Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chickpea Flour Crepes

One of the things that has been hardest for me, since having to stop eating wheat, is that I am cheap.

And the store-bought wheat-free alternatives are pretty pricey.  As are some of the flours needed for wheat-free baking - not to mention you have to do a bit of shopping to find all the different flours you need.

Enter... chickpea flour.  We have a large Indian population in the Chicago area, so most stores are fairly well stocked at this point with Indian ingredients.  Which inclues chickpea flour, which is less than three bucks for a small bag of it.

Cheap.  And it makes great crepes.

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoonds fine chickpea flour
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup low-fat milk (or water - both work)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Sift together the chickpea flour, all-purpose flour and salt.

2. Place the eggs, milk (or water) and olive oil in a blender, and turn on the machine. Add the flour, and blend for one minute. Transfer to a bowl or a large measuring cup. (You can also use a bowl and whisk together the ingredients. If blending by hand, put through a strainer.) Set aside for at least 30 minutes; if longer, put the bowl in the refrigerator.

*** DO NOT SKIP THE WAIT TIME.  It is honestly better to put the batter in the fridge overnight rather than skipping this step.  It gives it all time to blend - makes it easier to get rid of any lumps in the batter, and the flavors seem to mellow a bit (you get more "chickpea" taste than "bitter").  Seriously.  Waiting is the key.  Let it go for AT LEAST 30 minutes. ***

3. Heat a well-seasoned or non-stick crêpe pan over medium-high heat, and brush lightly with olive oil. For 6-inch crêpes, ladle in 2 to 3 tablespoons batter per crêpe; for 8-inch crêpes, use 1/4 cup, enough to just cover the pan. The batter should sizzle when it hits the pan. Tilt the pan to distribute the batter evenly, and cook on the first side for less than a minute until nicely colored and easy to flip over. Flip and cook for another 30 seconds, then remove from the pan. Stack the crêpes on a plate as they are done. To reheat, wrap in foil and place in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes. Alternately, reheat individually in a dry pan.

Yield: Eight 8-inch or 10 6-inch crêpes, serving four.

These have become my new alternative to bread.  It is easy to make up a batch of them and stash them in the fridge so I can pull one out to make a quick wrap with some cheese and/or lunch meat for a quick lunch (you do have to be careful though, they can crack on you if they bend while they are cool... they can crack even when room temp since they have no wheat flour, but they stay pretty managable).

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