Mushroom “Galettes” or How to Cook in an Itty-Bitty Kitchen in Paris
My kitchen here in Paris is approximately a 113cm x 145cm or 44in x 58in or if we’re talking feet, 3′x4′. Oh and part of this is taken up by the sink/stove top/fridge. But! I thought I would prove to you that size doesn’t matter (that sounds bad!) hahaha! :-D
If you have one bowl, a paring knife, cutting board, oven, frying pan, and bottle of wine (this is actually a necessary tool and beverage) you can make these beauties:
Pictured here at a picnic at Versailles!
I found the recipe over on Smitten Kitchen (a blog I’m a huge fan of). The one massive mushroom galette (or was it a galette?) looked perfect for what I wanted (well for what I wanted to tweak to get what I wanted ;-) ). The only thing that was holding me back was her explanation. She described it as an incredibly difficult recipe, that while worth it, took a very long time to do. Which to me means that the perfect time to start it is at 9pm in the evening.
I made some changes to the recipe and when excluding a Skype session with my mom for a sewing lesson, I can say that these take about an hour to make (maybe less, eh probably less, but I was occupied..?), and about 40-50 minutes to bake.
I love my French friends because we always end up discussing food. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing, the subject always comes up, because in France, cuisine is a part of the national identity.
We were at our Mexican Fiesta Part Deux last weekend (blog post coming soon) and after discussing a very interesting sounding salmon pasta Jess and Vincent had the other night, I told them about the Mushroom Galettes with Bleu cheese I’d made.
Galettes? Béatrice and Vincent (our two resident Frenchies at dinner) sounded skeptical. “But Galettes are sweet!”
Vincent decided they would more likely be called “Croustades” aka “Croustades aux champignons.”
Béatrice countered with “Feuilletés aux champignons” and then provided proof of sweet galettes at my birthday. hahaha!
Not that I didn’t believe my Frenchies (especially with such yummy evidence), but I felt like a little more research was necessary. So I pulled up Wikipedia this afternoon. :-D
Galettes – typically large flat round free-form crusty cakes, or cookies but! they are also a kind of crepe called a Breton galette made with buckwheat.
Croustade – a French culinary term meaning a flaky crust, usually a puff pastry or another type of flaky pastry.
Feuilletés – a pastry or hors d’oeurve using a puff pastry
Because I couldn’t decide which of the two options (because galette is obviously out) described the recipe best, I went with the one I could better pronounce. So the name has now changed to the more accurate “Croustade aux champignons” tehehe!
Here’s how to make them. Let’s start with the pastry dough, because it needs time to chill! It’s flaky, but not a puff!
The recipe calls for flour, salt, butter, sour cream, lemon juice and water and then gets super finicky about freezing the butter separately than the dry ingredients for an hour then combining. What? This sounds like one of those silly pie crust tricks like adding Vodka to the crust that while it might make the crust flakier might not be worth the time/effort. So I scratched that first thing.
Cut the butter into smallish cubes (about 2 cms).
In a bowl, add the flour and salt. Do a quick little stir and then put the butter cubes on top.
Now this is probably the most difficult part of the recipe. Incorporate the butter into the flour/salt with your hands. You kind of mash the butter but mix it with the flour at the same time. One of our pastry chefs describes it as the “show me the money” motion. Mash a bit then let it fall through your hands into the bowl. It just takes a bit of practice but is super easy. What you don’t want to do it incorporate it so much that it becomes a dough because the butter warms up so much that it starts to melt. The finished texture should be similar to sand. Large pieces of butter are ok!
Next, mix the sour cream (or I used a thick plain yogurt) with the water and pour into the middle of the base. Look at those big pieces of butter! ;-)
Mix together with a spoon or your hands. Wrap in plastic and chill! It’s as easy as that! The dough will be pretty sticky because of the amount of liquid that is added.
Now let’s start on the filling! Which means lots of chopping!
First, we need to rehydrate the dried mushrooms. These add tons of flavor! In a bowl, cover the dried mushrooms with hot water and set aside for about 30 minutes.
Next, we chop! A lot!
Cube/roughly chop all mushrooms. I did all French button mushrooms but any sort of mix would be good. Yum! Slice the green onions and mince the garlic. And last, cut up the dried mushrooms.
Now we cook! The green onions and garlic first in a nice amount of butter.
Stir occasionally on medium heat until everything is cooked through. It will reduce quite a bit. I also added some of the liquid from the dried mushrooms to add more flavor.
Set it aside to cool, then crumble the blue cheese on top! I used a milder blue cheese called “bleu de gex” so it would not overwhelm the mushroom flavor. Make sure just about all of the liquid has evaporated.
Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface using the now empty wine bottle to about 2-3 mm thick. And munch on a bit of cheese.
I made five mini
galettes croustades but you can make one big one (just make sure the bottom is cooked). Pile mounds of the mushroom filling on the dough leaving a 4-5 cm border.
Fold the dough over the filling! We’re going for rustic here so no need to fret too much about how it looks. ;-) The best is to just fold the dough over itself.
Brush with egg wash to give it a great golden brown appearance and bake! 200C, 400F Be sure to check the bottom to make sure they are done!!! If the tops start getting a bit too brown and bottom isn’t done, cover with foil.
Croustades aux Champignons aka Mushoom non-Galettes
For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups (160g) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter
1/4 cup (58g) sour cream/natural un-sweetened yogurt
1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water
For the filling (my metric measurements aren’t the best, but this is cooking, so add to your liking!)
1/4 ounce (7 grams or one small packet) dried wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, porcini or shiitakes
boiling water to cover
2 tablespoons (25g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (not sure in grams, I’d eyeball it at 4 stalks or a big handful) sliced green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 lb fresh wild mushrooms (about 20-24 medium sized shrooms), using a larger quantity of button mushrooms over other types, diced
5 ounces (120g?) Stilton or other good-quality blue cheese, crumbled
For the pastry dough, cube butter and set aside. In a bowl, mix together the salt and flour then cut in the butter using your hands or pastry blender. In a small bowl, mix together the cold water and sour cream or yogurt. Make a small well in the flour/butter mixture, and pour in the liquids. Stir to combine then from into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap and chill.
For the mushroom filling, saute the green onions and garlic in butter. Next add all of the mushrooms and herbs. Saute until reduced and cooked through! Set aside to cool. Then add the crumbled cheese.
Assembly: Roll out the pastry dough to 2-3mm thick on a floured surface. Mound piles of mushroom filling the size of the finished croustade you would like. I used about 1/2-3/4 cup filling each for personal sized croustades. You can also make one large croustade. Cut the dough around the filling leaving about a 4-5 cm border. Fold the dough up and over the filling, leaving a space in the middle for it to show through.
Brush with egg wash (1 beaten egg).
Bake on parchment at 200C or 400F for 30-40 minutes. This will depend on the size, and oven. Be sure to check the bottom to make sure it is done. Cover with foil if the bottom needs a bit more time, but the top is brown.