Tag Archives: crepes

Gateau des Crepes

14 Jul

I got this recipe idea from a Martha Stewart’s magazine… since I saw it, I have been meaning to make it myself.

We got together a few friends from my French group to celebrate la Fête de la Bastille – France’s  National Holiday – and it seemed only fitting to make one of this gateau to celebrate.

I modified the recipe a bit to make it more vegetarian – particularly made spelt crepes without any eggs.  The results are fabulous and extremely delicious.  The filling is basically the same exact filling as the mixture we made for our Spinach Croquetas, but added some gruyere cheese to make it more French and decadent.

GATEAU DES CREPES

½ medium onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed lightly
2 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs spelt flour
2 cups plain soy milk
2 ounces of cream cheese (optional)
1 ½ cups Gruyere cheese, grated and reserving ¼ cup for garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
12 egg-free Spelt Crepes
 
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil.  When the butter has melted, add the chopped onion and the 2 smashed garlic cloves.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the onions cook and look translucent.
  2. Take out the garlic clove pieces.  Add the spelt flour to the onion mixture and stir to become a paste.  Cook the paste moving it around for a few minutes to make sure there will not be raw flour taste later on.
  3. Slowly add the soymilk to the flour/onion paste and whisk it all while adding the milk.  The sauce will thicken once the mixture boils a few minutes. 
  4. After the sauce has thickened, take off from the heat and add the cream cheese, gruyere cheese.   Mix well together to make sure the cheeses melt.  Take out about ¼ cup of white sauce and place it aside.  Add the dried spinach.  Mix well to incorporate the spinach well into the sauce.  Set aside.  The sauce will thicken while standing, and this is a good thing.
  5. After the spinach sauce has cooled, we’ll assemble the crepe stack…
  6. Pre-heat oven to 450F.
  7. On a rimmed buttered baking sheet, place one crepe.  Slather with about 1 tbs of spinach sauce until almost the edges.  Place another crepe on top, slather again with spinach sauce.  Repeat this same thing 11 times and finish off the gateau with the 12th crepe. 
  8. Top the last crepe with about 2tbs of the reserved white sauce.  Place the reserved gruyere cheese on top.
  9.        
  10. Place gateau on the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheeses melt and create a golden lovely top.

 

Allow the gateau des crepes to cool off a bit before slicing into wedges, just like any other cake.  I served this alongside a green salad with a mustard vinaigrette.

 

 

When I made this, the oven was not fully at 450F and the gateau slid out of place and the filling spilled a bit out into the baking sheet.  I have asked if someone else had this same issue, but no replies so far.  I think the oven was too cool still and instead of just heating the filling and making the top golden, it just melted the cheese all over again.  Maybe using the broiler would be a better alternative.

The next few times I have used my leftover crepes, I have rolled them up and served them individual style.  This makes more sense to eat alone or for just two people… and it’s just as delicious.

A Vegetarian in Paris… Crepes

20 Oct

Something I knew was on my TO EAT list when I arrived in Paris was CREPES!!!! 

I love crepes… I eat a spinach, cheese and walnuts crepe almost every Saturday when I attend my French classes at L’Alliance Francaise.  But I love them all… savory (salé) or sweet (sucré)… going to Paris and not eating crepes is like going to NYC and not eating a slice of pizza… right?

Just like in NYC there are hot dog stands in almost every corner… the same applies to crepe stands in Paris.  Even cafes or bistros have a small window facing the street where they can fix crepes to any hungry person passing by. 

With only a week in Paris, there were not as many opportunities as one would like to taste all the flavor varieties available… but let’s go chronologically…

My first crepe of this Paris trip was in Montmatre…  I had the munchies after climbing all those stairs from the Metro station up to Sacre Coeur.  I also wanted to eat away my sorrows after finding a spectacular painting I loved, but too expensive for my budget…  so how better to compensate than eating crepe and cheese together??

