Monday, March 19, 2007

Crepes! They aren't just for breakfast!

Here is a fun idea for the whole family or for a romantic evening in.... Crepes! They aren't that terribly complicated and you can put almost anything inside of them. We used a simple recipe of 1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups of skim milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
Mix it all together. You should have a thin batter. You don't need a crepe pan, any frying pan will do. Heat the pan to medium and spray it with a little cooking spray. You should put the batter in the middle of the pan and then sort of swirl it around. You want to cover the bottom of the pan. It will most likely take you a couple of tries to get a nice crepe but even Julia Child used to throw out the first one she made out of each batch! So don't get frustrated. Once you get the hang of it you'll be fine. This recipe makes about 10 - 10" crepes. They freeze well so don't worry if you aren't going to eat them all at one meal.

The recipe I used was inspired from the cookbook "A New England Table", a great resource for home style recipes.

We had crepes because I had bought some lovely asparagus at the grocery store and Tim isn't a big fan of them just steamed or sauteed with garlic so I wanted to dress them up a little. We had leftover ham from Christmas in the freezer so we pulled it out to go with the asparagus. Then I made a "mock" Hollandaise sauce.

Mix 1 cup of milk with 1 Tbsp of cornstarch and 1 egg yolk. Heat them in a pan over low -medium heat, stirring until thick. Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 Tbsp of butter, 2 1/2 Tbsp of lemon juice, 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard, 1 tbsp of sour cream and a pinch of salt and pepper.

I sauteed the asparagus and ham, which I had cut into strips. We then assembled the crepes by putting in some asparagus, ham, shredded mozzarella and mock Hollandaise sauce. The important thing is for everything to be warm. That way the cheese melts all through it.

You make your crepes with different things. Chicken and broccoli with cheddar cheese would be nice. Smoked salmon and spinach with a yogurt dill sauce. Lunch meat would work well since it's thinly sliced or leftover roasted meat would be nice too. Layer in some veggies like spinach or any other leafy green, green onions, chives, mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, zucchini, etc. Consider cheese if you like. Cheddar and mozzarella are good choices but what about brie or feta or Gouda? Remember crepes are french so hit that section in the cheese aisle. Sauces are optional but aside from Hollandaise, Bearnaise or any of the store bought fondue sauces will work. Or just add some herbs and seasonings to yogurt.

The nice part about crepes is that each family member can make their own. So if you have picky kids they can just put add the ingredients they like to their crepes.

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