Sunday, January 15, 2006

crepes from Brittany

At Brest airport on the day of departure, my father-in-law bought for us three bags of crepes, one sarrasin (buckwheat), one froment (wheatflour), and a third for opening immediately. Which is just what we did. In the tiny Air France craft we lifted out the thin pancakes, folded them into triangles and ate them like that, savouring their buttery goodness while thinking goodbye to Brittany.

I'm looking at the precious bags of crepes, now safely stored in my freezer, thinking how I will eat them. There are a million and one ways to fill sweet and savoury crepes but I will probably make what I invariably end up ordering at our favorite creperie in Roscoff:

"Le Roscovite" -- Roasted catch of the day with crispy julienned vegetables and beurre blanc

The first way to prepare the fish is en papillote. Salt and pepper fillets of white flaky fish such as cod and place them on a sheet of parchment paper. Scatter over with carrot and courgette, cut into thin matchsticks. Dot with butter and fold over paper to close. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes.

The second method is slow-roasting. In this case douse everything with olive oil and slide the baking dish into a 250 degree oven, then forget about it. The cod will roast at a leisurely pace until you are ready to serve. The vegetables will be less crispy but this is the pressure-free way when cooking for guests.

While the fish is roasting make the beurre blanc. In a small pan melt a nob of butter and throw in minced shallots. When it sizzles add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 5 tablespoons of water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to boil, whisk in butter by the tablespoon, about 8. Transfer fish and vegetables to the center of a galette de sarrasin and spoon over the sauce. Fold in the edges of the crepe and serve.

If we are having deserts at the creperie it's usually a simple beurre-sucre, divine with a bowl of hot chocolate on a cold winter afternoon. For something more elaborate, cook apple wedges in butter until golden and arrange them on a crepe de froment. Drizzle with salidou, an unctuous salty butter caramel sauce, and fold. Enjoy!


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3:15 PM  
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