Monday, October 8, 2012

Whole Grain Wild Mushroom Galette with Fresh Herbs and English Stilton

M. came home for her first home visit since the beginning of college!  It's funny because so many of my friends from all over the country seemed to be reporting the mid-semester homecoming of their children as well.

Flurries of activity were enjoyed over the weekend, the kitchen was kept busy, but it was all in a steady pace as we didn't want the weekend to be too packed from start to finish.

So many small traditions form over many years of parenting.  Most of you with small children probably don't even know you are paving the way and setting down future traditions.  But you are!

Only when kids get older do you realize that established patterns and expectations have been firmly formed as a family and...

...what a joy these traditions are to discover over time.

I love fall.  I love the colors, the feel, and the smell of this season.  At this time of year, I often note how much my home decor reflects the entire palette of fall.

For example, one room is painted hues of "toasted nutmeg", another is covered in "brushed English saddle".  Then I have the room that is "burnished orange" and the other that is "Forested Sage".

I am annually delighted to take out all of my fall and Halloween bits and pieces and usually don't want to put them away until after the Thanksgiving holiday.

This season was particularly delightful because M. was coming home for the weekend and all of the little fall touches around the house were noticed by her.  

I think when young adults are working hard to establish themselves in their new worlds they find that it is filled with joys as well as stresses so anything that brings them comfort and familiarity is warmly welcomed.

And a big thank you to Houston weather for refreshing us with a weekend filled with big gusty winds, crisp temperatures, and opportunities to bundle up in toasty fall scarves that enhance the fun of seasonal change.

M. and I went to a delightful event over the weekend.  I shall declare that I have for the very first time genuinely met with my very first ever real LIVE food blogger.

The lovely and beautiful Aida Mollenkamp is on a book tour across the U.S. and Houston was one of her stops.

She was promoting her new cookbook, "Keys to the Kitchen" at a local Williams Sonoma here in Houston, so M. and I thought we would pop on over and welcome her to Houston.

Despite my excitement, once we arrived at the store, I completely froze up and was so ridiculously nervous to walk over and introduce myself.  

What a pansy I was!  What a wall-flower...and any other floral varieties that are lilly-livered and faint hearted!

Aida is BEAUTIFUL!  She is truly as stunning in person as she is on her website.  With push come to shove, my daughter and I staggered over to her, shook hands, and before long Aida had us laughing and smiling and feeling like we had known one another for hours!

Not only was she extremely gracious in person, she swung those  pots and pans around at the William Sonoma store and whisked together the most delicious pesto that she lovingly spooned on top of heaps of perfectly firm gemilli pasta. Delish!

I must admit, I was rather starry-eyed.  I think I sputtered out something like, "Aida, you seriously...the first real-live food blogger that I"  

Oiy.  Just replaying "me" right now in my own head makes my...well...own head... ache.

After admiring her cookbook, I will say that what impresses me most about it is the many sections that include "tips, tricks, and techniques".

Often when I decide to plunge into yet another completely untried recipe, I often have so many questions that pop up while cooking. What I like about Aida's cookbook is in addition to many recipes, it is filled with practical advice that many of us who cook often...really need but don't necessary have the time to track down.

So the weekend was filled with having our family unit back to a foursome for a short but sweet time, meeting a real live food blogger, and spending lots of time around our kitchen table hearing about the adventures of our college daughter.

She does enjoy galettes of the sweet as well as savory type.  So I thought I would pull together a galette that uses the lovely ingredients of the fall season.

Galettes are wonderful meal options.  When you don't want to spend hours in the kitchen, but want versatility and something rustic but pretty to present, a Galette is a perfect meal selection.

We poured mugs of hot apple cider, enjoyed the scent of sauteed mushrooms sprinkled with handfuls of fresh herbs snipped from my pots.  We watched  English Stilton cheese melt all over the top of the galette as we relaxed, laughed, and learned about life in college for this generation of youth.

From newly discovered archery lessons, to how to master the art of on-campus dining, to potential upcoming adventures at Machu Pichu, we thoroughly enjoyed hearing all of the unfolding details.

This galette doesn't need much to accompany it.  I used whole wheat to make the crust which lends a lovely toasted brown color to the overall rustic nature of the meal.

A big hearty red wine pairs well with the heady mushroom medley, mixed herbs, and savoriness of  English stilton.

I must admit I am thoroughly tickled by an upcoming scheduled get-together here in Houston.  A group of food bloggers, that I didn't even know existed, has organized a Houston Food Bloggers dinner.

I'm sure I will be tongue-tied, starry eyed, and filled with wonder at so many like-minded people together.  Indeed, I am very excited about the impending gathering and more than likely, I will be chatting about every minute detail here at 'thyme'.

Until then, here is a wonderful hearty galette to try.  Stay warm, snuggle up, and be sure to get out there and pick out just the right pumpkin for this very fun and festive season!

Whole Grain Wild Mushroom Galette with Fresh Herbs and English Stilton:
(from the Williams Sonoma website)

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and white)
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
1/4 oz. dried wild mushrooms, such as
chanterelles, porcini or shiitakes
1 cup boiling water
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
3/4 cup sliced green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 lb. assorted fresh wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, porcini and shiitakes, brushed clean and large mushrooms thinly sliced 1/2 lb. fresh button mushrooms, brushed clean and thinly sliced
5 oz. Stilton or other good-quality blue cheese

To make the pastry, in a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and add the boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes until softened. Drain the mushrooms and mince finely. 

