when-the-funk-hits-the-fan Recipes

wild mushroom and stilton galette

About five years ago, my best friend decided to host Christmas Eve dinner at her new house, and I came over to help for what seemed like a lovely afternoon, but turned out to be, well, you know how cooking isn’t always fun when you’re all stressed out? We made this mushroom galette and I remember thinking at the time it was one of the most elaborate things I’d ever made, but what I really meant was “pain in the ass.” It has all of these, well, steps, directions you’re not sure are utterly necessary or bettering of the end-product but you follow them because you don’t want to find out the other way that you should have just RTFM-ed.

This dish didn’t reappear in my life until a year ago June at my bridal shower, in the form of a card she’d tucked into a recipe book my sister compiled from guests. I laughed when I looked at it: why would anyone ever make such a pesky recipe again?

prep time will vary with wine

Now, about the funk, or should I say, fungh: with over a pound of wild mushrooms and five ounces of blue cheese, this is not a recipe for feeble palated or stench-averted. That I managed to find a blend with an especially pungent bouquet — a gigantic fresh porcini (two stores were out of the more-affordable dried), a few ounces of mousseron (a new discovery, and possible favorite), oyster and shiitake — didn’t reduce the overall olfactory impact, either. All minced together, it like the great cave door at Murray’s had been swung open, and for the half of you whose stomachs haven’t turned at the thought of this, you know what a good thing it must be.

While the recipe is on the fussy side — freezing flour, rolling out a sticky dough and then pushing back the finish time even further by cooling the filling first — not a one of these steps does anything but improve the outcome. I think of this like a great side dish for a dinner party; it’s rustic enough that it won’t upstage any rack of lamb or Thanksgiving turkey, but intense enough that it will get the affection it deserves. And for a wiped-out Wednesday? Well, 10 p.m. is never too late to have the best part of your day.

stinko galette

[Soundtrack]

Mushroom and Stilton Galette
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Autumn

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
1/4 ounce dried wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, porcini or shiitakes
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup sliced green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon 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 ounces Stilton or other good-quality blue cheese

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Preheat an oven to 400°F.

4. In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the green onions and saute, 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 saute until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid they released has completely evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

5. 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.

6. 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.

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57 comments on wild mushroom and stilton galette

  1. deb

    I was thinking about that, too, because that dough is wonderful; flaky, soft, light, tart – so why not versatile? I think you could try for several cups of any sauteed vegetable/cheese/herb mixture: potatoes? leeks? maybe spinach (or is that still verboten) and feta? zucchini? Let me know what you try.

    Ooh, and I forgot to mention but in gilding the lilly a little, I used a pinch of truffle salt in the crust. Possibly over the top, but also possibly, nobody here complained.

  2. //10 p.m. is never too late to have the best part of your day.//

    A frakkin Men. This sounds like an amazing dish, and I always need meatless dishes that can do double duty as a side or veg entree. Thank you!

  3. Katie

    Deb! I thought of you this past weekend, Broadway Panhandler is newly opened on 8th street, just west of Broadway, and is having a major sale, as in 40% of Le Creuset and other assorted cooking finds! go! stock up!
    :) love, another cook!

  4. Tropicgirl

    Smitten, I’m sorry this is off-topic here, but I need to know if your archives are still in existence somewhere! I was telling my sis about your pre-marriage dating life, and your blog, because she and I are both in our 30’s and still mostly-happily single (gasp!). I said there’s hope to find a nice guy because you and Mr. Smitten seem like the perfect pair. Anyway, are your archives still in cyberspace somewhere? Thanks!

  5. deb

    Jenblossom – It totally does. Entree at home, but side dish for someplace else. It keeps surprisingly well; one of the best things about quiches and tarts, I think. But seriously? We have got to stop eating dinner at 10 p.m. I don’t think I’ve gotten 8 hours sleep in a month. I need my beauty rest!

    Katie – Ooh, would you believe I’ve never been there? I use Bowery Kitchen Supply a lot, because it’s now in my neighborhood. That said, I’ve been eyeing this pot for eons, and while I always find it really marked down, I think another $25 off could do the trick. It seems really versatile fo a small kitchen.

    Tropicgirl – They’re still at my old URL – <a href="Jenblossom – It totally does. Entree at home, but side dish for someplace else. It keeps surprisingly well; one of the best things about quiches and tarts, I think. But seriously? We have got to stop eating dinner at 10 p.m. I don't think I've gotten 8 hours sleep in a month. I need my beauty rest!

    Katie – Ooh, would you believe I've never been there? I use Bowery Kitchen Supply a lot, because it's now in my neighborhood. That said, I've been eyeing this pot for eons, and while I always find it really marked down, I think another $25 off could do the trick. It seems really versatile fo a small kitchen.

