A French Classic

This week, I wanted to go beyond the Italian style food I discussed in last post, and see what I could make in French cuisine. I looked at several French dinner recipes which ranged from Steak-Frites to Cordon Bleu, but these recipes looking a little more challenging than what I was looking for. Therefore, I settled on making a very basic and diverse staple to French culture: crepes.

In search of an authentic crepe recipe, I read several different French living and cooking blogs, but the most helpful one was “The Everyday French Chef”. I learned from taking four years of French and in reading different blog posts that crepes can be made savory or sweet, breakfast or dinner, a decadent dessert or an on the go snack. No matter what way they are made, they are a stable in French cuisine.

The basic recipe for crepes is the same whether you plan to make it savory or sweet, therefore it was very easy for me to experiment with different kinds after the preliminary cooking was completed. I used a recipe from the aforementioned blog that was very simple using flour, eggs, milk, and a few other ingredients. The hardest part about making the crepes was not making the batter, but transforming the batter into the perfect circular crepes you can find in restaurants.

To make my crepes, I debated between using a griddle and a frying pan, and ultimately settled upon using a frying pan. Although it went fairly well, it took me a few tries to master the technique and they turned out smaller than I would have liked. However, the batter my recipe made was definitely a good consistency for the job because, you do not want the batter to be too thick or it is very difficult to spread and manipulate. So, after I made about 4 crepes, I started experimenting.

This part of the process was very fun, because I got to use my imagination in making flavored crepes. I decided I wanted 2 savory and 2 sweet crepes (the savory and sweet terminology is often how the French describe them). The sweet crepes were much easier to make. On one, I spread Nutella and strawberries on the inside, folded it together and topped it with whipped cream. For the second, I put ice cream on the inside and drizzled chocolate sauce over the top. For the savory crepes I wanted to make one breakfast and one dinner. This required a little more effort to make them authentic and something you would actually find in France. For the breakfast crepe, I fried an egg and put that inside the crepe with some shredded cheese. For the dinner crepe, I had read on a different blog “French Girl Cuisine” that a popular savory crepe was a Cheese and Chive Crepe. For this, I just sprinkled some cheese and chives in the crepe while it was in the pan so the cheese would be hot enough to melt, then folded the crepe and sprinkled chives on top.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed the sweet crepes more, and they are much more common in France for an on-the-go snack. This recipe and process was very simple and hard to mess up. If it is available, I recommend using a Crepe Maker, because it is designed to make crepes the correct shape and consistency. But, I used a frying pan and after a few attempts it worked just fine. The good thing about this is that the batter is so easy to make that if you mess up, it’s no big deal. I would definitely recommend this if you want to try a new dessert!!

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