Crazy for Crepes: Recipes and Tips
This versatile French import works for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
Reviewed by Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD
My favorite pan in my kitchen right now, bar none, is my nonstick crepe pan. What does that say about me? It says I probably whip up crepes recipes more often than the average American, that's for sure. They remind me of the thin Dutch pancakes my dad used to make on weekends when I was a child. Childhood food memories can be powerful stuff!
Crepe is literally the French word for pancake. But unlike American pancakes, crepes are light and often paper-thin. Along with quiche and pate, the crepe is one of the better-known French foods around the world.
The crepe has been around for more than a couple hundred years. They were originally said to have been served only to nobility. But after the French Revolution (which my ancestors actually participated in), the art of fine dining became available to ye olde public for the first time.
Probably the most illustrious crepe dish is Crepes Suzette, featuring crepes in an orange-butter sauce doused with just enough liqueur (like Grand Marnier) to burst into flames when ignited. I'm sure many a beard or mustache has been singed making this dish. I myself am willing to try a lot of dishes, but tend to draw the line at recipes that involve exploding flames or blowtorches.
One way the French crepe is different from the American pancake is that they have two culinary sides: They can be savory (filled with meat and topped with a wine sauce, for example), and served as the entree for a lunch or dinner. Or, they can be sweet (filled with jam, chocolate, or fruit and topped with powdered sugar or whipped cream), and served as dessert or as an entree for breakfast. Either way, I'm a happy camper!If you want to explore your savory crepe options, here are some possible fillings:
8 Things to Know About CrepesBefore you pull out that crepe pan, here are a few things you should know about cooking crepes:
Healthier Crepes Recipes
Here are a few crepes recipes -- both sweet and savory -- to get you started.
Beer Batter Herb Crepes
2/3 cup low-fat milk
2/3 cup light or nonalcoholic beer
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached white flour
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
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