8 ounces thinly sliced potatoes (roughly 1 large, 2 medium, or 3-4 small), the little red 'taters are best.

4 eggs, beaten (you can make it healthier by using egg-whites.)

¼ cup dairy: milk, half & half, or cream. hell, yogurt will work too.

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, de-stemmed

1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

¼ teaspoon mace (preferably) but nutmeg will do

a couple dashes of cayenne pepper (less than ¼ teaspoon - depending on your spice tolerance)

¾ cup shredded cheese - many cheeses will work: cheddar, mozzarella, feta... here i used "pepato" which is an aged sheep's cheese embedded with black peppercorns - oh yeah.

salt & pepper to taste

galette construction:

1. prep ingredients and preheat oven to 400°. beat together eggs and your dairy product of choice in a separate bowl.

2. heat the oil at medium-high in a large skillet and add the vegetables, salt and pepper. cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. turn heat to low and add the egg mixture along with herbs, spices, and roughly half of the cheese. stir and let cook for about 3-5 minutes, until there is virtually no liquid yet eggs are still quite soft.

3. spoon skillet ingredients onto center of rolled out crust, leaving about 2 inches uncovered on the edges. fold the bare edges over onto filling mixture and lightly crimp as you go around. (as you can see in the top picture, perfection is not necessary - some filling will inevitably want to burst out the side.)

4. pizzaz time: melt those remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and brush on the folded edges. sprinkle the remaining cheese over galette . if you want to add some flare, garnish with a sprig of thyme or sage.

5. bake for 35-45 minutes, until crust is golden brown and potatoes are tender. (hint: covering with tin foil will prevent crust from getting too dark.)

and thats pretty much it. ain't it purdy? enjoy! oh and don't feel ashamed if you want to eat this with ketchup.

1 comment:

  1. looks deeeelish!! i may have to try this :)

    oh, and my grandma got me "how to cook everything"- and i LOVE it. thanks for the recommendation. miss you xoxo