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the green onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme and continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Increase the heat to high, add the fresh and rehydrated mushrooms, and sauté until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid they released has completely evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool. 

On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Crumble the blue cheese into a bowl, add the cooled mushrooms and stir well. Spread the mixture over the dough, leaving a 
1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the mushrooms and cheese, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. 

Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Autumn, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).


  1. The galette looks wonderful! Mushrooms and blue cheese are such a fantastic combination. I'm so glad you enjoyed the time with your daughter!

  2. My dear ...another post of yours that has me dripping tears... As i told you and your blog celebrate the sacred in the the most moving manner.

    You my dear Sarah...are the epitome...of a real live food blogger...only you bring an artist's soul...each and every time. I know I too would be tongue meet you!

    1. Tamera, you are so kind! Your spirit is so generous and full of appreciation for people. Our daughter's certainly are bringing us fun times to hear about aren't they!!

  3. First, your home is beautiful, especially decked out in autumn colors. It feels so cozy and warm -- just like your blog!

    Second, I love galettes -- even the word sounds elegant, don't you think? This one is beautiful.

    Third -- what a weekend! I'm so glad you enjoyed your daughter's visit (and how wise you are not to pack too much in) and good for you for introducing yourself to the blogger! I know lots of authors are often nervous that no one will turn up to their events and I bet she was thrilled to meet you. And her book, Keys to the Kitchen, sounds fantastic!

    1. Ann, you are so kind. Thank you for your sweet words. Yes, I love the sound of galettes...the first time I ever heard the word was in Perouges, France...les galettes de Perouges!! The ring of it is so fun. Aida wasn't nervous at all as far as I could tell...but I was probably nervous for her when a sizeable crowd showed up while she was cooking! Oiy my nerves!!

  4. Sarah - It was such a delight to meet you and M. Thanks for coming out to the W-S store and showing your support. I look forward to crossing paths again.

  5. The recipe looks delicious. I love your fall and Halloween decor. I wish the weather would cool down here. It still feels like summer and the skies are mostly cloudless every day. It is becoming a tad boring :( autumn is so hit and miss here. Most years, it's just a miss.

    1. Do you get a cool winter there? Does it stay hot all year or does it change seasons? I usually plan a getaway (if I can) during fall or spring to somewhere blustery just so I can out of the heat...forget tropical islands!

  6. Gorgeous photos! Autumn just shines through in each of them. And this galette sounds so lovely - warm, savory - such a perfect fall meal!

  7. Sarah, the Autumn also is my favorite season. I feel so creative:-) Mushrooms is my food, and anything from forest:-)) The galette looks so good! I like the recipe a lot, specially that you used wild mushrooms. Photos are beautiful, as usual. Have a good evening:-)

    1. Oh, Yelena, I can tell you love shines through in your beautiful photography! I love mushrooms but I don't know why I don't cook more often with them.

  8. Sarah I love savoy galette and this look really beautiful and delicious love the crust and your pics are georgeous!xo

  9. I've only tried making a sweet galette before, never a savory. I love the idea of mushrooms in this. I'm bookmarking this-thanks! Congrats on meeting Aida. I remember her show that was on the Food Network years ago. I always thought she was so beautiful too. Love that hot apple cider photo and the one with the light streaming in the door. You have definitely put me in the 'fall' mood.

    1. ...And can you believe I have never made a SWEET galette. For some reason, I have only made savory ones. I see the ones mounded with fruit and I know they must taste so good with that thick crust wrapped around. Have a beautiful fall up there!

  10. You make me laugh Sarah...'pansy'. I know the feeling well. One day you will march right up and wonder what all the fuss was about.
    I am so excited your daughter was able to come home for a visit. It is so special when they notice the little extra things we do for them. Often they are thing we don't even realise. As always, your photos are wonderful, your home so inviting and of course every item of food just looks beautiful when you photograph and talk about it. I wish you could work the same magic in my kitchen! Your patience astounds me create these beautiful posts...but then again, it shouldn't because it is obvious to us all you are passionate about what you do and it shows in each and every post.

    Warm wishes from the travelling gypsy in Saigon to the culinary wiz in Houston...
    Jeanne xx ;)

    1. Jeanne, I can't tell you how much I would love to have more of the traveling gypsy in my life! I have to explore can get some sort of 'fulfillment' through recipes and foods that take me to the places I really want to go!! Can't wait to hear how you are going to corral all of your little ducks together for the major holidays! That must be a feat of crisscrossing plane tickets!

  11. The galette looks wonderful! And your house is decorated so wonderfully for the fall. When I was in college, my roommate and I used to deck out apartment out for every holiday but Valentine's Day was the biggest one - I think we had pink and red hearts up until May every year!

  12. Oh Sarah, This Galette is gorgeous and looks so wonderfully delicious! Love the way you welcomed in the fall season with such lovely decorations!!

  13. This is a recipe for keep, loving the savory version of Galette!

  14. Such great photos. For something that is a fungus, they are really quite pretty!

    spore syringe


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