Sunday, June 17, 2007

Leek and Goat Cheese Galette



Having made a dessert galette with success, I thought I would try my hand at savory one. Friends were coming over for a good-bye dinner (so sad!) and I wanted to make a dish that would show them how much they mean to me. I also wanted something that you can't traditionally get at a restaurant (at least not any I've been to) and I wanted to try my hand with leeks. I've had bad experiences with leeks in the form of poorly made leek soup so I wanted to see if I could put them in my good graces again. I think I did!

I was a little worried because yet again I was going to make guinea pigs out of my guests. I always do this -- try something brand spanking new. Why? Isn't there etiquette about such activities. As much as I want my guests to enjoy their meal, I think it's a lot of fun to be as surprised as the guests. Since this recipe had nearly 2 sticks of butter, there was no way my arteries could have possibly taken a practice run!

Leeks are a milder than onions and don't cause the same outpouring of tears. While you can replace leeks with onions where a small quantity of leeks are required, in this recipe leeks must be used. If it's possible, this crust was even more amazing and delicious than the crust for the rhubarb and strawberry galette though the dough recipes were similar. The crust was like puff pastry, really light, crispy, flaky, and golden. Not sure why it turned out better. Perhaps I didn't work at the dough so much? Not sure.

Serves 4 to 6 as a main course, more if you serve as an appetizer.
Cooking Time: 5 minutes for dough, 30 minutes for leek mixture; 25-30 minutes oven time (It took me 45 to 50 on the lower 3rd of the oven)

-6 large leeks, including an inch of the green (enough to get 6 cups thinly sliced)
-3 T butter
-1 tsp chopped thyme (substitute 1/3 tsp to 1/2 tsp dried)
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1/2 cup cream (I left this out)
-1 egg beaten, reserving 1 T
-3 T chopped parsley or 1 T chopped tarragon
-1/2 to 1 cup soft goat cheese to taste, about 4 oz.
-1/2 tsp salt

Thinly slice and wash the leeks, you should have about 6 cups. Having a food processor helps a lot but is not necessary.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the leeks, thyme, and 1/2 cup water. Stir over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the leeks are tender, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking until it's reduced, then add the ream and cook until it just coats the leeks and little liquid remains. Season with salt and plenty of pepper. Let cool 10 minutes, then still in all but 1 tablespoon of the beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of the parsley.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough for one large galette (14 inches with 1/4 inch thickness). Spread the leek mixture on top, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. Crumble the cheese over the top then fold the dough over the filling. Brush with the reserved egg and bake until crust is browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove, scatter the remaining parsley over the top, and serve.

To shorten the baking time, you may need to move the galette to the middle rack but I like using the lower 3rd because it guarantees that the bottom gets nice and crispy too!

Notes on the dough will come in a separate entry.

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