Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cabbage and Smoked Cheddar Galette

Cabbage Galette

Our friend Tyler has an grandfather in Vermont (and, you know, a mom and a dad and a whole family). But the grandfather is the one with a smokehouse where he smokes, among other things, Vermont cheddar cheese. Cheese so smokey it imbues its woodsy flavor on anything else you keep in near it in the fridge, so you have to keep it double bagged. Cheese that, it turns out, is completely brilliant in a pie with cabbage. Brilliant!

My apologies for a lousy photo, but this is was (I ate it for breakfast!) the last piece of galette. Galette is French for sloppily made pie (or something) and it couldn't be easier - roll out a crust, fill it with stuff, fold up the edges and bake it. Ta-da! No pie tin necessary. I had a couple of ounces of sausage left over from the sausage rolls I was making and freezing for my New Year's brunch, so I threw that in, but don't sweat it if you don't have any. Vegetarian cabbage pie will be equally delicious.

Cabbage and Smoked Cheddar Galette
serves 6-8 depending on how big you slice it

I prefer the Ratio 3-2-1 pie crust for most applications - three parts flour, two parts fat, one part ice water. I also find it very handy to have pie crust in the freezer so I make them four at a time (enough for four single or two double crust pies). Here's how: put 24 ounces of flour, two big pinches of salt, and 16 ounces of chilled, cubed butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and bang it up a bit until the pieces of butter are the size of your thumbnail. Or the size of grapes. You know, not so big. Put some water in a bowl and add a bunch of ice cubes. Cold is key! Stir it up a bit (or do this before you measure the flour) and when you're ready for water, measure out 8 ounces (one cup) of the now-icy-cold water. With the mixer on low speed, add the water in a slow stream, just until the dough clumps together. When you squeeze some in your fist it should stick together well. Divide the clumpy mess into four parts and wrap each in plastic, using the plastic to shape the clumps into a cohesive disk. Rest the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling, or freeze for 3-4 months. 

one pie crust, thawed overnight in the fridge if frozen
flour, if needed for rolling out crust
half a green or savoy cabbage, core removed, thinly sliced
one small onion, diced
a few ounces of sausage, if you have it (totally optional, though)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sour cream
3-4 ounces smoked cheddar or another smoked cheese, shredded
one egg beaten with a splash of water or milk

2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375.

Let the crust sit out on the counter while you cook the onion and cabbage so it'll be easier to roll, but don't let it get actually warm.

Melt the butter in a large skillet and cook the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, then add the cabbage and cook until wilted, tossing regularly. Season with salt and pepper. Taste it and adjust the seasoning if it needs more salt. If you're using sausage, throw it in now, breaking it up with a spoon and let it cook most of the way through. Shut off the heat, then add the sour cream and stir to mix it in.

While the cabbage is wilting, roll out the pie crust on a lightly floured counter and transfer it to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. It doesn't have to be a perfect circle but go for at least an 11 or 12 inch amoeba-shape. Sprinkle the shredded cheese in a circle on the crust, leaving a two inch border all the way around and pile the cabbage over it.

Fold up the edges to contain the filling and brush the crust with the beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the pan and bake another 20-25 minutes until the filling is hot and the crust is golden brown.

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