Friday, November 21, 2008

Pot Luck

Or should I say pan luck? This pan has been kicking around the house for ages--I think I gave it to my dad for Christmas one year--and I always thought it was kind of silly, not particularly useful. Yesterday I proved myself wrong. It has a very particular use. If you want to make crepes, you want this pan. It is truly amazing. No sticking, no burning, no panicking--just one perfect crepe after the other.
Of course, a good recipe helps too. Last week I bought myself a present of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle & Simone Beck. Their crepe recipe is dead easy and equally tasty. You just put a cup each of cold water and cold milk in a blender followed by 4 eggs, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1-1/2 cups flour. Pour in 4 Tbs. melted butter and blend on high for a minute. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatch and blend for a few more seconds. Cover and refrigerate the batter for at least two hours. And there you go, batter in 90 seconds or less. After you make your first crepe you can see if you have to adjust your batter--usually thin in out a bit. I beat in two additional soup spoons of water. Julia says that the 'batter should be a very light cream, just thick enough to coat a wooden spoon.'
I didn't have a recipe for the filling, but I had an idea of what I wanted. I took about 8 oz. each of mascarpone and ricotta and blended them together in my Cuisinart. I sliced up 6 oz. of smoked salmon trimmings and finely chopped a couple Tbs. of the parsley I had left over from making soup the night before. (I rinsed the chopped parsley so it wouldn't turn the filling green.) I ended up using about 3/4 of the cheese mixture and adding to that the salmon, parsley, a pinch of salt, and a grind or two of pepper.
I made a sweet filling with the left over cheese. I bought a 15 oz. tub of ricotta and used just over half of it originally so I added the rest of it to the mix along with probably 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 Tbs. honey.
I filled 10 crepes with the salmon filling, 8 with the honey, and had 1 left over. Yes, they were good. With the help of Julia, a good pan, and a little smoked salmon what could possibly go wrong?

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