Crêpes à la Clara

Fitting that after just having spoken about my affinity for crêpes in the city of lights, that I should travel to Spain for the weekend, only to make crêpes for the first time with my cousins!

Madrid has never signified very much for me, so I am grateful to discover it through the eyes of family that lives there.  It is a beautiful and sunny city (I note sunny because Paris in the winter can only boast of grey skies and dreary afternoons) that specializes in pane con tomate, jamon iberico, and many other splendors which I was happy to chow down on during my short but sweet stay.  Although my visit was on the underextended side, my cousin was sure to show me some of the best of what the city had to offer, which naturally included a visit to the Mercado de San Miguel, an indoor market located in the heart of the city.  Walk around and visit the numerous vendors, order a copa de vino, and nibble on some of the market's many offerings: croquetas, marinated olives or anchovies, fresh-shucked oysters and much, much more.  It's hard to have a bad time under such pleasant circumstances.

Sunday afternoon we delighted in arroz, Spanish rice which this time was prepared with various vegetables and brought out in an oversized vat for six people to indulge in.  Although I grew up on Basmati rice, I can't help but enjoy spoonfuls of soft and flavorful round white rice that is both soaked and coated in rich broth and white wine.

But perhaps the delight of my stay was learning that my cousin's daughter (which would make her my second cousin, correct?) is an avid cook and has even started, at the age of ten, making her own recipes!  So Clara, the lovely cook in the photo below, showed me how to make crêpes, which I learned is simple so long as you remember to keep the crêpe as thin as possible, to ensure even and golden cooking.  While I enjoyed my crêpe with maple syrup and sliced bananas, Clara swears by Nutella.  However, this French-style pancake can certainly be enjoyed as a savory dish: prepare the crêpes exactly the same way and fill with such ingredients as grated cheese, sauteed mushrooms, roasted vegetables, ham, or some or all of the above. The portions we made together are for 3-4 servings so I reduced them to be suitable for one crêpe.

If you're making a sweet crêpe, you will likely want to pair it with a sweet wine, such as a Muscat, or a fruity white, such as a Vouvray.  And even with a savory crêpe, a sweet white such as Riesling should pair well.  Enjoy mes amis!

Crêpes à la Clara - serves 1
15g (1/2 oz) butter
30 g (1 oz) flour
6 cL (2 fl. oz) milk - whole or skim is up to you, you can also substitute water
olive oil for the pan
fillings as you wish, some ideas are: nutella, honey, sugar, butter, banana & maple syrup, or ham, cheese, & mushroom for a savory filling

1. Combine the flour and milk in a bowl.
2.  In a saucepan, melt the butter.  Once melted, add it to the flour and stir with a whisk to combine.  You want the consistency to be like scrambled eggs before they have been cooked.  If you find it is too thick, add more milk to thin it out.
3.  Dab a cotton swab or a tissue in olive oil, and wipe it all over a crêpe pan or a large saute pan.  Heat over medium heat.
4.  Add batter to the pan, and immediately swirl the batter so that it evenly covers all of the pan.
5.  Once bubbling and cooked through (usually about 2-3 minutes), flip over with the help of a thin spatula and cook through on the second side, about 1-2 minutes more.
6.  Slide onto a plate, cover with desired fillings, and fold to form a wrap.  Drizzle with extra fillings if desired, and enjoy while hot.

Thank you Claricita!



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