I admit it. I was scared. Scared to try my hand at crepes.
Though I consider myself a pretty avid cook, there are few simple dishes I sometimes have issues with. My scrambled eggs usually end up sticking to the pan, and my fried eggs are kind of scary-looking. Pancakes are another issue. Mine taste great, but I have trouble with the flipping technique, so they’re very rarely the perfectly round stacks you get at IHOP. The Guy is much better at the actual cooking part than I am, so our standard pancake arrangement is for me to make the batter and then let him cook them. He’s even perfected Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes for the Kiddo.
Somehow I made it to my early 30s before I ever tried eating a crepe. I’m not sure why, but then a couple years ago, I had this amazing stuffed crepe at a fair–it was enormous, like an oversized tortilla, and they had stuffed it with chicken, peppers and onions, like a giant burrito. Best fair food I’ve ever had, hands down.
But the thought of making my own crepes seemed intimidating; if I can’t handle pancakes, how I would I ever master crepes? They’re so wafer-thin that surely they must take a feat of magic to accomplish, right? Still, after having the stuffed crepe at the fair and realizing how versatile this little dish could be, I really wanted to give it a shot. A couple weeks ago I did an internet search and found a couple tutorials on crepe-making. They were nice step-by-step pictorials, but still it seemed daunting.
Yesterday morning, the Guy and I slept late and I woke up hungry. Still in bed, talking myself into crawling out of the warm covers, I considered options for a hearty breakfast. I had some delicious leftover crock pot ham that would be great in an omelette. Oh, but omelettes also fall in the category of simple dishes I’m not very good at. Well, maybe, if I was going to make something and potentially mess it up, I should just go ahead and try the crepes?
So I did. Yep, yesterday morning I lost my crepe virginity. And they were surprisingly easy. They didn’t turn out perfectly round and beautiful like what you’d probably get eating out, but they certainly weren’t deformed, as I expected they might be. Actually, I think they looked pretty darn good. And because I was ravenous, I didn’t even take the time to reference my nice tutorials I’d found previously–just pulled out my trusted Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and went to town.
Here’s the basic recipe:
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 T. oil
1/4 tsp. salt
Whisk together all ingredients until well-combined. Heat a very lightly-greased, nonstick skillet to medium. Note–my cookbook said a 6-inch skillet, but I sent with slightly larger because I was planning to stuff them with my leftover ham and a little feta cheese (result: delicious!). Eventually, I’m going to be brave and try to make giant crepes like those I had at the fair. Lift skillet from heat and hold at a slant while you pour slightly less than 1/4-cup batter (recipe called for 2 tablespoons but that was for the smaller version) onto the highest edge of the skillet, so that the thin batter runs down and covers the entire skillet. You’ll need to tilt and swirl the pan around a bit to coat the bottom with a very thin layer. Return the pan to heat. Cook for only about 20 seconds. You’ll see air bubbles start to form and the batter will begin to appear dry. Flip and cook for 15-20 more seconds. The flipping part was what I worried about, but as long as you’ve used just a little bit of grease in your pan, they don’t stick at all and flip quite nicely. I used vegetable oil and would recommend cooking oil over nonstick spray for these. I tried one with spray and did not have good results. Once cooked, just turn the skillet over to flip the crepe onto a serving plate.
Now that I’ve conquered my fear, I’m excited to try these again and see exactly how versatile they can be. The recipe made about a dozen crepes. Since we were eating them stuffed, they were pretty hearty, so we only had two each. We put the leftovers in the fridge, and they reheated well later in the day when we got the munchies. Actually, I had one for a mid-afternoon snack, stuffed with ham again, didn’t even bother to heat it, and it was still yummy! According to my internet research, these also freeze well (layer wax paper between each crepe and place in a freezer-safe container), so I might need to do some batch cooking and keep some on hand in the freezer.
Stay tuned–I feel sure there will more crepe variations, recipe ideas using crepes and maybe even my own pictorial to come on this blog!