Sacre Coeur     montmatre

I ordered a crêpe au fromage with gruyère cheese.    The thing… the cheese was not inside the crepe, but on top.  It was more like a crêpe gratin… the crepe was soft and the cheese was salty.  Super nice start to my crepe adventure…

Crepe Fromage 1

When we went to Versailles, we wanted to have lunch where the locals eat.  We wanted to walk away from the Palace and the rest of all the tourists and were pleasantly surprised to find a maze of streets filled with small cafes, stores and creperies for us to choose from…  We selected a creperie with a special offering 1 crepe salé + 1 crepe sucré and a beverage for a fixed price…  And look at the menu of options for the crepes!!!!  There were at least 50+ varieties of savory and 50+ varieties of sweet options to choose from.  Granted, not all the choices were vegetarian, but still impressive, don’t you think?

creperie versailles

Menu Crepes Salee       Menu crepes sucree

I loved the savory crepes, also called gallettes, which were made with Sarracene wheat or buckwheat instead of regular wheat flour.  I ordered mine filled with spinach, potatoes and cheese.  Annie Mariel did not steer too far away and ordered a potatoes and cheese crepe.  They were delicious…

Crepe epinard 1

For dessert, I ordered my new favorite flavor for desserts – caramel beurre salé with vanilla ice cream.  Annie Mariel, true to her passions, ordered a crepe topped with chocolate syrup topped with café glace.  My toffee was inside the crepe, the chocolate in turn was on top of the crepe… apparently there is no consistency of where the crepe accompaniment will be placed.  But what you can be sure of is the accompaniment will help bring that thin crepe to a whole new place…

crepe caramel beurre salee

crepe au chocolat

And so far, I’ve had crepes sitting down in restaurants… granted, the tables I ate them were in sidewalks, but still I was sitting down and ate them with a fork and knife.  But how about trying out one of those street-side crepes???  While walking down the street on Avenue St. Germaine we decided to stop by Les Deux Maggots… but my mind was on the creperie across the street right in front of the St. Germaine de Près church…  I had to order the classic Nutella, which is very much Italian, but perfect to eat inside a French crêpe…  it was so cool to see the crêpe being made right in front of me.  Super thin and perfectly golden after just a few minutes… they give it to you wrapped in paper ready to take a bite right then a there…   

crepes a la rue 3       crepes a la rue 1

 

crepes a la rue 2    crepes nutella

Next time you visit Paris, be sure to try your favorite flavors of the ubiquitous crepe…  I am sure you’ll fall in love with them as much as the city itself.

Mexico – Beautiful and Delicious – Part 2

10 Sep

More on my series of installments on the cuisine of Mexico, more specifically to Guadalajara, where I got to spend a few days now in August.  You can read my first post here.

I was in Guadalajara on business and my friend and colleague Salvador López Solerssi was not only my trade show and store-check guide, but in many ways my culinary guide as well.  I promised him I would include his full name so it would be easy for him to Google himself and find this post without the link…

Salvador was very taken with the fact I write this blog and was super eager to show me all the culinary delicacies Guadalajara has to offer…

We first went to lunch after having walked the trade show a few times over… I was starving!!!!  Look at what we had for lunch:  Queso Fundido, Guacamole and Chips, Fried Quesadillas and for dessert, Crepas with Cajeta.  Everything was excellent, but this was the first time I’ve had Fried Quesadillas or Quesadillas Fritas, as stated in the menu…  I had a sampler of these with one filled with strips of jalapeño peppers and cheese, another one with mushrooms and cheese and the last one filled with zucchini blossoms and cheese.  Superb!!!!  These come like little “pastelillos” of fried, but never greasy, tortilla and the cheese just oozes out of them when you cut them open.  My mouth waters just writing about them.

Guacamole     

Guacamole 

Queso Fundido

    Queso Fundido

  

 

Quedadillas Fritas

Quesadillas Fritas

  

Flor de Calabaza/Zucchini blossoms    

  Quesadillas - Flor Calabaza  

 

Rajitas Jalapeños

Quesadilla Frita - Jalapenos

 

Crepas de Cajeta

         Crepas con Cajeta - MX

I don’t have to tell that after that lunch, dinner was pretty much out of the question…  I had to take a nap, just like the ones you take after Thanksgiving lunch/dinner.  I was full, but happy as a toad.

Another Guadalajaran delicacy is a Torta Ahogada– a sandwich made with shredded pork or beef and dunked in a spicy tomato sauce.  I guess this would be considered the Mexican version of a Reuben.   The thing… we needed to find a place where we could order a vegetarian version because no one in the street would dare make me a vegetarian torta ahogada.  So Salvador took me to a tourist trap… but a super fun one at that, with mariachis and everything.  The only place in all Guadalajara I was received with hand sanitizer… typical, to please tourists’ panics. 

We ordered a Torta Ahogada with panela cheese and sautéed mushrooms.  Salvador prepared the sauce for me… it was tomato based, a bit of the spicy version and lime juice.  You then take your sandwich, made in a special salty crusty bread, and you dunk it in the sauce and eat away.  I really, really liked it. Maybe because I am a sandwich girl… but the stuff was very, very tasty.  Not the stuff you want to order on a date… just so you gals know.

