Monday, March 30, 2009

More than you ever wanted to know about crepes

David and I have been on what you might call a crepe binge of late. I've had a crepe recipe on a sticky note clinging to my kitchen cabinets for the last few weeks, so I decided to try it before it lost all hope and released itself onto the floor, and eventually the trash can. A week later, we've had crepes approximately 53 times (or at least 4), all with great success.

You should make crepes too! And here's why: (1) They're super easy. (2) You can make the batter in advance and just cook 'em up whenever you want. (3) They are like a blank canvas and take to whatever you stuff in them. (4) You can use the SAME batter for dinner AND dessert. Brilliance. (5) While they're best fresh, they're really not so bad on day 2, so fill and fold, stick in a tupperware, and break it out at lunch time the next day.

Below is a very basic recipe. We've also had success with beer-batter, and I've wanted to try buckwheat, maybe you can try some out and let me know how it goes... Heads up: the batter requires at least an hour of resting time, so plan accordingly, but it can also hang out up to 2 days in the fridge. So if you want them for dinner, stir together the batter in the morn' before you leave for work. It's pretty much instantaneous after that.

Basic Crepes
(c/o 1,001 recipes I researched online)

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk (warm-ish)
3 Tbsp butter, melted

Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl. Add eggs, milk and butter, whisking really well until no more lumps appear. This may take a few minutes. (The milk is warm-ish because you don't want the melted butter to immediately chill back into solid butter when it hits the bowl. 20 seconds in the micro should do it.)

Alternately, load everything in a blender and let 'er rip for a minute or so.

Cover in plastic and let sit at least an hour and up to 2 days.

When ready to use, stir batter (it may have separated) and break out your NONSTICK pan -- this is important -- and set it over medium-high heat. Using either butter or cooking spray, oil the pan and pour about 3 Tbsp of batter (just over half of your 1/4 cup measuring device). The amount will vary depending on the size of your pan. If all you have is a little guy, use only 2 Tbsp batter. If you have a mama-jama 12-incher, use a full 1/4 cup.

When the batter hits the pan, lift the handle and swirl to make a super-thin layer of crepey goodness. Cook 1 minute. Using a spatula, go around the entire perimeter of the crepe, releasing the edges. Carefully flip using the spatula or your hands. Cook another minute. Eat immediately.

So we've had success with several different fillings, but the important part is to KEEP IT SIMPLE. The batter will take to almost anything, but don't load it down with a bunch of complicated, greasy stuff.
  • Super thin sliced potatoes sauteed briefly with thin slices of red onion, added a few leaves of wilted spinach with preserved (or just plain) lemons. Sprinkled with feta.
  • Sauteed shredded sprouts + leeks + garlic. Combined with cream and a touch of goat cheese = creamy filling.
  • For dessert, nothing is better than strawberries and whipped cream, except maybe strawberries, whipped cream, and nutella
  • Another winner? Any jam you have in your fridge, preferably warmed

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