Is it just me or is this the craziest week ever? Today we have Mardi Gras and Super Tuesday, followed by Ash Wednesday and on Thursday, we have Tết (Lunar New Year). Really, who planned this?
Well, at least we have crêpes. I’ve made savory crêpes before but today I made a version using buckwheat. These thin pancakes are also called galettes de sarrasin. According to Anne Willan, the term galette is used more widely in French speaking eastern Brittany, while crêpe is often heard in the Breton-speaking west, where a galette is regarded as being thicker. At crêperies in France, you can order these plain with salted butter or with a sunny side egg on top, with ham and cheese, with sardines, with andouillette (my favorite), or with various other ingredients, depending on what region you are in. Today, they are served with a sunny-side egg and the drink of choice for crêpes – cidre (brut) from D. le Brun.
CRÊPES DE SARRASIN – BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES
adapted from Anne Willan’s French Regional Cooking
INGREDIENTS: (12 crêpes)
- 2 cups(250 g) buckwheat flour
- 2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. (10 g) salt
- 2 cups (500ml) milk
- 1.5 cups (375ml) water + more if needed
- 1/4 lb. (125 g) butter, clarified
- 1 Tbl. oil (optional – for griddle)
- Sift the two flours into a large bowl and add the salt. Make a well in the center, pour in half the milk and stir it into the flour with a wooden spoon to obtain a thick and very smooth paste. Beat it well for 1-2 minutes, then add the remaining milk in two batches, beating well after each addition. Let the batter rest for 30-40 minutes.
- Then add the water and beat well with a wooden spoon. Add more water if necessary, to obtain a batter of the consistency of thick cream; beat well. Add half the clarified butter and stir until no trace of it is visible.
- If you are using a crêpe pan, brush or rub it with melted butter and heat it until a drop of batter sizzles at once. Add about 1/4 -1/3 cup (depending on the size of your pan), turning your pan quickly to coat the base evenly. Cook over fairly high heat until light brown, and then use your fingers or a spatula to flip the crêpe. Brown the other side and turn it on to a plate.
- To make a crêpe à l’oeuf (with egg on top) – put the crêpe back on the pan (prettier-side down) over low heat and break an egg in the center. Quickly spread the egg white (not the yolk) and cook until the egg white turns opaque. To serve, you can fold the edges of the crêpe to form a square.