Crêpes with Roasted Vegetables

Usually when we straggle through security at Terminal 3 in Heathrow we head right to avoid the perfumes and the endless clerks ready to spray you with them.  Inevitably we end up at the same restaurant, get hustled through our basic food and sent on our way.  Then we wander and see other restaurants that we swear we’ll remember and try the next time.  This time we took a deep breath, hooked left, raced past the perfumes, and checked out the other side.  We came across a French restaurant that began with an O and for the life of me I can’t remember the name.  But the food was delicious.  Today’s was inspired by a dish our daughter had and I’ll be making another dish my husband made. Not bad for an airport.

Her dish was similar to a ratatouille but in a crêpe form.  Very basic but it worked.  While all the steps are easy for this dish it does take time to prep all the ingredients.  I mixed the crêpe batter ahead of time and chilled it.

Next I prepped the tomatoes to roast in the oven.  I used roma tomatoes and sliced them about 1/4″ thick, drizzled them with olive oil, seasoned them with salt and pepper.  I set the oven to convection at 300F/150C.  I slow roasted them for about an hour.

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My husband cooked the crêpes for me while I grilled the veg.  I sliced onion and aubergine and also drizzled them with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

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In addition to the aubergine and onion I did up wide slices of pepper.  You want the grill to be relatively hot but not scorching.  I was going for a nice grilled roasted flavour, not burnt!

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Once the veg is cooked begin to layer the ingredients on the crêpes.

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Grate a cheese of your choice that will melt well over the veg.  We used jarlsberg as that is what we had but cheddar would work.

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Place another crêpe on top and heat in the oven at 350F/175C until the crêpes begin to brown and the cheese melts.

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Quarter them and serve immediately.

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I loved the roasted tomatoes in this.  I really should roast them more often.  My daughter said it made the restaurant dish taste a bit one noted.  🙂  High praise indeed!

In reference to yesterday’s post about not being able to preview the post before publishing, I’ve also found that the photos load smaller even though the file size is the same, and if I want to include a link to a post I did previously I have to open a new tab, go to the dashboard, search, open the post then copy the link.  And they got rid of the list of tags I used the most. Not sure what they were thinking with this change!  But I’ve sent a note to the support group.  Hopefully we can get this sorted out.

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Crêpes – The Savory Side of Life

Crêpes are a treat we do once in awhile for dinner.  My husband enjoys making them and a few years ago we bought him a crêpe pan.  It also gets a lot of use for my eggs so it was a win-win.  🙂  But I’ve always been impressed that he could make these.  I was also lulled into a false sense of “how hard can this be?”.  So I decided I would give it a go last night.  Parts of it are really easy.  But I quickly learned it takes practice on the actual cooking of the crêpe.  Fortunately we only need 4 good ones as it was just the two of us.

As crêpes are extremely versatile we have fun with sweet and savory.  Generally we stuff ours with some sort of filling.  I wanted two savory fillings this time round.  I bought some rabbit sausages for one filling and chose a lovely apple for the second.  The recipe I used for the batter was from the book Crêpes – Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Home Cook by Lou Seibert Pappas.  Interesting fact from the book crêpes comes from the Latin word crispus meaning crisp.

The batter should be made about 2 hours before the actual cooking and it can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours.  You can use a blender, a food processor, or a whisk.  We use the blender.  In the blender I place 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/3 cup water, 2 Tablespoons of melted butter, 1/4 tsp of salt, and a cup of flour.

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Blend for 5 seconds.  Take a rubber spatula and scrape the sides then blend for a couple of seconds.  That’s it.  You don’t want to overwork the batter.

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Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.  For the rabbit filling I chopped up a couple of garlic cloves and some baby portabello mushrooms.  I removed the rabbit sausage from it’s casing and tried to chop it up into small pieces.  Wasn’t that easy.  In a skillet with hot olive oil saute the ingredients to brown the rabbit meat.

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Add a splash of dry sherry and some lemon thyme.  Let that simmer to cook through.  For the next filling I chopped up some sage and apples.

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In a small skillet I melted about a tablespoon of butter and sauteed the sage in it for a couple of minutes.  Then I added the apples to cook.  I wanted the apples softened but not mushy.

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I set aside the fillings and got the batter ready.  Heat a dry pan until hot.  Here is the first tricky part.  You want to rub a bit of butter onto the hot pan.  If you do it too much the batter goes all wonky and won’t spread out.  Because our pan is about 9″ wide we use 1/4 cup of batter at a time.  Remove the pan from the heat and then spread the batter around the pan.  It needs to be poured in then tilt the pan about until it is coated.

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Once the sides start browning and the crêpe can be easily lifted with a spatula flip it over and cook for about 15 seconds to finish off the top side.   Remove and place on paper towels to cool off.  The next tricky bit I encountered as having a pan too hot.  You can end up with a jelly fish shape.

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Cute but not right.  It should look a bit like this:

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Once all the batter has been cooked it is time to stuff them.  And crêpes not used can easily be frozen for another time.  I set the toaster oven to 375F/190C because we need to melt cheese.  For the apple filling I placed a few slices of brie in the center of the crêpe and topped with the apples.

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Fold like a burrito and place in the baking pan.  I scooped the rabbit filling into the center and topped with freshly shredded Jarlsberg.

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I put the rest of the cheese over the two crêpes with the rabbit.  Can’t waste any cheese!  🙂

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Bake until the cheese is melted and it is ready to serve.

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The apple ones came out really blurry so I only have the rabbit ones to show.

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The possibilities for fillings are endless with these.  And it is a delicious way to have dinner.  🙂