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Today: Warm your spirits during the darkest January days.
Welcome to January's homestretch. You feel it; we feel it -- the days are dark and gloomy, and that bitter chill in the air makes getting out of bed that much harder. It's times like these when, in an ideal world, we wouldn’t get out of bed. Ever.
Let's face it: We'd rather be in France, preferably the southern part, with its sunny climes, beaches, and champagne cocktails. But France has a brooding, wintry side too. From Bretagne, in the north-western corner, comes this version of a warming galette, with all the elements of a croque-madame and the bonus ingredient of caramelized onions. Pair it with a dark-beer spin on a negroni and dream of warmer days to come. Or, just be glad that this cozy weeknight meal takes the edges off in all the right ways.
Here's how to make it:
First, make the crust: Whisk together the flours with 1 teaspoon fine sea salt. With a pastry cutter or a knife and fork, cut 1 cup cold butter chunks into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small peas. Mix in 2/3 cup beer until it comes together into a ball -- you may need to use your hands to makes sure the dough is completely moistened. Press the dough into a fat rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
While your crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 375° F. Sauté the onions over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and stir to coat. Cook them down until they are translucent. Season with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the onions are completely caramelized. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon each balsamic vinegar and grainy mustard; set aside.
Once your dough has chilled, roll it out onto a lightly floured surface into a long, tall rectangle. Make sure you're able to pick up the crust and that it's not stuck to your surface! Pick up the bottom of the rectangle, and fold the dough 2/3 of the way to the center. Now pick up the top third of the dough and fold it over the bottom, as though you were folding a letter. Sprinkle more flour over the dough (and more on the surface, as necessary), rotate your dough packet 90 degrees, and repeat the same rolling and folding technique. If your dough is warm, chill it again for about 30 minutes.
Roll this dough packet into a 10- or 11-inch circle directly onto a piece of parchment paper and transfer the entire thing to a large cookie sheet. Brush the mustard-vinegar mixture over the top of the crust. Sprinkle the cheese, ham, and caramelized onions evenly onto the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Fold that border over the top of the filling and press to seal. Brush olive oil over the crust edges and sprinkle the entire tart with salt and pepper.
Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the filling, leaving the crust exposed. Bake the galette 35 to 50 minutes, or until the crust has browned. When it's done, transfer it to a cooling rack while you fry your egg.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small skillet. Fry the egg sunny-side up, until the edges are crispy and the white is no longer translucent. Slide the egg straight out of the skillet onto the tart, and serve immediately.
More: Need a hand with the perfect fried egg? Read on.
To make your cocktail, stir the gin and Aperol with ice until chilled but not at all diluted, about 30 seconds. Strain, top with the remaining 1 ounce beer, and squeeze in your orange wedge. Make a toast to winter -- spring is just around the corner.
Take advantage of our handy grocery list and click the recipe photos or titles to see (and save and print) the full recipes.
The Grocery List
Serves 1 to 2
2/3 cup rye flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups plus 1 ounce dark beer, divided
1 onion, sliced
3/4 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
1/2 cup ham steak, diced
1 ounce gin
1 ounce Aperol
You probably already have salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, grainy mustard, olive oil, butter, and eggs in your pantry. If you're low, add them to your list.