Friday, November 23, 2007

Honey-Ginger Pineapple Crepes

Crepes can be good at breakfast, they can be great as dessert, or just for an afternoon snack. They can be sweet or they can be savory. You can roll them, fold them, make them into an envelope shape. It's such a versatile and easy dish to make.

Here are some tips for great crepe making:

You have probably heard about crepe makers, or special crepe pans, but in reality you don't really need it. Any non-stick pan will do. The trick is not to beat the batter too much, if you do, it will become lumpy when it cooks. And keep in mind that the first crepe always goes to trash, it never comes out right.

Always rest the batter for about 15 minutes to let the flour absorb the liquid, they will be tender crepes. But if you are going to keep it around over an hour, cover it with plastic wrap making sure the plastic touches the batter.

Don't flip the crepe more than once, it actually comes off the pan by itself when it is ready, you will see that the sides will be released by itself, then it's about time to flip it.

Don't use butter in the pan, it will make the crepe heavy. Use a little bit of oil for the first crepe, you won't need to keep oiling the pan. Using too much oil makes them stickier. Don't use low heat, medium heat actually is better and faster.

Don't stack them up right off the pan, the heat will generate steam which will make them stick together. Let them cool for a minute on a rack or something similar to that.

You can freeze crepes for future use months at a time, nothing will happen to them. So you can make ahead without problems. Just freeze about 4 crepes at a time so that you have the choice of how many you want to take out. Wrap them in plastic and then use aluminum foil to wrap them again. Don't defrost them using a microwave, they don't take that long to thaw anyway.

This original recipe is from Gourmet. It's different than regular fillings that you find out there and it is really tasty. But I do use other fillings. Here are some ideas: Caramelize bananas, and then add honey and some whipped cream over the crepes, you can even add some nuts over the whipped cream to make it even more decadent, or maybe even chocolate shavings:) I'd better stop, I'm making myself hungry:)

You can saute some spinach and add basic white sauce over the crepe. You can actually use leftover chicken with white sauce. You can add ham and melt cheese in the crepe under a broiler for a crispier crepe etc. I"m sure you will have your own favorite fillings, just drop me a note with your ideas.

My favorite is really an easier one, just add some orange marmalade , sprinkle some powder sugar and add some ice cream next to it. Yummy:)) There is really no end to what you can fill crepes with.

And keep in mind that you can actually use this crepe recipe to use with other fillings, you won't need to change anything no matter what the filling is.


For crepes:

1/2 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

For pineapple:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
20-oz can unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained well
1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup fresh orange juice

Make batter:
Blend crepe ingredients in a blender. Chill batter while preparing pineapple.

Prepare pineapple:
Heat butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute pineapple until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer pineapple to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add ginger to skillet and saute, stirring, 30 seconds.

Add honey and juice and simmer until mixture is syrupy, 3 to 5 minutes.

Make crepes:
While honey mixture is reducing, brush a 10-inch nonstick skillet with oil and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Holding skillet off heat, pour in 1/4 cup batter, immediately swirling and tilting skillet to create a thin, even layer. Return skillet to heat and cook until crepe is golden around edges and dry in center, about 45 seconds. Flip crepe carefully and cook until golden, about 15 seconds. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, covered. Make more crepes in same manner.

Add pineapple to honey mixture and simmer, stirring, until heated through. Spoon about ‰ cup pineapple mixture over half of 1 crepe, then fold in half. Repeat with remaining crepes. Pour remaining pineapple mixture over folded crepes.

Makes 4 servings.

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