Oh Dallas! Will we never learn to predict your mood? It was a fine June afternoon until you decided it was a good idea to throw a tantrum and come down with some relentless shower.
You know you can’t keep us indoors idle for too long, right? (Unless, Olivia Benson is kicking some serious a** on a Law and Order: SVU marathon. Then, all bets are off!) So, in an ode to mother nature, we decided to make something so innocent, yet so unbelievably remarkable – a Galette.
Made famous by the French (like most sinful indulgences), a galette loosely translates into ‘ a free form pastry’. Traditionally sweet, this inconspicuous form of a tart can be easily altered to your mood. Today, we decided to make one for dinner, starring a blend of leek, sausage and mushrooms.
The hardest, yet the most satisfying part of galette making, is its crust. The perfect crust would be strong enough to hold in the filling and at the same time, melt in your mouth.
We started off with 3/4th cup of all-purpose flour, 3 tbsp of cold butter, a dash of salt and 1/8th cup of chilled water. Double the quantity for a crowd. Add the flour and the salt in a food processor and give it a whirl for 2 seconds. Add chopped up bits of cold butter.
With the lid on, pulse the mixture, while adding chilled water – one tablespoon at a time through the top opening. It is very important to NOT mix it too much. 20 – 30 sec would suffice. The dough will be a little crumbly, yet form a soft ball. You may see lumps of butter in it and that is a-ok! That is what’s going to give the crust its dreamy texture.
Flatten the dough between your palms and tightly envelope it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours. Now, if you decided to make an extra batch of dough – a. you rock!, b. you can freeze it for up to a month. Defrost it later for dessert, maybe? Oh, the possibilities!!
Now, for the filling. There are no set rules of how much you can stuff into a galette. Of course, you can’t (or shouldn’t) cramp in your entire pantry, but this fuzzy type of measurement is why mathematically challenged people like us even attempt to bake! If baking was more like freestyle dancing than a lecture by Euclid, we may not have had to make do with instant noodles for a romantic dinner on some nights! But, that’s a story for another day!
So where were we? Ah yes, the filling. We decided to keep the flavors uncomplicated, so the crust could shine through. Crumble up some Italian Sausage and saute it. Throw in some sliced up mushrooms in that oozing sausage fat. Lastly, add some sliced leeks to the mix and saute it on medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes. Add a dash of salt and pepper and turn off the flame.
Very important – your mixture should be dry as Saharan desert on…well, any time of the year actually! Ok, maybe not that far, but it’s very important that the mushrooms and the leeks are not leaking (!!) any juices when filled. It will make your galette a soggy, pasty mess which will in turn make you as mad as the sky outside!
By now, the kitchen smells so good that Lola decided to drop by and give us some company. Oh, whom am I kidding? She’s eyeing the galette. Can you blame her? Most days, she snacks on grass (ugh)!! The smell must be making her crazy!
Pre-heat the oven to 385 degrees and once the filling has cooled off mostly, start working on the dough. Bring out your rolling pin and sprinkle some flour on both sides of the dough. Roll out a 1/8th inch thick, 12 inch (or so) wide circle. Don’t worry about the rugged edges. That’s what gives the galette a rustic look.
Grease a wide baking sheet and place the base on it. Start loading up the galette, leaving a 2-inch border. Sprinkle some sliced sun-dried tomatoes and cheese, any cheese. We used a mix of manchego and mozzarella.
Once done, lightly drape the border in small sections over the filling, making a gorgeous crust. Brush some egg wash on it and sprinkle some sea salt on the edges (our little secret! shhh).
Pop it in the oven for about 20-30mins, until the crust is evenly brown.
It’s your galette, go crazy. Try any combination of meats, veggies, cheese, spices etc. It may not be as the French do, but it will be something so satisfying that you will forget about its authenticity….mmmmm!
Cool the galette for about 10 mins. Many recommend 20, but that would be just cruel.
We paired the galette with a crisp summer salad. Make a vinaigrette with olive oil, cider vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, sugar, pepper. Whisk it well and toss in some sliced apples and red onions. Lastly, add spinach and some pecans for crunch and give it a final toss.
So as the rains took shelter elsewhere, we enjoyed a breezy remainder of an evening with few slices of this French heaven!