Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Buckwheat-Bock Crêpes with Mushrooms

I've made a gazillion different crêpe batter variations in my lifetime, but I keep returning to this buckwheat-bock recipe that I adapted from the cooking section in a BeerAdvocate magazine a number of years ago, because it makes such a damn good tender and flavorful crêpe. I stuffed these particular ones with a mushroom mix, but there is no end to what you can stuff yours with.

Buckwheat-Bock Crêpes
Makes a lot. 12-15? 
*2 eggs, whisked
*3/4 cup bock beer (Troegs' doppelbock, Troegenator, or Victory's St Victorious are excellent. Yuengling's bock isn't too shabby either)
*1/2 cup milk
*1/3 cup buckwheat flour
*2/3 cup all-purpose flour
*3 tbsp melted butter
*A pinch salt

Combine the crêpe batter ingredients and blitz in a blender for 10 seconds or so. Pop it in the fridge for at least an hour or two to settle. To make the crêpes, heat a shallow non-stick skillet with sloping sides over medium, and as the pan grows hotter, give it a quick sheen of butter (I take a stick, unwrap it slightly, and gloss the pan all over with the butt of the butterlog). Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop a scant 1/4 cup of batter and with one hand on the panhandle, gently pour it into the middle of the pan, rotating the pan as you pour to evenly coat the bottom with the batter. Let it sit untouched for about a minute. You'll start to see the sides of the crêpe begin to pull away from the pan. Take a very flexible rubber spatula around the sides and under to ensure better flipping. Flipping can be done in different ways: If you're special, you'll manage the wrist-flick method. My preferred method for flipping is to carefully grab one of the edges that is pulling away from the pan and curling in slightly, and flip it over with my fingers. You can use a spatula, but these are delicate discs and prone to tearing!

Let it cook another oh, 30 seconds or so before removing it from the pan. Fair warning, your first crêpe will be a disaster, and serves only to set the stage for the rest to come. For some reason, the pan is -perfectly- prepped the second that first one comes off. Stack 'em and cover with aluminum foil as you go along, or recruit someone else to doctor them for you as you keep flipping 'em out.

Mushroom filling

*Olive oil
*1 small shallot, minced
*1/2 lb mixed mushrooms (I used shiitake and hen-of-the-woods [awww])
*2 cloves of garlic, somewhere between chopped and minced
*A handful of walnuts, chopped into small pieces
*A dash of red pepper flakes
*Herb butter (Smash a tablespoon of minced herbs (thyme, rosemary & parsley, I did) into a couple tablespoons of softened butter with a fork)
*A slice of lemon

Remove the stems and wipe your mushrooms off with a damp paper towel; slice. In a wide pan, heat a bit of oil over medium and then add the shallots. Sprinkle with salt and saute a couple minutes before adding the mushrooms, making sure that they are not too crowded in the pan. Cook for a couple minutes, then add the garlic, chile pepper flakes, and some shakes of salt and pepper. Saute gently another 3 or 4 minutes. Add a knob of the herb butter, a spritz of lemon juice and the walnuts, and toss well.

Not a full 1/2 lb. If I cook mushrooms in this house, I eat them alone.

To assemble the crêpes, I take a pat of the herb butter and melt it on the crepe when its cooking in its final stage in the pan, take it out, and then fill it with a couple spoonfuls of the mushroom mix. Feel free to grate some cheese over top (gruyère is a great choice) and add anything else you'd like. Fold and gobble it down.

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