It’s a fine skill to be able to plan a menu and execute it well. Lately, though, I’ve been taking pride in my new ability to cook on the fly, especially when it means making something out of nothing, as it did with this galette.
For at least two weeks, I’ve been trying to get by with what I have until one of my less car-deprived friends takes me to the grocery store. I was almost ready to give up and go to a restaurant yesterday, but then after reading MFK Fisher talk about onion tarts, I remembered that onions were just about the only vegetable I had, and hey, maybe I could make one of those galettes I always admire on the blogs.
So I found a recipe for a savory dough with flour and cornmeal, put that together in 10 minutes, then let it chill for an hour. In the meantime, I remembered a package of andouille sausage deep in my freezer. As for the onions, I started to cook them with a little salt and olive oil. We were out of butter so I used a splash of my roommate’s heavy whipping cream. I poured in some sherry and sprinkled in some herbs de Provence for added Frenchness. I assembled the galette, and it was ready shortly after my friends arrived.
I was nervous serving it, but they loved it (and so did I). My friend Amy just wanted to try it since she already ate, but then she went up for seconds. Between bites, Kat looked at me and shook her head, disbelieving or admiring or both.
The tart was rich and needed a side dish. I really wanted some salad greens with a light vinaigrette, but I was fresh out of anything green. I did have three carrots, though, so I shred those and tossed them with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and sunflower seeds.
Voilà, another little something out of nothing.
Andouille Onion Galette
Original recipe made up on a whim, using this recipe for the crust
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/3 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons ice water
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl or food processor.
Cut in cold butter. It should be evenly distributed but still in pea-sized chunks.
Add ice water and olive oil, and mix until the dough comes together.
Take it out and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. (I put mine in the freezer for an hour and then took it out and let it sit as I cut the onions.) When ready, roll out on a floured surface, into a circle about 18 inches in diameter.
Transfer to a baking sheet (I used a pizza pan) dusted with more cornmeal.
- 4 small onions (2 really big ones)
- about 2 tablespoons olive oil
- few shakes of salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup sherry
- 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
- few grinds of fresh black pepper
- 2 andouille sausages, cooked and sliced
Cook the andouille, if needed (mine was already cooked, but frozen).
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the onions about 1/4 inch thick. In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add onions and salt. Stir to coat, then allow to soften. (This is the point at which I rolled out the dough.)
Add cream, sherry, herbs and pepper. Turn up heat and allow to cook several more minutes so the liquid can reduce. You want the onions soft and sweet, but to still have some structural integrity, not complete mush.
Using tongs or a slotted spoon, put the onions in the center of the rolled out crust. You don’t want the filling to be soupy. Leave about 2 inches of dough around the edges. Put the andouille slices on top of the onions.
Fold over the dough. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Galettes are supposed to be rustic looking. Cook at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until crust is golden.
Serve with fresh greens. I can’t stand bitter lettuces, but my palate knows endive or radicchio or some other sharp green would be a good pairing with the sweet and spicy tart. I could have gone for some arugula in a light vinaigrette.