Sunday, February 26, 2012

Crêpes Chez Nicole

Having just completed a couple of large projects, I’m back in the kitchen earlier than expected! I’ve missed you, Dollinks, and I’ve certainly missed cooking. When two of our grand-daughters came to visit this weekend, we invited them to choose what they wanted for breakfast.
Sydney Fisher, crepe lover
“Strawberry crêpes!” they screamed. Hmmm ... a very good idea! 
I bought my crêpe pan for $5 at a garage sale in Arizona. How anyone could sell such a beautiful kitchen tool, I can’t imagine! I don’t make crêpes often enough: Whether sweet or savory, crêpes are always delicious! 
Saturday morning, Ron and I prepared two sweet crêpe fillings: Ron simmered a couple of sliced apples in a small amount of water and in ¼ c. maple syrup for about 15 minutes (If I’d had my druthers, I would have tossed in a flurry of raisins). Ron added a pinch of cinnamon, setting the mixture aside until the crêpes were ready. This filling was deliciously hot. 

Lyndsay Fisher: So many crepes,
so little time!
Meanwhile, I washed, hulled, and sliced some fresh strawberries, sugaring them lightly so the juices would start to flow. To that, I added a handful of blueberries. This filling was deliciously cold. Spooning each filling onto freshly made crêpes, I presented our young guests with two different fillings.
Did you say “Whipping cream bomb?” But of course! That’s half the fun!
Here’s my easy recipe for Crêpes. Not only do crêpes make a great breakfast, but also a delicious dessert. With a savory filling - cooked asparagus and ham in Béchamel Sauce, for example - they make a terrific lunch or light dinner. 
After you’ve mixed the batter in the blender, be sure to refrigerate it for a couple of hours to reduce the number of air pockets in your freshly made crêpes. If you’re pressed for time, cook the crêpes a day in advance, layering waxed paper between each. This thin batter produces delicate crêpes that brown beautifully. Use a heated cast iron or electric crêpe pan to make them; cooked in a regular skillet or on the griddle, they will not be as successful.
Crêpes Chez Nicole:
3 eggs
1-½ c. milk (I used reduced-fat milk)
1 tbsp. melted butter or margarine
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 c. all-purpose flour
⅛ tsp. salt
Add all ingredients to blender goblet in the order listed. Process on low setting until all lumps disappear, scraping down sides of blender with a spatula. Chill and set aside several hours or overnight. When needed, pour batter into a shallow 9-inch pie pan.
Lightly oil 7-inch non-stick crêpe pan, wiping away excess oil with a paper towel. Heat pan on medium-high or until light signals optimum heat. Dip heated top of pan into crêpe batter 3-to-5 seconds. Be prepared to waste the first crêpe; this is normal. Repeat process, allowing crepe to cook until signal light turns off. 
Place a square of waxed paper on a wire rack. Loosen crêpe by running a spatula around edge of crêpe pan while pan is upside down. Repeat with layers of waxed paper between crêpes. Fill crêpes immediately or refrigerate and store, as above.
When ready to serve, drop crêpe pale-side up from waxed paper onto serving plate. Ladle with a scant amount of your choice of filling (Less is more, in crêpe-making! Too much filling could tear the delicate crêpes!). Decorate sweet crêpes with whipping cream just before serving. Yields 12 crêpes.
Note: Ron made the apple filling from scratch for Saturday’s breakfast crêpes. Because breakfast is a busy time and everyone’s always hungry, I cheat by opening a can of cooked apples or fruit pie filling. As much as I enjoy cooking, there’s more to life than hanging around a kitchen!

Three eggs, mes chouchous ...
A little milk ...

Flour, salt, butter, oil ...

Mix up the sweet fillings of your choice

Simmer apples in water and maple syrup

After letting batter sit, pour into shallow pie pan

Heat crepe pan before dipping into batter

Dip only a few seconds

Allow crepe to cook on pan surface

The scrumptious result: A pliable but paper-thin crepe 

Add your choice of filling, rolling up crepe  

Garnish with whipped cream, serving at once

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