Saturday, October 25, 2014

Crêpes: The Universal Meal Maker

I find that the more I read about the French the more I look at the American life differently.  As an American I have come to view the French crêpes as a breakfast meal.  Don't you? Those thin pancakes, for lack of a better description, always seem to be a sugary breakfast stuffed with whipped cream and strawberries.  Only after visiting France in the summer of 2009 did I start to view these thin disks in a different light. See pictures from my trip HERE. In France crêpes are multifaceted and in America they are a sugary breakfast that is doused in so many different toppings that you miss out on the taste of the crêpe itself.

There are categorically two types of crêpes: savory and sweet.  In France, the savory crepe is actually a dinner item as are eggs and soufflés and omelets.  Sweet crêpes, or the American breakfast mentioned above, are served as desserts.  Knowing this did not stop me from enjoying the delicious savory crepe filled with brie cheese and spinach while walking the streets of Paris. Or a nutella and banana crêpe like my sister is eating here.

With those found memories circling my subconscious, I decided to whip up a batch to use as pre-made lunches and dinners for the week.  Talk about menu planning!  I made sure to pack each one with adequate veggies and protein.  My favorite was the one packed with tuna and chives featured above.  I did all but lick my fingers when I ate it for lunch.  The breakfast crêpes I ate were filled with eggs and spinach and the occasional slice of cheese.  Pre-making the crêpes made meals a snap to prepare and having a game plan as to what types of crêpes I would make saved a ton of time.

I am not saying you need to go make crêpes right now, but you should go make crêpes right now.  Here is the recipe I used.  Hopefully it comes in handy.

Basis French Crepe Recipe (source):

Makes 12 7-inch crêpes

For the crêpes

3/4 cup 2% or whole milk
1/2 cup water
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional melted butter for the pan
Pinch salt

1. Place the milk, water, eggs, flour, melted butter, and salt in a blender in the order given. Pulse until blended, scraping down the sides of the blender container once. Refrigerate batter at least 1 hour and up to 48 hours. (This allows the bubbles to settle out so the crêpes are less likely to tear during cooking.)

2. If the batter has separated during refrigeration, stir it gently to blend. Because each crêpe needs to cool individually on a plate, set four plates (7 inches in diameter or larger) on a countertop, ready and waiting to receive the just-made crêpes.

3. Brush the bottom of a 6- to 7-inch nonstick skillet with butter to coat it lightly. Heat over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and pour a scant 1/4 cup batter into hot pan quickly swirling pan to coat the bottom of the pan with batter. Return to heat and cook until lightly browned on bottom and crepe flips easily, about 30 seconds. Using a thin pancake turner or heatproof spatula, flip crêpe and cook about 30 seconds more.

4. Slide crêpe out of pan and onto one of the plates. Repeat with remaining batter, buttering pan only if necessary. (Reduce heat to medium if crêpes brown too quickly.) Once you’ve made four crêpes, you can start stacking the cooled crêpes, freeing up a plate for stacking the next one hot out of the pan.


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