Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oh Crepe! What's A Galette?

I think everyone knows that a crepe is a thin pancake made from white wheat flour and eaten simply with sugar (Les Crepes Sucre), filled with sweet ingredients for a dessert or snack, or filled with savory ingredients for an appetizer or main course. Then what's a galette? A galette is a crepe made with buckwheat flour, and originated in Brittany, located in the northwest region of France. Traditionally, all crepes were made with buckwheat flour, which was introduced to the region from the Middle East in the 12th century. It wasn't until the turn of the 20th century that white wheat flour became widely available and affordable. Usually, savory crepes are made with buckwheat, and sweet crepes are made with white wheat. Today, "crepes" is the generic term for both.

This recipe for "Galettes Poireau-Fromage," is adapted from My French Kitchen, by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde. These savory crepes, filled with bacon, leeks, and Gruyere cheese, are delightful! Serve them with a nice green salad and a glass (or two) of wine, for an elegant meal. If you don't have or can't find buckwheat flour, just make them with 1 cup all-purpose flour, as opposed to the 1 1/3 cups all-purpose and buckwheat flour blend. I won't tell!

Galettes Poireau-Fromage (Buckwheat Crepes with Leeks and Cheese)

Makes 7 generous crepes, serves 4-6


For the galettes (this is not Joanne Harris' recipe, but I like it better)
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more to cook the crepes

For the filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces slab bacon, cubed
5 large leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced (click here for more about using leeks)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyere or Tomme de Savoie cheese
3 tablespoons creme fraiche
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


For the crepes
In a blender or food processor, blend the eggs, milk, water, flours, salt, and the melted butter for 5 seconds, or until extremely smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Gently stir the batter if it has separated. Heat a NON-STICK crepe pan over medium-high heat until hot. Coat the pan lightly with butter and pour in about 1/4 cup of the batter. Lift the pan from the heat, tilting and rotating, to allow the batter to spread evenly. Return pan to the heat and allow to cook until dry on top and browned on the edges. Loosen the edges with a plastic or rubber spatula and flip the crepe over using your fingers or spatula, then cook the other side for about 15 seconds, or until lightly browned. Remove the crepe  to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking the crepes as they are cooked.

For the filling
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the bacon, leeks, and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. The aim is to cook the leeks until they are soft and any excess liquid has evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the Gruyere and creme fraiche.

Place a generous spoonful of the mixture on a quarter of each crepe.

Fold in half, and in half again to make little triangular cones. (You can "stuff" them generously.)

Brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter. Arrange the filled crepes on the baking sheet and brush with the remaining butter. Bake until the crepes are heated through, about 15 minutes. (They will get pleasantly crisp on top, and warm and delicious on the inside!) Serve at once!


  1. I'm going to try these this morning. Looks yummy

    1. I hope you like them as much as I do! Your kids really eat squid?