I am putting it out there, Rachel Khoo is a big spunk. Don’t worry Yak, nowt wrong with appreciating beauty from a distance. Not only is this dark haired lass easy on the eye, she also cooks delightful dishes in her teeny tiny Paris kitchen. Her food is inspiring, beautiful and I love how she puts her own personal twist on classic French cooking.
I have been reading her second cookbook, My Little French Kitchen, in which Rachel gets out amongst it and looks at regional food throughout France. Dishes on my ‘to do’ list from this cookbook include a carrot tarte tatin, a walnut and buckwheat caramel tart and this ‘summer on a plate’ dish of a vegetable millefeuilles.
This recipe is from the ‘Brittany’ chapter and this millefeuilles is essentially a multi-layered veggie pie made of Breton buckwheat galettes. Rachel tells us that these savoury pancakes are always made of buckwheat and are best enjoyed with a bottle of the locally produced cider. Good news for Mr Yak who can no longer enjoy beer as he once did.
It was New Years Eve and just the Yak, the lads, my sweet self and The Dadmeister aka Mr Bagpipes, were in da house. We began with a delightful cheese moment. A mouth watering squishy Saint from Bruny Island, a fudgy tangy surface ripened cheese. This could be it people, the most awesome cheese I have ever eaten. Ripened just a smidgen past ‘delicate’ it is almost nutty with a back taste of that delicious moldy penicillin flavour. An extra happy note for all you vegetarians, these cheeses are all rennet free! Oh yeah…
Back to the millefeuille. A great entertaining vegetarian dish. It sings in a soprano voice of all things summer and next time I will be adding a dash of goats or feta cheese to one or two layers. When making your crepes, don’t be pernickety about the size of your frypan, just swirl the mixture around until you have the right size. Lord, making crepes is like watching paint dry. The extremes you will go to when you have a lady crush, (and are also very hungry.)
TOMATO AND LENTIL MILLEFEUILLES
WHAT YOU NEED
200g buckwheat flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
600ml cold water
Vegetable oil, for frying
100g Puy or beluga lentils (French green lentils)
1 large zucchini, chopped into 3mm cubes
2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped into 3mm cubes (I used one red and one yellow)
200g cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
300g assorted tomatoes (a mix of heirloom green, yellow and red would be great if you can find them)
1 tbsp lemon thyme
HOW YOU DO IT
Mix the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
Make a well in the centre and gradually mix in the water, adding just enough for the batter to have the consistency of double cream. Don’t over stir as this will produce rubbery galettes. Cover the batter and chill in the fridge for at least one hour, or overnight. Before using, whisk again and add more water if necessary.
Heat a 15-18 cm non-stick crepe pan or a small frying pan over a medium heat and brush with a little vegetable oil. Pour in a small ladleful of the batter and quickly swirl the pan so that the batter coats the base entirely. Cook for 1-2 minutes, loosen around the edge with a spatula, then turn it over and cook for a further minute.
Slide the galette out of the pan, then repeat to make 12 galettes, greasing the pan with a little oil each time.
Stack the galettes with layers of kitchen towel or baking paper between each one.
Cook the lentils in boiling salted water until just tender.
Drain and mix together with the zucchini, peppers, cherry tomatoes, onion and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a loose-bottom round baking tin (the size of the galettes, my tin was 9cm high with a 19cm base) with baking paper.
Place one galette at the bottom of the tin. Spread with some of the lentil mixture then top with another galette. Repeat until you have used up all the galettes, ensuring you finished with a galette. (My mixture made 11 galettes.)
Slice the mixed tomatoes (in my case I didn’t have a fancy mixture of heirloom tomatoes so made do with the ones I had) and pack them tightly on top of the galettes. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the thyme.
Cook for 20 minutes, carefully remove it from the baking tin, slice and eat hot.
Cooking Notes: My millefeuilles was 9 crepes high and I had a dash of the filling left over.
Recipe from My Little French Kitchen by Rachel Koo, Published by the Penguin Group, 2013
A quick thanks to the following blogs for passing on some very kind awards. It was lovely to be mentioned and thought of. Please go and check out these cool bloggers when you are kicking back this holiday season with a cup of whatever takes your fancy. The Cheergerm and Yak family are off camping for two weeks and Mr Bagpipes is in control of house and dog. We are hoping he doesn’t trash the joint with too many parties while we are gone. (He has said that invitations have already been issued.) Stay tuned for some Camping Cheergerm posts.
Vegas Hungry Girl
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