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Author Notes: This is what I invariably order when I eat out in a crêperie, and what I make most often at home too. They're super easy; plus, ham, cheese, ratatouille and eggs get along very well together. The ratatouille recipe here is a suggestion; honestly, I make a slightly different version every time, based on my mood and what I have around. As long as yours includes some combination of tomato, garlic, onion, zucchini, eggplant and pepper, along with fresh herbs like basil and thyme, you are in business. —Cristina Sciarra
Makes 4 crêpes
Crêpes Salées (these measurements come from David Lebovitz’s recipe for Buckwheat Crêpes, and yields about 20 crêpes)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons melted, plus more for cooking
- ½ cup buckwheat flour
- ¾ cup white flour
- 3 eggs
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together. If you are letting it rest overnight, cover the bowl and move it to the refrigerator. (Bring it to room temperature before you start cooking.) If it will only sit for 2 hours or so, cover it and keep it at room temperature.
- When you are ready to make the crêpes, locate your widest, flattest non-stick pan. Using a paper towel, rub a thin sheen of butter all over the pan, and then set it over medium heat. (You can repeat this for every new crêpe, but it usually isn’t necessary.)
- When the pan is hot, use a ladle to quickly drop a measure of the batter into the pan. Turn the pan in a wide circle, as quickly as you can, so that the batter distributes evenly and rapidly. You want as thin a pancake as possible. Don’t worry if the first one is a disaster; it’s part of the process. Save the disasters for yourself. You will get better with each crêpe.
- As the crêpes cook, pile them on a plate; you want to cook all of your crêpes before you start filling them.
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 white onion, minced
- a measure of good quality olive oil, divided
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 1 small Japanese eggplant, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- ¼ cup tasty, but now too vinegary to drink, red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 28-ounce can good quality crushed tomatoes
- 1 14-ounce can white beans
- sea salt and black pepper
- ½ pound black forest ham
- 1 cup aged Gruyere
- 4 eggs
- chives, minced
- Make the ratatouille: Heat some olive oil in a wide pan or Dutch oven. Add the minced garlic. When the garlic is fragrant, add the onion. When the onion is translucent, add the carrot. And so on and so forth; add the eggplant, the zucchini, the wine, the herbs, and the crushed tomato.
- Cover the pan a bit, and let the ratatouille simmer over low heat for a while. Add the white beans, and let it simmer for a while longer. It’s ok if the beans start to fall apart a little. The ratatouille can be made up to a few days ahead of time, and honestly, it tastes better with a little age.
- Fry your eggs: In a non-stick skillet, heat some more of that good quality olive oil. When the pan is quite warm, crack the egg. Sprinkle some salt and pepper onto the egg as it cooks. Cook one egg at a time, moving them to a small plate near the stove top as you go.
- Prepare the crepe: In your egg pan, lay down one of the buckwheat crepes, so it heats up a little. Layer: the ham, the ratatouille, the cheese (you want it to melt a little) and then the egg. Garnish the whole thing with chives, and a little drizzle of olive oil, if you like.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Pancakes, Sweet or Savory