2014/02/21

Plain Jane (French Fridays with Dorie: Butter and Rum Crepes, Plain or Fancy)

After last week's all-white salad, I was very relieved that this week's white food was one that I could get into the spirit of much easier. It was also good to hear that we had the choice between serving these up plain or fancy. Since I am a bit of a plain Jane kind of gal, it should come as no surprise which direction I went in...

I guess I did hit on a little bit of fancy - I was broke into Liz's raspberry stash and brighten this one up. (In my mind, Liz has a whole freezer filled with raspberries just waiting to make food pretty; alternatively, there is a greenhouse in her backyard where a year round supply of fresh berries can be found.)

 
I am not sure what it is about crepes that are so alluring.

By all accounts, there isn't much to them. They really aren't more than a flattened pancake, right?

They are a blank canvas really, to be finished off in whatever way makes you happy.

Savory or sweet. Filled or not. (Usually served with sweetened ricotta filling and warmed blueberry compote in our house).

I was pretty excited to whip out the crepe pan for this week's cooking adventure. Normally, when making crepes, we use Mark Bittman's recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, so I was curious to see how Dorie's recipe stacked up against the tried and true version.

Of course, there was no reason to worry - a crepe is a crepe is a crepe, right? That is, unless it has rum and Cointreau and citrus zest in it. (P.S. Is there anything that smells better than citrus zest that has been rubbed into sugar???)

However, once again, for me the star of this week's dish was not the main item but the accompanying sauce (last week it was the dressing). Honey was heated up to a liquid stage and allowed to cool slightly. I juiced a couple of blood oranges and a lemon and added that to the liquefied honey. To gild the lily, butter was blended into the mixture one tablespoon at a time until the mixture was emulsified (I used my immersion blender). The whole butter/ honey/ juice concoction was one of the best things I have every poured over any food item. Ever.

As you can see, I kept it pretty simple (i.e. plain). Crepes, sauce and Liz'z raspberries; but simple can be mighty delicious... I would love to try this again with some lemon curd or our normal ricotta filling. I have a feeling that sauce would even make a pair of sneakers taste delicious (I don't plan on finding out, but if anyone else does I would love to hear about it...).
 
 
In other news: a heat wave hit town yesterday - it was up to 46F. Woo hoo! The six foot snow banks are still lining the driveway, but that warm day did bring a glimmer of hope that winter won't last forever (I even left my coat in the car). Of course, it promptly snowed again last night just to make sure that glimmer didn't burn too bright... However, I am keeping the faith.

Peace out. XOXO

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie - where a group of home cooks is working their way through Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table. You can find every one's posted versions of this week's recipe here.

29 comments:

  1. Yum. I'm behind. Again. I've never made crepes before. I'm a little intimidated. Maybe on sunday...

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  2. I wouldn't call this Plain Jane - I'd call it Pretty - xo

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  3. Ooh, these look great. But, I had to skip them. Great post!

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  4. No plain jane in those pics! It looks like they turned out beautifully! Glad you had a glimmer of home for warmer weather! Were you out in shorts in that 46 degree heat wave?

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  5. Mmmm. Those sound delicious! I need to look more into your sweet ricotta filling... when we make crepes I am mostly bored by the fillings but I could totally get behind sweet ricotta! Thanks for the idea!

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  6. They don’t look so plain to me, Cher…they look lovely! Just the way I like to eat my crepes…a little fruit and syrup…or some jam and powdered sugar! Perfect! Happy French Friday!

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  7. Haha...I was going to comment on your raspberries! I rushed the sauce and it didn't emulsify properly, but I loved the crepes filled with lemon curd :) Bill's surgery was a success...but he says he feels like he got run over by a truck! Thanks for asking. xo

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  8. You are SO not a Plain Jane! You are beautiful.

    And, your crepes look pretty good, too! We really enjoyed them as well.

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  9. OMG - you got a comment from Dorie! You're a rock star!

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  10. Pretty and fancy, Cher. And um, did you follow the instructions?

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  11. Spring is coming. One way or another :) You had me LOL about the Liz stash. SO TRUE. Those little red pops of joy make everything look gorgeous and you both already have fabulous photos so my mouth ends up watering. And I do think you outdid my comment about filling the crepes with cabbage and still enjoying them....with your suggestion about the sauce and sneakers. Hilarious. Glad you liked it :)

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  12. I am totally with you on the sauce. I'm going to put in on everything, well, not everything, but you know what I mean! Nice job!

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  13. Your crepes look so delicious! Mine did not turn out very well - or at all. But the vanilla citrus sauce I made tended to make them at least tasty.

    Just think how beautiful and green your spring will be! (I know, you probably don't appreciate that, but out here in AZ, while enjoying our nice weather right now, I'm sure we'll dry up and go "poof" in the summer - dreading it)

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  14. I agree the sauce was outstanding. Trying to think of more uses for it. I also loved the flavor of the actual crepes too.. glad it was a hit.

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  15. Beautiful job! Not plain at all. Loved your raspberry-sourcing story. I wonder if Liz will ship to BC?

    (Also, if it's any consolation, it snowed here, too.)

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  16. Though I don't need anymore cookware, that pan looks very tempting. Your Plain Crepes look deliciously fancy. Hope you are surviving the end of winter. We had a heat wave too. The snow in the back yard melted about one foot today. Yay! Hopefully you had the same experience.

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  17. Cher, lovely all around - glad that you enjoyed this recipe too - blood orange juice in the sauce? Well, great minds think alike!
    Have a great Sunday!

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  18. Cher I loved your crepes they are very fancy! I wish I had the key to Liz's stash of raspberries I need a bit of colour in my life!!

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  19. Oh yes, those first hints of spring. I remember them well.

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  20. Your crepes look great! LOL - for me, I loved the crepes and was not enamoured with the sauce.

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  21. Look perfect topped with berries. As for making these three times, no
    problem, remember I am retired and completely bored with this winter
    weather.

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  22. These crepes were delicious. The sauce was the best ever and I agree there is nothing that smells better than sugar rubbed with citrus zest.

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  23. Your snow things has been the pits. You have my condolences, truly. In Colorado snow is green as well as white because it brings all kinds of $$$$ into the High Country. But, even my friends who live in Apen and love to ski are thinking, "Enough." Your crepes look delicious. You obviously make them way more than I do. And, why don't I? They are delicious. The blood oranges. Great idea. Not that I am slow on the trigger but.... it wasn't until three posts ago when Liz had raspberries in her pix that I thot, "Boy, that girl really loves raspberries - used them all the time." Then I began to look at her graphics and realized that raspberries are her signature. Now that's only 2 1/2 years after first reading her Blog.

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  24. Ok Ok I'm convinced - next time I'll make the sauce but oh how I loved the crepes. The citrus and orange liqueur - ooh la la!

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  25. The blood orange sauce is so pretty. What a great idea. Sweetened ricotta and blueberry sauce sounds excellent to me. Like my favorite blintzes but without all of the extra work. I'm going to have to try it.

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  26. The sauce was the star of this! Yours look delicious Cher. I will hang in there with my pan for a bit longer.

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  27. Oh, I love the sauce too! This one was certainly a winner!

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  28. I love the sauce and how nice for the raspberries! What a terrific idea. They look fabulous.

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  29. Those raspberries look so fresh and inviting.

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