Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Doing the Buckwheat Two-Step
Some days, you come home and eat toast. You top that toast with an egg and you're having dinner. You add two piece of bacon hacked from the icy package in the freezer and whoever sits across the dinner table from you will be smiling.
Some days this is reality. I tell myself this is okay. YOU know it's okay but the uptight drama queen buried deep beneath my easy-going facade cries, How have we come to this?!? Dinner, toast? An egg? Stir frying some chard and garlic to tuck under the egg placates me. A little.
Planning ahead helps.
Post-Christmas, Haley and I are attempting to avoid the pre-Christmas culinary blues which invaded both our kitchens somewhere between turkey number one (Thanksgiving) and turkey number two (Happy Holidays). Last week, Haley tipped me off to the wonders of cooking chicken in the slow cooker. I was excited. She was excited. She thought about wearing a costume. She now calls the small hot appliance Mr. Crockpot and has christened him her sous-chef. Anything that gets Haley giddy on a weeknight must be good. The only sad part to this story is that I don't own a slow cooker. I'd like one. Why not? Who doesn't dream of a sous chef?
My kitchen is cosy, as in tiny, and so I make my appliance purchases carefully. Last week, when Haley reached out to readers for some chicken/crock tips, the response was so helpful. Therefore, I'm putting it out to you readers, what am I looking for in a slow cooker? Do some brands out perform others? Is the whole thing worth it? Let me know!!!
In the meantime, I'd like to offer up a good weekday solution of my own. I'm finding the two step to be particularly helpful to the working woman's schedule. That is, take step one the first night and slide into step two on the second night. My favourite two step of late is a buckwheat crepe filled with spaghetti squash. Yup, it's as good as it sounds and perfectly easy when you follow the two step theory.
Here's something of a recipe.
Buckwheat Crepes filled with Spaghetti Squash
You will need
1 medium to large spaghetti squash
1 recipe buckwheat crepes (provided below)
1-2 cups grated cheese--any type you like!
Tuck a spaghetti squash in alongside whatever else you're cooking. Do this by heating your oven to 350 before slicing the squash in two lengthwise and scooping out any goop. Place the two pieces of squash cut side down in a large glass baking dish (or whatever you want to use). Add some water.
Add just enough so that it climbs about an inch up the squash. Put the squash in the oven and roast it until it can be easily pierced with a fork. This usually takes 45 minutes to an hour. Now, you can eat some of the squash but be sure to save about 4 cups for your day-two crepes.
Make the Crepes:
(Adapted from the French Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Herrman Loomis)
1 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (Loomis uses all buckwheat flour)
2 1/4 cups water
2 large eggs
Combine the flours in large bowl. Add the water. Mix. Add the eggs. Mix again.
Heat a 10 inch skillet and melt some butter on it. Add about 1/4 cup of batter to the pan and swirl it around to coat the whole surface. Add more batter if you need to. Fill in any holes with extra batter. Wait until little bubbles have formed before filliping the crepe.
Once you've cooked all your crepes (you should make about 15), fill each one with a scoop of spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add a fist full of cheese. Place the rolled up crepes in greased baking pan and warm in a 350 oven for 20 minutes.
Alternately, you can reheat your spaghetti squash before rolling the crepes. That way you can skip placing the crepes in the oven and serve directly after filling and rolling the crepes. The hot squash should melt the cheese.