Galettes de sarrasin and the joys of induction
A few months ago we finally replaced our terrible-very-bad-no-goodforyou non-stick crêpe pan. We just hadn't gotten around to replacing it earlier. Mostly due to the fact that we were in the process of replacing the rest of our kitchen battery since moving to induction. The only two things that made the cut were my All-clad saucier from mom and my cast iron egg pan from pop. When the hub first suggested induction I was skeptic and still harboring a flame for a gas stovetop. But once he made me realize what a pain putting a gas line in is and that I would be “forced” to finally chuck all my old non-stick, I was sold.
So the crêpe pan was replaced and replaced it was. Calling it an upgrade would be just too banal; we got the Rolls Royce of crêpe pans - a Staub. We had been eyeing it for months and couldn't really bring ourselves or our budget to buy it. In the end, it was a present from the mother-in-law (thanks!) and we spent our money on a lovely and more practical Cristel sauteuse. Talk about a win-win situation.
The pan is simply amazing but it did call for a period of adjustment. For our first trial run we made buckwheat galettes or savory crêpes. I had picked up some organic buckwheat from a small producer in Brittany at my local health food store. I had been looking for some for awhile after having read an article this past summer about the new wave in artisan buckwheat production in Brittany. Apparently buckwheat is very delicate. Industrial style production, milling and storing don't do it any justice and it seems that the flour that comes from these productions is partly to blame for our previous failed attempts in making galettes. Humph.
Now our galettes and our crêpes just keep getting better and better. So much so, that we've gone from making them every couple of months to a couple times a month. The last time we went totally crazy and made a batch of both simultaneously. Luckily, we had friends over for dinner and we didn't have to eat them all ourselves.
Since becoming professional crêpe and galette eaters, we've managed to pinpoint a few techniques. To start, results are always the best when making them as a couple (as in me and the hub or Two Good Friends.) You need a pourer and a spreader. Next, if you are using a cast iron pan, you have to heat it up slowly and it really does take awhile for the pan to get to optimal heat. The first galette never comes our right and is to be taste tested immediately. Also, it's good to rub a little oil on the pan every few galettes.
Our pan came with this little wooden rake like the ones all the street vendors use here. I love it. It is almost my favorite thing in the world. I would sleep with it under my pillow if that wasn't weird. The key to perfect rounds is to pour out the batter in a sort or snail like manner and then the trick is not to drag the batter with the wooden rake but to PUSH it around in a circle. Imagine little lapping waves of buckwheat goodness coating the sizzling pan as you flick your wrist. The final super secret is to let your little wooden rake soak in a bowl of water between uses. The water coats the wood a bit and keeps the batter from sticking which in turn, can lead to holey galettes.
I could literally make these for hours. And I think Casper could eat them for that long too. (Hmm, maybe a children's story in the making here...) Anyway, here is the recipe that we use adapted from Paul Bocuse.
Galettes de sarrasin
200 grams buckwheat flour
50 grams regular flour
30 grams of butter
1/2 liter water
Dash of salt
We just mix it all up in the Kitchen Ais using the whisk attachment. Bocuse says to let it sit for 2-3 hours but we are never that patient. We usually let it sit for about an hour and add a litte bit of beer.
The Perraud family topping combo is: Comté cheese, Prosciutto, sautéed onions and mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, avocado, salad and a dollop of crème fraîche.