Buckwheat crepes (galettes bretonnes) with gluten-free, dairy-free bechamel sauce

Crepe with steak and broccoliIt’s pancake day here in the UK, which means my kids got a pancake lunch, a pancake supper, and pancake dessert. If that sounds like a lot of work, it really wasn’t. Not only was I too lazy to make a pancake breakfast, the truth is, I only actually made pancakes once. To be more accurate, I made galettes bretonnes once and we ate them three different ways using three very easy variations.

Galettes bretonnes, or buckwheat crepes, are traditionally made with buckwheat flour only, making them naturally gluten-free. If you want to have them in a restaurant, however, be careful, since some cooks mix the buckwheat flour with wheat flour. Perhaps they fear that the buckwheat will be strong-tasting – and in some recipes it can be – but honestly, here it isn’t. No, it doesn’t taste exactly like a wheat flour crepe, but it has a mild and pleasant taste and texture. Honestly, it’s nothing too challenging.

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Mu shu duck

Bowls of vegetables, duck meat and sauce; plate of crepesI feel like I cheated when I made this dish. It was so easy and yet felt so festive, what with the duck, the multiple plates and of course the wrapping up of the pseudo mandarin pancakes.

Here’s one secret: I pre-made the pancakes, so all I had to do was pull them out of the freezer and defrost them. Here’s another: they were actually just general-purpose gluten-free savoury crepes. There are recipes for more authentic-tasting gluten-free mandarin pancakes out there (The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen cookbook has one) but crepes work wonderfully and I don’t think anyone noticed the difference.

One last secret: I didn’t roast a whole duck. I bought duck legs only and roasted those. It was plenty for this dish and so much faster and easier to make than a whole greasy bird. So yeah. Here’s my recipe for a lazy cook’s mu shu duck.

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