Married to Medicine

Married to Medicine

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Foolproof Perfect French Crepes!

These are our Saturdays.  My kids have come to expect them every weekend (and every snow day) and I love that; as my husband says, "These are what they'll want when they come back."




I discovered this recipe waaaay back in 2000, when I spent a year studying in France.  I was in Brittany, which is considered "the" region for crepes and gallettes (savory crepes).  This post is actually a reblog of one of the very first posts I ever did, but I don't expect newer readers to look through the archives and I really want to share this recipe with anyone following.

As it turns out, there is a trick to making awesome crepes that never fall apart.  But it's not what you're thinking.  It has nothing to do with any crazy wrist skills or even the type of pan.  I actually discovered it as a child, long before I ever set foot in France, by making my own crepes - I noticed that the first few never turned out, but the later ones always did.  Eight years later in France I read why:  You have to let the batter sit for at least ten minutes, while it "coagulates."  Basically, it takes awhile for the eggs and the flour and the milk to all really come together and be ready to stick.

For real:  This recipe is SO easy.  If you don't care about tiny lumps in your crepes, you don't even have to sift the flour (you could also try just running a whisk through it).

Ingredients:

2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp sugar
1 large pinch of salt
1 cup + 2 tbsp sifted flour

All you do is mix that list in a blender.  That's it.  Then let it sit while you get your filling together.  Our go-to is fresh strawberries, brown sugar, and whipped cream.  But the possibilities are endless.  One of my favorites from France was simple lemon juice with extra butter and sugar.  Another was what I would call a real chocolate crepe.  Little-known fact:  Nutella came about during WWII as a substitute (read:  consolation prize) when chocolate was scarce.  The street venders use it as "chocolate" but real creperies toss straight butter, cocoa powder, and sugar directly onto the crepe as it cooks.  So so so SO good that way!

I have a super shallow nonstick pan specifically made for crepes, kind of like this one on Amazon, and I highly recommend getting one, though a deeper nonstick is fine if that's all you have and I *think* even a non-nonstick might work with enough butter.  To make the crepe, I take a stick of chilled salted butter and run it over the bottom of the pan as it is heating up (low-medium heat).  I then stir up the batter with a ladle until it's smooth, and pour some onto the pan (about 1/3 - 1/2 cup).  I tilt to cover, and add a little more batter to fill in any gaps.  I then wait until it starts bubbling and pulling away from the pan.  I personally don't think it's necessary to flip the crepe; it should be thin enough to cook through.  Once ready I tilt the pan and it slides right off onto the plate.  Nonstick is key here!!

Voila:  Nirvana.

For this batch, I made my own whipped cream.
All you do is use your whisk attachment to whisk up heavy cream with a little bit of sugar and vanilla.  Divine.
Fresh strawberries and peaches on this one - gotta love August!

One-Pot Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup: Our #1 Fave, EASY Meal!




I'm not one to repeat recipes often.  I get bored too easily!  But this is one recipe we have all the time.   Whenever we haven't just had it, really.  It hits every mark:

  • It's delicious;
  • It's easy - crazy easy;
  • It makes a ton; 
  • It uses lots of veggies; and
  • Even the kids love it

I adapted this recipe from allrecipes.com, on which it has a full five stars out of 1,300+ reviews.  My changes make it super easy and super fast, and the taste is the exact same.  So, without further ado:

One-Pot Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

1 pound sweet italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
9 cups of beef broth (I prefer "Better than Bouillon" - I add 9 cups of water + 3 tbsp of BTB)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red wine
2 cans of peeled, diced tomatoes
2-3 large carrots, sliced
Basil to taste - fresh if you have it
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
2-3 zucchinis, (2 if very large), sliced
1 full bag of baby spinach
8-16 ounces fresh tortellini pasta (your preference; I like more pasta)
Parmesan or Asiago to sprinkle

Slit the casings of the sausage and push the sausage out; discard casings.  In large (your BIGGEST) pot over medium heat, cook the sausage with the onion until nearly all browned.  Add carrots and garlic and sauté a bit longer (enough to finish the sausage and release the garlic aroma, maybe 10 minutes).  Add everything else to the pot other than the zucchinis, pasta, and baby spinach.  Simmer until carrots are tender (60ish minutes).  With about half an hour to go, add the zucchinis.  With about 10 minutes to go, add the pasta and the baby spinach.  Serve with cheese to garnish.

Perfect on a cold winter's day!