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

Advertisements

Apple Crisp with lots of spices, nuts & seeds


Our holiday traditions include apple crisp for breakfast on Christmas morning. When my apple crispdaughter was little, I’d prepare this the night before so that in the morning when she awakened, I could simply turn on the oven and move the pyrex baking dish from the refrigerator to the oven as it pre-heated, turning my attention fully to her joy of sleigh bells and the stockings that Santa had filled….

Ingredients:

  • 4-5  medium granny smith apples
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup or so each walnuts, pecans, almonds, sunfllower and or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup organic raisins
  • 1-2 t cinnamon
  • 3/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t cardamon
  • 1/2 t coriander
  • 1/4 t clove
  • 1/4-1/2 t sea salt
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 1 T molasses and 1 T maple syrup

Instructions:

Melt butter, mix with oats, nuts, seeds, spices, molasses, and maple syrup. Stir together well.  Pare half of apples into large baking dish, top with half of oats mixture. Pare remaining apples into baking dish, top with remainder of oats mixture. This can be stored in refrigerator overnight to bake in morning. Immediately before baking, add 1/4 cup of apple cider, water or orange juice. Cook covered in 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until apples are soft but not mushy. May cook last 5 minutes uncovered. Serve topped with plain non-fat yogurt and a slice of sharp cheddar cheese. This smells divine, makes a wonderful hearty vegetarian breakfast or dessert with generous protein.

transitioning- cold morning breakfast


Ingredients:

1 c amaranth (looks like quinoa only smaller grains)

3 c water

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t nutmeg

1/8 t cardamon

pinch sea salt

3 T maple syrup

1 granny smith or braeburn apple, diced + 1/4 c raisins

0r 1 bartlett pair + 1/4 c pecans

Instructions:

Bring water to boil, then add grain, spices. Stir and bring back almost to boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Add maple syrup, fruit and nuts. Simmer covered about 3-8 more minutes until liquid just absorbed. Check and stir occasionally during the last 5-8 minutes to avoid burning and sticking to pan. Makes 2 servings. Can make the night before, will keep in airtight container in refrigerator for 2 days. Reheat in microwave for a quick healthy breakfast the next day.

This feels light but is sustaining. Amaranth is high in protein, calcium and iron, also lysine. Easily digestible, it is a good choice at the turn of the season, when recovering from the stomach flu or when ending a fast.