Brunch Idea: Breton Breakfast Galette with Cremini Mushrooms
Food blogger Mardi Michels takes us to France as she recreates her favourite vacation dish
“Mushrooms. They have to be one of my favourite vegetables, not just for their taste but their incredible versatility in many dishes. On my blog (Eat. Live. Travel. Write), I write about my culinary adventures, both near and far. I am an avid traveler and one of my favourite souvenirs to bring back from my trips is recipes. Recreating a dish we have enjoyed on vacation is the next best thing to being there. Of course, bringing back some food items from your travels is also a great way to extend your vacation too.
The inspiration behind the dish I am sharing comes from a region of France that I absolutely adore. We spent a week in Brittany just over a year ago, around New Year, and one of our favourite tastes of the region was the ubiquitous galette au sarrasin. What’s a galette, I hear you ask? Well, it’s what most French crêperies call savoury buckwhat flour pancakes (ones made from regular flour, and served with a sweet filling, are called crêpes).
The galette is popular in Normandy and Brittany where buckwheat was introduced as a crop suited to poor soil. The Breton galette is cooked on one side only and filled with egg, meat, cheese, vegetables etc. The galette is folded over the filling to leave some of the filling still peeking out. One of the most popular varieties is agalette covered with grated Emmental cheese a slice of ham and an egg, cooked in the galette. In France, this is known as a “complète”.
We ate all sorts of varieties of galette during our stay – both savory and sweet and it’s been my goal to try to recreate some of these here at home. In Brittany, we ate galettes for both lunch and dinner but never for breakfast, even though it seems like the perfect dish – a perfect canvas for all sorts of creative filling combinations. Omelettes are great for breakfast (and I particularly love mushroom ones!) but sometimes you just don’t want eggs for breakfast. Agalette filled with Emmenthal cheese, thinly sliced Black Forest ham and herb–sautéed mushrooms is a light, yet satisfying way to start your day and something a little different from the usual breakfast/ brunch fare.
Breton breakfast galette with cremini mushrooms
Prep time: 10 minutes
Resting time for the batter: 1 hour to overnight
Active cooking time: about 30 minutes
Ingredients for the galettes:
250 g buckwheat flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) all purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) milk
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 egg, separated
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
extra water to thin the batter
1. Mix the flours together, making a well in the centre. Add the egg yolk and mix until combined. Slowly add first the milk, then the water, incorporating with a whisk until you have a smooth batter (it will still be a little thick at this point but as long as it’s smooth, you’re good).
2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg white and salt until it forms stiff peaks and then fold into the batter with a rubber spatula. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
Ingredients for the filling for one galette (just make as much as you need):
4 large cremini mushrooms
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
1/2 tsp (2 mL) herbes de Provence **
1/4 cup (50 mL) mushroom stock (ideally mushroom or you could use whatever you have on hand)
1. Melt the butter over a medium heat in a heavy bottomed skillet. Add the herbs de Provence and sauté for a minute or so.
2. Add the mushrooms and coat with the butter and herbs. Sauté over medium heat until softened – a couple of minutes.
3. Turn up the heat slightly and add the stock. Simmer until the liquid has mostly evaporated, a couple more minutes.
4. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
• 1 thin slice of Black Forest ham
• 1/4 cup (50 mL) shredded Emmenthal cheese
• sprinkle of chopped chives for garnish
1. When you take your batter out of the fridge, you might need to add some more water or milk. The batter should be fairly thin – think smoothie consistency.