Wannabe Francophile: Around the time I was in 8th grade, my older sister Lydia was working at the AMC movie theater that’s located in one of those giant strip-mall megaplex areas. It has all of the usual suspects: Bath & Body Works, Starbucks, GAP, and Borders, among many others. My group of friends and I developed a weekend routine that usually involved being dropped off at the movie theater where I begged Lydia to get us all into a movie for free (thanks, sis!). After the movie we typically headed over to Marble Slab or La Madeleine for a late-night snack.
At La Madeleine, one of my favorite things to get was the spinach galette. I had never seen or heard the word “galette” before, and it might have had something to do with my sudden and inexplicable desire to study French the next year in high school. Opting to study French in high school instead of Spanish (far more practical in South Texas) was maybe not the brightest choice but I loved it. Please don’t ask me how well three years of French in high school and one in college served me when I visited France, but if there’s one area I can generally remember vocabulary and correct pronunciation, it’s with food!
From Jerusalem, Avec Amour: This recipe for red pepper & baked egg galettes had been beckoning me ever since I got the cookbook. The only thing that kept me from making them until now was the fact that I’d have to work with puff pastry. Many years ago, somebody told me that working with puff pastry is tricky and that kept me from ever using it until now. I’m sure that is true when you actually make the dough yourself but for this recipe you can use the store-bought stuff and it was not difficult to work with at all.
Ingredients (click here for the full recipe!)
- red bell peppers
- thyme sprigs
- ground coriander & ground cumin
- olive oil
- coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley & cilantro
- best-quality, all-butter puff pastry*
- sour cream (I substituted full-fat Greek yogurt)
- large eggs
*When The Best is Hard to Find: Rather than using “best-quality, all-butter puff pastry,” I used Pepperidge Farm’s simply because that is the only kind I could find at the supermarket when I went to purchase all of the other ingredients. Sometimes I am really fussy about getting “best-quality,” and sometimes I settle for less-than-the-best when I can’t be bothered to drive around to multiple stores looking for the best ingredient. Since this is a Pepperidge Farm product, it is definitely not all-butter and includes some dubious ingredients (lookin’ at you, high fructose corn syrup). I wish I could say that the finished product wasn’t delicious because I didn’t use a higher-quality puff pastry but that is simply not the case. In the future, I think I will opt for Trader Joe’s puff pastry since it is an all-butter recipe, unlike this one.
Shallow Well: After brushing the puff pastry with a beaten egg, it was time to arrange the roasted vegetables on the puff pastry squares. Making sure to leave a shallow well in the middle where the egg would go made for an oddly relaxing vegetable engineering project. I tried to build barricades so that the egg whites wouldn’t run all over the place and was mostly successful.
Meze It Up at Brunch: Oh, these were so incredibly delicious. The cookbook explains that the lovely sweet roasted red pepper is a typical dish served as part of a meze spread. These galettes would be very much at home served at brunch. Served with a light salad of soup, they even have sort of a “Ladies who do lunch” vibe but in the best way. Though the recipe only yields four separate galettes, I have plenty of roasted veggies and eggs left and will use the second sheet from my puff pastry box to bake another batch. The cookbook also suggests substituting the eggs with feta. I think I would try a soft goat cheese instead because I love the pairing of roasted red pepper with it.