If you’re thinking about some different ways to feature the great local summer produce you’re purchasing right now, how about taking a continental turn and making crepes?
Whether sweet or savory, served for breakfast, lunch, dinner or treats, these light roll-ups will add a little something special at the table while offering plenty of room for creativity.
Legend has it that crepes were the result of a happy accident when a 13th-century French housewife spilled buckwheat porridge from a kettle onto a hot flat cooking stone in the fireplace. Others say that crepes were being made as early as the year 472 and offered to French Catholic pilgrims by Pope Gelasio I when they were visiting Rome for Candlemas.
Either way, we say “Vive le crepe!” and encourage you to add them to your culinary repertoire.
These thin pancakes are tender and light and only take a little practice to get perfect. We offer you a recipe for making traditional crepes from scratch and two packaged options as well. You can make the crepes sweet with the addition of sugar and vanilla extract or savory by omitting the sugar and vanilla and replacing those ingredients with a pinch of salt.
The Purple Onion offers its customers the Stonewall Kitchen Traditional Crepe Mix and the New Hope Mills Crepe Mix. For both, you will need eggs, water, unsalted butter or oil and vanilla (for sweet crepes) to complete the recipes.
We like the idea of crepes for a late breakfast or brunch when you can offer both sweet and savory crepes to family and friends. The simplest of breakfast crepes can be made by rolling your favorite jam or preserves in crepes and sprinkling them with confectioner’s sugar. At The Purple Onion and WV Marketplace, you can find some unique jams and preserves to try. You might also consider filling the crepes with fresh berries, sliced peaches or plums and a drizzle of honey.
For something more savory, how about soft scrambled eggs to which you’ve added chopped fresh chives. Roll the scrambled eggs into the crepes and top with a sprinkle of cheese like cheddar, gruyere or goat, a sprinkle of chives and a grind of fresh black pepper. You could up the ante here by adding cooked bacon, sausage or ham to the filling.
Because crepes are up for any filling and they take so little of it, they are the perfect foil for lifting leftovers to new heights. Think about that ratatouille, curried chicken salad or seven-layer salad from the family picnic. A little goes a long way when you reheat the vegetable dish, roll it up and sprinkle the top with grated parmesan cheese. Add some chopped nuts to the chicken salad, roll the crepes up and sprinkle some finely diced apples on the top. And the seven layer salad will make a cool, fresh roll-up.
For an appetizer, try the Black Pepper Crepes with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes. If you are not making crepes from scratch, add 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper to your crepe batter while you are making it.
When it’s time for dinner, give those crepes an international twist with a recipe like the Chicken Alfredo crepes we feature below. This recipe is a good template for whatever filling you’d like to use. You could go south of the border with a Santa Fe crepe by substituting your favorite chili recipe for the chicken and veggie mixture. Top the rolled up crepes with salsa and queso fresco or Monterey Jack cheese and bake.
Looking for a vegetarian option? Summer Vegetable Crepes is just for you!
At the end of the meal, when it’s time for something sweet, go all in for a traditional French dessert — Crepes aux Fraises Chaudes et Menthes — or Crepes with Hot Minted Strawberries as we say “en Amerique”! With a spoonful of crème fraiche or sour cream, it’s a divine end to a meal.
For an anytime sweet treat, give our Sweet Treat recipe a try. We offer two options. Let your imagination and taste preferences come up with other combinations.