savory crepes (holiday shared cooking fun)


ingredients:

  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • dash salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c milk
  • butter for frying

filings:

  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4-12 medium jalapeno w seeds, diced
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 granny smith apple, chopped
  • 1 d’anjou pear, chopped
  • pecans, pistachios, or toasted pumpkin seeds
  • feta, gorgonzola or Toscano pepper cheese
  • raisins or chopped turkish apricots
  • cream cheese or soft avocado as garnish

IMG_5089Prepare the batter an hour or two before making the crepes, as the flour particles expand when the batter stands, which provides for lighter crepes. Sift together the flour and salt. In another bowl, beat eggs lightly with a wire whisk, then stir in milk. Beat the liquid gradually into the sifted dry ingredients. Beat vigorously for 2-3 minutes to make a smooth batter. The batter should be very light, the consistency of heavy cream. If any lumps remain, strain batter through a sieve. Cover and set aside in refrigerator to rest.

 

Ideally use a heavy bottomed iron pan with sloping sides (to make it easier to turn the crepes), of about 5-10 inches in diameter. An enameled 6.5in base cast iron skillet is what I happened to have, and it worked well, making a not too big, not too small sized crepe. Heating the pan evenly and thoroughly is the first secret to making a good crepe; success also is a function of using the exact amount of batter needed for the size of the pan, so it covers but is not too thick. Thin crepes are good crepes! Brush or rub the entire surface of the pan with butter, heating it briskly until hot but not smoking. Remove from heat, holding it in the air, while pouring a small amount of batter- about 2-3 T or a small soup ladle worth, in the middle of the pan, concurrently tilting to spread the batter to cover the pan surface. If you have too much batter and some is left over after the bottom surface of the pan is covered, pour it back into the batter bowl. Set pan over medium heat to cook, about 2- minutes, until the top of the crepe is dry and the bottom side begins to turn lightly brown (check this by lifting one corner of the crepe with a spatula.) Flip the crepe, then cook on the second side about 1-2 minutes. Tip the crepe out onto a serving plate. Repeat until all batter has been used; this made 12 moderate sized crepes.

Saute the onion and jalapeno pepper in a little olive oil, then add 1/2-1 Braeburn or Granny Smith apple. Add a little rosemary and balsamic vinegar, turn heat down, cover and reduce for several minutes. Remove from heat.

IMG_5086We played with different combinations of filings using the onion and apple balsamic mixture as base filler, including feta with roasted pumpkin seeds; apricot with pistachios; pear and gorgonzola with pecans; pear with Toscano pepper cheese and raisins. Place filled crepes in warming dish, warm all before serving. Both the soft avocado and cream cheese were wonderful garnishes at the table. (I would omit the last minute addition of cheddar garnish next time.)

Served with an arugula, pomegranate, feta and walnut salad, this was a hearty brunch. Also a very happy and fun Christmas morning shared cooking…new tradition. (Crepe cooking instructions found in The Crepe Cookbook by Paulette Fono & Maria Stacho 1969 found on my mother’s kitchen bookshelf when I closed down her house this last year.)

IMG_5073IMG_5099_3

veggie frittata- revisited


ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized yam, choppedphoto_2
  • 1 teaspoon each sage and thyme
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • green onions, small bunch chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • several stalks broccoli
  • 1 can white kidney or black beans, well rinsed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 T milk
  • 4 oz grated Toscato pepper cheese
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese

instructions:
Preheat oven to 350. Slice yam into rounds, pare away skin then chop into bite sized pieces. Saute chopped yam in 2 T olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes, adding minced garlic and 1 teaspoon sage and thyme, stirring well to coat yams. Add 2-3 tablespoons water, then cover with lid and reduce heat to medium-low to simmer until yam is soft, checking and stirring every couple minutes. While yam steams, cut away tough outer edges of broccoli, then slice inner stalks into bite sized pieces, also flowerettes. When yam is almost but not yet soft enough, add chopped broccoli stems to steam covered for 3 minutes, then add yellow peppers and broccoli flowerettes to steam covered for 2-3 minutes until peppers and broccoli are bright and just slightly soft. (Or add chopped spinach and 1-2 T water, cover and steam for 2-3 minutes until greens are bright green and slightly soft.) Do not overcook veggies. Remove from heat, keep lid off pan.

While vegetables are steaming, place large deep dish pie pan or 9×9 baking dish into preheating oven for a few minutes to heat pan. Also start preparing egg mixture: crack eggs into bowl, add milk, pepper and 1/4 t salt. Whisk well with fork. Remove baking dish from oven, thoroughly wipe a little olive oil over bottom and sides of pan (being careful not to burn yourself), then transfer half of yam/yellow pepper/onions/greens mixture into hot baking dish, half of beans, half of cheese, then repeat layers. Pour well-mixed egg mixture over top of veggies, tilting pan to spread egg mixture evenly under veggies too. Last sprinkle half of cheeses generously over top. Bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes, then do toothpick test for doneness, (depending upon the oven and weather, cover with foil for another 5-10 min or so) baking until edges and top have browned slightly and toothpick comes out clean. I find there may be a little extra water at the edges of the baking dish after cooking, which I just tip slightly to run off into the sink so the frittata isn’t soggy when served.

Using 4 eggs, 1 can beans, and 4 oz grated cheese plus Parmesan, this makes 4 dinner size servings each with about 19-20 grams protein.

Another combination for a ‘south of the border’ frittata: red potato, yellow or red onion, garlic, red pepper, black beans, tomato and Swiss cheese. Or try mixed red and yellow roasted beats, orange pepper, onion, garlic, the beet greens, walnuts and 4 oz Havarti cheese.