Crepes, and what to do with them

Crepes are a new favorite in our household - the batter comes together quickly (and can be made - in minutes - up to 3 days ahead . The flour will absorb more of the liquid as it sits, improving the texture of the finished product). The cooking does take some time (and skill - at first you might have a few offerings for the crepe gods), but once made, they're easy to freeze, making them a good contender for making in advance and freezing, then pulling out of the freezer in the morning before you want to serve them for dinner. 

IMG_20180319_185902446.jpg

 

Crepes are also a good vehicle for trying out flours made from different grains. I often do ½ cup buckwheat flour and ½ cup all-purpose flour, but any number of variations would work! The other night I made the batter from ½ cup whole wheat flour and ½ cup rye flour and it was so very delicious - and a good way to introduce kids to nutty, grainy flours, too. You could also add 2-3 tablespoons chopped herbs if you were feeling herbal - stir them in just before cooking. Finally, if you don't have 3 eggs, it will work with 2. If you are shy a little milk, substitute in a spoonful of yogurt. Point is: don't be shy about flexing and adapting as needed! 

All-Purpose Crepe Recipe/Makes 8

1 cup flour (try a half-cup of a couple different kinds, making one of the ½ cups wheat)

1 cup milk

½ cup water

3 eggs

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

About 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, for the pan

Place all ingredients (except for the butter) in a blender and blend until smooth. If making ahead, transfer to a jar with a lid and refrigerate for up to 2 days. If not, let stand for about 30 minutes (this helps the flour absorb the water and soften up - it makes the crepes more delicate).

Heat an 8-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn heat down to medium and add a small nub of butter. Swirl it around and when it’s melted and coating the pan, add about ¼ cup crepe batter. Lift pan off heat and swirl the batter around to create a light coating over the pan’s surface. If there is too much, return batter to the bowl or jar.

Return pan to heat and cook crepe for 1-2 minutes, until it bubbles, the edges are curling up, and you can see browning along the edges a little. Run a silicone spatula along the edge to help the crepe release, jiggle pan a bit to make sure the batter isn’t sticking, and flip. (You can also use your fingers or the spatula to coax it over.) Cook for another minute at most. Slide crepe onto a plate. Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter every 2 to 3 crepes.

If you are storing crepes in freezer or fridge for a future meal, stack them on a plate between pieces of wax or parchment paper and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Reheat in a warm skillet.

TO SERVE:

I like to serve crepes with a bunch of bowls of things:  plain strained or Greek yogurt, fruit and honey out (berries, citrus pieces, thinly sliced apples), as well as cooked veggies like beet or carrot salad, lettuce in vinaigrette, sauteed greens, etc. And toasted nuts and seeds, too. Also works with different cheeses inside, slivers of ham, mushrooms - whatever your family likes. Just pile on whatever you like down the center of the crepe, fold both sides over, and go for it. Sometimes we use a fork and knife, sometimes we just treat a filled crepe like a fancy burrito.