Friday, 25 September 2009

A Post Title That Is A Little Thin on Humour

A few years ago, we had a teenage girl from Belgium live with us who watched our kids over two summers. Two things she insisted in taking back to Belgium was licorice and pancake mix. Apparently, neither was available back home. Strange really. Since the crepe is such a staple in France and Belgium. All you need to add is a leavening agent coupled with a nice package with a fictional character.

Strangely, crepes seems to be considered somewhat exotic. Truth is, it is very easy and very fast to make crepes. Eggs, milk, flour. What can be simpler? Since it is so simple and inexpensive, no wonder that every other European (and Latin American, for that matter) have their own name and style of this paper cake. Most famous is the Russian Blini which slightly different because it often has yeast added. My favourite is Pankakka (I think the spelling is correct) from Sweden. Only because it makes me chuckle and was always tempted to purchase these kakkas from the store in IKEA.

Crepes are very adaptable. They can sweet or savoury. Large or small. Hot or cold. Soft or crispy. Yummy or yucky. I personally prefer yummy but to each their own. Truth is, I like all types of food except one; yucky food. I'm typically picky with yucky.You will need a non-stick pan for this. You can purchase specific pans (blue steel) for crepes, but I usually use an 8 inch omelet pan and that usually does the trick.

Savoury Crepes with Bruschetta and Feta Cheese

250 ml Milk
1 Egg, beaten
200 g A.P. Flour
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
1 Small Red Onion, finely diced
Drizzle of Clarified Butter
4 Plum Tomatoes, innards removed, diced
3 Large Basil Leaves, chiffonade
200 g Feta Cheese, grated or crumbled
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Whisk together flour, salt, pepper and half of basil. Create a crevice in flour and add milk, eggs and butter. Slowly whisk in until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, vinegar, basil and feta.

In a medium non-stick pan, melt small amount of butter. Using a ladle, pour desired amount of batter and move pan around to make the crepe flat. Cook for about 1 minute and flip. Continue cooking for about another 30 seconds. Flip pan over table and lay out crepe.

Lay out about a tablespoon worth of bruschetta mix and roll.

Makes about 6 - 8 crepes.

A Humble Chef's tip: have an omelet pan that you use only for crepes and omelets. Be careful not to scratch your pan by using metal utensils. Use either wood or heat -resistant silicone.

Variation: not a fan of feta, try some decadent Gorgonzola. Also, try serving this with a nice Arugula Salad. Nice combination.

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