Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hick French Cuisine

I was cruising through my recent acquisition of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" when I came across a plethora of crepe recipes.  There are entree crepes and dessert crepes and and crepes for filling and for not filling...apparently never the 'twain shall meet.  I, being the hick cook, always used the same crepe recipe for all purposes and never thought twice about it.  How gauche! 

I thought it would be nice to do a family brunch for Memorial Day with crepes and assorted fruits and stuffings in a "build it yourself" crepe bar.  The fun with this approach comes from the different combinations that can be assembled and the various comments around the table of "Oooo, this combo is really good!  or  "Ew, don't mix these."

For the occasion, I settled on the crepe Suzette recipe rather than the yeast version because I wanted to make the batter the night before.  And with a nod to making a crepe for filling, I planned on adding the beaten egg whites to make a stronger pancake.  Well, the night before turned out to be about a quarter to eleven because we dawdled over dinner and a movie and so I can only guess that my cognitive powers were not at their sharpest. 

I started by following the blender instructions even though I was not using a blender and the instructions for not using a blender are quite a bit different.  I passed through that challenge with a reasonable batter, at least a batter that would fix certain problems as it sat overnight.  However, it was a slightly different matter when it came to the point of melted butter. 

I tend to keep my extra pounds of butter, no, fortunately for Irish dance, not on my hips, but in the freezer.  In this case I was working my way through a four pound batch of butter when I needed about 10 tablespoons for this recipe.  To my chagrin, I realized I would have to work with the frozen supply and stoically chipped apart a stick to make up my 10 tablespoons.  I then popped the bowl of frozen fat into the microwave to soften and melt.  Washing up a few things to tidy the kitchen before bed I heard the first pop in the microwave and turned to see there were four seconds left on the time.  My hands being wet I grabbed for a towel but, in the last second before the microwave shut off there was a loud thump and liquid butter erupted out of the bowl to coat the interior of the microwave.

I groaned, and I'm sure swore, and contemplated the mess.  The tired grump that I was wanted to leave it all for the morning, but I dutifully swabbed out the several tablespoons of melted butter dripping from the walls, ceiling and floor of the microwave.  Then I looked at what was left in the bowl and muttered under my breath as I didn't even bother to measure how much was there and dumped it in the batter, gave it a quick stir and shoved it in the fridge for the night.

It turns out it is too bad I didn't measure the butter because I don't think it's needed.  The crepes were very nice.  I doubled the recipe for the five of us and, barring the two first off the griddle that were shapeless masses, we finished them all and weren't really wanting any more when they were gone.  I might triple the recipe next time to have leftovers.

It also turned out that crepes not for filling are fine for filling because I realized I never added the egg whites later in the day.


  1. I've used several different crepe recipes, and they've all worked. Whether I did them right or not, who knows? So the formula seems pretty flexible. Maybe a sloppy batter is all it takes, and details are immaterial. One of the best tasting recipes I've had started with a can of evaporated milk and vegetable oil. I wasn't the cook, and I had grave doubts, but it worked, and worked extremely well. I have been thinking of trying some with olive oil instead of butter, for kicks...

  2. Olive oil is a good idea - may try that for dinner some day. Thanks for stopping by.