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Make French Crepes with a Real French Guy

12 Apr

I’m back!!! I’m ending a several-month silence by making traditional French crepes with my favorite Frenchman. Check out the video and let me know what you think! Have you ever made homemade crepes? This is an easy recipe – give it a shot!

Traditional French Crepes

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
4 eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup beer
4 cups half and half or whole milk at room temperature

Put the flour in a large bowl and make a large well (Geoff calls it a pit) in the center.

Whisk the eggs well and pour into the well, along with the melted butter and salt. Begin whisking in the center, very slowly and gently, to start incorporating flour from the sides of the well. Slowly add the milk in small amounts along with the beer, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. The beer helps the crepes to be light and fluffy, but pick something with a mild flavor, like High Life (the champagne of beers – sort of French?) so that you can’t taste it. You’ll whisk for 10-15 minutes total, and the batter will be very thin. The batter can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Get a small nonstick pan very hot over high heat and spread a tiny amount of canola oil in the bottom with a paper towel to prevent sticking. You’ll only have to add oil every 5-10 crepes, not every time. Pour 1/4-1/3 cup of crepe batter into the bottom of the pan and swirl so that it reaches the sides and coats in a very thin layer. The edges of the crepes will be lacy. If your first crepe is too thick because your pan is smaller, just use a little less batter on the next pour.

Cook over a medium-high flame until the edges of the crepe look browned and feel crispy, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Run a spatuala underneath the crepe to make sure it doesn’t stick, and flip the crepe to cook on the other side. Afraid of flipping like we do in the video? No problem – you can also use the spatula to turn it like a pancake. Contine cooking until the crepe is set, 1-1/2 additional minutes. Remove from the pan and continue making crepes like a French boss.

This recipe makes a huge stack of crepes – great for a party, or for a crepe cake! If you don’t want to make them all at once, store the extra batter in the fridge for 1-2 days. Whisk it well before using.

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Summer Salads

26 Jun

I’m not a big salad eater. Never have been. But there’s something about digging into a big, colorful bowl of vegetables when the temperature outside is soaring…it makes me feel virtuous.

That feeling usually lasts until I am digging into a big, chilly bowl of ice cream approximately 2 hours later. Hey, nutrition is all about balance and moderation, right?

Salads and ice cream: two foods meant for summer days.

Here’s a simple spinach salad that we ate a couple of weeks ago. Easy-peasy.

Baby spinach leaves + grilled chicken breast + chopped cucumber + chopped strawberries + green onions + candied walnuts + spicy apple cider vinaigrette.

More about the ice cream in the coming months!

Spinach Salad with Strawberries

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

One-Word Wednesdays: Jarring

28 Dec

Every Wednesday, I’ll be posting a food related photo. But I’ve already said too much…

Pickled Peppers

Pickled Banana and Anaheim Peppers

Mexican Food Porn

12 Dec

I just spent a few days in Playa del Carmen, a town on the Mayan Riviera about an hour’s drive south of Cancun. It’s a beautiful, lively place that I’ll remember fondly for a long time. Somehow I managed to make it to Playa del Carmen twice this year, and both times it was a tropical delight. I ate a lot while I was there. I also drank a lot, and the magical Mayan gods made sure that I never had a hangover, a feat that is mysterious and miraculous. A single tequila shot in Chicago would leave me with a reeling headache the next day, but in Playa del Carmen, the drinks can flow freely (and can also fluctuate between pina coladas, margaritas, beers, and Jager shots) all day and night with nary a bleary eye in the morning. Viva la Mexico!

The main strip, 5th Avenue, is very touristy, but great, authentic Mexican food can be found by venturing just a block or two away, by heading to the bus station for street meat, or by making friends with your hotel concierge. Here’s some of the most delicious stuff I tasted.

I had a lovely stay at The Bric Hotel. The staff was really fantastic, especially Gustavo. I recommend it highly.

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