Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Buckwheat Crêpes with Chestnut Spread Filling Plus Gifts From Paris

I'd been waiting for oh so long, never giving up hope, checking the post office every day, when finally it arrived.

That old adage, good things come to those who wait, was never more true: The moment I tore into the package and saw what Emily of Tomato Kumato had sent me, I couldn't have been more delighted. How did she know just what to send me? Clever girl!

I knew right away just how I would use the Bonne Mamman Chestnut Spread, which you will see in a minute. The Fleur de Sel is one of my favorites and I was just about to use up the last of mine when this arrived. Great timing, Emily.

Season's Eatings is Katie's (Thyme for Cooking) holiday gift exchange event that pairs bloggers from all over the world and challenges them to send a gift specific to their region to the person they've been paired with. I'm glad I participated this year and plan to do it again next time the holidays roll around. Click on this link to see Katie's roundup. Be sure to come back for breakfast . . .


After going wheat-free last summer, pancakes and waffles were off my list of things to eat, leaving me feeling a bit deprived from time to time. So for some while now I've been working on perfecting a buckwheat crêpe which finally came together a few days before my Paris package arrived. (Showing again what perfect timing Emily has.) This is going to be my go-to recipe when a craving for pancakes gets to be more than I can resist.

These crêpes are light, airy, moist, slightly nutty in flavor, a little sweet, and utterly delicious and satisfying. You don't have to stuff them with chestnut spread as I did for my sons and daughters-in-law last weekend; they are perfectly wonderful on their own or with blueberry preserves on the inside and a bit of cinnamon on the outside.
But . . . If you can get your hands on a jar of this stuff with the cute brown gingham lid, go for it. It's fabulous. A bit sweet. Fruit butter smooth with a slightly grainy tooth at the same time. Perfumed with vanilla. Holy cow! I took one bite and thought, OK, yeah there's sugar in here and I'm just going to live with it for a day.

Buckwheat Crêpes with Chestnut Spread Filling
Christine's original recipe
(print recipe)
Makes 6-8 crêpes - recipe may be doubled
Ingredients:1/2 cup organic buckwheat flour (see Cook's Notes)
1/4 cup organic brown rice flour
1 tablespoon organic tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine kosher salt
3 packets Splenda (equals approx. 2 tablespoons sugar in sweetness)
1 egg lightly beaten
2/3 cup 2% milk
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
Unsalted butter for the pan
Preparation:
Sift together all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Whisk together the wet ingredients until fully blended.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the liquid mixture into it.
Using a fork, stir until all the flour is mixed with the liquid. The batter could have lumps in it, and that's fine. The batter will be watery.
Melt 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon butter in a 5 to 6-inch pan over medium-low heat, spreading the melted butter to cover the bottom of the pan.


Drop 1/4 cup batter into the center of the pan. It should spread to the edges. If it doesn't, next time use 1/3 cup batter for each crêpe.
Cook until bubbles form on the top of the crêpe, steam begins to form, and the bottom is just turning brown.
Using a wide spatula, flip the crêpe and cook an additional 30 seconds on the other side.
Stack the finished crêpes on a plate and keep them warm, covered with a kitchen towel, until all the crêpes are done.
Spoon Bonne Mamman Chestnut Spread or your favorite filling along one side of a crêpe and roll it up, cigar style. Repeat with the remaining crêpes.
Sprinkle with cinnamon or drizzle with your favorite syrup.


Cook's Notes
For those who are interested, buckwheat is not a grain. It's a fruit seed, related to the rhubarb family, and it's entirely gluten-free. Studies using buckwheat have shown a number of health benefits in humans, which you can read about on the World's Healthiest Foods site.
I would be remiss if I did not brag about our local farmer, Kevin Cunningham, who raises barley, oats, buckwheat and other grains at Shakefork Community Farm, turns them into stoneground flours and sells them to us lucky folks at the farmers market. And although I avoid the grains these days, I'll be stocking up on the buckwheat groats and flour whenever they are available.




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