Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Joe's Fonky Crepes

I made crepes last night because everybody is talking about it being Candlemas, or La Chandeleur and in France that means crepes. I eat crepes in France for an inexpensive quick meal, or a snack, but I usually forget to make them at home. 

I don't pretend that this is a classic recipe, or even that I know what I am doing. I just wanted to toss this out there as an idea and write it down so I don't forget to do it more often. And, I want to make it clear that this is no big deal to make and lots of fun to boot. By adding a bechamel I am probably committing several sins, but I care not. 

I remembered that the batter becomes better if it sits in the fridge for awhile, but I didn't have time, and they turned out well anyway. 

For the batter:
1 cup flour
1 egg
enough cold water to make it the consistency of heavy cream
fat pinch of sea salt

Whisk until smooth and somewhere between too watery and too thick, nice and pourable.
Heat a tablespoon of butter in a non-stick pan until frothy, add about 3/4 c. of the batter. Watch for the center to become very close to done; you can see it change in texture, about 2 minutes. Flip (this is the fun part). Finish, about a minute. Add more butter as needed to just coat the pan.

This made 5 relatively large crepes, would have made 6 if I had paid attention and made them smaller. The first one is never quite right, but it is edible anyway. Next time I would make double this amount and reserve half of it for some dessert crepes. 

For the fillings, I took some leftover smoked ham I had saved from Christmas and chopped it fine. I lightly wilted some green chard leaves (reserving the stems for a gratin!!!), chopped them fine. I mixed these two ingredients with salt and pepper. Then in a new bowl I took some nice lump crabmeat and mixed some of the chard leaves in with that and some pepper. I tossed some corn kernels into both bowls just for fun.

Then I made a classic bechamel and put in plenty of freshly ground nutmeg. I rolled the crepes around about 3 tablespoons of filling, one ham and one crab for each small gratin dish, then poured the bechamel over the crepes and grated a tablespoon or so of Gruyere over the top. A sprinkling of corn kernels for nice crunch (drat you, Tina Fey!), and into the oven at 400 for about 25 minutes until the tops were deep brown and bubbly, and serve it forth!