How to Make Crepes

Or as I like to call it, The Crepes of Wrath…but not really.

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This month my sister and I decided to do a crepe challenge. I picked a savory crepe recipe and she picked a sweet dessert crepe. My big plan was to use the crepe recipe from our high school French teacher (I pity students who don’t get to experience French class crepes). Alas, I lost the sticky note that I’d scribbled the recipe down on. Instead of asking my sister for the recipe yet again, I turned to The Kitchn’s How to Make Delicate, Lacy Crepes. My back-up plan turned out to be a great one. Here’s their recipe and it works!

Easy Crepe Recipe

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Makes about 8 8-in crêpes, recipe can be doubled as needed

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of melted butter

Optional for sweet crepes:
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Neutral oil for cooking

Equipment
Measuring cups and spoons
Blender, or a bowl and whisk
Wire cooling rack
Ladle for pouring (optional)
10-inch nonstick pan or an 8-inch crêpe pan
Spatula

Instructions

  1. Make the batter: Place the flour, milk, eggs, salt, and melted butter (and optional sugar and vanilla) in a blender and blend for about 20 seconds until batter is smooth. Alternatively, whisk everything together in a bowl until thoroughly combined and frothy.
  2. Let the batter sit: Cover the bowl and let the batter sit for at least 1/2 hour on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Prepare to cook the crêpes: Before cooking the crêpes, assemble everything you’ll need by your stove top: the batter, the pan, the oil, the spatula. If your bowl doesn’t have a pour spout, have a ladle or 1/4-cup measuring cup handy.
  4. Cook the crêpes: Place the pan over medium heat and add a small amount of oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Let it sit on the flame for a minute to get hot. Pour in about 1/4 cup of batter. Immediately, pick up the pan and swirl it to coax the batter into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Flip the crêpe: When the crêpe has browned slightly on the bottom, carefully work a spatula underneath it and flip. Cook the second side briefly, just to set the batter.
  6. Cool the crêpe: Tilt the pan and loosen the crêpe, then slide it onto the cooling rack.
  7. Continue making crêpes: 

Continue making crêpes with the rest of the batter, adding more oil as needed to keep the crêpes from sticking.

  1. Stack and store: If not eating the crêpes immediately, stack them one on top of the other as they cool. If they seem sticky, place a square of plastic wrap or parchment paper between them. Place the stack in a sealable plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for a few months.

Turning a Sweet Crepe into a Savory Blini

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Every once in a while Russian recipes catch my attention. When I stumbled on Chicken and Mushroom Blinis, I thought, now how do I make that vegetarian? Here’s how!

Vegetarian Blini Recipe

Ingredients for Garlic Tofu and Mushroom Blinis

  • One Block of Garlic Tofu
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup of Sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 Sweet Chopped Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon of Dried Parsley
  • 1 Diced Garlic Clove
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup of White Wine
  • 1 Tablespoon of Butter
  • Slices of Provolone Cheese

How To:

Drain and cut the tofu into bite sized pieces. Add the olive oil to a skillet and saute the tofu until it’s slightly brown and crispy on the edges. Remove the tofu from the pan. Melt butter in the same skillet. Saute onions until translucent then add the garlic, mushrooms, and parsley until mushrooms are sautéed. Finally add the tofu back into the pan along with the white wine, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for less than 5 minutes.

Depending on how your crepes turned out use add a 1/4 a cup or 1/2 a cup of filling to each crepe. Roll them up and place the blinis on the plate seam down so they don’t unroll. Lay a slice of provolone over the top of two rolled blinis. Pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese.

The filling makes about six blinis and they are great as leftovers!

 

 

 

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Need a good vegetarian gravy recipe?

Hold on to your brunch biscuit, people.

Recently, I posted this photo of me and a giant breakfast bowl swimming in gravy.img_0040

And I got several comments about the lack of decent vegetarian gravy recipes. This my food friends is the real deal veg gravy. Trust me because I pretty much ate all that AND had the gravy on mashed potatoes the night before. It was a gravy drenched weekend.

So, where did I eat the BEST vegan biscuits and gravy?

My favorite of all veggie restaurants, The Chicago Diner. If you’re ever in Chicago– just go. Seriously. I’ve gushed about this place before and you’ve gotta eat there. Everything on the menu is a vegan/vegetarian dream come true.

Yeah, but it’s brunch time, HERE– I need a veggie gravy recipe now.

Luckily, I’ve bought all their cookbooks and below is the recipe for ultimate gravy goodness. Eat hearty and enjoy every last lick of that plate.

