Saturday, August 10, 2013

CHICKPEA-CARROT CREPES WITH WATERCRESS SAUCE




I love the bags of multicoloured carrots from Ettrick Gardens at the Saturday farmer's market. Grated into chickpea crepes, they add colour and texture and balance out any bitterness from the flour. I also used tofu and watercress from the market in the meal. I would totally just eat the crepes by themselves, with my hands, hovering over the frying pan (and by "I would" I obviously mean "I have and normally do"). I was feeling a bit more ambitious today. The meal has four parts, assembled together, and each could be altered to suit. I like to make a lot of batter mostly because I like to have a large error margin for crepe botch-ups, and also because its easy to use the batter the next day. I'm going to use extra batter to make chickpea fries tomorrow. This recipe will make enough crepes for 5-6 servings, probably. I have no idea what a serving really is, but I think this would make about 6 crepes (and maybe one or two "mistakes").

Ingredients

Crepes:
2 cups chickpea flour
2 cups finely grated carrots of various colors.
2 cups of water
1/2 T salt (or more, if you want)
2 T oil

Tofu-Cashew Ricotta:
1 container of firm tofu, or 1 bag from the farmer's market
3/4 to 1 cup cashews, soaked for 1/2 hour (but if you don't soak them, it's NBD)
juice from 1 lemon (you can also include pulp if you feel like digging it out)
1 heaping tsp miso
salt and pepper to taste
Water if necessary



Lentils:
1-2 onions, diced (the more the better, IMO)
1 cup lentils
2 T butter or oil

Sauce:
2 T vegan butter
2 T flour
3 cloves garlic
1 C water
1 C unsweetened soy milk
2 T nutritional yeast
2 healthy handfuls of watercress




Method

1. Start by making the batter. Combine chickpea flour and water. Whisk until there aren't bumps. It should be pretty thin. Add the grated carrot, oil, and salt. Mix. Set aside.

2. Make the lentils. I like my onions to cook for as long as possible. On low heat, melt the butter or add the oil to a frying pan. I put 2 tablespoons in the recipe, but realistically we all know more is always better. So put as much vegan fat as you feel comfortable with in a frying pan. Add the onions, and just let them cook for a long time. I'd start making other things in the meantime, just going back to stir them occasionally. Make sure the pan is on low, though. Don't burn your onions beyond a desired level.

3. Make the ricotta. Place everything in a food processor and blend until it refuses to blend anymore. If it seems to be too thick, and this is a total judgement call, just add a little water, but not too much. Set aside.

4. Make the watercress sauce. It's just a b├ęchamel. Over medium heat, melt vegan butter in a saucepan. Add the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes. Whisking while you pour, slowly add the water. It should be boiling, and if it's not, wait until it is before adding the milk. Slowly add soy milk. Add nutritional yeast. Whisk while you bring it to a low boil. It should be thick. Remove from heat, and put the sauce in a blender. Add fresh watercress. Blend. Put back into the saucepan, and reduce heat to very low, stirring occasionally. If it's getting too thick or looks like it might burn, just cover and remove from heat.

5. By now, your onions should be awesome. Almost as awesome as if you cooked them for another hour or two, but nobody has that kind of time. Add the lentils. Cook on medium-low.

6. Set oven to warm. On medium-low heat, heat a nonstick or cast iron skillet. Add some oil or cooking spray if it's the type of pan that will need it. The crepes will stick like crazy if there is no counter-sticking strategy employed. Pour some batter in the pan. There will probably be a clump of carrot. I manually disperse the shreds of carrot with my bare hands. I'm sure a fork or something could also be used. Don't worry if the crepe is in a weird shape. It's probably going to be and who cares.  The crepe will change colour a bit as it cooks. It should lose some of its glossiness and almost get a waxy look. I'd wait a couple minutes, even after it looks like it's cooked through. You probably won't burn these, but you will probably try to flip them too soon, if you're impatient like me. When its all cooked and you've held back, flip it over. The first crepe is always a mess for me and it never works out, so don't worry if this happens to you. Cook the giant mess of a crepe and then eat it while hovering over the pan. It's your destiny. Once it's flipped, cook 1 or 2 minutes. Put it on a plate.  Put the plate in the oven. Repeat however many times. When the crepes are done, put some lentils and tofu-cashew ricotta inside, and top with generous amount of watercress sauce. I also tried to throw a little balsamic reduction over it, because I had some handy. It looked nice but it took away the watercress flavour. I would not add balsamic again. It's just too much.

1 comment:

C Barmakian said...
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