Mea culpa for my unexplained absence, fair readers. As consolation, I promise sustained, indefinite activity--I have much to share, especially for the warm months ahead. I've had a head start; it's already sultry here in Texas
But I'm resuming with a multi-purpose, oh-so-simple recipe, one that appears on our table regularly: whole wheat crepes. They are both basic and endlessly versatile: paper thin, and easy to fork up (no wrestling or wriggling required), they can be filled with just about anything (think of a range from peanut butter & jelly to leftover Indian takeout). They're also great make-ahead food, ready for filling and gnoshing for quick dinners, breakfasts, and snacks.
Crepes were a regular feature for Saturday morning breakfasts at my house throughout childhood and beyond. The default topping was a sprinkle of sugar and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. The Meyer lemons from the tree in our backyard were sweet-tart sublime (still are; the tree still stands). I thought it nearly impossible to rival the delicious memory.
But, thanks to my crepe-loving husband, who spent a year living in Paris, I've expanded my tastes. He makes a mean egg and ham crepe, and also introduced me to Nutella-filled crepes, a simple extravagance of oozing chocolate-hazelnut pleasure.
Similarly, I've expanded my crepe batter options. I've tried a wealth of unusual flours, from spelt to amaranth to brown rice, and I've come to love my husband's favorite, buckwheat crepes (gallettes), native to Brittany, and more typically filled with savory options. But whole wheat crepes have become my favored, multi-purpose crepe.
And as good as the lemon sugar, Nutella, and ham-cheese options, I must make a filling recommendation for the glorious summer produce days ahead: a spread of Greek yogurt, a handful of fruit, and a drizzle of honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup. Delicate, yet, hearty, heaven in a mouthful.
Whole Wheat Crepes
1 cup white whole-wheat flour (or 1/2 cup a-p flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt (preferably fine sea salt)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup lowfat milk
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted, or neutral vegetable oil
1/2 cup seltzer water, or club soda
1. Whisk the flour, salt, eggs, milk and butter (or oil) in a food processor or blender; process until smooth, scraping the sides once or twice. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
2.Slowly whisk seltzer water into the crepe batter. Lightly oil a small nonstick skillet with a crumpled paper towel; heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Ladle about 2 tablespoons batter into the skillet with a small ladle or measuring cup; immediately tilt and rotate the pan to spread the batter evenly over the bottom.
3.Cook the crepe until the underside is lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Using a small metal spatula or a fork, lift the edge of the crepe, quickly grasp it with your fingers and flip. Cook until the second side is lightly browned, about 20 seconds longer. Slide the crepe onto a plate.
4.If serving immediately, fill and roll up like a jellyroll (I prefer this way for sweet) or fold the crepe into quarters (I prefer this for savory). Continue to cook crepes with the remaining batter, oiling the pan as needed and stacking crepes as you go.
Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate crepes between sheets of wax paper for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Fast Filling Ideas (10 of an infinite number):
Quick & Sweet
(1) lemon & sugar
(3) peanut butter & jam
(4) butter & sugar
(5) drizzle of liqueur & sugar
(6) Greek yogurt & fresh fruit or jam
(7) lowfat ricotta cheese or cottage cheese & drizzle of honey or agave nectar
(8) grated chocolate and(optional) toasted nuts
(9) jam, marmalade, apple butter, or lemon curd
(10) goat cheese, grated apple or pear, drizzle of honey/agave nectar/maple syrup
Quick & Savory
(1) Leftovers of all varieties (Indian, Thai, & Chinese especially scrumptious)
(2) Thinly sliced ham & Gruyere (or Swiss)
(3) Arugula (drizzled with vinaigrette), goat cheese, and fig jam
(4) Fresh herbs and cheese
(5) Sauteed spinach & shredded chicken
(6) Hummus, roasted bell pepper strips, fresh or sauteed spinach/greens
(7) Ricotta (optional--mix in chopped fresh herbs) and thin spread of jarred marinara sauce, sprinkle of Parmesan
(8) Sharp cheddar & tart-sweet apple (grated or sliced)
(9) Jarred caponata & a crumble of goat or feta cheese
(10) Thin spread of Jarred or homemade pesto (pesto alone is wonderful, or add leftover chicken, goat cheese, Fontina, roasted bell peppers...you get the idea)