Monday, May 2, 2011

Meatless Monday: Back to the “Farm”

Happy Monday everyone. Remember my mushroom farm? It yielded an impressive second crop last week. Check out the photo. Yep, we grew these babies!

What to make with this harvest? The answer came to me when I saw Alton Brown on Food Network drooling over a favorite crepe stuffed with mushrooms and Swiss cheese. 

I decided to wing it and create my own version of this delicacy. In Alice Waters’s The Art of Simple Food there is a recipe for buckwheat crepes I had been meaning to try — requiring the intriguing combination of milk, butter, eggs and beer. I had the requisite well-seasoned crepe pan, but I did have to make a run for a bag of buckwheat flour. [Note that this undertaking requires advance planning and a bit of time. The batter is best prepared a day ahead. And, lacking Alton Brown’s large crepe pan, I needed enough time to make the 30 crepes the recipe estimated.]

On Tuesday night I made the batter. On Wednesday evening I harvested the mushrooms. This time I did not supplement my crop with any purchases from the store. What you see in these photos I grew with patience and lots of misting. 

I first prepared the filling ingredients. I shredded 4 oz of Swiss cheese. I toasted 1/2 cup of sliced almonds gently for several minutes in a medium cast iron skillet and set them aside. I sliced the mushrooms lengthwise and gently sauteed them in 2 tablespoons of butter (using the skillet from the almonds). I washed some arugula and broke the leaves up into small pieces.

Then I made the crepes. It had been years, but making crepes must be like riding a bike: once you learn the art you never forget it. Once I got going each one took about 1 1/2 minutes. I stacked the finished crepes on a baking sheet in a 170° oven to keep them warm.

We placed a spoonful each of mushrooms and cheese on one half of a crepe, sprinkled almonds on top of that and then folded the crepe over. We topped these off with a bit of each of the fillings as well as some arugula to give some color and a little bite. We stuffed crepes until the filling was gone.

Crepes on the plate, briefly.
Done! [See photo.] They were delicious. The mushrooms, with a taste and texture reminiscent of the seafood for which they were named, imparted a subtle yet intense flavor.

Of course we didn’t eat all the crepes at one sitting. The filled crepes we didn’t eat the first evening were delicious warmed in the oven for lunch the next day. And the naked crepes made a great breakfast with vanilla Greek yogurt, syrup and fresh strawberries. 

Thanks Alice. Thanks Back to the Roots. I wish I still had leftovers…

Have a great week. And come back again soon.

I try to blog on food or food issues each Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a great brunch crepe, too. I'll be definitely taking this out for a test run this weekend.