….Because just calling crepes “really, really thin pancakes” doesn’t do them justice…
When Kevin and I started dating, we would frequently go on dates and explorations in West Reading, PA.- a cute stretch of town that had been given new life with boutiques, shops, and restaurants with a slightly hipster vibe. Perfect for food junkies on culinary quests. On one such morning, we stumbled upon a yellow and orange awning adorned building and into a French wonderland called “A Taste of Crepes”.
One look at the menu, and I all but came undone. There were savory crepes and breakfast crepes; sweet crepes, and crepes with fruit. Crepes with Nuetella, crepes with salmon- my God, the crepes!! And they were all being prepared right before our eyes.
4 cups of coffee and 5 crepes later, we knew we’d found our favorite new spot for weekend breakfasts, cozy lunch dates, and dazzling dessert. How could we resist? We tried their ham crepe, spinach crepe, salmon crepe, fresh lemon crepe, and finally, their bananas foster crepe. If you are ever in West Reading, PA or close by- Honestly, you need to go. It’s an experience.
Then came the day where we up and moved- We left our little apartment, in our little town, and our cozy little crepes place. We were happy, but crepes were missing from our lives. We tried a few places near by. We tried a few places NOT so near by. (Driving an hour for crepes on a Sunday morning, while delicious, would not become routine.) We’d venture home to visit family, and use any excuse to head into town to get our crepes. But in our new home on Sundays, we’d sit quietly with our eggs and coffee, mourning the loss of our delicious crepe life. Something had to be done.
We’d all but given up on our dreams of Sunday crepes, when I entered Home Goods on that fateful day…and there it was, gleaming at me from its little hook in the cookware section. Round, flat, and screaming my name…an $8 Crepe Pan. The Gods had spoken, there wasn’t even a question about it- I had to become a crepe master, and this $8 pan was the key to crepe goodness. I quickly added it to my already overflowing cart, and headed on home. (It IS Home Goods, after all. I mean, really. Can you ever walk in there without needing a cart? I think not.)
The conversation upon returning home, went a little something like this:
“I BOUGHT THIS FOR YOU!” I exclaimed to my husband.
“What is it…” he responded.
“A CREPES PAN!!!!”
“Is this going to be like the empanadas?”
Such a comedian, isn’t he?
It turns out that actually making crepes, is pretty darn easy for the most part. You get your batter thinned out, scoop some on your sizzling pan, give the whole thing a swirl, and a minute or two later, flip and fill with tasty toppings. Sure there are some tricks along the way that I’ll share, but I felt like a master on my first go around! AND- It’s QUICK! So, without further delay, here’s my recipe for the savory crepes base. Essentially, anything that I would put into a panini, I’d probably put into a crepe. I’ve also included my sweet crepe recipe, because every good meal deserves and equally tasty dessert. Have fun playing!
1 Cup flour
1 Cup milk
1 TBSP melted butter
1/8 tsp salt
Mix up the batter with a wisk, or a hand mixer- you want it to be free of lumps because, let’s face it, lumpy pancakes are gross. Get your pan nice and hot. If you don’t have a crepe pan, go get one at Home Goods. (Kidding. No, really…you should.) Any skillet will work, but the flatter and smaller the “lip” the better. Ladle in some of your batter- I use about 1/2 cup. Once ladled, give your pan a little turn and tip, so that the batter covers the entire bottom of your pan in a thin little layer. Watch until your edges start to get golden, and brown. Give it 30 seconds longer than you think you should- Trust me, I’ve had quite a few ‘flops’ instead of flips. I try to drag my crepe nearly 2/3 of the way off the edge of the pan before I flip it mighty quick. If you lose a few in this process, it’s okay. The first one ALWAYS goes badly for me. like “oh, hell” badly. No use crying over flopped batter though, and luckily, this makes a few of these bad boys, so flub up all you need to! Once flipped, add whatever fillings you may want. The possibilities are endless! For our last ones, we used some leftover chicken that DH sliced up thin, sauted spinach and red onion, bacon, and mozzarella cheese. Let that go for a minute or two until your cheese gets bubbly, and then roll that sucker. I take a flat silicone spatula to assist in the rolling. Be advised- the more you stuff your crepe with fillings, the more difficult it is to roll. I learned this the hard way. Flatter is better. Then, when it’s rolled onto a plate, garnish as desired, and eat it up! If you haven’t tried a red pepper spread, I recommend giving it a whirl. That’s the orange stuff drizzled across my crepe in the photo. I spoon a bit into a little plastic bag and snip the tip off of it- it turns it into a make shift piping bag. Great for drizzling.
|Batter, all mixed up.
|The Flip- please excuse my poor quality picture.
|Stuffed with goodness
and now, for the sweet…
1 and 1/2 Cups flour
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP melted butter
Mix it all up- I sometimes use 1 tsp vanilla, simply because much like my mother, I like the flavor.
Again, fillings are a world of endless possibilities. A personal favorite is Nuetella with sliced strawberries, garnished with some powdered sugar and chocolate sauce.
Have fun playing and impressing your friends and family!
Until next time,