I had just stopped at the grocery store. When the checker saw my items, she exclaimed, “Oooh, puff pastry! What are you going to make? I said, “Galette des rois.” And she blinked. And said nothing. So I described the galette.
“I used to use puff pastry to make Tater Tot casserole,” she said, “You know, with Cream of Mushroom soup? I’d bake it inside the puff pastry to make it special.” And there was a great disturbance in The Cuisine, as if millions of Frenchmen had cried out in horror. And I blinked. And said nothing.
To be clear, I wasn’t dismayed into silence by someone not being familiar with galette des rois, it’s not that well-known in this country. Nor by her making Tater Tot™ casserole. I grew up in a Midwestern family, I’ve eaten many similar, if not identical, casseroles. What I felt bad about was the idea that something so marvelous as puff pastry be paired with something so industrial as Cream of Mushroom soup.
Of course, as I discovered later, my puff pastry was pretty industrial as well. Unlike the French version, make entirely with butter as God and Alain Ducasse intended, the stuff in the grocery stores (at least here in Montana) is adulterated with vegetable shortening. None the less, my filling will at least be properly French, I’m attempting this version by Clotilde Dusoulier.