    Tropicgirl – They’re still at my pre-iVillage URL – thesmitten.com. A lot of the links and images are broken, and uh, fixing them will be done any day now. Any day…

  6. Jenifer in Memphis

    Deb you’re braver than I to cook at 10 pm. But, then again, I’m a morning person so I’m up baking muffins at 7 am on Saturday morning. This mushroom galette sounds delicious and all the steps make sense. The crust reads like it comes out really flaky, is this true? Also, I’ve started a count down to my cooking classes, 23 days until chocolates and I become one and my thighs become much larger. :D

  7. Lisa

    40% off Le Creuset? Why oh why do I not live in NY!!!!!! I have a 7qt round on my Christmas list and I asked my hubby what the chances are of getting it had he said they were good.

    And what a great shower gift. I am assuming the idea was each guest bring their best or favorites recipe(s) and it was all put together in a book. That is a great idea!

  8. deb

    Jenifer – It does! It’s very impressively flaky and not hard, so it doesn’t shatter when you cut it. It’s sticky when you roll it out, but it stretches well, so just flour the board and the surface really well and you should only need to roll it out once. Plus, uh, it’s rustic! Jagged eges are encouraged.

    Lisa – While no 40% off every day, I have to say I’m pretty impressed with Amazon’s prices on cookware. Elise at Simply Recipes tracks shopping alerts a lot, like great reductions on specific colors of Le Crueset, as well as The Kitchen at Apartment Therapy occasionally.

    Brilynn – It really is. I mean, even though it seems like a lot of steps, it makes me wish more recipes were this detailed, so almost nothing can go wrong. I *really* wish I’d brought in some leftovers for lunch today!

  9. Jezzie

    This is so beautiful. I had the idea of trying this sort of finely chopped eggplant ragout that I make with onions and campari tomatoes (no oil) which I think would make a nice filling for this, with some fresh shaved parmesean to finish?
    Along the lines of saving money, I have to say nextag is a nice site to comparison shop.

  10. sassy

    what is RTFM? read the f’in menu?
    I agree that sometimes a day can be so bad, you just can’t sit down to eat pasta or a stirfry – you have to make it up to yourself somehow.

    Last night I made lamb, spinach, risotto, and a roasted acorn squash cut in half with ginger, maple syrup, and butter on it.
    Appetizer was a ripe avocado with lime and salt. MMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

  11. ann

    will you make me the crust and bring it over??
    I just don’t have the room to roll out that much dough…. sigh…
    maybe it would make killer bruschetta topping
    there’s nothing i love more than stinky cheese plus musky, sexy mushrooms
    ugh, so hungry!

  12. That looks so good! I’ve been contimplating what to make for Thanksgiving and was mulling over a wild mushroom risotto but now that I see this beautiful galette I may have to make a tough decision. Risotto or galette? I think my dinner guests would be happy with either one.

  13. Yael

    Better late than never…
    Just wanted to say that I made this recipe today – made some adjustments in the filling, but what I feel is most important to share is the fact that the dough can be easily made in a food processor, and it is nonetheless incredibly flaky and tasty. Just pulse the flour and butter (I also suspect that the freezing is unnecessary, and it’s enough to have the butter very cold, but I did freeze them so not sure), then add the liquids in two-three batches while pulsing. It works great, and definitely sounds easier than the way described in the recipe (especially since we don’t have a pastry cutter).

  14. Banuta

    Very, very good – did not bother with the dried mushrooms, but still good. Dont have a food processor, made it with hands and 2 knives – this is for those of you who are not super-foodies. Only regret is SO VERY BUTTERY. Cant really eat this too often.

  15. Donna

    This recipe was totally worth the effort! Friends say they are going to try it with store bought pie crust. :( would not be the same! I too made the crust in the food processor, but because the butter was frozen it bogged it too much. Had to let it warm a bit. PLEASE use the dried mushrooms! Awesome woodsy taste. And can anyone say pass the red wine please! Whata perfect pairing.

  16. Kirsten

    Yummy!
    I’m going to make this tomorrow.
    I’m brand new here, so excuse me if this sounds stupid, but is it ok to use a normal blender cause i don’t have a pastry blender?
    Any alternatives if its not?
    Thank youu.

    1. deb

      A pastry blender is more like a series of knives that cut the dough into small pieces. You might use a food processor, if you have one or even your fingertips, to rub bits of the butter into the flour mixture.

  17. Just to let you know – I made this galette yesterday and it was awesome! Not even a big pastry fan, but man you were right about this pastry – it is good good good.

