In June we went on holiday to Northern France and we love to try the local cuisine. As I’m now sensitive to gluten I thought this would be difficult. However, Northern France is famous for buckwheat which, if your looking at the name, doesn’t have any gluten in it.
We visited a place called Fougeres and we found an amazing restuarant called La Creperie Tivabro. It was a friendly place and the food, drink and service were excellent. The restuarant served a local dish called Gallettes. In fact that’s all they served. They are like a savoury pancake or crepe and they are made with buckwheat flour.
Buckwheat flour is grown in Northern France and it is a great product of Normandy. It also has amazing health benefits for the body. Buckwheat is a good source of high quality protein that is easily digestable. It can make an excellent meat substutite. Buckwheat starch can also act as a full fat alternative in processed foods.
It has a high level of rutin that can be extracted from the leaves for medicine to treat high blood pressure. Buckwheat hulls are used as pillow stuffing for those allergic to feathers, dust and pollen. The properties of buckwheat are it has a sweet flavour, it can clean and strenghtens the intestines and improves the appetite. It has been proven to be effective at helping with chronic diarrhea.
Buckwheat grows so quickly that it does not usually require a lot of pesticides or other chemicals to grow well. It truly is an amazing flour to make pancakes with. Honestly, I did not make my pancakes in the tradional French style but they were well recieved when I served them for dinner this week.
Equipment needed for the pancake mix
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring jug
- Frying pan
- Baking tray
Equipment needed for the filling
- Chopping board
- Stirring spoon
- Cheese grater
Ingredients needed for the pancake mix
- Buckwheat flour x 200g
- Almond milk x 250mls (I use Rude Health)
- Eggs x 2 large
- Pinch of salt
Ingredients for the Filling
- Onion x 1
- Garlic x 2 cloves
- Yellow pepper x 1
- Chicken or vegetable stock x 150mls
- Mascarpone cheese x 200g
- Ham x 100g
- Mature cheddar x 150g grated
- Salt and pepper
- Coconut or olive oil for frying
Method for making the filling.
- Start by slicing the onion, garlic and chopping the yellow pepper.
- Put the saucepan on a medium heat and fry the onion and yellow pepper.
- Once the vegetables have started to soften add the stock and letting it heat up.
- Turn it down to simmer and add the mascopone cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir occasionally making sure it does not burn.
- Leave on the hob while you make the pancakes.
Method for making the pancake mix
- Start by weighing out the flour in the mixing bowl.
- Then add the milk gradually while continously whisking.
- Once all the milk is added whisk vigoursly until the mixture is smooth and silky.
- Then leave the mix for 24 hours.
- After the 24 hours add the eggs and the salt and whisk again until everything is disolved.
- Place the frying pan on the a high heat.
- Take a ladle full of the pancake mix and add to the hot pan.
- Tilt the mix until it’s spread evenly all over the pan.
- Cook until it looks as though the pancake is drying out.
- Turn the pancake over and cook on the other side.
- Then take out and place on the baking tray ready for the filling.
- Repeat the above process and you should end up with about eight pancakes.
Method for putting them together.
- Remove the cheese sauce from the hob and grate about 80g of cheddar into the sauce.
- Stir in the grated cheese until it all melts.
- Next chop the ham and add it to the mixture.
- Spread your cheese sauce mixture over half of the pancake and then fold the other half on top.
- Continue to do this for all of the pancakes.
- Sprinkle the leftover grated cheese on top of the pancakes.
- Finally place under a hot grill until the cheese starts to melt.
Galettes are tradionally served with ham, cheese and a fried egg in the middle. However, they were enjoyed by my family without the fried egg. We really enjoyed our time in Northern France and we loved trying the local food too. A fantasic trip and if you try this recipe, as always, we hope you enjoy.