Recipe: Potato and mushroom goat cheese gratin <i>en croute</i>

Karen Hatfield serves the potato and mushroom goat cheese gratin en croute.
Karen Hatfield serves the potato and mushroom goat cheese gratin en croute.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 2 hours, 20 minutes, plus chilling time for the dough

Servings: 8 to 10

Note: Adapted from Quinn and Karen Hatfield. This recipe calls for a 3½- to 4-quart oven-safe pan or rondeau.

Galette dough

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water

1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons (6 ounces) flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1. Cut the butter into thick pieces (about 2 tablespoons each) and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden slightly. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the salt and water until the salt is dissolved. Place the mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.

2. Meanwhile, on a large, flat surface, spread the flour into a fairly large rectangle about one-fourth inch thick. Place the cold butter pieces on top, and sprinkle a little of the flour on top of each piece.


3. Use a rolling pin to press down on the pieces of butter, flattening them and rolling over them, to create sheets of fat. Use a bench scraper to gather the flour and butter sheets together and repeat to continue flattening the butter. Eventually, the butter and flour will begin to look like dried-out flakes of paint.

4. Gather the mixture again into a pile, and form a well in the center. Pour the cold salt water in the center of the well, along with the sugar. Slowly incorporate the flour and butter sheets into the well, working from the outside of the flour pile with the bench scraper and watching that the water does not escape from the well. Continue working just until the mixture comes together to form a dough. The dough will look a little dry at first but, once chilled, will come together.

5. Form the dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours.

Potato and mushroom goat cheese gratin en croute

3/4 cup (1½ sticks) plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided

1/2 pound maitake mushrooms

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

9 medium baking potatoes, peeled

3/4 cup (3.2 ounces) flour

5 cups milk, at room temperature

4 ounces fresh goat cheese

1 teaspoon sage

Prepared galette dough

Prepared egg wash (1 egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon cream, whisked together)

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. To cook the potatoes, fill a large stockpot halfway with water and bring to a boil, and lightly salt the water.

2. Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot. Melt 2 tablespoons butter, then add the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms in the butter until softened and lightly colored, about 6 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and remove from heat, placing the mushrooms in a bowl.

3. In a large saucepan, melt the remaining three-fourths cup butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk to create a roux; continue to cook gently for a few minutes until it begins to turn a blond color. While whisking, gradually add the milk to form the béchamel, careful to beat smooth any lumps. Continue whisking until the béchamel sauce comes to a gentle simmer and begins to thicken. Simmer very gently, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the goat cheese and sage, and whisk until smooth. Season with a generous one-fourth teaspoon salt and one-fourth teaspoon pepper, or to taste. Keep the sauce in a warm place; if it gets too thick, add some milk to achieve a pourable consistency.

4. Slice the potatoes into disks about one-third-inch thick using a mandolin or knife. Add the potatoes to the pot of boiling water and allow it to return to a simmer. Lower the heat and gently simmer until the potatoes are still a bit firm in the center, about 5 minutes; drain in a large colander.

5. Place a layer of potatoes in the bottom of a 3½- to 4-quart pan or rondeau, and spoon some béchamel over just to cover. Place the sautéed maitake mushrooms over the layer of béchamel. Add another layer of potatoes, topping that with enough béchamel to cover completely.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the galette dough to a disk wide enough to cover the gratin in the pan, about one-half-inch thick. Place the galette dough over the bechamel sauce, and brush with the egg wash. Slice a few vent holes in the dough.

7. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the top is a nice golden-brown, about 1 hour. Set the gratin on a rack to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Each of 10 servings: 594 calories; 14 grams protein; 60 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 34 grams fat; 21 grams saturated fat; 106 mg cholesterol; 9 grams sugar; 185 mg sodium.