TPH's Buckwheat Crêpes © ejmorris & THeffelfinger 2001, 2002, 2006

revised February 2006

Ingredients
Batter:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1½ c milk (more or less)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 c buckwheat flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • butter for frying
Filling:
  • 1 head of spinach
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • good shot mushrooms, sliced
  • 200 gm ham, chopped
  • 2½ Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 c milk
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp cognac
  • some gruyere, grated
Preparation

  1. Crêpes - part one: At least 3 hours before making the crepes, whisk egg, milk, oil and sugar together til frothy.
  2. Add buckwheat flour and salt and whisk well til it is the consistancy of heavy cream. If it is too dry, add a bit more milk. If it seems too thin, add buckwheat.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the batter rest in refrigerator for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight)
  4. Crêpes - part two: Heat a heavy steel shallow frypan to medium high heat (we use a tava - Indian flatbread pan)
  5. Flick some water at the pan. If it evaporates immediately, the pan is too hot. If it beads and sits there, the pan is too cool. If it beads and bounces, the pan is at the right heat. (We set our burner at medium high to high - between 5 and 6; there are seven levels.)
  6. Melt a little bit of butter and tilt the pan to coat it with butter. Ladle some batter onto the frypan. Tilt the pan back and forth to evenly distribute the batter in a thinnish coating over the pan. Pour any excess back into bowl. Cook for about 3 or 4 minutes per side.
  7. Put the finished crêpe on a serviette covered warm plate. Cover with a lid. Continue making crêpes until the batter is finished. (makes about eight 8-inch in diameter crêpes.
  1. Filling: Wash spinach well. Parboil in boiling salted water for 1 or 2 minutes. Drain and let cool. Put the washed spinach in a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Toss to cover the leaves with salt and let sit for about 20 minutes.
  2. Squeeze the spinach out well with your hands. Rinse with water and squeeze some more. Set aside.
  3. Put a good shot of oil in a large cast iron pan. Sauté onions and mushrooms.
  4. When the onions are translucent, add the ham and fry some more.
  5. Add all-purpose flour and stir into the oil.
  6. Add milk slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring til smooth and thickened.
  7. Add cognac, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir to warm. (This part can be prepared in advance)
  8. Just before serving, gently reheat the sauce. Chop the squeezed spinach coarsely and add to the sauce. Stir to warm.
  1. Assembly: Lay 3 crêpes over a plate in a cloverleaf pattern with half of each crêpe hanging over the edge of the plate.
  2. Sprinkle some gruyere (or any good Swiss cheese) into the center of the plate. Ladle filling over cheese.
  3. Fold the crêpes over the filling, leaving a small hole in the center to allow the ham/spinach filling to show.

Serve with sparkling dry apple cider.

N.B. All-purpose can be used in place of buckwheat flour to make regular crêpes.

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