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The Chicago Diner’s White Sage Gravy from The New Chicago Diner Cookbook

Yield: 4 Cups

Vegetarian Gravy Ingredients:

1 cup vegan margarine like Earth Balance

2 cups minced onion

1 cup rice flour

2 tablespoons vegetable bouillon dissolved in 1/4 cup soy milk

8 cups water or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons fresh chapped sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage

1 tablespoon dried marjoram

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes

1 tablespoon white pepper

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

How to cook gravy:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine. Add the onion and saute until it is  caramelized.
  2. Slowly sift the flour into the saucepan, whisking constantly until it is completely blended. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until a golden brown roux forms.
  3. Slowly add the vegetable stock and water to the saucepan, still whisking constantly.
  4. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the saucepan. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer the gravy for 8 minutes, until the desired thickness is reached. Remove from the heat and transfer to a gravy boat.

Cooks’ Note: You can easily thicken up a too-thin gravy by slowly adding 1 tablespoon of flour or nutritional yeast flakes, but be sure to whisk vigorously and constantly while adding it to avoid lumps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetarian Garlic & Cashew-rangoon

Last week I celebrated a year being a vegetarian: no fish, fowl, or foot-ed (or non-footed) animals. Yes, I still eat eggs and dairy (I am not ready to make the vegan leap just yet) but I truly do not miss being a meat-eater at all. My sweet husband has been a vegetarian for over 20 years and even though he never gave me the hard sell (or any sell for that matter) when I was a meat-eater, he is one of my main inspirations.

So to celebrate all this veggie-goodness, here is my recipe for Garlic & Cashew-rangoon. I made it for the first time way back in the winter (you’ll notice the warm clothing), but they freeze really well, so I didn’t have to make them again until this month! My Aunt Linda helped…two people is a good idea, especially if you do the whole package of wontons (which I did and why wouldn’t you?!?)

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We had our veggie rangoon with veggie pineapple fried rice and salad!

Vegetarian Garlic & Cashew-rangoon

1   8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened a little (aka- leave it out on the counter while you get your other ingredients ready)

2 green onions (including whites) chopped

1/4 tsp of soy sauce

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 cup of cashews (pieces/halves, not whole)

1 tablespoon of honey roasted cashews (pieces/halves, not whole)

A package of smaller wonton wrappers

Cooking spray for baking or oil for frying

How-to:

First, mix your cashews all together. If they’re whole and you need to smash them with a kitchen mallet or any other tool– now’s the time.

Chop up the onions and garlic and set aside.

Next in a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer. You can also use a small food processor/chopper. Either way, you want the cream cheese to be  smooth (which only takes 30 seconds to a minute).

Add cashews, onions, garlic, soy sauce into the cream cheese and mix well (for another minute or two).

Pour a 1/2 cup of cold water into a little bowl or cup. If you have a food safe brush, grab it. (If not, you can just use a paper towel or your finger instead of a brush when the time comes).

Lay one wonton on a cutting board.

Moisten the edges with water (using brush, finger, paper towel).

Add 1/2 a tablespoon or tablespoon of the cream cheese mix in the center. The amount depends on how much filling you want. Don’t over stuff it (two tablespoons would be too much) or it will leak out all over the wonton.

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Fold the moistened opposite edges together, and gently give them a press.

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Next, fold the two remaining moistened sides up and give all 4 points a good squeeze.

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And just keep going until you run out of filling or wontons or both!

Now we decided to bake ours, so once we folded them, we set them on lightly greased baking sheets.

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There is a trick to baking them (my aunt came up with it), you spray the rangoons with a little cooking spray. I tried to be fancy about it the second time I made them and brushed them lightly with olive oil, but it totally didn’t work. Just do it, spray them with cooking spray and they will crisp-up all golden brown.

Bake the rangoons at 350 for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven. Each time I sprayed them half way through the cooking time, so if they start off sprayed with cooking spray, they may only take 5- 10 minutes to cook. As you can see, we made a few different shapes, so feel free to get creative as long as the edges are moist and pinched together!

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If you prefer to fry them, a recipe on-line suggests heating 1 inch of oil heated to 375 degrees in a pan. Then fry the rangoons for 1-2 minutes. I have not tried this, (the baking is just too easy) so don’t take my word for it!

After cooking and cooling, stick your extras in a freeze bag and just thaw then reheat in the microwave for 20 seconds when you need a rangoon fix!

That’s if you have any left!

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"You mean there's not crab in these things? How did end up with vegetarian cat parents?"

“You mean there’s no crab in these things? How did end up with vegetarian cat parents?”