Crepes are a family tradition. No, we are not French, but crepes are also extremely popular in Russia. So, I grew up eating them, and eating them often enough to love them. When we have crepes for family get togethers, my mom or grandma usually would make a high stack of them. Once you get into your crepe-making groove, it’s almost therapeutic. One thing is for sure, don’t cook them when you are in a rush. They require patience.
My family eats them in a variety of ways:
- sprinkled with sugar and folded into quarters
- drizzled with honey
- with a layer of preserves (my favorite way)
- stuffed with Russian cottage cheese (similar to a creamy yogurt)
- stuffed with ground meat and spices, for dinner
- and for special occasions, a simple crepe with caviar on top. This is the ultimate Russian tradition. Popular on big holidays, especially New Year.
I made a stack of whole wheat crepes last night so this morning a had my crepe with warmed bananas and a spoonful of almond butter. You can add your favorite yogurt and any kind of fruit you like on top. Roll them up and enjoy. You can also have the with preserves and yogurt, nut butters and fruit, or you can think of it as an omelet: spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, vegan cheese, tofu or eggs.
You can even have them for lunch or dinner.
This was a buckwheat crepe with a layer of pesto, Trader Joe’s giant white beans in tomato sauce (these are so so good), lettuce and tomatoes on top. You can eat these with cubed and roasted eggplant, lentils, or squash. Possibilities are endless!
Now that I probably completely shocked you with this list, I have a simple crepe recipe that you can use to make your own. These are perfect for a family breakfast or lunch, especially during the holidays when your friends and family are in town. You can make a stack of crepes the night before and just re-heat the next morning. I promise, they will taste just as good (or almost as good, but no one will notice). You can just put a few toppings on your table and have your family put together their own crepe.
1 cup flour (of your choice: all purpose, whole wheat, oat, and etc…)
1/4 cup of water mixed with 1 tbls of flaxseed (or 1 egg)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of milk (of your choice, I use almond)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbls butter (Earth Balance, or of your choice) + a teaspoon
1. Warm up your skillet: Pick a frying pan or a griddle with a handle, and with a non stick type of surface. In my experience, stainless steel won’t work as well. Turn the heat to medium-high and let a teaspoon of butter melt in the pan.
2. Make the batter: meanwhile, mix the flaxseed and the water in a small bowl (or if using an egg, whisk the egg with a fork). Melt the butter in the microwave. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, water and milk. Add the egg, then the melted butter, and whisk until all the clumps are gone and the batter is completely smooth.
3. Check for consistency: Unlike pancakes, which you don’t want to over-mix, crepe batter needs to be mixed thoroughly. Use a spoon and check to see that the batter can be poured easily but still has a little resistance. If you need to, add more water. Pour all the batter into a liquid measuring cup so you will know how much your are pouring into the pan. After a while, you will be able to just eyeball it.
4. Time to cook: make sure that your pan is ready and hot. Pour about 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of batter into the center of your pan. Immediately, pick up the pan, and holding the handle, move the pan around in a circular motion so that the batter evenly spreads throughout the entire pan. Remember, it will be a very thin layer of batter, and it should take up almost your entire pan.
5. Cook and flip: Cook for about 2 minutes or until your spatula can comfortably slide under your crepe. With a quick motion, flip your crepe to the other side and cook until ready. Serve hot, or re-heat later that night or next morning
They are not difficult to make, but you definitely need some practice to perfect the technique. You want to make sure that the crepe is very thin – my mom is adamant about this!
Ok, off I go to get coffee with my friend, Laura who is visiting from out of town, then pilates. Eric and I will get on the road to Bakersfield later this afternoon to spend Christmas there. Busy day ahead. Packing for Bakersfield, and getting everything together for our trip to Portland!I will keep you updated on our holiday fun with the family. Oh and I have some gifts to reveal.