Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Buckwheat galettes

First, a crepe vocabulary lesson. In France, if it's made with wheat, it's filled with something sweet and called a crepe. If it's made with buckwheat, it's filled with something savory and called a galette. So really, "buckwheat galette" is redundant. But we don't live in France, so I'm calling them that anyway. Vegetarian Times had a buckwheat galette recipe in their September issue, and since we had some really fantastic galettes in Brittany in July, we wanted to try to recreate the experience. The recipe worked really well, and we will definitely be making it a lot. The buckwheat has a very distinctive, savory, nutty flavor we love. It's also a lot more interesting texturally than plain wheat crepes. The only drawback to this recipe is that you have to let the batter rest for 12-24 hours before you can make the crepes, so it does require some planning. We usually do menu planning for the week every Saturday or Sunday, so we always know to whip up the batter the day before.

You can fill these with anything savory. Sometimes I just melt some cheese on them and fold them up. They're a great substrate for beet salad. When we serve them that way, we melt the blue cheese a little before adding the other ingredients and leave them open-faced. I also really love filling them with melted cheese, sauteed greens, and a little black pepper. Add a fried egg on top and you have a very hearty, yummy breakfast.
Buckwheat galettes (from Vegetarian Times)
They claim it makes 8, but it made 12 the one time I actually counted them.

1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 tsp honey

Whisk together flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg and honey with 2 cups of cold water. Using an electric mixer, beat egg mixture into flour mixture until batter is smooth. Beat 6 to 10 minutes, or until batter is light and thickened slightly. (I don't know why we do this step or if it is actually necessary, but the recipe works well as is, so I haven't messed with it.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12-24 hours.

The next day, whisk 1/2-1 cup (I always use 1/2 cup) water unto the chilled galette batter to thin. Heat a nonstick crepe pan over medium heat. I don't have to grease mine at all, but you probably know if you do, so grease it lightly with butter or vegetable oil if necessary. When skillet is hot, pour 1/3 cup batter into the skillet, lifting and turning the pan so the batter coats the bottom. Cook 2-3 minutes, until edges begin to brown and center is brown. You will usually get little bubbles coming up. They're fun to look at. Remove from skillet with a spatula or your fingers and make the next crepe. Before you do that, you might want to melt some cheese on top. If you want dinner to be warm and on the table all at the same time, you can put the cooked crepes in a warm (200 F) oven until you've made them all. Store any extras in the fridge for a few days. They might crack a little when you get them out to reheat and fill them, but they'll still be tasty.

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