BUCKWHEAT AND CHICKPEA FLOUR CREPES with broccoli, shiitake bacon and macadamia nut bechamel

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Aahhhh. I'm so obsessed with this recipe, I'm just delighted to finally bring it to you friendly people. The ingredient list is long and the process may look a bit daunting but I was able to make this for myself post birthday night libations, in under an hour. I have faith you can do the same (Not similarly hungover, I mean also in under an hour). Seriously, these crepes could stand up to any egg and dairy laden competitor at your favorite brunch spot and make for a prefect gateway item to serve to any skeptical non-veg loved ones in your life. If you do plan to serve these lovelies to friends I suggest doubling up the recipe, as this amount will make 4 crepes, and preparing the béchamel and the crepe batter ahead of time, both do well in the fridge overnight.

Crepes always struck me as a totally unrealistic food for home cooking. Like so many things French, crepes were unattainable, too sophisticated for real life. They absolutely want it that way right? Not the crepes, the French, no? I love French people (I don't know any French people). Ok, moving on. So these babes were inspired by a socca crepe the was part of my curriculum during my course with Plant Lab Culinary. The simple execution using chickpea flour soothed my fear of these delicate pastry like pancakes and now my imagination is streaming with new combinations. I'm a savory breakfast lover, not so into the sweet crepes, so I see asparagus, leeks, brussel sprouts, tempeh, artichokes, caramelized onions, portobellos, hollandaise and nutty creme friache in my crepe future. Who's with me?

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2 cups broccoli florets

Crepes

3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour

1/4 cup buckwheat flour

1 1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 tsp salt

Bechamel

1 cup macadamia nuts

2 cups water

1 shallot, minced

2 tbs olive oil or vegetable broth

2 tbs flour (or tapioca flour for a gluten free version)

2 tbs lemon juice

1 sprig thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp white pepper

a dash of nutmeg

Shitake Bacon

1 lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced

2 tsp liquid smoke

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp onion powder

2 tbs tamari

2 tbs olive oil

 

  1. Soak macadamia nuts over night or in hot water for 15 minutes. (overnight is definitely the best.
  2. Combine dry ingredients for the crepe and add vegetable broth, whisking until smooth. Set aside for at least 20 minutes or even overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 425. Wish together wet ingredients for the shiitake bacon in a large bowl, then add the sliced shiitakes and let marinate. 
  4. Add the macadamia nuts and 2 cups water to a blender. Blend on high for 2-4 minutes. Strain using a nut milk bag*.
  5. In a medium sauce pan, sauté the shallots in olive oil or vegetable broth until translucent. Add the flour and toast it ever so slightly but do not let it brown! Less than a minute. Add your nut milk, salt white pepper, nutmeg and thyme and let simmer, whisking out any lumps of flour. Once the mixture has thickened slightly, turn off the heat, whisk in the lemon juice and set aside.
  6. Spread the shiitake bacon over a parchment paper lined baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, stirring and flipping halfway to ensure an even crisping.
  7. Steam the broccoli florets in a steamer on the stove or in your microwave (not very chefy of me, but that's what I did, in a covered bowl with a few table spoons of water for 4 minutes.)
  8. For the crepes, preheat a large non-stick pan on high heat. Coat your pan with an oil of some kind, a spray will be ideal but you can use a paper towel or dish towel to spread oil over the surface. Once your pan is hot, reduce the meat to medium. Using a 1/3 cup measure, pour a dot of the batter in the center of the pan, then quickly shift the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter to the sides of the pan**. Cook for about 1 minute, until the sides begin to curl up. Then flip and cook the other side for the same amount of time.
  9. Assemble your crepes with shiitake bacon, broccoli and béchamel on the inside, and extra béchamel drizzled on top. 

TIPS

* Straining your macadamia nut milk can the omitted, your béchamel will just have a slightly granular consistency. You can also use cheese cloth doubled over a few times or a fine mesh sieve.

** Making your crepes will take a few tries to get them perfectly round, but they will taste great regardless. Two things are key, a runny batter and patience. If your batter isn't running off your whisk, add a few tablespoons of veg broth or water at a time until the consistency is right. Careful not to add too much liquid! Your crepes will fall apart. The best method I found for firing my crepes was to hold my pan in my left hand and my measuring cup in my right, taking the pan off the heat as I poured so the batter wouldn't cook too quickly as I spread it over the pan using a circular wrist motion. Let the batter spread to the edges of the pan for a perfect circular crepe. Be patient while it cooks, wait for the sides to curl before you try to flip. Run your spatula along the edges to help any air bubbles escape and you can giggle the pan back and forth until the crepe slides around before flipping. 

Servings: About 4 crepes Prep Time: 40 minutes Cook Time: 10-20 minutes