Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

July 22, 2019
Bookmark and Share

A craving for crêpes

What is fast and fun to make folded, rolled or stuffed with any filling from savoury to sweet? The crêpe, of course! Adored for centuries in France where it originated, this delicate, thin pancake can be made plain or sweetened using an assortment of flours (like buckwheat, chestnut, cornmeal, garbanzo or wheat), herbs (basil, chives, marjoram, parsley, tarragon) and flavouring (extracts, liqueurs and zest). The choice of fillings is never-ending (fruits and veggies, cheese, meat, seafood, even ice cream). They can be served anytime — for brunch, lunch or dinner, either as an appetizer, main meal or dessert — and can be made in advance as long as they’re kept in the fridge or freezer. Here are three recipes from Lou Seibert Pappas’ Crêpes, published by Chronicle Books, that can be enjoyed morning, noon or night.

SAVOURY CRÊPES

These multipurpose crêpes and the variations that follow are great for savoury fillings. Keep a stack in the freezer for unexpected guests. They’ll quickly defrost at room temperature, then separate with ease.

It takes just 2 or 3 teaspoons (10 or 15g) of butter to coat the pan for a batch of crêpes. For health reasons, oil may be used to coat the pan, but butter is preferable for its browning effect. You can also use 2 tablespoons (30ml) of canola, safflower or olive oil in the batter instead of butter, but the flavour will be slightly different.

2 large eggs

1 c. (250ml) milk

3 c. (90ml) water

1 c. (250ml) all-purpose flour, preferably bleached

¼ tsp. (1.25ml) salt

2 tbsp. (30g) butter, melted, plus 2 or 3tsp. (10 to 15g) for coating the pan

In a blender or food processor, blend the eggs, milk, water, flour, salt and the 2 tablespoons (30g) melted butter for 5 seconds or until smooth. Stir and repeat if necessary.

To mix by hand, sift the flour into a medium bowl and add the salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs until blended, add the milk and water, then whisk this mixture into the flour and salt. Stir in the 2 tablespoons (30g) butter. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (2 hours is preferable for the most tender crêpes) or up to 24 hours.

Gently stir the batter if it has separated. Heat a 6- or 7-inch (15- or 18-cm) crêpe or omelet pan, or a nonstick skillet (use a 9- or 10-inch/23- or 25-cm pan for larger crêpes), over medium-high heat until hot. Coat the pan lightly with butter, lift the pan from the heat and pour in 2 or 3 tablespoons (30 or 45ml) of batter if using a smaller pan, or a ¼ cup (60ml) if using a larger pan, tilting and rotating the pan to coat the surface. Cook until almost dry on top and lightly browned on the edges, 1 minute. Loosen the edges with a metal spatula, flip the crêpe over, and cook the other side until lightly browned, 15 seconds. Turn the crêpe out onto a clean tea towel to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter, wiping the pan with butter as needed and stacking the crêpes as they are cooked.

If serving immediately, cover the crêpes with aluminium foil and keep warm in a preheated 93°C (200°F) oven. If serving later, wrap them in a self-sealing plastic bag. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. Makes 16 to 18 small crêpes or ten to twelve larger ones.

Variations:

For buckwheat galettes: Follow the recipe above, but replace 1 cup (250ml) all-purpose flour with 1/2 cup (150ml) all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup (150ml) buckwheat flour.

For herb crêpes: Follow the recipe above, but add ¼ cup (60ml) minced fresh chives, basil or flat-leaf parsley to the batter while blending. Or, for pale green mixed-herb crêpes, use ½ cup (125ml) mixed, minced fresh chives, green onion tops, flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, marjoram and basil.

For garbanzo flour crêpes: Same as above, but replace 1 cup (250ml) all-purpose flour with 1/2 cup (150ml) all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup (150ml) garbanzo flour.

Recipes from the book