Having grown up with past generations of women in my family who cooked under the motto of "a pinch of this and a handful of that" I have to admit that I am incapable of following a recipe. I should have probably stated this caveat at the onset of this contest, but I'm fessing up now. I cringe at the thought of following an entire recipe, for no other reason than my own stubbornness. My challenge was to not only create a dish from another culture, but follow a recipe while doing so. In order to attempt this, I picked the cuisine that I usually shy away from- French food.
Most people who know me can confirm that French food and I just don't mix. Being on the healthy end of the blog spectrum, I have to admit that I did not own a stick of butter or white flour, and truly had no idea if I ever tried creme fraiche. Not only was I clueless, but I decided that if there was any culture that would least tolerate my lack of butter in the kitchen, it had to be the French.
If there is anything that comes to mind as classic French, it's crepes. Butter, flour, milk, pinch of salt, and sugar. I borrowed a crepe maker and I was on my way. Such simple ingredients, and so much potential. Crepes can be served sweet, savory, and everything in between and that was the approach I took.
I began by using a recipe for crepes from this Examiner article:
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tbsp melted butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- water, as needed
*I doubled the recipe exactly so that I could make approximately 20 crepes.
The first crepe I made included another classic- ratatouille. I used a recipe from Easy French Food and it was exactly that- easy. I used the following ingredients, following the recipe exactly, but omitting green bell peppers:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 onions, chopped
- 1/2 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 3 small garden tomatoes pounds tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon basil
- salt and pepper
- fresh dill for garnish
Once everything softened and sauteed together, I was ready to get my crepe on.
Creme Fraiche Lemon Crepes
The next crepe I made was savory and sweet. Most of the recipes I read for fillings called for lemon rind or creme fraiche, so I combined the two. My star ingredients really made this dish.
Classic Nutella Crepes
Perhaps the biggest challenge in this entry is not devouring the Nutella jar in one sitting.