Plan B – Crêpes

Jen here.  I just finished up 4-days solo parenting, something that happens about once a year around here.  I talked to my 6-year old ahead of time, and we made dinner plans for each night, based on ingredients we had around the house.  Sunday was chicken noodle soup.  Monday was burritos.  Tuesday was hamburgers and macaroni and cheese.  Wednesday we got to go out for Chinese.  It was great.  We had a plan.  It was food my kids will eat.

So, off we go.  We sailed through Sunday.  Hit Monday night and I pulled out the cheese and the beans.  I pulled out the tortillas.  One left in the bag.  Keep looking.   None in the freezer.  I’m sure we bought several packages to store in the freezer just so we’d be prepared.  Nothing!  Keep looking.  In the back of the fridge, I finally found two packages of now-green organic flour tortillas from Trader Joe’s (with sell-by dates of 12/21/08).  Oops.  I guess we forgot to put those in the freezer (where you can store them for a fairly long time).  Sigh.  Now what.  What will hold those burrito fillings and make my small children happy and full?

What’s Plan B? Oh – I’m so grateful for those small flashes of inspiration that come at desperate dinner times.  I remembered that I can make crêpes pretty quickly.  I once taught a group of young women how to make crêpes with various sauces and fillings for sweet and savory dishes.  I even put together a packet of recipes for them with several different kinds of crêpes (regular, whole wheat, cornmeal and Parmesan), along with the fillings.  So, I pulled out my trusty packet from 5 years ago, and whipped together crêpes in our blender.  You don’t need a blender.  An immersion blender and a tall bowl/pitcher (my old method) or even a bowl and spoon or whisk works.  The instructions below are as they’re written from a 30-year-old book I borrowed from the library.  I’ll put my comments in [brackets]

BASIC CRÊPES

1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups milk
1 Tablespoon butter, melted [or vegetable/olive oil]
vegetable oil [or non-stick spray for your pan]
lemon juice and sugar or warmed jam [optional, but tasty]

Sift flour and salt into a bowl.  [I haven't sifted in years, maybe decades - it used to be a good job for kids using the squeezy sifter thing.] Make a well in the center and add the eggs and a little of the milk.  [Put the eggs and all of the milk in the blender and, well, blend.] Beat well with a wooden spoon, working in all the flour. [Add the flour and salt to the blender, replace the lid and blend again.  You may need to scrape down the sides once.] Gradually beat in the remaining milk until bubbles form on top of batter.  Stir in butter. [Add the butter or oil to the blender and mix again.  At this point, the batter can be refrigerated and used later, like make it the night before for the next morning, if you want.]

Add a small amount of oil to a 7-inch crêpe pan-enough to barely cover the base-and place over high heat. [I have two 6-inch skillets, and spray them with my olive oil (pure for cooking) sprayer, and I do these on medium heat.] Pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons batter [I have a small soup ladle that works beautifully for this job.  you could also try pouring from the blender, or a pitcher . . . but I always make a huge mess doing that] and quickly tilt the pan so that the batter covers the base thinly and evenly.  Cook for about 1 minute over high heat until lightly browned underneath.  Turn crêpe with a metal spatula [or nonstick, or fork and fingers] and cook other side for about 30 seconds.  [If you overcook the crêpe, it will end up a bit crispy.  Stacking it on a plate with other crêpes will usually soften it.] Keep crêpe warm.  Continue until batter is used.  Serve with lemon juice and sugar, or with warmed jam.  Makes 8 crêpes [or more if a smaller pan is used].

I do have the other recipes mentioned.  If anybody is interested, I can email the packet to you.  It’s currently a word document.  Still working on converting it to a PDF and posting it to the website.  Included in the packet is:

Basic Crêpes
Whole Wheat Crêpes
Yellow Cornmeal Crêpes
Parmesan Cheese Crêpes
Egg & Tomato Topping
Ham, Cheese & Mushroom Topping
Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Topping
Sausage & Bacon Topping
Bacon & Pineapple Topping
Honey Orange Topping
Rich Butterscotch Topping
Cinnamon Cream Syrup
Mozzarella & Crouton Crêpes
Parmesan Potato Crêpes
Crêpes with Corn-Cheese Sauce
Mushroom Crêpes
Shrimp & Tuna Crêpes
Curried Chicken Crêpes
Sweet & Sour Pork Crêpes
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