08 October 2007

Galettes bretonnes

I'd read several articles about the famous savory buckwheat crêpes from the Brittany region of France. I've never been there, but the idea appealed to me and I thought I'd give it a shot. Galettes are normally cakes or small cookies in France, but the term also refers to these kinds of crêpes. This dish could be described in several other ways: crêpes complètes de sarrasin, crêpes complètes de blé noir, crêpes avec fromage et oeufs et jambon, or simply thin buckwheat pancakes with cheese, eggs, and ham--and that's without even touching on the unique Celtic dialect of Breton spoken in the region. For ease of the title I settled on the charming galettes bretonnes.

I cheated a bit on the batter and used Arrowhead Organic Buckwheat Pancake Mix which I thinned out with extra water. And the result was fantastic--like a regular crêpe in texture but with a deep, earthy flavor and a darker color. Even though it's been over ten years since I last made crêpes, all of them came out great. After the galette was just done, I spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard and added some shredded aged gruyère, a few small slices of smoked ham, and finally a just-set fried egg. Wrap it as desired (clever folds or burrito-style) and enjoy. Since the region is famous for its apples, I sliced up a Jona Gold to go along with the galette. The flavor was phenomenal, and I ended up having three of them for dinner.

If you decide to make this for several people, I'd suggest making the galettes in advance, frying the eggs in a skillet, assembling the ingredients on a baking sheet, and finishing it all in the oven. Or lining them up like Italian stuffed crespelle and topping it all with mushrooms and a white sauce.

While a northwest French cider would have been a more appropriate pairing, I used the 2005 Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay from the Columbia Valley of Washington. Bright and fruity with aromas of apples and stewed fruit. Touch of ginger on the palate, with just enough oak to give it structure and make it interesting. A surprisingly apt match for the meal, when initially I was just in the mood for a Chardonnay.

1 comment:

Estelle Platini said...

Thank you Benito for your beautiful blog.
Your being in the mood for Chardonnay may have helped it being a good match.
Here are complements for your readers:
The cider might be 'brut' (almost dry) -- it's the same sugar system as with Champagne.
The texture of the crêpe will improve if the pancake mix is poured on a very hot pan. The Bretons even use a specific large cast iron pane for frying the crêpes. It's called a bilic.
You may avoid eggs and replace the ham with almost any part of the pork.