Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Crepe, Unfolded

I used to think of crepes as delicate and highly civilized fare, the kind of food that could only be made with specialty equipment or by someone who owns more than one house. But it turns out that they're basically pancakes with an intimidating name.

Lately I've been whipping up crepes as quickly and thoughtlessly as I blow my nose, which I've also been doing doing a lot of given that New England hasn't had a worse allergy season in seventeen years. Luckily for guests, I don't do both at the same time.

A crepe really is just a thin pancake, yet it has the power to transform simple ingredients into a satisfying one dish breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. You can fill them with almost anything you have on hand, especially small bits of precooked leftovers. For instance, if you have leftover steamed broccoli and you own a small amount of any kind of cheese, voila! Continental dining at its finest when you probably thought you needed to go to the store to make dinner.

I've experimented with different liquids, flours and amounts of egg, and they're all fine. Once you get the basic idea you'll get a feel for the batter and be able to improvise in no time.

If only dust mites and pollen were so easily manipulated into something so beautiful and delicious.


Easy Crepes

1 cup flour (I've been using spelt, wheat, or a combo)
1 egg (though 2 is better)
a pinch of salt
a dash of nutmeg (completely unnecessary)

Whisk the above ingredients together with enough water (or milk) to create a smooth batter that will easily pour.

Heat a non-stick pan lubricated with a small pad of butter (or oil). Skillets work fine but don't heat as evenly and require more fat.

Pour in a small amount of batter, and as it starts to set, spread the batter out doing that thing that people at crepe stands do, using your spatula. If you don't know what I mean, I'm sure you could find it on youtube.

Fill with whatever wasn't enough of a meal on its own. Some winning combos I've tried:

-leeks and scrambled eggs
-eggs, bacon, cheddar and steamed broccoli (pictured above and absolutely divine)
-ground beef and onion (basically my grandmother's blintzes)
-roasted eggplant and goat cheese


A little etymology lesson, especially for you, Karen:

DERIVATIVES: adjective - "crepey"

ORIGIN: late 18th cent.: French, from Old French "crespe:" ‘curled, frizzed,’ from Latin "crispus."

Stumble Upon Toolbar

1 comment:

Karen B said...

amazing lesson! I've always thought of "crepey" as the texture of elderly skin. didn't know this was related to the word for the food. that's a strange train of thought.