Monday, September 27, 2010

Crepes: The versatile food *UPDATED WITH PICTURES*

Sorry it's been a while since my last post. The whole family came down with a flu or something! We are still recovering, but hopefully we will soon be back on track.
Anyway, I love crepes. There is something about the lovely lacy bubbles that form on the thin pancake like surface that just make me want to gobble them up. Whenever I make them they go pretty fast, even the one year old will eat at least two of them!
My favorite thing about crepes is that they are very versatile. The best dessert I ever had was a dark chocolate crepe with raspberry filling and an orange liquer sauce, but my favorite way to eat crepes is with savory fillings. Below are two recipes for crepe batter, one sweet, one savory. Fill them with whatever you think sounds good! Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers between sheets of waxed paper in a freezer bag for a quick meal some other night.

Chive crepes

3/4 to 1 cup milk, divided
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 tablespoons minced chives
Cooking Spray

1. In a blender, pour in three-quarters cup milk, one-half cup water and the eggs, and pulse two or three times until smooth. Add the salt and flour. Blend the batter until smooth. With the blender running, add the melted butter. The batter should be as thick as heavy cream. If necessary, add up to one-quarter cup more milk to get the desired thickness. Strain the batter into a bowl, stir in the chives, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

2. Heat an 8- to 9-inch nonstick skillet or crepe pan over medium-high heat until a few drops of water skitter when sprinkled on the surface. lightly spray the pan with a thin coat of cooking spray.

3. Stir the batter to redistribute the chives and pour one-fourth cup into the center of the skillet. Swirl the skillet quickly so that the batter completely covers the bottom. Pour the excess batter back into the bowl, trimming with a spatula any ragged edges before they set. Return the skillet to the heat and cook until the surface of the crepe firms and dries, about 1 minute. Using a small spatula or table knife, gently lift the edges of the crepe. Grab the edges with your fingertips and quickly flip over the crepe; the cooked side should be lightly colored. Cook the uncooked side just until the crepe slides free in the pan, about 30 seconds. Remove the crepe to a plate.

4. Repeat until all of the batter is used, adding more butter as needed. Layer the crepes with a piece of wax paper between each to prevent sticking.

Serving Suggestions: Fill with your favorite cheese, vegetables, or beans. Our family favorite is Tomatoes and peas with cheddar cheese. Also try filling with a grain, such as rice or couscous. Below is a picture of one idea, these crepes were filled with a pepper goat-cheese filling and tied with a fresh chive. The recipe for the filling will be coming later.

Sweet Crepes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking Spray

1.Put the flour and salt and in a large mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, and then whisk in the sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

2.Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with a thin coat of cooking spray

3.Add 1/4 cup of the batter and move your wrist in a circular pattern to coat the pan with thin even layer of batter. Cook for about 1 minute or until the first side browns lightly, then flip and cook 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.

Fill with jam, honey, berries, sugar, chocolate hazelnut spread, peanut butter, bananas, or my personal favorite, ice cream!
Below is an easy preparation, perfect for last minute guests, all of the ingredients are freezer staples! The recipe will be coming later!

I hope you enjoy trying these recipes, be creative and make them your own! Try topping savory crepes with a homemade sour cream sauce, super yummy!