Crepe maker

 

Homemade Nutella-Banana Crepes bring a touch of Parisian street life to our humble American abode.

Homemade Nutella-Banana Crepes bring a touch of Parisian street life to our humble American abode.

Neither my schedule nor my budget has room for a trip to France this summer. So if I want to enjoy my favorite Parisian street food–Nutella crepes–I’ll have to join the (very) long line for Acadie Crepes at the Sunday Santa Monica Farmers’ Market or make them myself. I generally avoid lines, so I was pleased when we covered crepe-making in culinary school last week. 

I’d never made crepes at home, and it’s easy–dumb easy–and fun. If I can do it, you can, too. I turned out a bunch of them for breakfast on Sunday, filled those puppies with Nutella (OK, Ralph’s cheapo house brand of hazelnut-chocolate spread) and sliced banana, and we enjoyed a touch of Gay Pareeeee in Marina del Rey. Hmmm, it went so well that maybe I could buy a catering truck and join LA’s current mobile food truck mania. So, in honor of Bastille Day, here are some crepes:

Nutella-Banana Crepes

You don’t need a dedicated crepe pan for this; any nonstick skillet will do. And use a rubber spatula to turn the crepe. The number of crepes you get depends on the size of the skillet. I used a 10-inch skillet and ended up with 9 (8-inch-ish) crepes. To freeze leftovers: stack cooled crepes between layers of parchment or waxed paper and place in a zip-top plastic bag.

4 ounces all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 cup 1% low-fat milk (or any milk is fine)

3/4 ounce butter

Canola oil

Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread)–use a lot, don’t be shy.

Sliced banana

1. Combine the flour, salt, and eggs in a food processor; process until well-combined. With the motor running, add milk through food chute; process until the mixture is the consistency of heavy cream. Strain the batter through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.

2. Heat the butter in a nonstick skillet; cook until butter until is browned. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Whisk the browned butter into the batter. Cover, and let stand 30 minutes.

3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Soak a paper towel in canola oil; rub surface of pan with oil-soaked paper towel. Use a small ladle to add 2 to 4 tablespoons batter to pan (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of batter), swirling the pan to coat. Cook about 2 minutes, or until the edges are brown and the bottom is golden (use a rubber spatula to lift the crepe and peek at the bottom). Flip the crepe; cook another minute or so until the other side is golden. Transfer crepe to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with oil and remaining batter. If crepes cool too much, you can warm them in a low oven.

4. To assemble, spread Nutella (how much depends on how generous you’re feeling) on half of a crepe; top with sliced bananas and fold in half. Garnish with additional Nutella and bananas. Bon appetit!

(Adapted from Professional Cooking, 6th Edition, by Wayne Gisslen.)

Wednesday’s tasty tidbits

You don’t always get what you pay for

picture-3The latest food scare–tainted peanut butter–reveals consumers still place too much trust in our current food safety system. It’s the “halo effect,” a new Hartman Group report reveals. Shoppers believe that if a food is labeled “natural” or “gourmet,” it must be higher quality than lower-priced brands. In fact, premium products are often sourced from the same producers as the ordinary stuff. Hartman President and COO Laurie Demeritt says consumers say they’re concerned about food safety when asked about it, but when shopping, they don’t scrutinize the source of their food and assume it’s safe. This echoes a recent study from Cornell University.

Foreign Fast Food

picture-11No matter where you’re from, you still need to get dinner on the table after a long day at work. Reporter Leslie Kaufman goes into the kitchens of immigrants living in New York to find out how they’ve adapted their favorite dishes to the American kitchen. Be sure to check out the audio slide show, too–it’s cool!–The New York Times

 

Smart Apron

picture-12I’m not big on aprons (though I should be, since I’m always spilling and splattering in the kitchen), but Zip&Dry apron, which is edged with a towel, might win me over.–The Food Section

 

Nuts for Nutella

picture-2Can you really trust a person who doesn’t love the creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread known as Nutella? I think not. Reporter Amy Scattergood delves into its seductive charms, with recipes.–Los Angeles Times

 

Best Canned Tomatoes

picture-4If you’re cooking with tomatoes this time of year, they’re probably canned. And the best are Muir Glen’s, according to Chow.