Sunday, September 25, 2011

Crepes




Crepes are one of life’s delights. Relatively simple to make, they have somehow acquired a mystique that is usually reserved for more finicky dishes like souffl├ęs, or aspics. Crepes! The very word sounds decadent and, well, “fancy”. And so it was with joy that I recently accepted the offer of my dear friend Ann Tindall to make some for me when I stayed at her house. Ann is a gourmet cook who isn’t afraid of anything, (though you really don’t need to be afraid of these!) and she made some killer crepes that we garnished the heck out of – with Bacon and Other Delights!



Ann used a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, which is a time-trusted tome, but here I provide a recipe from a well-known writer of food articles from Vogue and The Saturday Evening Post in the 50s and 60s: George Bradshaw. I picked his 1969 book of “Suppers and Midnight Snacks” because, heck, I’m feeling kind of fancy, myself! See his version below, complete with brandy, vague measurements, and un-explained instructions. Of course this was written by a writer first, a cook second! And though you may giggle at him, as I did, he knows his crepes. Make up a batch and see for yourself – whether it be for a romantic midnight supper, or for a lazy morning with a friend. Experiment with fillings (lobster comes to mind in the first case) and enjoy!



“Crepes are handy things to have around the house,” he says. “They give a certain panache to a meal…If they have a drawback, it is that they are monotonous to make – pancake after pancake – so I advise you to put a bit of Scarlatti on the kitchen hi-fi. It helps.”



Crepes



1 cup flour

Good dash of salt

3 eggs

7 tsp of melted butter

1 Tbsp. brandy

1tsp grated lemon rind

1 ½ cups milk



Place all ingredients in electric blender and run until batter is smooth. You must let this batter rest for a couple of hours. Don’t ask why, just do it.



A utensil that is highly convenient for this operation is a crepe pan, although an iron skillet 6 inches across will do. You also need a spatula.



To cook, heat the pan and drop a small piece of butter into it, then tip the pan in all directions so that its surface is well greased.



Pour a small amount of batter, 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls, into the pan, and then tip the pan again in all directions so that this small amount of batter covers the entire surface.



In about a minute lift up the corner of the cake and look; if it is golden brown, it is done. Run a spatula under the cake, turn it, and in another minute it will be done.



Repeat until all batter is used up. Remember to start each time with a little hunk of butter and watch skillet. It must not get too hot.



From this recipe: 18-20 crepes.