Saturday, May 24, 2008
Tasty Tools: Memories of Paris
If you don't know me very well, you maybe don't know that I'm pretty much obsessed with France. Specifically, I fantasize daily about moving to Paris. I'm constantly reading books about people living in Paris, and I love a good French movie. I LOVE French food and pastry, although you don't see it much in my blog because French cuisine really intimidates me. Silly, I know, but I always feel like it's a big accomplishment when I cook a French meal. Each time I am in the kitchen, though, I gain a bit more confidence and feel more like I can at least try to make any dish.
Crepes are a French treat that I always love to eat, yet they seem impossible to make at home. My friend Joelen recently helped me see how simple crepes really are to make, when she had a "Creative Crepes" class at her house. The recipe we used was simple, and Joelen said the most important thing was to just let the batter rest so that the crepes didn't tear when you flip them. I loved the ease of the recipe, and as soon as I tried them I started thinking about all the variations I could do with crepes.
For my first attempt I kept the crepes simple. I used the basic recipe you see below, and I added a tablespoon of sugar for a little sweetness. I made the batter while I was making dinner, and then kept it in the fridge for a couple hours until we were ready for dessert. I sliced the strawberries and tossed with sugar, to make them nice and sweet, and I made an awesome creme fraiche sauce to go on the crepes. I was so happy with how successful these crepes were, and my only question was, "What took me so long?!". In the next few weeks I'll have to try savory crepes, maybe like these ones from the Blue Kitchen.
This recipe was a perfect entry for Joelen's Tasty Tools event for this month, which featured recipes using blenders. Mixing the crepe batter in the blender ensured that it was smooth and well mixed. Be sure to check out the Tasty Tools roundup after June 2nd.
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sugar
Combine all ingredients in blender. Pulse until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight.
Heat a crepe pan or large skillet to medium high heat. Brush with butter. Pour enough batter into the pan to make a thin layer, and rotate the pan so the batter covers the bottom. Cook until bubbles appear and the bottom of the crepe is a nice, even brown. Use a thin spatula to flip the crepe, and cook the second side only until it is a blond color, not as dark as the first side. Remove to parchment paper and repeat with the rest of the battter.
Joe wants me to let you know that he successfully fliped a crepe a la Julia Childs-- just by flicking his wrist while holding the pan. He was quite proud of himself :)
We did our crepes rolled up, with strawberries and creme fraiche sauce inside each one. The creme fraiche sauce is just 1/2 cup of creme fraiche, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, zest and juice of half a lime, and a pinch of fine salt. It makes a great fruit dip, too, as I discovered while eating the leftover strawberries!