Things I Ate. (in a Crepe)

by Daniel on August 23rd, 2009

Spinach, Onion and Sun-Dried Tomato Crepes with a Lemon Cream Caper Sauce

I’m back! Well, to be completely honest, I never went anywhere. Janet once made a joke that she had to eat a lot before she posted here on MTFB and I responded that I need to wait six nine(?!) months before I posted on MTFB. But that I also had to eat a lot. Without both, nothing happens. Win? I think so. Now I’m here to make it up to you with a nice, leisurely post.

So what have I been up to that’s been keeping me so busy that I can’t even post regularly? Surprisingly, nothing really. A few months back I became part of the unemployed statistic. 11.9% in July in California! Your intuition may be screaming that this means I should have had enough time to post hundreds of posts by now, almost as often as a certain Mr. Kutcher on Twitter, but without the 140 character limitation. Fail? Possibly. But I haven’t been completely useless: I’ve been practicing being a proper house marm (haha, but seriously what is marm anyway?), mainly by cooking lots of food. Um, also I have been looking for a job.

Available for birthday parties and weddings too!

While I’m planning to eventually post on such culinary adventures, I wanted to include you all in my next adventure, which I am lovingly calling “Things I Ate. (in a Crepe).” Catchy right? I was excited about the possibilities and quickly told Janet.

Me: I finally have an interesting blog series idea! I call it Things I Ate in a Crepe. You can practically eat anything in a crepe!

Janet: Is this a CHALLENGE? You can’t eat everything in a crepe.

Me: I meant you can probably physically put something in a crepe an-

Janet: a STAPLER?! Can you eat a STAPLER in your CREPE?!

Yes.  As you can see, she thought it was genius. Who am I to deny genius? Using my awesome research skills I settled on a crepe recipe from the one and only, Julia Childs! Fitting since this movie is probably going to have lots of people making crepes and other kinds of delightful (and alcohol-laden) French cuisine. Here’s the recipe:

Julia Child’s Crepes Fine Sucrees
Batter for about 18 dessert crepes, 5-6 inches in diameter
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoon orange liqueur, rum or cognac
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (measure by sifting directly into dry-measure cups and leveling off)
5 Tb melted butter

Either whirl all ingredients at top speed in an electric blender for about 1 minute; or gradual work the liquids into the flour with an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat in the dry ingredients, and strain through a fine sieve. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, allowing flour particles to swell and soften. Cook the crepes in a 5- to 6-inch no-stick or cast-iron skillet. If batter seems too thick after you’ve tried your first crepe, beat in a tablespoon or so of water. If made in advance, stack crepes between layers of waxed paper or foil so they will not stick together.

To cook the crepes:

  • Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and, holding the handle of the pan in your right hand, pour with your left hand a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film. (Pour any batter that does not adhere to the pan back into your bowl; judge the amount for your next crepe accordingly.) This whole operation takes 2 or 3 seconds. The batter should be a very light cream, just thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. If, after making your first crepe, it seems too heavy, beat in a bit of water, a spoonful at a time. Your cooked crepe should be about 1/16-inch thick.
  • Return the pan to heat for 60 to 80 seconds. Then jerk and toss the pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crepe. Lift its edges with a spatula, and if the underside is a nice light brown, the crepe is ready for turning.
  • Turn the crepe by using two spatulas; or grasp the edges nearest you in your fingers and sweep it up toward you and over again into the pan in a reverse circle; or toss it over by a flip of the pan.
  • Brown lightly for about 30 seconds on the other side. This second side is rarely more than a spotty brown, and is always kept as the underneath or nonpublic aspect of the crepe.
  • Slide the crepe onto the plate. Grease the skillet again, heat to just smoking and proceed with the rest of the crepes. As soon as you’re used to the procedure, you can keep two pans going at once and make 24 crepes in less than half an hour.
  • Crepes may be kept warm by covering them with a dish and setting them over simmering water or in a 200-degree oven. Or they may be made several hours in advance and reheated when needed.

    Practice. Sometimes it makes things perfect.

    It’s actually really simple, though the first few crepes are usually practice since you are messing around with the batter to make sure it is the right consistency. Make sure you also grease the pan before each crepe. The name of the game here is to make the thinnest crepe you can, so while most recipes will recommend you pour 1/4 cup of batter into your pan, depending on the size of the pan, adjust it so your crepe doesn’t become a boring old pancake. With patience and some practice you’ll get a stack of crepes ready for your wildest flavor experiments.

    Crepes cooling on the rack.

    Which brings us to my first experiment, pictured at the top and directly below. I decided to test my savory crepe mettle and threw together what I’m calling Two Face, because I hadn’t actually named it and now we’re here.

    Look at all the TASTY!

    Imagine this and drool to your heart’s content: a crepe filled with sauteed spinach, onion and sun-dried tomatoes mixed with ricotta, complemented with a lemon cream sauce with capers and basil. The sweetness of the sun-dried tomatoes is countered perfectly by the saltiness of the capers and the acidity of the lemon flavor. The ricotta gave it body and united all the flavors into one creamy explosion in your mouth.

    But let’s not stop there shall we? My ultimate creation of the day was the S’more Crepe: A generous helping of jet-puffed marshmallow creme toasted with a hand torch and wrapped in a crepe, then smothered in a vanilla and amaretto flavored milk chocolate sauce, finally dusted with crushed graham cracker crumbs.

    S'more Crepe!

     The vital thing with this one is to make sure you toast the marshmallow cream and get a nice thin caramelized crust of flavor to add a little bit of texture and a hint of caramel. For the sauce I merely melted milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate (a ratio of 2:1) with heavy whipping cream (ratio ends up being 2:1:1 respectively) until it was smooth, then added half a tablespoon both of Amaretto and Vanilla extract. If you are a texture fiend, I urge you not to skip the crushed graham crackers, because finding the crunchiness of the crumbs in the sea of chocolate is like when you wear your favorite jacket and find $20 in the pocket.

    Anyway, that’s it for this chapter of “Things I Ate. (in a Crepe).” If you’re looking for recipes or more detailed instructions, let me know and I’ll add them as requested. The plan from here is to post again soon, but as Janet recently noted to me, she could have had a baby in the time between this post and my last. If any of you want to race, the timer starts now. I’ll try to have the next post before your baby gets here. If I do, I think you should name it after me.

    One Response to “Things I Ate. (in a Crepe)”

    1. Kim says:

      Those. Crepes. Look. Wonderful.

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