Buckwheat Crepes with Egg, Ham, Cheese, and Asparagus
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Buckwheat Crepes with Egg, Ham, Cheese, and Asparagus
Although you can fill it with a variety of fillings, a crepe filled with ham and cheese and topped with an egg, called Galette Complète.
Is the legendary Breton crepe and makes a hearty meal for lunch, brunch, or any time of day that's most suits you.
We took a few liberties here when making this famous crepe.
For a hint of green, We added asparagus, and to make it easier, I instructed for a crepe crepe in the shape of a crescent instead of the traditional square.
If you feel confident, don't let that stop you; Turn the crepes into a square: instructions are at the end of the recipe.
A simple, ready-to-use crepe batter
Most crepes are made from a simple, thin batter of water or milk, flour, eggs, and salt, and sometimes butter.
There is no yeast involved and the batter is much thinner than pancake batter, so it slides onto a hot pan in a thin layer, just the right thickness to give it just the right filling.
By adding a little sparkling water to the dough, it turns out to be airy with small bubbles.
The dough is quick and easy to make; it is enough to beat all the ingredients in a bowl and let it rest for 1 hour so that the flour is completely hydrated.
Sizes range from small 4-inch circles to 12-inch or larger crepes, suitable for an appetizer, mini-dessert, or full meal.
Commonly, crepes are made with wheat flour, but these Crepes Bretonnes are made with buckwheat flour.
Buckwheat flour makes gluten-free crepes
Buckwheat has been cultivated in Brittany since the Middle Ages. It may surprise you, but there is no real 'wheat' in buckwheat; it's not even a grain.
The flour, both dark and light, is made from the seeds of a grass in the weed family that grows best in poor soil without pesticides or fertilizers.
In addition to its clean-grown formula, buckwheat is a treasure trove of nutrition.
I prefer the lighter colored buckwheat to the darker gray flour for cooking at home. It looks prettier.
Mix and match fillings
The ingredients may be as exotic as those served upstairs at Breizh Café, but they're like pizza ingredients.
If a combination sounds good to you, go for it! Here are some examples to get you started:
- Baked spinach and goat cheese
- Smoked salmon and whipped cream with cream cheese and chives
- Mixed seafood in curry sauce
You get the idea. They can be as whimsical or as simple as your mood takes you.
Tips for making the perfect crepes
- Beat the mass vigorously so that there are no lumps. It should be a little thinner than sour cream.
- Let the dough rest for at least 1 hour at room temperature, or up to 2 days in the refrigerator. If you've ever noticed your pancake batter getting thicker while it's standing up, it's because the flour slowly absorbs the liquid and the batter thickens.
- Prepare the ingredients for the filling before you begin and have them ready.
- Use a nonstick skillet, heat over high heat, and lightly grease bottom of skillet with the tip of a stick of butter, or brush with melted butter. The key is to keep the buttercream light.
- Start with medium-high heat and adjust the heat to medium or medium-low while the crepe cooks.
- Optional: test the dough. Before cooking the first full-size crepe, pour about 1/4 cup into the pan and stir. It should glide quickly and easily over the background in a thin layer. If it seems thick, thin the batter with water and try again. You should expect to have a starter crepe that you may not use, and that's okay!
- Use a ladle or measuring cup with a spout to add batter to pan to control serving size.
- Use a silicone spatula to loosen the edges and fold over the crepe.
For the crepe dough
- 1 1/4 cups still water
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) buckwheat flour
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup sparkling water, plus additional sparkling water as needed
For the crepe filling
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 asparagus, peeled if thick
- About 2 tablespoons of salted or unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 4 ounces (2 cups) grated Gruyère cheese
- 4 thin slices of prosciutto, each cut or split into 2-3 pieces
Make the crepe batter:
In a large bowl, whisk to combine the still water, eggs, and salt.
Gradually add the flour until the dough is smooth and a few bubbles appear on the surface.
Blend in sparkling water until smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight to allow the flour to fully hydrate.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator.
It should be much thinner than pancake batter.
Add more sparkling water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the batter is slightly thinner than the cream.
Cook the asparagus:
In a large skillet, bring 1 inch of water and the salt to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.
Using tongs, transfer to a cutting board and cut the spears into thirds.
Separate some asparagus to decorate and use the rest for the crepe filling.
Cook the first crepe:
Place a 10- to 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and heat until hot.
Scrape the edge of a stick of butter onto the hot pan to lightly coat it.
Pour in 1/2 cup of the batter and quickly tilt the pan in a circular motion to thoroughly coat the surface of the pan.
If the batter is too thick, it won't spread quickly. Thin the batter with water, a tablespoon at a time, and try again with another crepe, or test a small amount of batter first to make sure it's thin enough.
Don't worry if it takes a few tries; you must have a lot of mass.
Return the skillet to the burner and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for a few seconds or until the crepe begins to set.
Remove pan from heat.
Fill the crepe:
Crack an egg into one side of the crepe and use the back of a spoon to spread the white so that the egg cooks in the time it takes for the cheese to melt.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese around the egg and arrange the ham bits from 1 slice of ham and about 6 pieces of asparagus.
The filling should be on one side of the crepe.
If necessary, gently push the egg toward the center on one side and use the filling to hold it in place. You will fold the other side over the filling.
Return the pan to a simmer. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the whites are just set. The yolk will still be soft.
Fold the crepe:
Using a flexible rubber spatula, loosen the edges of the crepe around the pan.
Fold the empty side over the filling. Slide a large spatula under the crepe and transfer to a plate.
Cover with the reserved asparagus to decorate.
Finish cooking and fill the remaining crepes, one at a time:
Repeat with the remaining batter, eggs, ham, cheese, and asparagus to make more crepes.
Serve immediately, or if you want to serve them all at once, bake at 200ºF while you make the remaining crepes.
Alternate method for making a traditional-style full square galette:
Follow the steps above, but in Step 4, place the egg in the middle of the crepe. Spread the white as indicated above.
Surround the yolk with the cheese, ham and asparagus. If the egg moves to one side, use your fingers to make a well of stuffing around the yolk and gently guide the yolk into the center.
When the egg is cooked and the cheese has melted, fold the crepe on all 4 sides towards the center to form a square with the yolk visible in the middle.
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