Sometimes I just have to do it. I need to run with my instincts, to do whatever-it-is-I’m-thinking-about as soon as the idea spawns in my brain. Sometimes I get so caught up with trying to learn that my learning process becomes a rut. It’s the same with trying to do things the right way–I have a habit of consulting the internet with every question, doubt, or spark of an idea (especially food-related) that enters my mind, in search of some sort of authoritative proclamation on the subject. If I find such a thing, I carefully examine it and, more likely than not, I heed its wisdom with conviction. Many times, I’m sure, it has prevented certain disaster in the kitchen, but other times, I think I’m just so absorbed in what I’m supposed to do, that I don’t just do.
I have more of a tendency to do and to have adventurous moments in the kitchen when I’m cooking just for myself. I don’t inflict the same kind of pressure on myself to make anything particularly edible happen when it’s my own lone mouth to feed. School started a couple weeks ago, so Professor Bret is back to work during the week, which means I don my domestic adventure cap and often spend my pre-lunch hours throwing things in hot pans to see what happens. Lots of grunts, giggles, YES!s and fist-pumps. When I cook for one, I am undaunted! Many of my end results aren’t as glorious and spectacular as I might have hoped, but I EAT MY MISTAKES and I learn from them. And some of my experiments leave me surprised, impressed, and inspired. I learn from those, too.
And this is photographic evidence of one of those thrilling and learnsome adventures I’ve had. These pictures have sat undisturbed and rather neglected in a folder on my computer for weeks now. The crepe, all folded and torn, the tiny pat of sheep’s milk feta so reluctantly peering out, and the speckled, spicy egg lounging atop it all; it’s a perfectly humble-looking pile of things, if I do say so myself. But this hot mess made for one of the most memorable solo-lunches I’ve had in a long while. There were words exchanged between myself and myself, if that gives you any idea of how wholeheartedly I savored it. I didn’t want to keep it to myself any longer.
I would like to inject my no-pressure, no-fear, cooking-for-one mode into my cooking-for-others brain. (I’d like to inject that mode into my doing-anything-in-front-of-others brain, actually, but I think that’s for another day.) Whether or not the fruits of my efforts meet my expectations, the process of doing–the trying, the affirming sounds and smells, the questionable squish of something imperfect and the chuckle, shrug, and nose-scrunch that follows with the quick plot of a recourse–inspires me and fills me with a sweet and lingering joy. And I think there’s always something to learn from just doing. I hope you’ll find some opportunities to just do, too, whatever it is that you love doing. And I would love for you to tell me about it.
Sprouted Buckwheat Crepes with Tomato Basil Sauce, Feta, and a Fried Egg
The recipe for the crepes I pulled from David Lebovitz, and it’s a keeper in my book–the crepes handled well, turned out wonderfully light, and since I used sprouted flours, they treated me kindly! Note that the original recipe calls for buckwheat flour and all-purpose flour instead of sprouted buckwheat and sprouted Einkorn respectively, so feel free to substitute as makes sense to you and your pantry!
P.S. I bet some greenery would fit in really well with the pleasing bite of the feta and the richness of the egg yolk–I’m thinking arugula! Let me know if you try it!
sprouted buckwheat crepes
2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons (80 gr) butter, melted
1/2 cup (70 gr) sprouted buckwheat flour
3/4 cup (105 gr) sprouted wheat flour (I use Einkorn, which is kinder to my stomach)
3 large eggs
to make the crepes
Whisk all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. If you have time, cover and let chill in the refrigerator overnight, and remove from fridge and let sit at room temperature for an hour before you start cooking. If you don’t have time for all that, that’s fine too. Either way, when you’re ready to cook, your batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream. If it’s too thick, add a splash of milk.
Heat an 8-9 inch (preferably nonstick) skillet over medium heat. Drop a dot of butter or neutral oil onto the pan and wipe it around with a paper towel or cloth napkin to coat the surface.
Lift the skillet, pour 1/4 cup of batter on to the hot surface and swirl it around to spread it quickly and evenly. After a minute or so, flip the crepe using your fingers or a large nonstick spatula (or whatever utensil you like), and cook for another half-minute or so. Slide onto a plate and set aside. Your first crepe might be ugly and uncrepelike, but that’s okay. Eat it while you cook the others, it’s the only way!
This makes about 18 crepes. See David’s suggestions for reheating and freezing crepes, if y’ant to.
(quick and dirty) tomato basil sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-oz can, diced or crushed
1/2 tsp ground red pepper, or to taste
fresh or dried basil, to taste (I ground up just a few leaves I had dehydrated from fresh)
pinch of dried oregano, to taste
salt and black pepper, to taste
to make the sauce
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and garlic and let sizzle until soft, shuffling them around every once in a while with a wooden spoon. Add the tomatoes, bring to a strong simmer. Smush the tomatoes into smaller pieces if they look like they were diced by an ogre wearing baseball mitts. Add the red pepper, basil and oregano (and any other herbs you’d like) and stir. Reduce heat and let rest at a slow simmer for as long as or as little as you want. Season with salt and pepper.
the STACK (stack stack stack stack…)
sprouted buckwheat crepes (recipe above)
tomato basil sauce (recipe above)
egg or eggs fried to your liking and topped with ground red pepper and salt
to make-a the stack
For a strange folded crepe-stack as pictured, slap a crepe onto a skillet over medium heat. Spoon some of the warm tomato sauce onto one quadrant of the crepe. Fold the crepe in half, like an omelet. Crumble some feta onto the remaining unstuffed quadrant. Then fold that in half. Ta-da! Transfer to a plate and top with a fried egg.
to make a savory stuffed crepe cake
If you’re serving more than one or just feeling like something prettier, you could lay the crepes flat, alternating thin layers of tomato sauce and feta between them (crepe→tomato sauce→crepe→feta→crepe) until your stack is as tall as you’d like. Slice like a cake and top each serving with a fried egg.