>Crepes for Mardi Gras


We weren’t very religious growing up, but we never missed an opportunity to celebrate holidays with food. Mardi Gras was always one of my favorite holidays, because we got to have crepes for dinner. My mom would fire up the crepe pan and start flipping. She would flip until we couldn’t eat any more, our bellies filled with crepes.

My mom would begin with the traditional savory crepe fillings: grated Swiss cheese, ham, and egg. To keep things simple, she didn’t use buckwheat sarrasin flour for the savory crepes, and I was glad because I hated the bitter taste of galettes de sarrasin. After a few salty crepes, she would allow us to move on to sweet crepes, filled with salted butter and sugar, jams, and Nutella. My sisters and I would stumble from the table in the throes of the happiest food coma.

Crepes are my kids’ favorite food, but they won’t waste their time with savory crepes. They insist on going straight to the sweet stuff. So instead of a dinner time treat, they’ve become their favorite breakfast. But tonight, to celebrate Mardi Gras like I did as a child, I’ll whip out the crepe pan and flip until they can’t eat any more. It’s only now that I’m a mom that I realize how much my mother must have welcomed the relative peace of our food coma.

Crepes (Makes 15-20 small crepes)
1 cup of flour
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups of milk (I always used whole or 2%, but this weekend I used skim and found the crepes to be thin and tasty)
2 tablespoons of melted salted butter

Toppings: Butter, Sugar, Jam, Nutella, Sweetened Condensed Milk and fruit

  1. In a food processor, pour the flour, milk and eggs. Pulse 3-6 times until just blended. 
  2. Pour into a bowl, add the melted butter and stir together. The dough should be very liquid, much looser than American pancake dough. Add more milk if it feels a little thick. You can always add a little more flour to even things out. Err on the runny side, better to have a thin crepe than a thick one.
  3. Many cookbooks would tell you to rest the crepe batter for 20 minutes at this point to let the gluten in the flour relax. I sometimes do this, but often the kids are out of their minds with hunger and I just get going.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat until hot. Pour some vegetable oil on a bunched up paper towel and grease the bottom of the pan.
  5. Pour the crepe dough into the hot pan, swirling the pan around until all the batter has been spread around. Keep on swirling until no batter is moving.
  6. Place pan back onto the flame. Cook the crepe until the bottom is lightly browned, peeking for doneness with a spatula. Flip the crepe either with a grandiose flick of the wrist (after loosening it with a spatula), or the old fashioned way with a spatula. Cook it for another 30 seconds to a minute and serve.
  7. For butter and sugar crepes (my kids’ favorite flavor), I melt the butter on top of the crepe as soon as I flip it.
  8. You can serve these immediately, cooking and eating as you go, or make a big batch that you cover with plastic wrap and reheat in the microwave for 5 seconds a crepe.

5 Responses to >Crepes for Mardi Gras

  1. >Will you come over and teach me how to make crepes? My favorite thing to eat in Paris is a simple beurre sucre crepe from any street kiosk. Do I need to go to Bed Bath & Beyond and buy a crepe pan?

    But I also adore savory galettes. I love the taste of buckwheat. I made the gateau Breton from David Lebowitz's book and felt transported by the taste of the buckwheat flour.

  2. >Emily,
    I'd love to teach you how to make crepes. You don't need a special pan, but you do need a good non-stick pan. Some pans work well, and others don't, for no apparent reason. I always take out a couple of pans and expect the first crepe to be a mess up. That said, a crepe pan costs about $20 and takes the guessing out of the equation. I usually need to have 2 pans going at once to keep up with the demands of the kids. I can always keep them somewhat quiet by dazzling them with my flipping skills though. 🙂

    Can't wait for our crepe coffee klatsch.

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