Rub my crepe for luck

January 7, 2010

Here we've got a photo of my New Year's Day lunch. Jealous? Yeah, it was awesome. (Obviously my resolutions did not include "modesty.") My parents always have pork and sauerkraut that day - I think it must be a western PA thing, because when I've mentioned that to other people they just think that's weird. Delicious, perhaps, but weird. Apparently the idea behind it is to bring you fortune in the new year - something about eating like a pig instead of scrounging and pecking like a chicken (it is apparently totally bad luck to eat chicken). Not sure about the sauerkraut - maybe so you always stink like a hobo? That night for dinner my husband and I made rabbit - I hope that ensures that we are as cuddly and cute as bunnies in 2010. (Yes, recipe forthcoming!)

But back to the crepes. We had them for a late brunch and I really can't tell you how great they tasted. Perfectly chewy, and of course, a great vehicle for cheese. I only wish I had one of those ginormous circular crepe hot plates that Paris street vendors have. My cast iron pan worked pretty well, though.

Crepes (adapted from the King Arthur Flour cookbook)
Makes 6 crepes (serving 2 hungry or 3 dieting people)
warning - the batter has to sit for an hour!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Additional butter for greasing the pan
cheese* (I tried goat cheese, sharp cheddar, and beemster. You'll only need about 1 oz. of cheese per crepe. The beemster - which is nutty and sharp - was our favorite.)
fresh greens (I used baby arugula, but spinach would be great)
condiments of your choice (I chose tomato marmalade and mustard)

*obviously, you can fill crepes with anything you like, such as Nutella and bananas, jelly, sauteed mushrooms, etc.

Combine flour and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the milk and eggs. Make a well in the flour, and slowly pour in half the milk/egg mixture. Blend well, then add the rest of the milk/eggs and stir until well-mixed. A few lumps are ok. Stir in the butter. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least an hour.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Using a wad of paper towel, rub a bit of butter on the skillet. Pour 1/3 cup batter into the pan, immediately spreading it around with a spatula or a nifty crepe-spreader. When the edges begin to curl slightly, and it is looking kind of dry, peek at the bottom. You don't want it too brown. Flip with a spatula. (They hold together really well, so flipping is easy.) Take a little bit of cheese (be conservative, it's not a quesadilla) and spread it on half the crepe. Smoosh some greens on top. Fold the non-filling side on top of the filling side and press down. Fold in half again, and keep warm in a 250 degree oven while you finish cooking the rest of the crepes.

Serve with the condiments of your choice.


Elsa said...

I love crepes. But I am kind of a minimalist - the sweet kind with sugar and lemon juice. However, your mention of stuffing them with goat cheese may have turned me around. Since goat cheese IS one of my favorite THINGS. Not my favorite fooods, one of my favorite THINGS. (Appalachia shout out!)

Also, I love sauerkraut. Can you come up with a way to combine crepes, goat cheese and sauerkraut? That would be ideal.

Benjamin said...

The whole pork and sauerkraut thing is a polish tradition, said to bring good luck throughout the year when eaten on New Year's Day. Hence, it's become a western PA thing due to its rather large polish population. Either way, it's also become an Echo Park, Los Angeles tradition since we've been spending our time here. The crepes sound delicious, but I always go for Cuban Sandwiches ever since my twin bought me a professional food slicer.