Tonight’s exploits in the kitchen comprised of crêpes, ripe for flipping, in honor of Fat Tuesday. Or, as my countrymen would say, “Shrove” Tuesday/Pancake Day. It’s the day before Lent begins, and the last night that you are allowed to indulge before purging all of your sinful addictions for 40 days & nights. Blame Jesus! Once upon a time, these luxuries took the form of flour, milk, and eggs - prime crêpe making ingredients – whereas today it’s probably more important for me to give up wine (or chocolate, or chips, or McDonalds…).
But luckily, I gave up “giving up for Lent” for Lent years ago. So, tonight is just for fun!
For this occasion, I cooked up a crêpelicious meal for my roomies, who will henceforth be known as: Neon, Techno, and Trucker. With Neon by my side as sous-chef, this is what we did:
Shrove Tuesday Savory & Sweet Crêpes
Serves: 5 hungry roommates (or approx. 20 crêpes)
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: however long it takes you to flip 20 crêpes (my approximation: 1 hour + allowance for cook’s wine consumption).
- 2 cups flour
- 6 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups milk, 2%
- 1 1/4 cups water
- big pinch of salt
- butter & vegetable oil (for pan)
- 12 medium crimini mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
- 1/2 large onion, diced and sautéed
- butter & olive oil, in order to sautée
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 4 cups sharp, English, white cheddar, shredded
- 2 cups ham, diced
Sweet (Crêpe Suzette) Filling:
- 1/2 stick of butter (4 tbsp)
- 1 large naval orange
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier, (1/2 cup if you’re British)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 long matchstick
If Crêpe Suzette doesn’t float your boat, feel free to use any of the following combos to stuff and dress your sweet crêpes:
- lemon & caster sugar* (granulated)
- bananas, chocolate sauce & whipped cream
- pear, caramel sauce & vanilla ice cream
- Nutella – if you’re 12, or have a chocolate addiction… Cheers to my 3 sweet-toothed, little sisters.
Create Crêpe Batter:
- Sieve flour and salt into your pink KitchenAid mixer.
- Crack eggs into your pink KitchenAid mixer.
- Turn your pink KitchenAid mixer onto medium power.
- Mix water and milk together into a measuring jug.
- While eggs and flour are mixing, slowly pour in water & milk mixture. The mixture will be thin. Don’t panic. This is as intended.
- Take a proper, heavy-bottomed, stainless steel frying pan, (anything non-stick), and place over medium heat.
- While it’s heating, spray/pour a dash of vegetable oil in the pan, then rub base of pan with additional butter. Take a piece of kitchen roll and distribute just a touch of butter around the base of the pan.
- Now take a ladle full of batter and pour into heated pan and swirl until the base is covered.
- Cook for approximately 1-2 minutes. The corners will start to peel away from the edge of the pan. Take your spatula and loosen the sides of the crêpe from the pan.
- If you’re feeling brave, this is where you flip… I have no advice for you on how to do it. Just go for it. For those of you who are more cautious, gently slide your spatula underneath the crêpe and turn.
- Cook for approximately 1-2 minutes and remove from heat. You’re looking for a light golden brown finish on both sides. You can pile these up on a plate and set aside until they are ready for filling.
- Fold 4 crêpes in half and then half again, until they are triangles.
- Zest and juice one orange into a bowl with 1/2 stick of butter. Combine.
- Place heavy-bottomed, stainless steel pan over medium heat, and melt orange-butter.
- Arrange crêpe triangles side by side in the pan, and dust with 1/2 cup sugar.
- Turn crêpes over in the pan to ensure both sides soak up some of the orange butter.
- Fill a deep metal ladle with Grand Marnier and warm over the hob* (stove).
- Find a trusty sous chef or friend to light an (ideally very long) matchstick.
- Pour the Grand Marnier over the crêpes while your friend sets light to the liquid as it hits the pan.
- When the flames subside, serve and eat immediately. Ideally with ice cream or whipped cream. Or, if you are my mother, both.