02 March 2013

Tomato-onion-black bean buckwheat galette w/ cream cheese

Sometimes, especially on the weekends, you just need something a little more savoury--and spicy--for breakfast. It's why omelettes loaded up with peppers were invented, and breakfast tacos. Along those lines, this rustic galette proves remarkably satisfying. My incredibly brief stint working at a crêperie here in Montréal--while I like to look back on it with malice now (I was ignominiously fired, and it's a long story I'm sure nobody is interested in)--did at least instill in me a respect for buckwheat, especially as it comes to form the basis of the more savoury style of crêpes called galettes. Good news for the many these days who seek to go without gluten: 'buckwheat' is an utter misnomer, coming from a flowering plant more closely related to the rhubarb plant than to wheat or other cereals. It's a darker and lighter (in terms of weight--maybe finer or fluffier would be a better description) flour than wheat, and very suitable for a more salty (rather than sweet) brand of crêpe.

1/2 cup   buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp   salt
2 tsp   flax seeds
1/2   'flax egg' (combine 1/2 tbsp ground flax with 1-1/2 tbsp warm water, stir slightly, and let stand at least 5 minutes, preferably 10)
1/2 tsp   honey
1-1/2 tbsp   diced white onion
4   grape tomatoes, quartered
1-1/2 tbsp   chopped green onion
1-1/2 tbsp   black beans (canned, then drained and rinsed)
1 tbsp   cream cheese (and more for garnish) --> Yeah, this is maybe the first non-vegan recipe I've posted on here... if desired, I'm sure there are substitutes available in non-dairy form, or hummus might actually work nicely. Similarly, to replace the honey, if that's not your bag, you can either omit or add just a tiny splash of maple syrup.
1 tsp   red pepper flakes (or a reasonable amount of fresh, diced red pepper, if you have it)
pinch   salt & black pepper
dash   parsley
dash   thyme

To make the galette batter:
Whisk together flour, salt, and flax seeds in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 'flax egg' and honey with 2/3 cups of cold water. Gradually stir wet mixture into dry, a little bit at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Refrigerate that while you get to chopping/ frying vegetables. (Ideally, you will want to refrigerate this stuff for about 12 hours or overnight but I didn't have that luxury. Just let it chill as long as you can.)

To make the filling:
Set a frying pan on medium heat and spread out about 1 tbsp canola oil over it. Dice your onion and add to the frying pan, adding a sprinkle of salt. When onions are soft and yellow-ish, remove from heat. Chop the green onions and tomatoes, and get everything else ready.

When your batter is sufficiently chilled and ready (maybe use this chilling time to put on a pot of coffee or something, as I'm very impatient waiting for anything to chill, and I'm sure a lot of you are too), remove from fridge and add about 1/4 cup water to the mixture to further thin it out, stirring quickly. Place a lightly oiled frying pan over medium heat. When hot, quickly pour the batter onto the pan, swirling to spread it out to the edges. (You may need to use the convex side of a spoon for further spreading if you're not quick enough, but be careful.) Let the batter cook until the edges are brownish and a little crispy and the centre is reasonably dry--about 4 minutes--then flip. Imagine a diagonal line running along the pan. Spread out cream cheese to cover one side of this diagonal with a spatula or spoon (you're going to be folding the galette in half shortly, is what I'm foreshadowing here). Add white and green onions, tomatoes, beans, red pepper flakes, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the cream cheese-covered side. Cook about 2 minutes until cheese starts looking melty, then fold the galette over this imaginary diagonal. Place a little dollop of cream cheese in the centre on top of the galette. Fold in half again to make a fan shape and place another dollop of cream cheese in the centre. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with parsley. I feel this recipe is significantly French and delicious enough to warrant me saying, bon appétit! Also, chow down!

Note to keep in mind: while I turned this into one giant and quite thick crêpe, the traditional idea of a crêpe is to be thinner. Galettes in particular are supposed to be a little crispier than mine ultimately looked, as well. With that in mind, feel free to use the batter to make two crêpes instead of one, in which case you may have to reduce your cooking time slightly. But I assure you that even if you do it my thick way, it's still pretty damn delightful.

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