Crepes make me happy. Crepes filled with chocolate or lemon curd and strawberries or marscopone and cherries make me really happy. Alas, those are hard to pass off, in good conscience, as a nutritious meal for 3 small children.
At our house Matt is in charge of the dishes. I hate dishes. I love cooking. This, and the picky appetites of the other female members of the household, leaves me with a real problem when Matt is out of town. I must come up with a meal that uses as few dishes as possible and that the girls will still eat. I could serve the munchkins pb and j every night of the week with nary a complaint from them, but when it comes to meals I prefer a little variety, and by that I don't mean the occasional hot dog.
And we are back to why crepes make me happy. With 2 dishes, a skillet and bowl, I can make a meal the appeals to the masses (if you consider the 4 of us a "mass") and is quick to clean up. A bonus is that I clean out the fridge from left overs too!
If you have never had or made a crepe, your missing out. These thin little French pancakes are good for so much! Tonight I had mine stuffed with left over chicken from last night, onion, cream cheese, avocado and black beans. Mexico, say "hi" to France. The girls like theirs with peanut butter but I have, on occasion, convince them they are good stuffed with a little cottage cheese and topped with strawberry preserves.
Next time you need dinner in under 20 minutes, try this. Make a batch of crepes:
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (GF use 1/3 tapioca and 1/3 oat/brown rice)
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 melted butter
Mix up and pour in thin pancakes on a medium-hot, small skillet that you have lightly buttered. Think tortilla thin. Wait until the top looks pretty dry and no more bubbles are coming to the top, no need to flip, they will cook in 1-2 minutes.
Now go look in your fridge. What do you have left over? Think meat/mushroom, veggie or two, and cheese. Toss the meat and veggies into the skillet with a little butter and some onion, pepper or garlic (or all of the above!) until warm. Scoop on to half of the crepe, top with the cheese and fold over.
Here are some combos to get you started:
chicken, asparagus and goat cheese
mushroom, spinach and feta
black bean, corn, pepper and Cheddar.
sausage, tomato and mozzarella
chicken, mushroom and cream cheese
Bacon, mushroom and cream cheese
Mushroom and any cheese veggie
There you are. Your left overs are used up, your family is fed and your kitchen isn't a mess. If your feeling really on top of your game, make extra crepes while you still have all the stuff out. Layer them with waxed paper and keep them in your fridge or freezer for a super quick and healthy snack or meal.
Now, on to the good part. There is no end of very yummy dessert crepes. If your in the mood for blintzes or you just want to impress your mother-in-law or the women at bible study, fill your crepes with a mix of beaten egg and marscopone cheese ( you can use cottage cheese or ricotta in a pinch). Roll them up and top with cherry pie filling and stick in the oven until the cheese firms up and the topping is bubbling hot. Other, less flashy, ideas are:
ice cream and chocolate sauce
slices banana and carmel sauce
fresh fruit and powdered sugar
lemon curd and strawberries
jam and fruit
peanut butter and chocolate
Now, go clean out the fridge from the last bits of cheese, the chunk of chicken that isn't enough for a meal and left over veggies. Happy crepe making!