Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The 2015 veggie galette, with Peruvian pepper and cheese sauce

                            Some of the ingredients for the meal, and a few extras.

      A couple of years ago, I did a vegetable galette post. Recently, I made a version for company that uses a new crust, from Kim Sunee, and a sauce for the veggie filling derived from a popular Peruvian potato salad.

       Galette is the French term for a rough pie crust with a sweet or savory filling. You roll out the dough, not worrying too much about the shape as long as it's mostly round, pile the filling in the middle, drape the crust up around the filling leaving an open space in the middle, and cook it. Done -- simple, delicious, and impressive, all at the same time.

                                       1/2-inch cubes of butter, in a bowl with flour.

The crust 

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter (I use salted), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg yolk

For the liquids, start with 4 tablespoons of ice cold milk or water (I didn't have milk today, so used a combination of 4 tablespoons heavy cream and cold water). Add more, one tablespoon at a time, as needed. I used about 10 tablespoons (different flours will absorb different amounts of liquid; the amount needed also depends on the humidity in the air).

       Whisk  the flour and salt together, and cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, until the butter is about the size of small peas

                             The butter cut into the flour to make pea-size crumbs.

       Beat the egg yolk and liquid(s) lightly and mix into the flour and butter. Start with 4 tablespoons of liquid, and add more, one tablespoonful at a time until the dough just comes together without getting very sticky.

                      Egg yolk and liquids, ready to mix into flour and butter.

      Make a ball of dough, flatten it into about an eight-inch round, wrap in plastic film, and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.

      When ready to use, let the dough rest on the counter for 15 or 20 minutes to warm up slightly. Remove the film, and roll out on a lightly floured flat surface. If you are making one large galette, roll out into a circle about 14 to 15 inches in diameter (you can buy silicone pastry sheets for rolling, with sizes marked -- very handy to have). You can also make six individual galettes.

       I buttered the surface of the dough lightly before putting on the sauce and veggies.


8 ounces feta cheese

4 ounces ricotta cheese, squeezed dry

2 to 6 tablespoons of aji amarillo paste (a Peruvian pepper with a lovely gold color, that is pureed and used as a seasoning. It comes powdered or as a paste in jars. I have only used the paste so far, and find that it varies greatly, from very hot to quite mild. If you use 6 tablespoons and you would like more heat, add cayenne, cautiously, to taste).

 1 to 3 tablespoons of milk, cream, and the water squeezed from the ricotta, as needed to make a smooth but thick sauce.

      Combine all ingredients and whisk until very smooth (or puree in a blender) Season as desired with salt and pepper.


      Roast one medium cauliflower, cut up into about 1-inch chunks; 4 - 5 small zucchini and /or yellow summer squash cut into about 1-inch chunks; 1 red sweet pepper and 1 orange or yellow sweet pepper cut into about 1-inch pieces. 

Assemble and bake

        Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the galette goes into the oven, immediately turn the heat down to 375 degrees. This assures that the galette starts in a hot oven, but bakes at a slightly lower temperature so that it doesn't burn.

      Line a  10-inch by 13-inch cookie sheet with a rim with parchment paper. I buttered the parchment paper, on the theory that more butter couldn't hurt. Lay the rolled-out dough on the parchment paper.

      Spread half of the sauce on the galette crust, leaving three inches of dough all around. Pile layers of roasted veggies on top of the filling, using about 3 1/2 to 4 cups altogether. Spread the remaining sauce on top of the veggies, and then garnish with roasted red peppers.

      Starting on one side, fold an edge of the dough up over the filling, Move about three inches, pick up the edge, and overlap it on the earlier piece and the next bit of filling. Continue this way all around the galette. When you're finished, you'll have dough overlapping the filling all of the way around, and an open space about six inches in diameter in the center so that you can admire the filling. Beat an egg lightly and brush it over the turned-up edging. 

      Now, the baking -- turn the oven down to 375 degrees (if you don't, the galette will cook too quickly, and the parchment paper will overheat and burn). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is nicely browned.

                                             Galette, ready to bake.

       Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. We had Russian river salmon fillets, broiled with butter and lemon, and a salad to accompany this.

                                    The centerpiece for the late January table.

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