>> Monday, January 19, 2015
My first crepe experience was at the Magic Pan restaurant in the brand-new Renaissance Center in Detroit, where my Grandpa Williams took us after its grand opening. I remember the world singing hallelujah that Detroit was being revitalized and the pain of having to choose just one crepe entree from the giant Magic Pan creperie.
Magic Pan had sugar lumps wrapped in paper, and my cousin Scott and I ate as many as we could without getting caught, and stuffed our pockets full on the way out the door. While my parents chatted, Scott and I dropped the sugar cubes down through the open courtyard, trying to tag a shopper. I can say this now, because the statute of limitations on that crime has now run out.
I also remember a lecture from my mom that has lasted to this day: I am physically unable to pronounce them "crapes" (which rhymes with grapes) but must always say creps, which rhymes with preps. This means I confuse a lot of Americans when I order them from a menu.
First Born developed a passion for crepes early. She loved them so much that her Aunt and Uncle gave her a crepe machine when she was about twelve. Now that she's on her own, her miniscule Chicago kitchen doesn't have room for many appliances, so we've had the benefit of unlimited crepe-making for years. If you don't have a crepe-maker, the instructions below use a little skillet.
Joe and I came up with this recipe one day while looking for something new to cook for Sunday brunch. Since crepes are such a classic French dish, we turned to Julia Child's cookbook for inspiration. After some reasonably simple directions (especially short for Julia), she went on to describe stacked crepes with fillings in between the layers - kind of like a crepe lasagna.
I adore those pretty little crepe rolls full of juicy berries and jam, and if you top them with a bit of mascarpone you'll be pretty close to heaven on a plate. But rolled crepes are a bit of work and if you're clutzy like me, they can also be messy. Crepes stacked up without any rolling tend to eliminate both problems.
This recipe is great for using up leftovers, which is why it is Western omelet (or Denver omelet) style. We had ham, peppers, onions, and a few other things to throw in the filling. Like always, use whatever makes you happy.
IngredientsFor the crepes
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
For the filling/sauce
1 tbsp oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped mushroom
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup chopped ham
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
For the sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp Lousiana hot sauce
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
InstructionsAdd all of the crepe ingredients to the blender or food processor and pulse for 10 seconds. Put the batter in the refrigerator while preparing the other ingredients. This will let some of the bubbles rise out of the batter so your crepes are less likely to tear.
Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the vegetables. Add the ham, then keep warm while making the crepes.
Heat a small non-stick pan. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and quickly swirl it until the pan is evenly covered. Slide a spatula around the edges to release them. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and then flip onto a plate.
Layer crepes with the vegetable mixture and cheese until it is as high as you like.Vigorously whisk together all sauce ingredients until it is frothy, and pour over the stack of crepes. Serve by cutting it into slices like a cake.
If you have leftover crepes, let them cool, then store them in a plastic bag in the fridge or freezer.