I was standing at the range in the cafe the other day. On Wednesdays, Victoria and I work together, and she tends to have me do the day-to-day production while she does macarons, special orders, and R+D’s new recipes. One of my duties, therefore, is to make the savory galette for morning bake to finish.
I work out of one large skillet, my mise lined up on a cutting board behind me. I’m cooking the parts of the filling in a certain order- something experience has taught me will work quickly and allow the different parts of the galette to allude to each other:
– The sausage goes in first. It’s already full-flavored, and it has fat the other things will need to cook.
– Cremini mushrooms next, with a small amount of garlic and fresh herbs. As the mushrooms cook, they release liquid- pulling all the crusty bits left by the sausage up from the pan. This and the liquified fat from the sausage work their way into the earthy mushrooms.
– Finally, the sautéed kale. I use the method Emily and I use at home- a little supplemental olive oil in the pan, garlic, dried pepper. In goes the kale with a loud sizzle, and finally the broth with a loud hiss and a gout of steam. I slam the lid on the pan and let it braise. The broth deglazes the pan as it steams the kale- uniting its bitter green with the unctuous sausage and sweet mushrooms.
“Hey Matt- have you ever worked on a line before?”
I’m keeping my eyes on the pan, making sure the kale gets coated in garlic and pepper. “Only briefly on a dessert line, never hot.”
“Huh… you’d be good at it, I think. You’re a good cook, and really organized.”
I chuckle a bit, “Nah… I could maybe be good once I was used to it, but that’d take a while. I’d frazzle and burn out a bit first- probably wreck some shit in a panic. Nah, I like being a baker. Less of a rush, more of a logistics puzzle.”
“Ahh, gotcha… well, I can see why you like teaching people. You have a real soothing voice.”
I smile and tip the kale out on to a half-sheet, where the sausage and mushrooms are warm and waiting. “Well, thank you.”
I scatter shredded manchego on the dough disc. Pile on the warm filling, and more manchego on top, with some cubed feta. The feta won’t melt- it’s too dry- but it will provide visual texture and some nice cheesy funk to each slice.
I’m smart enough to know what I’m good at, and what I need to work on.
I’m a good cook.
A good enough cook for me.
A good enough cook for me, for right now.
I can also tell a great story, teach people a thing or two- and make a MEAN galette.
I’m not allowed to give out the cafe’s gallete dough recipe, and the fillings are really up to you- but here are some tips for when you decide to make one at home.
1. Balance your ingredients and flavors. “Meat Lovers” sounds great on pizza, but it can be a bit much. Work in veggies!
2. Meat in a galette should be fully cooked, but remember that once the galette is ready, it goes in an oven. Remember that some things (not covered by crust or cheese) may overcook- especially eggs! Consider a soft scramble for egg galettes.
3. If you want your galette to look really great, egg wash the sides after you fold them up. That’ll make a great golden brown gloss- and you can dust the edges with spices or seeds too.