  18. Cheryl

    Hi there, what other cheese can I use instead of stilton? Wld like to cater to taste buds that may not like blue cheese as much.. thanks so much! =)

  19. Jenn

    My galette is in the oven as I type, this is my 5th time using this dough recipe and is absolutely delicious! I’ve changed the ingredients a bit.Tthis time I didn’t put enough pressure and the creases came out so It looks like a pizza!! :( Flavor is awesome though. I used goat mozzarella instead of Stilton and drizzled some truffle oil over the mushrooms. YUMMM!!

  20. Angela

    Although this recipe is sort of a hassle, its one not to be missed or changed (maybe what’s inside) I made it last Thanksgiving for an appetizer and people (especially my best friend and I) couldn’t stop talking about it or kept from eating it. Its one recipe that I will continue to make for special occasions.

  21. Sharon

    I made this recipe last Thanksgiving for the first time. It was so unbelievably good that all my family insists that it be added to the must-have Thanksgiving dishes forever more! It’s so perfect that I’m hesitant to alter it in any way (although it’s nice to know that others have with great success). We spurge on a large wheel of fine English Stilton every holiday so this is perfect. Even those in my large family that claim they won’t even try a mushroom, ended up smacking their lips in delight. Thank you for such wonderful dish.

  22. Cindy

    Does this reheat at all? Or is it better to serve room temperature? I am planning my NYE dinner party menu and I need some flexibility with my dishes as my oven will be occupied. Looks FAB!

  23. We made the butternut squash galette as a side for Christmas dinner this year, though we were debating whether squash or this mushroom/Stilton galette would go better. We decided squash went better with the pork loin… BUT I loved making it (and the outcome) so much, I yesterday had a small post-christmas dinner party just so I could have an excuse to make the mushroom Stilton one! OH, MY, was it divine! I had some ‘generic/bulk’ (cheap) blue cheese in the fridge that I almost used in this, but at the last minute decided i COULD NOT, WOULD NOT cheat this recipe of really good cheese, so made a special trip to the store to spend the extra money JUST to buy the Stilton and was NOT disappointed! I knew we were in for a real treat as soon as i crumbled it and put the finished mushroom mixture into it… LOVE the stenchiness of the mushrooms and Stilton! I can only WISH we had leftovers, but between the 4 of us, there wasn’t a crumb left over to be had! MMMMMMMMMMMM!

  24. Stupid me but I thought I had responded to this post. Anyway, we made it for Christmas and it was absolutely utterly delicious. I used half generic blue cheese and half Stilton because I didn’t want it to be overwhelming and it was simply divine.

    For those who are worried about screwing up this recipe, don’t be. The dough is wonderful to work with, even if you are completely idiotic like me and forget to put the dough on the cookie sheet before adding the filling. (I’ve previously made the butternut squash galette so there was no excuse for this stupidity except that I had just opened a truly lovely bottle of red wine that we brought back from Montepulciano and I got distracted from the recipe.) I filled the dough on my countertop and moved the dough with the filling over to the cookie sheet and, of course, the underside tore apart. But it still all came together and melded beautifully when it was baked. Basically, I think this is a foolproof dish. Love, love, love it!

    1. deb

      Hi holly — It’s 1/4 ounce (not pound! thought I’m sure it would be heavenly…) but it’s mostly for flavor. So, if you’ve got fresh porcini or the like, just chop up as much as you’re willing to sacrifice.

  25. I just made this and it turned out great! My husband is not a huge fan of the funk, unfortunately, so he passed. I couldn’t find stilton so I used gorgonzola dolce. Shiitakes, for whatever reason, are the only mushroom I can’t stand. So I used dried porcini, cremini (instead of regular button), oyster and maitake – fabulous!

    I also made some changes in the process of making the dough. I find the butter too difficult to cut after it is frozen, so I cut it in first then freeze the butter/flour mixture together. I also roll it out first then chill it, instead of the other way around.

  26. Angela

    Made it yesterday for Thanksgiving. Even though the recipe is a lot of work, it is so well worth it. Didn’t change anything, but you could put just about anything into that light flaky crust. SO YUMMY!!

  27. LaRue

    Ok, late to the discussion by a few years, but… fresh porcini? Where on earth did you find those domestically? They’re incredibly hard (if not impossible) to find around here in Atlanta! My Italian restaurateur friend here says she can’t even have them shipped – too fragile. Having just made a trek to Tuscany last year during early June, incidentally, porcini season!, I’m drooling at the thought of them. Do tell?

