Monday, April 21, 2014

Wild Mushroom & Blue Cheese Galette

Wild Mushroom & Blue Cheese Galette 
Serves: 6

This is special – rustic AND elegant at the same time.  Also a great time to grab those fresh mushrooms you have been meaning to try. Now, about the funk, or should I say, fungi: with over a pound of wild mushrooms and five ounces of blue cheese, this is not a recipe for feeble palated. That I managed to find a blend with an especially pungent bouquet — a gigantic fresh porcini, a few ounces of bunapi champignon (a new discovery, and possible favorite), oyster and shiitake — didn’t reduce the overall olfactory impact, either.

While the recipe is on the fussy side — freezing flour, rolling out sticky dough and then pushing back the finish time even further by cooling the filling first — not a one of these steps does anything but improve the outcome. I think of this like a great side dish for a dinner party; it’s rustic enough that it won’t upstage any rack of lamb or Thanksgiving turkey, but intense enough that it will get the affection it deserves.

Galette is a French term that refers to a variety of flat round cakes, usually made with flaky pastry dough of some kind that can be sweet or savory. I love them. These “tarts” are not molded in tart pans. Instead, filling is placed directly on top of a sheet of rolled out pastry and the edges of that pastry are folded up and around the filling. The tart becomes crisp during baking and the galette, as a whole, manages to be both rustic and elegant at the same time. There are no galette rules or galette police – so feel free to shape them however you want.

For the pastry:
  • 1¼ C all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 8 Tb (1 cube) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ C sour cream
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ C ice water 

For the filling:
  • ¼ ounce dried wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle, porcini or shiitakes
  • 1 C boiling water
  • 2 Tb unsalted butter
  • ¾ C sliced green onions
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ lb assorted fresh wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, porcini, shiitake or bunapi, brushed clean and large mushrooms thinly sliced.
  • ½ lb fresh button mushrooms, brushed clean and thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces Stilton or other good-quality blue cheese
  • Glaze: 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp water
  • Coarse finishing salt

(For photos on how to make the pastry, see my December posting on a vegetable galette. The method is identical:

To make the pastry, in a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for one hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry fork or blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and add the boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes until softened. Drain the mushrooms and mince finely.
Three types of mushrooms
Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the green onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme and continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Increase the heat to high; add the fresh and rehydrated mushrooms, and sauté until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid they released has completely evaporated, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
Sauteeing the mushrooms
On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Crumble the blue cheese into a bowl, add the cooled mushrooms and stir well.  Spread the mixture over the dough, leaving a 1½ -inch border. Fold the border over the mushrooms and cheese, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze. Sprinkle glaze with a small amount of coarse finishing salt.
Ready for the oven!
Bake until golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, and then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. I loved it with a full fruity red wine such as a Syrah or Zinfandel.
Ready to eat
Bon Appetit


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