Sunday, January 9, 2011
This was a great lunch, but it was supposed to be breakfast. That's how long it took me to put the whole thing together. In hindsight, I really should have made the crepes yesterday, so that this morning all I would have to fuss with was the fillings.
I like crepes. So does Dev. But they seem so fussy, I've never really had the desire to make them at home. Well, that's not really true. I did make them once when we lived in Alamosa. They turned out well, but I really didn't have any clue what to fill them with, so I think I made chocolate ganache and filled them with that. But if you really think about it, crepes are really nothing more than French breakfast burritos!!
Fast forward a year or two, and Dev and I are in Denver, where Dev picks a crepe place for breakfast. Wow! Those people knew what to do with a crepe! I'm pretty sure I posted about that when I blogged the trip. Ever since then, I have been thinking about giving crepes another whirl.
Today was the day. I made my batter using this recipe:
Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell (Food Network)
Prep Time:10 minInactive Prep Time:30 minCook Time:30 min
Serves: 18 crepes
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup club soda
3 tablespoons melted butter, plus 3 tablespoons for cooking the crepes
In a mixing bowl, add the flour and salt and make a well in the center. Add the remaining ingredients, except the melted butter, into the center of the well and whisk together until just combined. The mixture should be like VERY loose pancake batter. If the mixture is a little thick, whisk in a little more milk. Let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes before using.
*Tip: Crepe batter can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered and refrigerated.
Melt about a 1/2 teaspoon of butter in a small nonstick saute pan. The butter should coat the bottom of the pan, if there is a lot of excess, wipe it out with a paper towel. Keep the paper towel handy in case you need it again (you will).
Put the pan over medium heat. Fill a 2-ounce ladle, almost to the top, with batter and pour it into the preheated pan, tipping and rolling the pan, as you ladle the batter, to evenly cover the bottom. This will take a little practice, even when you are an experienced crepe maker the first couple always get wasted. Accept it and move on.
When the edges of the crepe begin to pull away from the edges of the pan and the bottom begins to brown a little, turn the crepe over and cook it for about 1 minute on the other side. Remove the crepe from the pan to a plate and let cool. Stack the crepes as they are cooked between parchment paper squares. Repeat this process, until all the batter is used, wiping the pan with your paper towel or melting a little more butter to the pan, as needed.
I did everything exactly by the recipe- although I did notice that in the ingredient listing, it calls for basically 6 tablespoons of butter, divided. But then it says use 3 tablespoons to grease the pan. Where do the other 3 tablespoons go? I melted them and put them in the batter. Why, you ask? Because last night on Create TV I saw Ming Tsai do a crepe recipe, where he added melted butter to the batter. So that's why. It worked fine.
The only problematic thing is, the recipe says it makes 18 crepes. Assuming the first couple turn out horribly and are eaten at the stove, that means you can serve around 16. My batter made 8. Oops. I'm figuring my batter was too thick, and I should have added more club soda. But my crepes weren't horribly thick or doughey. Hmmmm. I apparently haven't worked with crepes enough to know what a good batter consistency is. Next time I'll add more water and see how far it goes.
After I had made my 8 crepes, I moved on to fillings. Dev wanted bacon and eggs and I wanted spinach, feta and tomato. Exactly the same as we ordered at the restaurant in Denver. I did mine first, because I thought it would hold in a warm oven better than scrambled eggs would.
I had no recipe for my filling, but that never stops me from doing anything! :) I finely minced one small shallot (but you could use anything that is vaguely oniony- no one will be the wiser), rough chopped a couple of handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves and quartered 4 compari tomatoes. In the same pan I made the crepes in , I melted about a tablespoon of butter (I would have used olive oil, but I was being French!). When it was hot and melty, I threw in the shallots and scooted them around until they were soft. Then I added the tomatoes and let them release their juice. A pinch of salt went in as I mixed them around. I decided it looked too dry, so I went to the fridge to pull out my bottle of red wine, but it was gone (a casualty of last night's pizza sauce session), so I added a glop of the marinara I made last night. After that festered a few minutes, I threw in some red pepper flakes and the chopped spinach. After the spinach wilted, I took it off the heat and mixed in about half a cup of feta cheese, crumbled.
Dev's filling was much plainer. I whisked 3 eggs, a dash of Sri Racha hot sauce, a splash of half and half and some salt together. After I wiped out the pan I used for my filling, I melted a tablespoon of butter and soft scrambled the eggs. Oh- I didn't say this before, but when I started making the crepe batter, I put 6 slices of bacon on a cooling rack in a sheet tray and put them in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. When I was ready to assemble Dev's crepes, I put the eggs and 2 slices of bacon in each crepe. I garnished his with some ancho chili powder (because he likes to sprinkle that on his scrambled eggs anyway).
I wiped the skillet out again and fried a sunny side up egg to put on top of my crepes, and it was done!