  28. Katie

    Love this recipe and have been trotting it out for picnics and dinners and holidays for a few years now. Do you know what else I love? The leftovers!! But it’s so rich, sometimes they don’t all get eaten. Which got me thinking, do you think you could make the pastry, divide in half , make a half recipe of filling and make one 5 inch or so galette and freeze the other half of the pastry? I’m a single girl and often cook for just myself and maybe one or two girlfriends, and a mini would be ideal and would ensure all leftovers got used! Plus then of course I’d have pastry on hand…

  29. Hillary

    Deb – Gee, feel like I know you. Okay to call you by your first name?!
    I made this recipe this past weekend and it was a total hit except for one thing – the butter in the crust melted out and caused a lot of smoke drama in my oven and kitchen. Any idea what I might have done wrong? Thanks for any advice you have. And great cookbook – I got it for Hanukah and have post-its all over marking must make recipes!

  30. Lindsey

    I see that I’m not the first to notice that I have seen this recipe elsewhere. It is on the Williams Sonoma Website, nearly verbatim. Oops! It happens to the best of us…

  31. Renn

    This looks heavenly. How do you think it would adapt to a less pungent cheese? One of my favorite combinations is mushrooms with chevre. I don’t think the different texture would make much of a difference- anyone else want to weigh in?

    Lindsey, at the top of the recipe Deb states that this is adapted from the Williams-Sonoma recipe, and provides a link to source. :)

  32. JanetP

    Our farmers’ market has recently gotten a vendor of all sorts of exotic mushrooms — beech, black trumpet, stuff like that. As a result, I’m thinking about making this galette for Thanksgiving. How far in advance could I make it, do you think? We may go to my in-laws for the day, and I’ll be doing the cooking as my MIL hates cooking and I like giving her a break when I can. Last Christmas I prepped everything ahead of time, and putting dinner together there was a snap. Can I make this a day or two before and just keep it in the fridge? Freezer?

  33. Kristin

    I’ve made this a couple times and I just wanted to let everyone know that the freezing is absolutely not necessary. Made it with refrigerated butter and room temperature flour in a food processor and turned out great. I also highly recommend rolling out on a piece of parchment and then sliding the parchment onto a baking sheet as a good way to avoid any crust tragedy.

  34. Leanne

    Added a few strewn dollops of caramelized red onions to the top of the mushroom/cheese mixture, came out beautifully! Love the flaky pastry.

  35. Jess

    I’ve made this a few times (with stilton and with gruyere for the stilton-phobics out there) and it’s utterly delicious. One question – I’d like to make a bunch of these for a cocktail party, is there any reason the crust should be a problem made as mini-tartlets? Sincerely, A Crust Challenged Reader

    1. deb

      Jess — It should be fine. It’s on the soft side for something that would be pressed into a tart mold, but will still work. This works best as a free-form tart. Which might have been what you had in mind, anyway. Enjoy!

  36. Anne Perlmutter

    Just made this galette, & wow, is it ever dee-lish! &, soo rich. Will try lightening it up a bit next time, more shrooms, less cheese for starters.
    Used shallots instead of green onions; worked great.
    The pastry is heavenly. A bit sticky even well chilled; but, working fast, rolled it out on a floured Sil-Pat, & a pastry scraper helped get it safely rolled onto the rolling pin & transferred to a parchment-papered baking sheet.
    I also gave it an egg wash for a touch of shine & more color. Beautiful & yummy!
    Thanks!!

  37. Becky

    A pastry cloth might help with the transfer of the pastry. It’s what I use for rolling out pie crusts, and I have been thoroughly spoiled by doing so. The cloth is “seasoned” by rubbing flour into it. This provides a non-stick surface – as long as sufficient flour is used. After the pastry has been rolled out, I place my hand or arm(depends on the size of the pastry) in the middle of the pastry, gently use the cloth to drape the pastry over my very clean arm then lay the pastry wherever it needs to go. It is the only way that I have been able to achieve any measure of pastry success. I have tried other methods but continually revert to my old-fashioned pastry cloth. Sometimes they are difficult to find. It’s a pastry tip I learned from my mother and grandmother. They felt it was the secret to their exceptional pastries and crusts.

  38. m.

    I just made this a few weeks ago for a post-Christmas potluck dinner with friends. I thought the directions for the crust to be WAY convoluted, so I just used my food processor. I made sure my ingredients were cold, but I treated it like pie crust and it came out beautifully! Like others have said, I painted an egg wash on the crust for a shiny lacquer. Everyone was impressed and LOVED it. Thanks for the recipe!

  39. Making this beauty with phillo dough to make it a little more easy…we love spanakopita in our nest so this looks like another treat we may also enjoy. Happy feasting.

  40. Charlotte

    Country specific question – in England, we call scallions spring onions (without a proper bulb at the bottom – just going from green to white). Is a green onion also exactly the same thing, or is it a spring onion with a bigger bulb? Does it matter all that much?

    1. deb

      It’s a spring onion with a smaller, almost nonexistant bulb; they look like this. Shouldn’t matter here. Mainly, spring onions often need longer to cook and scallions can be used raw but here they’re cooked so it’s all the same.