Tuesday, April 03, 2012

C is for Crepes

Eating: Okay, so I was a French major (also a math major, but that's got nothing to do with this post) and I love crepes.  I liked them pretty well when we made them in high school, carefully dipping the crepe maker into the batter, hoping it wouldn't slip off before I flipped it back over.  But I really came to love and fully appreciate all that crepes can be when I studied in France for 6 months while in college.  My first evening in Paris, we went to the Quartier Latin and I had my first street crepe.  I watched in awe as they poured out just the right amount of batter onto the flat griddle, levelling and spreading it out thin, flipping it somehow without ripping it, and spreading on the delicious Nutella.  Then they rolled it oh-so-precisely into the wax paper and received their 12 francs in exchange (now I have revealed that I was there pre-euro...)  The melty chocolate/hazelnut spread inside that delicate thin pancake...the thought of it is making my mouth water even now, 20 years later. 

I later discovered crepes equally tasty with just butter and sugar, with fruit and whipped cream, one extremely messy one with chocolate that dripped down the front of my jacket, and savory crepes.  I have yet to find the right recipe to make savory crepes on my own but my favorite combination in France strangely involved egg (I typically do not like eggs much), tomato and cheese.

Crepes are easy to make.  I either cook up the whole batch and keep them stacked (with wax paper between each one) and covered until serving, or I stir up the batter and refrigerate, making a few at a time each day until the batter is gone.  They also will freeze, I am told.  I have not tried it but if I did, I would make sure they were in airtight freezer bags with wax paper between each one.

This is the recipe I use for the batter.  I have found a small non-stick saute pan is all that you need - don't waste your money on fancy crepe griddles or the little electric one that you dip upside down like we had in French class. Directions are in recipe below.  Serve hot or cool.  You can go fancy with your filling (I have made homemade cherry sauce and caramelized apples with maple syrup) or simple (Nutella, chocolate pudding, jam, applesauce).  E loved when we toasted some slivered almonds and sprinkled them on the Nutella. Sometimes I like them with Nutella, cherry sauce, almonds and freshly whipped cream (these are not street crepes - they are eat-on-a-plate crepes).  Experiment and see what you like.

Crepes (From Betty Crocker Cookbook, aka "Big Red")
1 1/2 C flour
1 T sugar
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 C milk
2 T margarine or butter, melted
1/2 t vanilla
2 eggs

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.  Stir in remaining.  Beat with hand beater until smooth.  Heat skillet (butter the skillet if it is not non-stick).  For each crepe, pour scant 1/4 C batter into skillet.  Immediately rotate skillet until thin film covers the bottom (and up the sides a bit, depending on size of pan). Cook until light brown. Run a spatula around the outside edge to loosen, turn (see if you can flip it one handed!) and cook other side until light brown. Stack, placing waxed paper between each; keep covered.

Bon appetit!
A la prochaine,
Hallie

1 comment:

Damyanti said...

Fab recipe---will try it this weekend!

Look forward to your challenge run…
--Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

Twitter: @AprilA2Z
#atozchallenge

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