Savory Crepes

savory crepes

I am a lover of crepes.  They are so versatile, the batter always makes enough for 4 or more people, and you can fill them with virtually anything.  I’ve been slightly obsessed with making crepe cakes and made one for Matt for his birthday last year that had chocolate crepes layered with caramel buttercream and chocolate ganache.  It was pretty fantastic and I think it was about 25 layers.  I want to go bigger!  The only thing is that those cakes are hard to cut unless they are semi-frozen, and even harder to eat!  But I find it fun to peel away the layers one by one, enjoying each piece!  That recipe will come soon.  Very soon.  Because I was inspired by my reflecting on crepe cakes, that I had to go make one – an hour ago.

So yeah..I just did.  It’s pretty awesome.  Post coming tomorrow or Sunday!

THESE crepes, however, were also wonderful.  Stuffed with gruyere cheese, bits of leftover brown sugar ham and fresh chives, they were the perfect lunch.  They fed me, my baby, my sweet friend, Katrina, and her baby!  And he’s been known to pack away a man-sized meal 🙂

Make your batter an hour in advance and you’ll have much more pretty crepes that don’t fall apart!

savory crepes with ham and gruyere

Savory Crepes*

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
Butter, for coating the pan

Fillings:
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese – any melting cheese will be great!
1/2 cup diced ham
2 tbs fresh chopped chives

In a large cup, place all ingredients except the butter and blend with an immersion blender for a full minute, making sure all the flour is incorporated.  Then drizzle in the melted butter. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Heat a small non-stick pan over medium high. Add butter to coat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. This takes a bit of practice and your crepes might look like mine and have tiny fingers coming off the sides.  They’ll taste the same, promise. Cook the first side for about a minute until edges brown and you can run your spatula around the edges to loosen.  Slide your spatula under the crepe and flip over.  Cook for another 10 seconds and fill the crepes with desired stuffings, fold into half circles and then in half again and place on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven to keep warm until done with the rest and ready to eat!

*adapted from Alton Brown’s crepe recipe on Food Network

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Strawberry Banana Split Crepes

crepes

I’ve posted a lot of recipes lately that have strawberries, but there is a good reason – they’re in season!  When you’re at the store and strawberries are $1.30 for a pound, instead of $4 – that’s your sign that they are in season!  Now, I’m not kidding myself into believing that they aren’t grown in hot houses, BUT at least it’s the season for them, and in my mind, that makes me feel like they taste better.

I wanted to make a strawberry crepe, so I looked up a simple crepe recipe, and where it called for 1/2 cup of water, I added a 1/2 cup of strawberry puree instead, plus a bit more water to thin it out.  My strawberry puree was made-up, too, as was the strawberry-vanilla bean whipped cream!

You need to make your crepe batter the night before you use it, so make this batter tonight and have crepes in the morning while the weekend is still here!  This recipe looks like a sugar bomb, but it actually wasn’t.  The crepes have zero sugar except the strawberry puree, which only has 3 tbs and it’s also used to sweeten the whipped cream. So if you don’t add the chocolate sauce, this is really low sugar!  And it definitely doesn’t taste like you held back!

bsplit crepes

Strawberry Crepes

3/4 cup whole milk
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup strawberry puree (recipe follows)
2 tbs water
3 tbs melted butter

Put all the ingredients into a bowl or a large, tall cup and with your immersion blender, blend for 15-20 seconds until fully mixed.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a regular blender for the same time.  Transfer to a container and chill for one hour, up to 48 hours (I just did this step before I went to bed and used it the next morning.)

In a 10″ non-stick, shallow skillet, heat teaspoon of butter over medium high heat, or just spray with non stick spray, but you want your pan to be pretty hot.  Add a quarter cup of batter to the pan and swirl around till it’s spread as thin as possible. THE FIRST CREPE IS ALWAYS CRAP.  Just throw it away.  Now, you’re ready to begin.  By 1/4 cup scoops, (I used a ladle) swirl your batter in the pan very quickly and let it set for at least 1 to 2 minutes before flipping.  If your pan is hotter than mine, you may need to alter your time.  With a wide spatula (I used a fish spatula), slide under the crepe and flip over.  The other side won’t take as long to cook.  Keep finished crepes covered in a towel so they will stay warm and pliable.  This batter made about 8-10 crepes for me, but if you’re really skilled at swirling your batter, you could squeeze 15 crepes out of this amount.  I am not skilled and my crepes are always thicker than they should be, but they’re still delicious!

Fill the crepe with sliced bananas, a drizzle of left over strawberry puree, and a dollop of whipped cream.  Add more strawberries and whipped cream on top, and if you’re feeling the entire banana split thing, drizzle in chocolate syrup (I used Torani chocolate syrup.)  Or even some toasted pecans!  Have fun – it’s the weekend!

Strawberry Puree

1 lb of fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
3 tbs sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped of its seeds. If you don’t have a vanilla bean, wait, and add some vanilla paste or vanilla extract later when you’re blending)
1/4 cup water

Place all the ingredients into a medium saucepan and cook over medium low heat till bubbly.  Cook for about 15 minutes until the strawberries begin to break down.  Remove the vanilla bean and transfer to a blender or a tall cup with your immersion blender and blend, with an extra 1/2 cup of water till fully blended and no chunks remain.  Add the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (about 1 tsp) if you want and blend again.

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup strawberry puree

Place all ingredients into a bowl and whip until soft peaks form.  (I used my immersion blender, duh)