Nature loves diversity.
Or, as any self-respecting, pocket protector owning, socially awkward uber-geek knows that put another way, is the statement which forms the basis of Vulcan philosophy; infinite diversity in infinite combinations.
The diverse combination of which I speak today isn’t quite as exotic as the love child of a blue-skinned, antennaed Andorian and a species which looks like nothing so much as an evolved Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Pahkwa-thanh.It’s an egg dish which is a culinary marriage of Italy and France.
In France, there is something called a galette. There are actually two somethings. One galette is a free-form pie. You roll out a large circular shape of short crust pastry. Rustic is the name of the game here, so you don’t want a flawless geometric circle with clean, perfect edges.You then place the filling on the dough, leaving a two-inch border around the edge. The edge is folded up and painted with an egg wash. If it’s a sweet galette, sugar is sprinkled over the whole confection, and it’s baked to golden perfection. A savory version is made the same way, only sprinkled with salt, pepper, and any herbs or spices desired.
But it’s the other type of galette which is used in our diversity dish.
I like pie, I really do. My mom makes a pecan pie to break your heart. Warm apple pie wearing a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream is a well-deserved, delicious classic. And all Edwards frozen pies are really tasty, but their lemon merengue with vanilla wafer crust is almost a religious experience.Like I said, pie is a gift from the culinary gods, but the second type of galette has to my favorite…it’s taters. If I had to give up either pie or spuds forever, it would be goodbye pie.
In this galette, waxy potatoes are peeled and sliced about 1/8 inch thin. Then you melt some butter in a cast iron pan and, starting at the center, lay down slices of potato in a rosette pattern. Repeat for a total of three layers, seasoning each layer.With a traditional galette, you brown the first side, then place a plate over the skillet, flip it, return it to the pan cooked side up, and brown the bottom.
With this treatment, you flip the potatoes and turn the heat down. Then for the Italian portion; called a frittata, beat beat up 6 eggs, season them, and stir in some bacon, caramelized onion, lightly steamed broccoli florets, and sundried tomatoes. Pour it over the spuds and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until it starts to set around the edges.Sprinkle the top with crumbled goat cheese. Then set the pan in the oven under a low broiler until the frittata is just set, and it’s puffed and very lightly golden. Remove from oven, slide it onto a serving platter, let it sit for a minute or two, then slice and serve. It will feed six. It’s actually good cold, so leftovers make a great lunch the next day.
So, when I was telling The Kid about this recipe, I didn’t explain which kind of galette I was talking about. And when I got to the part about flipping it, my child got very confused, with visions of an up-ended free-form cherry pie. But when I explained it was a potato galette the dish got a vote of confidence.
So my lesson is a new twist on a brunch dish.
And The Kid’s advice is if you have a pie, don’t flip it upside down.Thanks for your time.