Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes with Maple Creme Fraiche and Strawberries

I’ve been making pancakes on weekends lately. I’m a bit obsessed with buckwheat right now, and these buckwheat pancakes are a result of that. For the pancakes, I used yet another recipe from 101 Cookbooks – Heidi’s white whole wheat pancakes – I just substituted buckwheat flour in for the white whole wheat flour. Plus, I had fresh strawberries and creme fraiche on hand, so it all sounded like a perfect three-way marriage.


Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes
adapted from 101 Cookbooks

2 cups buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup natural granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Start by mixing all the dry ingredients together. Then add the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Mix together – Heidi says the mixture can be a bit lumpy, and indeed, mine was. Heat a skillet and melt a bit more butter in the skillet. Glop the batter in the pan. When the batter starts to bubble and you can easily slip a spatula underneath, flip the pancake and cook for another minute or two, until the pancake is cooked through. Due to a leveling problem with my stove, all my pancakes come out in large oval shapes, but hey, they work!

Maple Crème Fraiche

Start with the creme fraiche recipe found here. Take approximately 1 cup of the creme fraiche and mix with 2-3 tablespoons of quality maple syrup to taste. (do not buy that cheap stuff made with high fructose corn syrup – it’s not worth it!). Serve atop the pancakes.

Salmon with Dill Crème Fraiche

A few weeks ago, I attended the Family Farmed Expo, where, among other things, Chicago chefs demonstrated recipes using ingredients provided by local farmers. Dale Levitski of Top Chef fame and the Executive Chef at Sprout made a breakfast dish of steel cut oats with crème fraiche and citrus. I had no idea how easy it is to make crème fraiche, but when I realized that you just need to add a little buttermilk to heavy cream, I set off to make my first batch.



I also happened to run into some buddies from run club at the Expo, so when we were rehashing the event over our five miles the following Monday, I told them I needed ideas for what to do with my fresh soured cream. Juliana told me about this great and easy recipe – salmon smothered in crème fraiche with dill. Eric and I gobbled it up Saturday afternoon after a long run on a perfect spring day in Chicago. The lakefront was packed with runners, the water was an incredible turquoise blue, and I snapped these photos on my iPhone before making my way back home:



Salmon with Dill Crème Fraiche

1 -2 fillets of wild-caught Alaskan salmon
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
juice of 1/2 lemon
few sprig fresh dill

To prepare the crème fraiche, combine the heavy cream and buttermilk in a bowl. Cover with plastic, set the bowl on top of the fridge, and let it sit for 12 to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the thicker the cream will get, so it just depends on the consistency you want. The good bacteria working to sour the cream will keep it from going bad. When it’s ready, stir in the lemon juice and dill.

Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then smother it with dill crème fraiche. Broil or bake it for 15 minutes at 350, or until the salmon is opaque in the center.