Saturday, 9 June 2012

Très French, Très Lazy Brunch

Galette Complète / Ham and Cheese Crepe

It’s Sunday morning and boy oh boy how I love a nice languorous weekend brunch, and if I am not going out to get it, staying in is just as good. Next to dinner, I love spoiling myself and the people I care for with a rich and lazy brunch.  I dearly miss having my friends over for weekend brunches like I did back inToronto. They would bring the Prosciutto di Parma and a bottle of Prosecco and I would dish up a variety of brunch favorites. I often like to make jam-filled crepes but today I am in the mood for something savory and much more filling. This morning it’s galettes!

Galette is a type of thin large pancake from Normandy and Brittany, where it was known to sometimes replace bread as basic food. One of the most popular varieties of galette is covered with Emmental cheese, ham and an egg, cooked on the galette. In France, this is known as galette complète.

Like so many foods here in New Zelanad, the ham can be exceptional. It’s not uncommon to go to the supermarket and find freshly cooked champagne ham on the bone, and still hot. Alternatively, you may use good quality Black Forest Ham, or even pancetta or speck. Pusateri’s in Toronto has some wonderful options. As for the cheese, use something that melts well like, Emmental, Edam or Gruyere cheese.

Do not worry too much about exact measurements. You can keep adjusting the flour, milk or water until you get a fairly runny batter, the consistency of thin cream.

Portion: 2

Crepe Batter:
1 egg
All-purpose flour - about 1/2 cup
Milk - about 1/3 cup
Sparkling  mineral water - 1/4 cup (this gives the crepe a fluffiness and lightness, and it makes all the difference)
Note: Speaking from experience, don't use soda water, it will ruin the batter.

2 eggs (1 per galette)
Cheese – grated (about 1 cup)
Ham – thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
Salt & pepper

Making the Galette:

In a bowl, break an egg and whisk it.

Gradually add the flour and continue whisking.

Add the milk and some sparkling mineral water.

Again, if the batter is really thin add more flour.You can keep adding and adjusting these ingredients as you are whisking.

Make sure all the lumps are whisked away and the batter is smooth with a fairly thin consistency. Place the batter in the refrigerator for about 10 or 15 minutes to rest. This will also thicken it up a bit (if it is too thick once out of the refrigerator add a bit more of the water).

Using a large non-stick skillet, turn the stove to a medium high heat and melt about 1 tsp. butter. Use a paper towel to help spread it evenly all over the pan and the edges.

Take a ladle-full of batter and place in in the hot pan rolling  the pan around to ensure the batter covers the entire pan evenly.

Let the crepe cook for about 45 seconds and flip over.

As the underside is cooking, break in 1 egg on top of the crepe and smudge it around with a whisk or fork, add the grated cheese and the thinly sliced ham, then season with salt and pepper (do not cook the egg through, the middle of the galette should be oozing).

Now, with a spatula, fold the crepe over. Press down gently on the crepe with a spatula to flatten it down a bit (I diverge from convention here, normally all four sides are folded over but I find this  too messy and needlesly complicated).

Flip it over to the other side for a few more seconds and then remove onto a plate.
Season the galette with more salt and pepper e voila!