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Friday, September 9, 2016

Rustic Mushroom Pea Halloumi Galette

Inspiration:  Cottage food

There was a recent wonderful article and recipe selection in the current issue of Fine Cooking magazine (August - September 2016) on sweet and savoury galettes otherwise known as rustic pies.  The pictures were beautiful and I was inspired to create some of my own galettes with ingredients I love to combine together.  

Apparently, the name galette comes from the resemblance of these pies to the flat, oval rocks (called galets) that adorn the French coasts.

I think this dish would be a great idea for a pot luck, buffet or brunch.  This first savoury one (the next post will be a sweet one), combining mushrooms, peas, onions and halloumi cheese was delicious and a great combination of textures and flavours.  I really like idea of reducing the amount of crust and placing a greater emphasis on the vegetable filling.  Plus, it looks great.  

I often get asked about using salted or unsalted butter.  For me, I prefer the taste of a subtly salted crust - even for sweet pies - as I feel it brings out the taste of all the other ingredients.  If you prefer to use unsalted butter so that you can control the salt, that is totally up to you and you will still have a beautiful flaky pastry with this recipe.  I do recommend you add a little salt however to the dough to give it more flavour.   

I tried different techniques and recipes for shortcrust pastry but did not have much success.  This is my foolproof recipe that I have been making for years.  Works well every time:

For the shortcrust pastry:  Makes 2, 11 inch (28cm) crusts  

  • 300g (2 cups) of all purpose flour (plus more for rolling the dough)
  • 225g (1 cup - 2 sticks) of salted butter, very cold, cut in about 16 smaller pieces 
  • 1teaspoon (5ml) of sugar
  • 1/2teaspoon of salt (only if you did not use salted butter)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) of cold water 
The easiest way to make pie dough is with a food processor: Place the flour (300g - 2 cups), salt- if you did not use salted butter (1/2teaspoon) and sugar (1teaspoon) in the bowl of the food processor and pulse to combine.  Add the pieces of cold butter (225g - 1 cup) and pulse until the butter is reduced to pea sized pieces.  

If you don't have a food processor, whisk the flour, sugar and salt (if using) in a large bowl to combine.  Add the pieces of butter and cut into the flour using a pastry cutter until the butter is the size of small peas.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl and gently squish the larger butter pieces into little flat discs using your finger tips - this helps to create a flaky dough.   Push the dough out to the edges of the bowl and create a well in the centre to add the liquid.

Add the beaten egg (1) and cold water (1/3 cup)  mixing with a fork to just combine - it will be shaggy.  Test with your hands to see if the dough is holding together and to gage if more water is needed.   If so, add it 1 teaspoon at a time.   Knead in the bowl just until all the dough sticks together.  No more knead is necessary - you don't want to overwork it.  

Form a ball, divide in half and press each into a flat disc .  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  It can then be rolled out or refrigerated for up to 2 - 3 days then, you are ready to roll it out, allow it to soften at room temperature for about 45 minutes.

Place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper and roll out to an 11 inch (28cm) round crust.  Cover and keep in the refrigerator until the filling is ready.

For the galette:  serves 6

  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1T (15ml) of oil
  • salt
  • 2 packages of sliced mushrooms (450g)
  • 1T (15ml) of butter
  • 1 cup (250ml) of frozen or fresh peas
  • 3 thick slices of halloumi cheese (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 1/2 package (75g - 2.5oz) of pepper boursin cheese (or peppery cream/goat cheese of your choice)
  • 1 egg combined with 1T of cream (egg wash)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pine nuts (garnish)
  • fresh basil (garnish), chopped
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Heat the oil (1T - 15ml) in a large pan over medium high heat.  Add the sliced onion (1 medium), with a pinch of salt, and sauté for 3 minutes until softened and beginning to colour.  

Add the sliced mushrooms (450g) with a generous pinch of salt and cook until the mushrooms begin to render their water.  Transfer to a colander and press to release as much liquid as possible.  Return the mixture to the pan and turn the heat to high.   Add the butter and sauté until the mushrooms begin to colour and turn golden (about 2 minutes).  Add the frozen or fresh peas (1cup - 250ml) and stir to combine.  

Transfer to a bowl and place the slices of halloumi cheese (3) in the pan to colour over medium high heat.  Cut the cheese into small cubes and add to the mushroom filling. Taste and season with salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.   Allow to cool slightly.

Spread the pepper boursin over the crust leaving a 2 inch (5cm)  border.  

Add the filling and begin to bring up the edges of the crust, pinching every inch to create a pleat.  Brush the dough with egg wash and cook in the lower level of your oven for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Garnish the cooked galette with toasted pine nuts, fresh chopped basil and pea shoots.  Drizzle with a little balsamic glaze when serving.  Enjoy!

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