Sunday Breakfast, Slow Cooked Bacon & Crêpes Sauvages

Anyone who knows me at all knows I enjoy a good meal and I particularly enjoy my time preparing good meals.  After a day of making jewelry wearing the Gary Dawson Designs hat, I like to play in my kitchen!  This past Sunday breakfast was no exception.  Slow is the way to cook bacon, BTW.  On a Sunday, you can have a reasonably low heat and take the good 15-20 minutes it takes to first render the fat from the bacon, and then slowly crisp it up.  Cooked this way it never sticks, even in a Stainless pan!

Crêpes Sauvages

Some years ago I came across an unusual recipe in my tattered copy of Joy of Cooking, a fantastic reference for all things culinary.  In the hard-copy version, you can find instruction for just about any cooking skill or recipe, from making blueberry muffins to breaking down a beef carcass. The recipe I landed upon was called Crêpes Sauvages and it produces a light, yet hearty flapjack-type pancake with a flavor similar to fried cornmeal mush, a flavor that maybe only a Southerner can immediately access in memory.  Although I grew up in Oregon, my Mom was from Alabama, and my food memories reflect a lot of that heritage.   Here’s the recipe, direct from JOC, along with the notes about the recipe that were included in my original cookbook…

About twenty thin 2-inch cakes

A distinguished botanist friend had as visitors on a field trip a Parisian confrère who traveled accompanied by his gifted Indonesian chef.  To amuse the chef, our friend cooked his favorite corn cakes for him over a campfire.  As he tossed the flapjacks, the chef cried out in delight, “Crêpes Sauvages!”

If you make this version up without the eggs, the pancakes become lacey.

1 1/3 cups white corn meal

1 ¼ t salt

½ t soda

¼ C sifted all-purpose flour

Cut into this with a pastry blender:

¼ C butter

Combine and beat:

2 C buttermilk

(1-2 eggs)

Stir the liquid into the sifted ingredients with a few swift strokes.  Make the cakes small for easier turning.   The batter settles readily, so beat it between spoonings.  To rest griddle, bake and serve, see About Pankes, page 211

From earlier versions of “Joy of Cooking”.  The recipe is in newer editions as “Crisp Corn Flapjacks” but without the backstory.

Lost & Found

During a move, or maybe a “relationship readjustment” I eventually lost my first Joy and was extremely dismayed that the newer version that I subsequently purchased did not have this recipe!  Alas, I had not yet started my personal recipe archive. So for years I missed this occasional breakfast treat.  But, lucky guy that I am, I ended up with Alysia, and amazingly, she had an older version of Joy.  I’ve since discovered that the recipe is in fact in newer versions of the book, but without the backstory and listed as “Crisp Corn Flapjacks”.

Enter Sourdough…and the Spirit of Adventure

While I really enjoy the recipe just as it is above, this last Sunday I decided to try making it with the addition of Sourdough.  It was good, great really but I’m my own worst critic.  I know what I’d do differently next time.  🙂

If you try this, let me know how it turns out!  I’d love to hear your story.





2 thoughts on “Sunday Breakfast, Slow Cooked Bacon & Crêpes Sauvages”

  1. My Joy has a broken spine, pages falling out, a burn emblazoned on the back and random notes scribbled on the final pages happily recalling milestones of my children’s vocabulary. It’s a history of 40 years in my kitchen and still -by far- my fave culinary bible (closely followed by the 2 volume set of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking). One serendipitous discovery regarding bacon not found either place: slathering thick cut slices with spicy whole grain mustard and sprinkling with brown sugar, then slowly baking. This results in a chewy side that will blow the socks off your flapjack breakfast. We reserve it here for “special occasions” because it is calorie and sugar laden … decadent and just too marvelous to have with any regularity. It IS however a must at Thanksgiving, Christmas and any birthday brunch (preferably served in bed)!

    1. I really try to not eat much sugar but you know, I do cheat and I might just make an exception for this. Especially if someone brought it to me in bed! 🙂 You must have seen the movie Julie/Julia? I’ve not attempted Child’s book but your comment is inspiring. I also bet you keep a recipe archive. Maybe we should do a little info trade one day. My archive is not deep but each recipe in it has been proven and gets back into my rotation. I’ve just discovered eggplant Parmesan thanks to Jamie Oliver and NYT cooking. Simple, elegant and oh, my…good. Why on earth did I wait so long for this? I’m repairing jewelry today while making a big batch of sourdough bread; flour, water, and salt. The way bread should be. Thanks for jumping in here, Linda! I hope we can sit and chat over endless glasses of wine in one of our kitchens one day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *