Brunch on the Patio: Crêpe Crusader
It’s all about patios this week! After you’ve applied our 7 Elements of Porch and Patio Design, you’re ready to play host in your outdoor sanctuary. Patio brunches are one of our favorite joys in life. Step outside the ordinary brunch menu the next time you have people over — check out this easy, delicious and fun to serve idea from our resident foodie The Culinary Composer.
Brunch is a frequent occurrence in my home. Entertaining is one of my favorite joys in life. For a recent Sunday gathering, I decided to try something new and whipped up a large batch of crêpes and surrounded our table centerpiece with fun ceramic bowls we found at the local dollar store. The bowls were filled with all kinds of delicious fillings both savory and sweet. And the concept was a huge success.
The word crêpe is French for pancake and is derived from the Latin crispus meaning “curled.” Crêpes originated in Brittany (fr. Breton), in the northwest region of France, which lies between the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south. Crêpes were originally called galettes, meaning flat cakes. The French pronunciation of both words is with a short E as in bed. Crêpe making has evolved from cooking on large cast-iron hot plates heated over a wood fire in a fireplace to hot plates that are now gas or electric heated. The batter is spread with a tool known as a rozel and flipped with a spatula.
On Feb. 2 crêpes are offered in France on the holiday known as Fête de la Chandeleur, Fête de la Lumière, or “jour des crêpes.” Not only do the French eat a lot of crêpes on this day, but they also do a bit of fortune telling while making them. It’s traditional to hold a coin in your writing hand and a crêpe pan in the other, then flip the crêpe into the air. If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan, your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year.
Crêpes are popular not only throughout France but elsewhere in Europe where the pancakes go by other names and adaptations, including Italian crespelle, Hungarian palacsintas, Jewish blintzes, Scandinavian plattars, Russian blini, and Greek kreps.
Crêpe ingredients: (makes 16 crêpes) 2 cups all purpose flour, 4 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, 1/2 tsp salt, and 4 tbsp melted butter
Directions: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Slowly add the milk and water,
stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crêpe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so the batter spreads, creating the thin crêpe. Cook the crêpe for about 2 minutes, or until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Place all crepes on a cookie sheet and store in oven on the “keep warm” setting (approx. 175 degrees) until you’re ready to serve.
Sweet fillings: Bananas, mixed berries, Nutella, crushed pineapple, chocolate, peanut butter, nuts, whipped cream, Nutella or chocolate mousse.
Savory fillings: Diced chicken, fresh baby spinach, feta, cheddar cheese, breakfast scramble, bacon, ham, tomatoes, olives, or hollandaise sauce.
By: James Polinori