Food seems to be a rather popular topic of discussion nowadays. For me, food has always been a rather odd thing to discuss because of my severe reaction to several common food groups. Conversations about food with “normal” people usually end up with them asking me, “Just what DO you eat Dylon?” The answer is simple: plain, good-tasting food. That’s usually not enough for them, so this month’s article is my attempt to dispel the myth that I sustain myself on nothing but carrots and fried chicken.
This inspiration for this month’s recipe comes from “Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Fast and Easy Recipes for Any Day”, a wonderful cookbook to which my wife introduced me. You can click on the picture of its cover to order it directly from Amazon.com.
I call my version of the recipe “Cornmeal Crepes”. They’re actually more like a cross between a crepe and a pancake, but you cook them like crepes, so I prefer that moniker. They’re appropriate for both lunch and supper, and I’m sure some of our readers would like them for breakfast as well.
For me, there’s two main reasons to like a recipe: it’s quick and simple, and it tastes great. These crepes certainly cover that ground, going together in flash as they’re totally mixed in your blender. And they taste great! They have a wonderful light texture, but also that great cornmeal feel. Served with maple syrup and a dab of butter, there’s nothing better!
- 1 ¼ Cups of Milk
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1 ¼ cup Cornmeal
- ½ cup Flour
Start by putting the Milk in your blender, add the Eggs, Maple Syrup, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and room temperature Butter (there’s no need to melt it, the blender does a great job). Give this a thorough whirl on your fastest blender setting, I like to jolt it so that the baking power gets distributed evenly. To this add the Cornmeal and Flour. Blend on your fastest setting again. I usually end up stopping once or twice, so that I can use a spoon to scrape down any flour that’s stuck to the edges of the blender jug. The batter should be fairly thin when you’re done.
And that’s it, you’re now ready to make your crepes. Using a nonstick skillet is of the utmost importance– you just won’t get away with anything less than Teflon for these crepes. I heat the pan to a medium temperature– 6 or 7 on my electric stove, your mileage may vary. When it’s hot, I add about ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil, you don’t want to take any chance with these babies sticking, plus it helps with the flipping process.
Swirl the oil around so that it coats the skillet as evenly as possible. If the oil snaps or crackles, it’s too hot. Pour some of the batter into the pan. I usually add enough so that the circle is 1 – 2 inches from the rim of the pan. As you get more confident at flipping the crepes you can make them bigger. As the crepe cooks you’ll notice air bubbles coming to the surface as you would with normal pancakes, don’t use this as the only guide to knowing when to flip them. I wait until the edges have started to take on that partially cooked sheen, and also pick up the skillet and swirl it around, to judge how loose the crepe is. If swirling the pan causes the crepe to slide around easily you know it’s time to flip it. Now, you can go the easy route and use a simple spatula to flip your crepe, but if you want to, you can get a little adventurous, which of course is what I prefer to do.
So, how do you flip a crepe without a spatula? You flip it with a fancy flip of the wrist and pray that it doesn’t stick to the ceiling. Once the crepe is sliding loosely around the pan all you need to do flick your wrist just right to flip it. Snap your arm sharply forward, then flick your wrist back. The momentum of the sudden stop will cause the crepe to keep sliding forward. It will slide up the edge of the pan and right out if you’re not careful. As it’s coming up the edge, thrust the pan forward again, lowering it slightly as you do so, this will cause the crepe to fall backward, uncooked side down into the pan. You’ll need a non-stick skillet with slanted edges to accomplish this “amazing” feat of cookery. It’s easier to practice with smaller crepes at first. If the top side is too wet you may splash a little of the batter around, but that’s all part of the fun.
Serve the crepe right away. I like Maple Syrup and Butter on mine. You could also serve them with a fruit topping and whipped cream. (editor’s note: you could make them savory, rather than sweet, by filling them with seafood in a béchamel, perhaps, or spiced ground pork and sautéed vegetables. They don’t fold well, preferring to crack at the folds rather than arcing over the filling, so any fillings are really toppings. –Michelle)
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
– Dylon Whyte