buckwheat crepes

two tickets to paradise.
lunch and an afternoon in an art museum with jim is my idea of a day in paradise.
on my shangri-la days we usually buy our museum tickets before a scavenger-hunt-search for lunch: reading menus, finding this-place-looks-good/this-one-doesn't clues. or there may be a restaurant at the museum, with picture windows that frame the city . . . the landscape an exhibit in itself. we usually order two dishes to share. many times though, we just share one–jim's standard line to the server is, "you don't need to bring an extra plate, we have a license to eat off the same one".
then we spend the afternoon sharing the art the way we shared our lunch. our cloud nine moments are those spent standing alone together to consider a calder, a serra, a miro.
we once ate savory filled buckwheat crepes at a family run restaurant just before a tête-à-tête with rodin's sculptures at his museum in paris. we found our table a few blocks from "the thinker" on a street with lots of business people, usually a good sign for a good lunch spot. we decided on the crêpes because that was what was coming out of the kitchen on tray after tray. served hot off the griddle and filled to our liking, the nutty, robust wheat flavor moved that lunch up to our top 10 list.
this recipe from david lebovitz  is the one i follow because he explains how to make them without a special pan. i fry them ahead and refrigerate a big stack before filling and reheating them to serve.
ingredients (makes 12-16 crêpes)
let the batter chill overnight, and let it come to room temperature before frying them. keep stirring the batter as you go since the flour tends to sink to the bottom.
• 2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 3 tablespoons (80 gr) butter, salted or unsalted, melted
• 1/2 cup (70 gr) buckwheat
• 3/4 cup (105 gr) all-purpose flour
• 3 large eggs

1. in a blender, or with a whisk, mix together all the ingredients until smooth. cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
2. remove the batter from the refrigerator about an hour before frying. stir it briskly; it should be the consistency of heavy cream. (if not, add a tablespoon of milk.)
3. heat a 10 to 12 inch skillet on med. high. drop a tiny piece of butter in the hot pan and wipe it around with a paper towel. for a well seasoned skillet you will not need to repeat this step.
4. lift the pan and pour about 1/2 cup of the batter in the middle of the hot skillet, swirling the pan to distribute the batter quickly and evenly. the pan shouldn’t be too hot or too cold: the batter should start cooking within a few seconds, giving you just enough time to swirl it. It may take a couple of crêpes for you to get your rhythm.
5. after about a minute, run a non-stick spatula around the underside of the rim of the crêpe, then flip the crepe over with your fingers.
6. let the crêpe cook on the flip side for about 30 seconds, until the batter is cooked through. then slide it out onto a dinner plate. repeat, cooking the crepes with the remaining batter, stirring the batter every so often as you go.
7. spread cooked leeks, olives, sautéed swiss chard, cheese, eggs, artichokes, ham, or whatever you like on one half of the crêpe and fold it in half. heat it on a griddle or in the oven on a baking sheet until the cheese is melting and gooey. serve with fresh greens and a drizzle champagne vinegar and olive oil.


Anonymous said...

The most crack-tastic crepe I've ever enjoyed was in Reims, midmorning. Buckwheat crepe with Nutella and marshmallow "fluff". It was almost too sweet to eat, but titrated with strong, black coffee it was awesome.

Patty Marguet said...

. . . i had never eaten the buckwheat kind of crepe until we found this restaurant, but i much prefer them to the plain flour ones . . . happy eating!