Monday, September 06, 2010

Crepes Scott! Why Did I Think This Was Difficult???

About 11ish or so years ago, my super cute boyfriend with the leather jacket and persuasive eyes begged me to make crepes and I tried because I was in luuuuuuuuuvvvvvvvvvv. And then I spent a whole lot of time cursing my burnt finger tips and said boyfriend for asking me to do something I couldn't managed.  And, much like high school volleyball, if I wasn't gonna be amazing at it the first time, screw it. I can spin sugar and make gorgeous fondant flowers and mold chocolates but I failed making crepes the first time I tried and I never went back. 

Why do I confess this stuff?

Crepes, darlings, are easy....that's why the French make them ('s a joke. Save the hate mail.)

What is difficult is remembering to mix up the batter at least an hour before you want them so it can rest properly.

Crepe recipes are actually a dime a dozen and you should feel free to find one that works for you. Personally, I hate using the ones that call for lots of milk. Anyone who's opened the fridge on a school morning and found 2 tablespoons of skim for their kid's cereal knows why.

Warming my eggs.
This particular recipe needs at least a half an hour to rest in the fridge once it is whisked up. That allows the milk and flour to work their magic. I wouldn't mix it up more than 12 hours in advance myself.

The recipe also calls for 3 eggs at room temperature. Rather than tempt the gods of food poisoning that seem to be rampant this summer, try this little the number of eggs you need in a bowl and cover with room temperature water. The water will raise the temperature of the eggs quickly so you don't have to wait.

Alright, let's get some stuff together, Franco.

First of all, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heat proof bowl in the microwave. Let it cool.

In a larger bowl, blend together (you can sift this if you want, but-much like ironing, I take sifting as a quaint suggestion because I'm really freaking lazy)....blend together the following:

1 1/2 cup AP flour
1 tsp sugar
pinch of salt

flour mix with the eggs
the batter is fairly loose when
first whisked so
don't introduce it to
your friends
Now, crack your eggs in a small bowl and whisk gently before whisking into your flour mixture. The mixture will be glumpy and goopy (*massive use of technical terms today). To this glop, slowly whisk in 1 1/2 cups of milk. Keep whisking until the lumps are out. Now add the 2 tablespoons of cooled butter. IF you are making these to fill with sweet stuff, add a teaspoon of vanilla. IF you aren't sure, leave plain. IF you are making savory crepes, feel free to add a teaspoon of chopped herbs.

Wrap with plastic and chill in the fridge for at least a half hour.

Meanwhile, gather your tools. You'll need a wide skillet (I prefer non-stick). An offset spatula (such as you would use to ice a cake; I like my mini one for this). A pastry brush and small container of either vegetable oil or melted butter. A ladle.

I keep a plate to stack everything on as they cook. I cover the stack with a bowl that helps keep everything warm until I am ready to serve. This isn't exactly a fancy set up-just a metal bowl that fits on a plate.

Now, when it's time to get cooking, heat your skillet to a medium heat and brush the skillet with a little oil or butter. Ladle in the batter and quickly swirl the batter around the base of the skillet. This gives a lighter, more delicate crepe.

You will quickly notice the batter bubble and then lose it's "wet" look. If you're skillet is too hot, this will happen so quickly you can't act before burning the crepe, so adjust heat accordingly. With the offset, lift an edge of the crepe and quickly flip it to brown the other side. There are tons of suggestions of how to do this "properly" but I say whatever way you get the little bugger flipped without losing your fingerprints is good.

In a few moments, the second side will be done and the crepe can be removed from the skillet and stacked on the plate.

Brush the skillet with more oil or butter and repeat the process.

Crepes can be made in advance to freeze. Simply layer them with parchment or waxed paper in between and seal in a ziploc. They make a delicate alternative to tortillas or spring roll wrappers.

Mr. Devlin will tell you the proper ways to eat crepes butter and sugar or whipped cream and chocolate. Perfectly acceptable. I like mine with jam. Thing 1 likes cinnamon sugar.

OR.....wild mushroom ragu topped with shaved parmesan. Or fill with steamed asparagus and top with hollandaise. OR crab and shrimp in a bechamel. OR fill with pulled pork and sauce and serve with gerkins. OR cook down some berries with a little sugar and lemon juice just until the fruit releases its juices....and lots and lots of fresh whipped cream of course.

Pretty much a blank canvas, so go crazy.

Now I'm wondering if I can still serve a volleyball....


ash said...

love love love this post, court!

will be making them soon :-)

akr said...

So I may not always comment but I always read and you constantly give me great ideas and inspire me to be brave in the kitchen! We used to make crepes in French class and have them with Nutella...yummmmmm!