Monday, March 16, 2009

Sweet Crespelles and a Stream of Consciousness

Saturday morning. Warmer than yesterday. Boyfriend’s in Queens shooting a sketch. Roommates at brunch. Roommates’ dog … also at brunch? House to myself. Sweet. Turn 101.9 up loud. Wear eyeglasses instead of contacts. Forgo makeup (for now). Contemplate pantslessness. Decide on pants, should roommates come home early.

Make coffee. Ponder breakfast. No cereal. Out of syrup. Need a break from omelets. Have about 2 cups of flour left in the pantry. What to do … what to do …

Ahhhhhh. Crespelles. Italian crepes. Found recipe on Serious Eats earlier in the week. Came from Gina DePalma, the pastry chef at Babbo. That means it’s gotta be good, right? 14,000 versions of dish on the post. Will use the club soda/vanilla extract
combination. Good times.

Combine ingredients. Heat pan. Pour batter in. Wow, I’m terrible at this swirling thing. (Example at right). Need to thin batter with a little club soda and try again. Okay, that’s better. Make second crespelle. And third. And fourth. And … etcetera, etcetera, all the way up to nine. Supposed to make 11 to 13, but chalk it up to being a first-timer.

Okay, now what? What do I fill these things with? Fruit, probably. Maybe strawberry topping? Or blueberry? Or … BANANA. That’s it. And easy. Drop tablespoon of butter in a pan. Melt tablespoon of brown sugar in it. Add one chopped banana. Saute 2 minutes. Add dash of cinnamon, splash of rum. We’re good to go.

Sit down. Pour coffee. Pick up O Magazine (because I’m 50). Read Michelle Obama interview in entirety. Fall in love with her a little more. Eat crespelle. Tastes not unlike super-subtle fortune cookies filled with bananas. I can get with this. Delicious.

Store remaining crespelle in plastic bag between sheets of parchment paper. Will probably stay for a day or two. Briefly wonder where dog is. Forget and enjoy several successive minutes of silence/non-barking.

Get started on post. Do calculations. 84 calories, 3.4 grams of fat per crespelle. Nice. And … what’s this? SEVEN CENTS PER SERVING? Sweet. Will make this again.

Finish post. Listen to Beyonce’s “Halo.” Make decision that I prefer her lower register. Remember crespelle fondly. Fart.

Basic Sweet Crespelle
Makes about 11 crespelles
Adapted from Gina DePalma's recipe on Serious Eats.

1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup club soda
1 large egg
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

1) Get out a blender. Add everything but the flour. Blend briefly to mix the ingredients. Add flour. Blend again, until batter is smooth and lumpless. Scrape the sides if necessary. Set aside, and scoop out any lumps that rise to the surface.

2) Grease a medium pan. Preheat over medium-high. Once it's pretty hot, add just enough batter to cover the pan's bottom, and swirl it around. (If it's too thick, add a little OJ.) Cook a few minutes, until edges are set and start to lightly brown. Using a spatula, carefully flip the crespella. Cook only 30 more seconds, until it's totally cooked. Do the same with the rest of the batter. (You will get better at it as you go along; it's okay to dump the mistakes.)

3) Stack finished crespelle between sheets of parchment paper, "keeping them warm in a low oven."  Serve with fruit and powdered sugar.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
86 calories, 3.4 g fat, $0.07

1/2 cup 2% milk: 61 calories, 2.5 g fat, $0.13
1/2 cup club soda: negligible calories and fat, $0.09
1 large egg: 74 calories, 5 g fat, $0.13
2 1/2 tablespoons butter: 255 calories, 28.8 g fat, $0.15
2 tablespoons sugar: 93 calories, 0 g fat, $0.04
1/4 teaspoon salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
1 teaspoons vanilla extract: 12 calories, 0 g fat, $0.12
1 cup all-purpose flour: 455 calories, 1.3 g fat, $0.10
TOTAL: 950 calories, 37.6 g fat, $0.77
PER SERVING (TOTAL/11): 86 calories, 3.4 g fat, $0.07


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