Friday Menu: Brunch: Crepes and Sausage.
I love crêpes. They are one of my favorite street/café food in France. Although, I think I prefer the savory buckwheat ones called galettes. Those they fill with all sorts of delightful things such as juicy brat-like sausages, or ham and cheese or tomatoes, onion and a fried egg or just about anything you can imagine. Mmmmm… When I studied abroad we would have galette parties and have everyone bring something to put in the galettes, rather like a French Stone Soup. But, buckwheat flour isn’t sold at Sam’s and I’m not about to trek all the way to Whole Foods just to make galettes for the guys (although, now that I’m talking about it, I might do it for me. Galette party at my house, everyone bring something!). So, I decided to stick with the sweet ones, which are every bit as delicious, and again, filled with every sweet thing imaginable. I once had a bananas foster one one time…
Crêpes (pronounced like crap with a French accent) are very easy to make. They are generally served for dessert in France, and are traditionally eaten in the wintertime. And, if you want to really impress your friends and family, you can learn to flip them in the air rather than turn them with a spatula. My dad taught me when I was in 6th grade, and I have impressed everyone ever since. Ok, maybe not everyone, but I have impressed a few people… There’s also an old tradition that if you can flip it and catch it in the pan with your left land, while holding a coin in your right hand, you’ll become rich. When it comes to fillings, the most common way you find them is either with butter, sugar and cinnamon, or Nutella. Nutella is a chocolate-hazelnut spread that is out of this world. I would eat it with a spoon if it wouldn’t make me gain 100 pounds. (How did I get so skinny in France, this was literally about 36% of my diet, the rest being bread, yogurt, and pasta. Maybe it was the yogurt…). Fruit is also a very popular filling. For the guys, I’ve got a few different kinds of pie filling, whip cream, and of course, Nutella.
If you’re wondering just what exactly crêpes are, they are, in the words of the movie Talladega Nights “Those skinny little pancake thingys”. Yup, that’s what they are. Skinny pancakes. You’ll find a rather pathetic version at IHOP (ok, call me a foodie, but I simply can’t call those soggy, floppy things crêpes, they don’t deserve the circumflex).
So, without further ado, here is the recipe for crêpe batter.
(Oh… so who’s bringing the wine to the galette party?)
24 large Eggs
8 cups Milk
12 tbs Butter, melted
6 cups All Purpose Flour
3 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Sugar
Mix all ingredients well, until there are no lumps (It may be easiest to give a mix in the blender). Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour (can be made a day ahead of time. Heat a non-stick omelet pan over medium-high heat (or whatever setting you would put it at to make pancakes). Run a stick of butter over the pan to grease (do not melt too much butter in the pan as it will ruin the crêpes. The easiest way to do it is to unwrap part of a stick of butter and then run the butter over the hot pan quickly while holding onto the still wrapped end) Pour a small amount of batter into the pan. This will vary depending on pan size, but for an 8 inch skillet, it will be slightly less than ¼ cup. Swirl the batter around as you pour to evenly coat the surface of the pan. The crêpe will cook quickly, usually less than a minute or so per side. When the bottom has become light golden brown and crisp, flip it over to the other side. Cook for an additional minute. Serve warm with a selection of tasty fillings (strawberry lavender jam was another of my favorites… L I miss the jam lady at the Rennes market!!!)