We have been eating well lately. That trip to Montreal; some cranberry beans simmered in broth with parsnips, carrots, onions; a wicked-spicy Thai-inspired rice noodle dish; and then... then the buckwheat crepes. Last weekend in Montreal, I had another buckwheat crepe with Nutella in the Jean-Talon Market that made me swoon. So when the February Bon Appetit arrived with a feature dedicated to buckwheat, well, the crepes definitely had my name on them.
I made the batter yesterday, actually while Hubby was making oatmeal for breakfast. And we tried just one with melted butter and brown sugar along with our oatmeal. And it was heaven. Brown sugar and buckwheat? Seriously good stuff. So I stuck the batter in the fridge until lunchtime and then sliced a ripe pear and some blue cheese for the second round. Excellent.
But today's batch was the best. I sauteed some shallots and mushrooms and folded the crepes around the mushrooms along with sour cream- and with that meal, this recipe made it into my canon. It is just enough outside the ordinary standbys to feel a little exotic, but flexible enough that I made three versions without a special trip to the grocery store. I am smitten. And you don't need a special crepe pan- I used a non-stick saute pan, and it worked just fine (though if you're the kind of guy or gal who likes an excuse to buy new kitchen gadgets, by all means, don't let me stand in your way here).
The mushroom crepe, with some red wine, and a little bowl of the aforementioned beans in broth, somehow felt more like a summer lunch than one where the windows are lacy with frost. And smack in the middle of two weeks where the temperature is hovering around zero, that is just about what I need right now. Enjoy.
Buckwheat Crepes with Shiitake Mushrooms and Sour Cream
As I mentioned earlier, I played around with several different fillings for these crepes and none of them disappointed. Feel free to adapt to suit what you have in the fridge, or your own taste.
For the Buckwheat crepes:
(adapted from February 2010, Bon Appetit magazine)
1 1/4 c. buckwheat flour
3 large eggs
1/4 c. canola oil
3/4 c. whole milk
1 1/4 c. water
pinch of salt
Heat oven to 160 degrees. Put large plate in oven to warm. Whisk all ingredients together in a mixing bowl, taking care not to leave lumps. Heat 10 inch non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Brush the bottom of the pan with oil (or not- I kept forgetting and it wasn't really much different than when I did) and drop a ladle-full of batter onto the pan, swirling it around to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook the crepe for 30-45 seconds or more, until golden on the bottom. Then gently slide silicone spatula around the edges to loosen crepe and carefully flip onto the second side. I used my fingers for this more often than not once I'd pried up the edge with the spatula. Cook the second side for 30 seconds. The slide the crepe onto the plate warming in the oven. Return to oven and continue with remaining batter.
For the mushroom filling:
3 large shallots, finely diced
2 large handfulls shiitake mushrooms, caps sliced
shiitake mushroom caps, diced
2 glugs dry white wine
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1 tb. butter
salt and pepper to taste
Heat skillet over medium heat and lightly cover the bottom with canola oil. Add shallots and mushroom caps and saute until softened. Add sliced shiitake mushrooms and sage. Season with salt. Saute until mushrooms are soft and starting to brown. Add white wine and saute a few more minutes until liquid evaporates. Turn off heat and add butter, and salt and pepper to taste.
To fill crepes:
Sour cream, to taste
Take warm crepes out of the oven. Spread a dollop of sour cream on one crepe. Spoon a soup spoon's worth of mushrooms over the sour cream. Fold crepe into quarters. Serve immediately.