Crêpes Suzanne – French Pancakes

These savory french crêpes are a traditional breakfast in Pierre’s home in France. Whenever his mother, Suzanne, makes these for him, Pierre’s eyes light up like it’s Christmas Day. So, it’s no wonder that these crêpes are also the most-requested breakfast in our own home. I love the pretty green color, which is a result of blending spinach with the crêpe batter. The filling is simple, just grated gruyère. These are delicious on their own but are even better served with a sunny-side egg on top.

 

crepes_suz.jpg

 

Pierre’s mother often uses frozen lettuce rather than spinach for the batter. In fact, she does this following a tip from her mother, who, like many in her generation, had suffered during WWII with German troops occupying her own home. The troops took what food and drink they wanted without any consideration for the home owners. Left without any food, she would gather any scraps she could find, such as potato and carrot peels and boil them down to make a soup. That soup and this frozen lettuce are examples of some of the resourceful and prudent measures this woman took to provide food for her family in those times.

Her method is easy: Keep a plastic bag or container in the freezer where you deposit any leftover lettuce – lettuce that has wilted past eating fresh but hasn’t gone bad. When you’ve got at least a cup’s worth, you can make these crêpes and relish in your impressive frugality!

 

crepes_suz2.jpg

 

I already used up my frozen leftover lettuce so I made these with frozen spinach. I found that my potato ricer is also a great tool to press and squeeze out the liquid of the cooked spinach. I must confess, I purchased it right after watching Martha Stewart demonstrate it’s incredible powers to make mashed potatoes that are fluffy, airy and down-right ethereal. Unfortunately, shortly after purchasing it, I began my failed and meaningless attempt at eating “low carb.” So, this little tool sat in my drawer, neglected and unloved for some time. That is no longer, as I use it all the time now to make these crêpes as well as my beloved, high carb mashed potatoes.

CRÊPES SUZANNE

INGREDIENTS: (10 large crêpes or 15 small crêpes)

  • 1 pkg. frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbl. melted butter
  • gruyère, for the filling

STEPS:

  • With a microwave or steamer, completely defrost the frozen spinach or lettuce.
  • With your hands or a potato ricer, press and squeeze out all the excess liquid. Set aside.
  • In a blender, add the flour, eggs, milk, salt, butter and spinach.
  • With the pulse button, blend the ingredients a bit at a time.
  • After a few seconds of pulsing it, you can blend away for about 30 seconds or until the batter is completely mixed. Scrape down the sides in between blending to ensure that all the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Let the batter rest for at least 1/2 hour*.
  • In a non-stick skillet or crêpe pan on medium heat, rub a little butter on the entire surface.
  • Pour about 1/2 cup – up to 2/3 cup of batter (depending on the size of your pan) and quickly tilt the pan to spread the batter evenly in a thin layer.
  • Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom side is light golden.
  • With a thin spatula or your amazing fingers, flip the crêpe over and cook until that side is golden (about 2 min).
  • When the 2nd side is golden, flip the crêpe AGAIN (so that the prettier side will show) and quickly scatter 2 Tbl. of gruyère over the entire crêpe. Fold it in half and then, fold in half again. Transfer to a platter.
  • Repeat until all the batter is used.

*You can make the batter up to one day ahead and keep it overnight in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.

Bon Appétit!

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11 Responses to “Crêpes Suzanne – French Pancakes”

  1. janicuisine Says:

    wow, I love this recipe, and the pictures!!
    I made some swedish pancakes some while ago – you can read it in my blog if you want to.

  2. Hillary Says:

    Your photographs of your food are beyond gorgeous! And those crepes look really delicious too. You’ve made me want to try spinach in my crepes and I don’t even like spinach!

  3. Mandy Says:

    love the pictures! And I didn’t know I can freeze lettuce before this. Thanks for the tips. This recipe sounds like a good idea for our weekend breakfast. :)

  4. Kate Says:

    this is really fantastic food photography and presentation. Not to mention these crepes look really delicious. I know i have to try these. Saw it on Taste spotting and fell for it instantly. Well done !!!

  5. chughes Says:

    Don’t those look delicious!
    i’ve never made savory crepes before. This sounds good, though.

  6. holybasil Says:

    Hi Jani Cuisine,
    Swedish pancakes are great. I like them with smoked salmon and poached eggs :)
    Hillary,
    I’m happy to hear that you’ll give spinach a try – it really is wonderful.
    Mandy,
    Yeah, I didn’t know freezing lettuce was possible either. When made into crepes, they look and taste a lot like spinach. Fun, isn’t it?
    Kate,
    Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you weren’t turned off by the green color of the crêpes – as I think it’s quite pretty too.
    chughes,
    Savory crepes are wonderful. Also known as galettes in France, they are traditionally made with buckwheat flour and can have all sorts of fillings – ham & cheese, spinach, sausage, etc. I hope you’ll try it sometime!

  7. tallman757 Says:

    the silly question is if you do not have frozen spinach, then how much fresh spinach should go there …. Came for the chili sauce and stayed.

  8. holybasil Says:

    Hi Tallman757,
    Definitely not a silly question – I think you can play around with the amount of spinach. If you use fresh spinach, you’ll need to blanch it first, and then squeeze the spinach to remove excess liquid. Once squeezed, I think a good amount would be around 2/3 cup (and up to 1 cup) of cooked spinach. I hope that helps!

  9. Tartelette Says:

    Looks wonderful! I love making us savory crepes for dinner. Reminds me of my childhood and the famous Chandeleur. Never had lettuce in crepes before, but my mom makes a mean lettuce soup! Your pictures are beyond gorgeous!

  10. mycookinghut Says:

    J’aime les crepes!!

  11. holybasil Says:

    Tartelette
    Ah oui, La Fête de la Chandeleur! We must remember to flip some crêpes this 2 February. I love lettuce soup – so simple and delicious.


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