Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Potato and Caramelized Onion Galette

This week:
- yukon gold potatoes
- thyme
- hirtenkase cheese (a German hard cheese that tastes like a cross between parmigiano-reggiano and gouda)
- salmon
- mushrooms
- bottle of malbec
- cauliflower
- jonagold apples

- sour cream

Woah. Just woah. I think I just ate the most delicious thing in the world. It contained an entire stick (plus a tbsp) of butter... and I ate a third of it. That means I ate more than a third of a stick of butter, not to mention a load of cheese and a few potato slices. Woah.

I've had my eye on smittenkitchen's galette recipes. She has a ton, and they always look fantastically delicious. Vivian made one of them this summer and showed me a picture, which also looked fantastically delicious. Today, after two less than "eh" meals in a row (first the salmon, mushrooms, malbec, and some of the thyme; then the cauliflower, with pasta, walnuts, and feta), I needed an ego boost, and I figured how could a flaky pastry crust filled with cheese, herbs, and veggies turn out bad?

I hadn't planned to use the potatoes this way. I thought, amongst other things, I'd mash some up with the cauliflower and some cheese. Part of the fun of my "use what you got" game is responding to my self-thrown curveballs. I'm very much a planner, but my favorite way to cook is to buy ingredients planning to use them one way and then, BAM, decide to use them another way. Super spontaneous.

I caramelized the onions according to smitten's butternut squash and carmelized onion galette recipe and mixed it up with the hirtenkase cheese and thyme. I used the same basic recipe for the crust, but I didn't have lemons, so instead I used a little white wine vinegar, and I substituted whole wheat flour for 1/4 cup of the AP flour. To be honest, the only reason I used the whole wheat flour is that the measuring cup in my AP flour canister is 1/3 cup and the measuring cup in my whole wheat flour canister is 1/4 cup. Lazy. I'm not much of a pastry chef and I'm pretty sure my butter pieces were WAY too big, as evidenced by holes in my finished crust and the pools of butter on the baking sheet. All I have to say is, who cares? Make this crust now. Forget the filling. It's delicious. Plus, the the pools of butter left on the pan mean that I ingested less butter during my binge, right?

Yukon golds are pretty soft and delicate, so I didn't cook them at all before I slid them into the crust. I left the skins on, sliced them super thin, and then just layered them on top of the other ingredients in concentric circles ala this smitten galette. I think I could have used more potato, but I was worried they wouldn't cook through. After 35 minutes in the oven, they came out tender but retained their structure, and I thought they were a good contrast to the crispy, buttery crust. These things are supposed to serve 6... try 3.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cut into very small pieces
1/4 cup sour cream (I used low fat and it still came out great)
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

Mix the salt and flours together in one bowl. Place butter pieces in another bowl. Freeze both bowls for one hour. Combine the two and using a pastry cutter, fork, knife, food processor or whatever else you can think of, try to make a course meal without melting the better too much (I say try because I failed and it still came out well. Next time I'm trying the food processor method). Whisk together sour cream, acid, and water, then add to the flour-butter mixture. Use your fingers to blend just until you can form a ball, being careful not to overwork the dough. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter
1/2-3/4 lb yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/8-1/4 inch slices (peel on)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
3/4-1 cup cheese, shredded (hirtenkase works well, but so would fontina or even parmigiano)
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
olive oil, for drizzling
1 recipe pastry (above)

Melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onions, salt, and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Cool slightly, then mix with most of the cheese and thyme. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll pastry dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread cheese/onion mixture on the crust, leaving about a 2-inch border. Layer potatoes in concentric circles on top, then drizzle with olive oil and top with remaining cheese. Fold crust border over the edges. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until crust and cheese are golden brown.

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