Sunday, October 2, 2011

Brunching the French Way

    

     I love brunch. I love breakfast foods. Waffles, pancakes, eggs benedict (so good!), you name it - I constantly crave it. How can people not like eggs? Or any of those other oh-so-comforting first-thing-in-the-morning delights? So, for all you breakfast foody people like me - this post is for you! Because, I had brunch with a friend today at my house.


     And not only did I have brunch, I got to revisit my summer memories. Well, literally because I showed my friend all my fancy Euro-trip pictures (whoo fantastic summer vacations!) but figuratively through food. Because, every since I have left France, I have been craving crepes. In Paris, I think three mornings in a row (basically the entire time we were there) I got a nutella crepe for breakfast from the little stand in front of the metro stop we always used. I kept telling myself I would get a different kind....but what is a better breakfast than a nutella crepe? (Rhetorical Question.)


     So, this morning, instead of starting to study for my orgo or autonomic physiology (which is really annoying to type) midterms OR writing either of my English papers...I made crepe batter. And then I made ten of the most gorgeous crepes I have ever made. Well, the first two weren't beauties, but the rest were. And do you know why? Because I bought myself new frying pans for this year! Beautiful frying pans and one of them is actually BIG and perfect for crepe making!!!! Cooking implements make me happy. You should already know this.


     Anyhow, so I made crepes. And I cut up some white button mushrooms, half a tomato, and a bunch of baby spinach to make a savory filling. And I put Nutella, and strawberry jam, and peanut butter, and honey out on the table - because you never know what mood will strike. (Also: strawberry jam and nutella are delicious together. If you haven't tried it, you are missing out.) And then we scrambled eggs into our veggie filling, filled the hot crepes with it, and ate. Yum. You need energy to study. Energy from veggies and energy from Nutella. It takes all sorts to run the world.

 



Crepes
From Julia's Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child (which everyone should own)
Makes 10 8-in crepes or 20 5-in

1 cup All-Purpose Flour
2/3 cup Cold Milk
2/3 cup Cold Water
3 large Eggs
1/4 tsp Salt
3 tbsp Butter, Melted plus more for the pan 

First, place the flour in a large bowl and whisk it, you want it to have as few lumps as possible throughout this process because there should be no lumps in crepes! Slowly whisk in the rest of the ingredients, trying to prevent lumping. You can also use a blender or food processor instead of whisking in a bowl. Once your batter is ready, refrigerate it for half an hour or more. Julia says: "A rest allows the flour particles to absorb the liquid, making for a tender crepe"

Once you are ready to cook, heat a nonstick frying pan (either 5'' or 8'' diameter) "until drops of water dance on it" at medium-high heat. Then, brush with a little melted butter. I have found that the best method for cooking crepes for me, is to hold the pan up off the heat, use a ladle to pour in the batter (you want about 3 tbsp of batter; enough to cover the bottom of your pan), and turn the pan quickly in a circular motion to get the batter to cover the entire pan. Then, place it back on the heat. Cook it for a minute or two, until the bottom is browned, use a wooden spatula to unstick the edges from the pan, and flip! My way of flipping: jerk the pan towards and away from you a few times so that the crepe is moving freely, then do a bigger jerk away from you and flip the crepe. (It makes more sense while you're doing it.) Cook it only briefly, about 30 secs, on the other side, then slide onto a plate or wire rack to cool. Once they are cool, you can eat them, refrigerate them for 2 days, or freeze them for several weeks.

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