Wednesday, September 30, 2009
California Crepe - International Taste Tour
Here we are again.....BakeSpace beeps pulling off another International Taste Tour (formally known as the Coast To Coast Cook-off). This time we chose Crepes.
Ooooooh man, the diversity. Don't ask what you can do with crepes....ask what you CAN'T do with crepes. Seriously, once you've seen what I did, look at the map at the end of this post and see what everyone else did. Great stuff coming your way!
For me...I made a very loosey goosey version that I'll call a California Crepe.
This isn't what I had intended to make when I first started thinking about making my crepes. But it's what I decided to do after visiting a local restaurant for lunch today called Crepe Maker.
OMG...I didn't even know this place existed until today. And what awesome timing!!
So ya.... they have a crepe they make called California Veggie. Only I wanted meat!
Give me meat!!!! You can't have your pudding if you don't eat your meat!
(sorry, Pink Floyd moment)
Anyways....for the actual crepes themselves, I followed Julia Child's recipe.
Did you know that making crepes isn't hard at all??!!! Seriously, I prefer to make crepes over pancakes any day!!! Who would've thunk it?
So, what you need is:
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sifted all purpose flour (shit...I totally missed the sifted part, but lets pretend I didn't)
4 Tb melted butter
In a blended (I know, I know...I used a smoothie maker but thats all that was available at the time), combine the milk, water, eggs and salt. Add the flour, then the butter.
Ok, you might notice that I have brown butter in my little melting pan (top right hand picture). I could say that was planned and who'd know, right? but it wasn't...sigh. I was too busy trying to get the darned blender / smoothie maker to stop leaking so I could put my liquids in there. And well....the butter started smelling reeeeeeeaaal good!! Holy CRAP!!! So I turned it off, and removed it from the heat and well, I had brown butter but thats o.k. Brown butter is good stuff!
Anyways....blend everything together for 1 minute. Use a spatula to scape stuff down if needed and blend again for a second of two.
If you have a blender that you trust, then just put it in the fridge as is. I don't. So I poured mine in a bowl and covered it with plastic wrap. Leave it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. (did you see the good company my crepe batter was in? yep...thats a 6pk of coors sitting off to the right.)
Once the batter has been thoroughly chilled for the required 2 hrs (or more), you want to make sure it is just thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. If it seems too heavy Julia says to beat in a bit of water (a spoonful).
Now....get your crepe pan or an iron skillet. btw...I discovered that I do have a crepe pan, but for this dish, I needed crepes that were rather large so I used my largest skillet.
Soooo...rub the skillet with oil and heat over a medium high heat until the pan just begins to smoke. Lift the pan off the heat and pour 1/4 - 1/2 cup of batter into the pan (since I was using a rather large pan, I needed almost 1/2 cup. You'll need to adjust accordingly).
Quickly rotate the pan in all directions so the batter covers the bottom of the pan in a thin film.
Julia says that the first crepe is always a tester....a guinea pig....a sacrifice. It's to test if you have too much batter in the pan, or if the heat is too high or too low. So don't freak out if the first crepe (or 2 or 3) don't turn out.
Like this one...my first. Too much batter so I poured it back into the dish (as Julia instructed).
Kinda messy looking, don't you agree?
I dunno what exactly happened with the 2nd one...either I didn't have enough batter or I didn't dip and turn the pan quickly enough.
But the 3rd time was a charm and I was beginning to really get the hang of it.....
After the batter has been rotated around (should only take about 2 - 3 seconds to complete this whole procedure), put the pan back onto the heat for about a minute or so. Jerk the pan a bit to loosen the crepe (it really works....the thing starts sliding around) and lift the edges with a spatula and check the underside. When it is a nice light brown, it's ready to turn.
I used a spatula and my fingers to turn the crepe.
After another 30 seconds, its ready to come out. Slide it onto a plate and keep warm while you finish up the rest of them. Btw...you'll need to brush on some more oil and let it heat up just until the pan starts to smoke, between each crepe.
I wanted to see...just for fun...if I could flip the crepe.
My first attempt.....
hmmm.....that didn't go so well. But I was able to salvage the little sucker and continue on.
My second attempt landed the same way, but was a little more stubborn....
Geeez....(here sparky!!! sit boy.....no no, this thing isn't worth begging for. Just eat it).
Ok..forget the fancy stuff. Lets finish up these babies. In the end I didn't have enough batter to make a full sized crepe but I didn't want to waste it...so I poured it in....had issues with the pan rotation and ended up with a triangle crepe.
But you know what? I flipped it in the air, perfectly!!! figures
And I smothered that weird little thing with mascarpone and homemade strawberry jam. Holy CRAP!!! That was good!!
Now...all the crepes are made. I'm totally excited. Everything is going great!! woo hoo!
Neeext.....I wanted a nice sauce for my California Crepe and thought Pesto!! ya....creamy pesto. oooh. And...lets give it a little kick.
So here's what I did...
1/4 cup pesto
1/4 cup mayo
1 - 2 Tb horseradish (amount depending on taste)
And check these out!!!
I stopped off at Trader Joes and found a basket of small heirloom tomatoes!! Aren't those the most awesome little things you've ever seen?
Soooo, back to the crepe making. Next I sauteed some chicken strips that I had marinated in some garlic oil combined with lemon juice. Here's what else I added:
Cooked chicken strips
Toasted Pine Nuts
Roasted bell peppers
Marinated Sun Dried Tomatoes
Crumbled Goat Cheese
Take a crepe and fold it in half (or almost in half)....and start filling it with goodies, in the center, in a V-shape
Fold one side in, creating a cone shape and then fold in the other side to complete the cone shape:
I happen to have these really cool Martini glasses that Sir Sportsalot gave me one year for Christmas. (Only I don't drink Martinis.)
Glad I found a good use for them
Ok...now that you've seen my version, it's time to check out what everyone else did! Play with the map below and take an International Taste Tour to see what other crepe ideas are out there