Torta Ahogada Veggie      Salsa - Torta Ahogada     

Dunking - Torta Ahogada 2   

We also ordered Breaded Panela Cheese in a Green Sauce.  It was presented in a molcajete, a stone version of a pilón or mortar and pestle.  It was delicious too… imagine offering fried breaded cheese to me, the cheese lover.  The sauce was a cilantro and tomatillo based broth.  You cut a piece and eat it inside a tortilla.  How else??

Panela Empanado

Then, one our way to do more store-checks, Salvador wanted to show me the typical breakfast of Guadalajara – Tacos al Vapor or Steamed Tacos.  I saw that the hotel breakfast offered tortillas, refried beans and the like for breakfast…  but, I stuck with the fresh fruits, cottage cheese and whole grain toasts, craving the more typical fare from home.  But Salvador insisted I needed to try the local version of these tacos filled with mashed potato.  They are sold in these street carts and you order as many tacos as you want… you then dress them with a tomato/onion salsa, some “pique” and eat away.  They’re light and delicious.  Not heavy at all.  I ordered only one at first, but had to have another one, because they were so tasty.  With a side of freshly squeezed orange juice – I wished the hotel breakfast was this tasty every morning…

Taco al Vapor

Carrito - Tacos Vapor

That’s Salvador, right there next to the tacos al vapor cart… enjoying his tacos.  I want to thank him soooooooo much for embracing my search for great vegetarian Mexican food in Guadalajara.  I am certain, than when I return, we will be enjoying more and more delicious food all over town…  ¡¡BUEN PROVECHO!!

Madelyn’s Spinach Crepes

11 Nov

Every Saturday, I take French classes at the Alliance Française in Condado.  Every Saturday, I wake up with a craving for french crepes.

Didier, a french crepe chef visits the Alliance every morning and fixes us with THE BEST crepes I have tasted.  I have indeed had crepes in Paris, but lets face it, it was 20 years ago, so I can’t really remember well.

 Didier

Because I am such a fan of these crepes, I decided to create my own version.  I usually have a Spinach crepe with cheese, walnuts drizzled with honey.  This is my lunch every Saturday, however, Didier’s most popular recipes are the crepes filled with strawberries and Nutella drizzled with chocolate syrup and dusted with powdered sugar.  Here’e a few pictures, please wipe your drool…

p1010687.jpg             p1010688.jpg           p1010691.jpg

Here’s my humble attempt to replicating Didier’s recipe… I only include the recipe for the filling.  I used store-bought crepes from the refrigerated section of the supermarket.  But I will be trying a whole-wheat version of the crepe recipe and will include it shortly.

This is basically the mix of ingredients and flavors.  Adjust the quantities according to the amount of crepes you’re doing.  Something about my recipes, I go by eye and feel, and rarely remember exact quantities…  hope it’s not too much of a hassle for you.

 p1010690.jpg

Spinach Crepes

leeks – sliced finely
Green bell peppers – diced
Frozen Spinach
a bit of half and half
a bit of Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup – you can omit this part if you’d like, but i thought it would help the mixture cream better
Chopped garlic
Season to taste with Salt, pepper
Sharp cheddar cheese slices or swiss cheese would work fine too
Chopped walnuts
Honey or agave nectar

For the Filling

  1. Sautee the leeks or onions together with the bell pepper in olive oil until soft.
  2. Add the garlic.
  3. Add the frozen spinach right form the bag… no bother to defrost or to drain
  4. When the mixture seems to be thoroughly cooked, add the half and half and the mushroom soup.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and anything else you’d like filling is done

Putting it Together

  1. Take the crepe and warm it up in a skillet, just like you would a tortilla.
  2. Put a bit of the mixture in the center, place some cheese slices and walnuts.
  3. fold edges inside, just like you would do to a burrito
  4. flip the crepe on the other side so the folds are underneath… if you leave it in the original side, the crepe will soften and desintegrate leaving you with a hole and the mixture in the skillet.  Flipping the crepe will help seal the folds.  you can flip it again a bit to warm up both sides and to melt the cheese inside, but be careful not leaving it too long on the side with the filling more exposed.
  5. move it on to a place and drizzle with a bit of honey or agave nectar.  it tastes delicious.  it’s a nice sweet coiunterpoint to the savory filling

Believe it or not, this is the recipe that got my fire started about writing a blog… a friend of mine, Kathleen writes a blog Kathleen’s Kitchen and she tried my recipe and liked it.

Hope you enjoy it too.

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