So imagine my curiosity when he decided to make something else for brunch Saturday morning. We weren't having company over, and we had all the time in the world. It could have been a grand biscuits-and-gravy morning, something more Mexican-themed, or pancakes. Instead, he pulled "Julia Child" off the shelf, and a while later I heard the blender running.
We usually work together in the kitchen, but when he is whipping up breakfast, I tend to settle in with a cup of something hot, and do some idea-snacking on blogs or the BBC news website. Which is exactly what happened. Eventually, a sample, fresh off the pan, waltzed in and melted in my mouth. It was light-weight, supple and loaded with buttery "mmm....".
C r ê p e s !
As some readers know, one of us has a sweet tooth - he makes pancakes, crêpes, etc. One of us prefers the savory side of breakfast, hands down, every time. I had to try something sans sugar for the last bites, and hit the jackpot! Hot crêpe, grated Parmesan, sprinkle of spicy mixed greens, tiny shavings of ham, fresh ground pepper, and a drizzle of left-over balsamic-mustard vinaigrette. Ohhhh...wow!
I am not sure if he meant it, but I heard Sweet Tooth say, "I'm making crêpes, not pancakes, from now on!" If you want in on the fun, here's the recipe. I was told he followed to the "T", which is advisable - it was the first time. NOTE: The key "ingredient" is a good pan or other cooking surface - you may be sorely disappointed without it.
FRENCH PANCAKES: CRÊPES
Mastering the Art of French Cooking (pg.190)
Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck
For about 20-25 crêpes, 6-6.5 inches in diameter
Pâte à Crêpes (batter) Ingredients
- 1 C. cold water
- 1 C. cold milk
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 C. flour
- 4 T melted butter
- Put liquids, eggs, and salt into blender. Add flour, then the butter.
- Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber spatula and blend 2-3 mores seconds.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Okay, not quite to a "T" - we did't wait.)
NOTE: The batter should be a very light cream, just thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. If, after making your first crêpe, it seems to heavy, beat in a bit of water, a spoonful at a time.
- Materials: iron skillet or crêpe pan with 6 1/2-7 inch diameter bottom; oil or pork fat
- Rub skillet with fat or brush lightly with oil.
- Set over moderately high heat until pan is just beginning to smoke.
- Immediately remove from heat, and pour a scant 1/4 C. batter into middle of the pan. Quickly tilt pan in all directions to run batter all over bottom of pan in a thin film. Pour an batter that does not adhere back into the remaining batter. Should take 2-3 seconds to do all of this.
- Return to heat for 60-80 seconds, then jerk pan a bit to loosen edges of crêpe. Lift edges, and if browned, flip quickly.
- Cook for another 30 seconds, until nicely browned.
- First crêpe, test crêpe - check the consistency of the batter, the amount you need for a crêpe, and the heat of the pan. Your cooked crêpe should be about 1/16th inch thick.
- Our large non-stick skillet has sloped sides (like a shallow wok), and worked quite well for this, without any oil.
- Crêpes can be kept warm prior to serving (use warm setting of toaster oven or oven), or cooled and re-heated for use later. According to the recipe, crêpes can even be frozen and thawed with no loss to texture!