Sunday, February 7, 2010

Crêpe Extravaganza!


I know that a crêpe extravaganza the way the Grays do it isn’t within reach of most people, simply because they lack the elite and rarified crêpière that makes it possible. But don’t feel left out: I had to sell my soul to my friend Sarah who was going to France, who then sought it out for me and shipped it to the States. After already being $125 invested, we discovered that we needed not just an ordinary voltage converter to make it work, but a 25-lb TRANSFORMER from China, which we got on Ebay for about $80. So it’s been a labor of love. It took us probably 18 months before we finally had the maiden voyage. But it was so worth it. Whenever we have friends over for a crêpe extravaganza it blows their minds. I know you’re thinking, “What’s the deal, they sell crêpières in the States!” But not this kind. Scroll down and you’ll see what I mean. Ordinary mortals will be able to mimic the flavor, but not the fun, of crêpe madness à la Gray Family. My recommendation would be to make all the crêpes ahead of time, and let your guests top them individually and reheat them in the microwave or on the stove top...unless you’re ready to sell your soul to someone headed to France who’s willing to either ship it or carry it home on the plane, in which case I recommend buying it at the BHV or the Galleries Lafayette.

In France there are savory crêpes called galettes, which are made with buckwheat flour, whereas the sweet ones, simply called crêpes, are made with white flour and a little sugar. I haven’t found a good source for buckwheat flour, and I’m just a little too lazy to make two different batters. So I put some whole wheat flour in my basic crepe batter and call it good for both savory and sweet:

1 C white flour

1 C whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/2 C milk

2 eggs

3 Tbs canola oil or melted butter

I like to just whirl it all in the blender to make sure there are no lumps. You should let your batter sit for at least 30 minutes before starting—it will thicken up. Add a little extra milk if it seems too thick. This batch is all ready to go.


Now time to think about the toppings. It’s great to have guests because they always come up with things that you don’t think of yourself. Some of our favorite savory toppings are--

meat: ham, grilled marinated chicken, bacon, Italian sausage.

cheese: jarlsburg (the poor man’s gruyere), blue, feta, fresh mozzarella.

vegetables: mushrooms sautéed with garlic and rosemary, caramelized onions with balsamic vinegar, diced roasted beets, pickled carrots, pickled or steamed asparagus, sliced green or kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes.

other: some good mustard on the side!

Here are the mushrooms and onions all ready to go.


And the table is set: notice the beloved family-style crêpière. Each diner has his own little tool to flip his crêpe and close it over the toppings of his choice.


Close-up on the cheeses and ham…


Those crêpes are totally ready to be flipped. Onions, beets, etc. watch from afar.


The first delicious essais.


Annah in action closing her bursting, ham- and beet-filled crêpe.


The next stage, which I failed to photograph, is obviously the dessert crêpe extravaganza. Some of our favorite sweet toppings are: Nutella (duh), bananas, strawberries, cream cheese, pepper jelly, various jams, maple syrup, ricotta cheese, peanut butter/almond butter, marshmallow cream, caramel sauce.

1 comment:

  1. OMG Sarah!¡!¡! That's unbelievable!
    I absolutely looove your blog, it’s awesome, great descriptions and beautiful pics! You are a genius! Just something else my friend!!! Te admiro muchisimo!
    Un abrazote ;)