To kick off the weekend yesterday morning, the hubs suggested trying out a new crepe place that just opened around the corner from us. When we lived in London's beautiful village of Hampstead, just a few stops up from the city centre on the Northern Line, we used to indulge a little too often in the famous creperie stand on Hampstead's high street. Some weekends, the line (queue) would be a block and a half long, everyone waiting patiently while the two French cooks inside the tiny metal stand churned out savory and sweet crepes. They were folded into big triangles and given to patrons to-go in triangle-shaped cardboard wrappers with a fork and napkins, and cost only a few pounds each. While they poured batter and skimmed the flat wooden paddles across the crepes to make them huge, thin, and crispy, the cooks chatted back and forth in French, reaching across each other to grab cans of ratatouille, heaping spoonfuls of sautéed spinach and fresh shredded cheese, or big spoonfuls of Nutella. Every time we ate a crepe, standing in the little laneway just behind the cart, that little corner of Hampstead felt like our own authentic mini-break to Paris.
|I hope they serve crepes in heaven. Beautiful pic of the |
Hampstead Creperie in London from Gourmet Traveller 88.
|Delicious breakfast crepes with mushrooms, spinach, garlic, cheese, and an egg.|
|Crepes in the morning: breakfast bliss|
|Simple crepes. Super easy, and ready to serve as a base for creative breakfasts, dinners, or desserts.|
makes 6 crepes
adapted from Cooking Light
1 cup milk (I used skim, any fat content will do)
2/3 cup flour (I used 1/3 cup whole wheat and 1/3 cup wholegrain spelt flour)2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (or buckwheat, wholegrain wheat, or wholegrain spelt flour)
pinch of freshly ground sea salt
oil for coating pan to cook crepes (I used extra virgin olive oil)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and milk until combined. Add the flour, flaxseed, and salt, whisking to combine. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for 15-30 minutes while you prepare your fillings.
To cook the crepes, heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat. Coat with a thin film of oil. When the pan is hot, pour a scant 1/4 cup of crepe batter into the centre of the pan, lifting and tilting it in a circular motion so that the batter spreads out into a wide circle. Set the pan back on the stove top and cook for about 1-2 minutes, until the crepe can be easily moved around the pan with a spatula and is golden brown on the bottom. Flip the crepe over and continue to cook for another 30 seconds to one minute, until golden on both sides.
Set the cooked crepe on a plate and cover with a paper towel, square of parchment/baking paper, or wax paper, and repeat with remaining batter. Make sure to layer the cooked crepes with a paper towel or similar so that they don't stick together as they cool. To keep them warm as you're cooking the entire batch, place the cooked crepes in a pre-heated 100C/215F oven. Serve warm with your choice of filling. (See Breakfast Crepe recipe suggestion below). Or just go with Nutella, always a winner.
* Storage Tip: Store cooked crepes, layered with paper towels or parchment paper or wax paper, in a freezer-proof bag in the freezer. To use, reheat crepes in the microwave until warm.
Breakfast Crepes with Mushrooms, Spinach, and Eggs
Serves 2 (multiply ingredients as required)
2 cooked crepes
extra virgin olive oil for the pan
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced2 cups baby spinach leaves
pinch of freshly ground sea salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Heat a thin film of extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the sliced mushrooms. Cook mushrooms, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until they begin to turn golden around the edges. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the minced garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
Turn the oven broiler (grill) onto medium-high. Lay the two crepes on a large baking sheet. Distribute the mushroom/spinach mixture over the crepes, and top each crepe with the shredded cheese. (Save the sauté pan for the eggs). Place the baking tray in the oven about 5 inches from the heat source at the top of the oven, and crack the door open an inch or two.
While the crepes are in the oven with the cheese melting, make two fried eggs. Return the sauté pan to medium heat, add a thin film of oil, and cook the eggs sunny-side up: until whites are opaque but the yolks are still runny. Keep an eye on the crepes in the oven to make sure they don't burn. (If the crepes are done before the eggs, turn the broiler off and move the baking tray to the middle of the oven so that the crepes stay warm).
To serve, place each crepe on a plate and top with a fried egg. Serve open-faced, or fold the crepe in half to keep the filling warm. Serve immediately.