Crepes

25 Jul

Specialty crepes are the new delicious trend in town, but both the Emporium and Javapalooza charge between $6 and $12 for one.  If you make your own you’ll get 8-10 times that, for the same price 🙂  If you check out the list of stuff I keep around, you’ll notice that the only thing I had to buy for this meal was fresh mozzerella… which was maybe $3.  Even the shrimp I had in the freezer already.

Crepes with lemon and black pepper shrimp (right) and Florentine fresh mozzerella (left)

Basic Recipe Adapted from Hamlyn

-Vegetarian-

Prep: 5-10 minutes

Cook: 20-30 minutes

Makes: 10 or more crepes, depending on thickness


BASIC CREPES*

*My mother and grandmother each have one pan in their kitchen SPECIFICALLY for crepesWhile this is absurd on a student budget, it speaks to the importance of the pan in the crepe-making process.  The one you use should be 7-8 inches and heavy with a good handle.  Teflon is great, but you can also use cast-iron or heavy steel.  I use a plain steel omelet pan with a smooth inside (I use it for almost everything actually)– don’t be using jankety pans!  (Your crepes will stick to them and all the joy will be gone from your world.)

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour (or whole wheat, if you like)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • butter (None of this “I can’t believe it’s not butter” BS.)
  1. Mix flour and salt together in a big mixing bowl
  2. Make an inch deep indentation in the center of the bowl, about the size of your fist.
  3. Pour the eggs and some of the liquid into this indentation.  Gradually incorporate the flour (use a whisk if you have one).  The idea is to introduce the flour gradually so that your batter stays smooth, rather than introducing it all at once and making big clumps.  Once you have a smooth paste, continue adding liquid until you have a smooth, thin batter with no lumps.  You can’t really over-mix crepes.  You want this to be liquidy and pourable.  Set aside.
  4. Put a big square of butter into your pan and heat it until it begins to produce smoke.  (Anticipating this, you should probably take note of your smoke detectors before you start cooking.)  Once this happens, pour off the excess butter into the trash.
  5. Add a little of the batter to the pan, tilting it quickly until the base is coated all over with a very thin layer.  It will take some practice to get the feel of how much you should be using, so don’t worry if this one doesn’t come out well.  Cook it for a minute or two, until the batter begins to curl away from the side of the pan.
  6. Flip the crepe over and cook it for another 30 seconds or so, until it’s golden.  Then slip it out of the pan and place it on a plate.
  7. The first crepe of the day is usually kind of weird looking.  Destroy the evidence.  Heck, if you need more evidence to destroy, get excited about the fact that the second one might be kind of weird looking too!
  8. Continue steps 5 and 6 until you have no more batter.  You should now have a mountain of crepes!  No one would ever suspect that you surreptitiously devoured 5 of them.

These crepes will keep a few days refrigerated if you cover them in foil or saran wrap.  Put some wax paper in between each one if you want to keep them from sticking to each other.

 

FILLINGS

You can fill crepes will anything at all.  For the dinner crepes above I made two different super-easy sautee fillings on another burner while waiting for my crepes to cook.  Classic dessert crepes use chocolate, jam, orange butter, honey and lemon, Nutella, fruit, icecream, brown sugar, etc.

  1. For the lemon-pepper-shrimp filling: put some olive oil in a pan and briefly sautee some onions and shrimp until they are cooked.  Squirt with lemon and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. For the Florentine-mozzerella filling: put some olive oil in a pan and sautee some onion and fresh tomato.  Add some baby spinach and sautee a minute or so until wilted.  Put a couple slices of fresh mozzerella in the crepe and top with the sautee.  Nom!

LEFTOVERS!

I had about 8 crepes leftover after using 6 to make dinner and dessert for myself and a friend.  So for lunch the next day I put two crepes in the toaster oven with some cheese, sage, parsley, and sun-dried tomato, and had a Belgian brown sugar and lemon crepe for dessert.  It took 5 minutes to make 🙂 Nom.

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