Friday, October 14, 2011

Ham, Cheese and Chili Crepe

Changes, changes... as they say, there is nothing constant in this world except change.

When change comes, I press the panic button before trying to step back a little to understand what is going on and think things through. When I panic, I usually make mistakes. tsk tsk.. Though sometimes, I am happy to say it's the other way around. Yes, just sometimes.

At least! :)

I wish changes, in all forms, is just as easy as changing your weekend food. I didn't go full circle, but I just tried to have something we don't usually have. Crepes. Oh yes, it's refreshing and rewarding after the changes, panic and the boo-boos... my boo-boos! :S

This is a savory crepe inspired by Café Breton's Vesuve. Sheila had me try this back in December and I instantly loved it.

For the ham filling, you'll need:

vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
about 6 cloves of garlic, minced
3 to 4 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
8 slices of cooked ham (not sweet), diced
Chili pepper flakes (start with half a teaspoon for a mild spicy kick)
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 bar of quick melting cheese (this is about 100 grams, you can grate a little extra of you want)

Prepare the filling - heat the oil and sauté the onions until translucent, add the garlic, then tomatoes. When tender, add the ham, then sprinkle the pepper flakes, add just a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the basic crepe recipe, I got it from the book Joy of Cooking. I just made a little changes below:

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt

1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup warm water
4 eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
extra 6 teaspoons of butter (for the pan)

mix dry ingredients (flour, salt or sugar) and set aside. melt butter, set aside
in a large bowl, mix the milk, water, eggs and add melted butter. Mix well
slowly add the dry ingredients by sifting it through the bowl, then mix thoroughly until there are no lumps anymore. I like my milk and water warm as it dissolves the dry ingredients faster.

Note: This makes about 6 crepes. I am using a 9-inch non-stick pan. You can prepare the crepe batter ahead of time and store it in airtight container in the fridge.

To prepare the crepe, heat your pan, melt a teaspoon of butter and pour a ladle of the crepe batter (I pour about 1/2 cup) and tilt the pan in circular motion until you achieve the round form of the crepe. Cook until the bottom is ok, about 2 minutes on low to medium heat, like if you see a little toasted color under, then that's good.

Then in the center of the crepe, put about 2 tablespoons of the ham filling and a tablespoon or more of grated quick melting cheese, then fold the crepe. Careful on folding as the crepe tends to tear. I suggest you use two cooking spatulas/turners when you fold the crepe. If you want to cook/prepare all the crepes first, go ahead :)

The crepe batter is also good for sweet/dessert crepes. Just omit the salt and add 4 to 5 tablespoons of sugar (will post our dessert crepe soon!)

I am in the process of learning to accept the other side of change. That: it's not always bad, that it's not something to be scared about. I should think that change is also a step towards improvement. So here I am, resting on this well deserved weekend, preparing myself to embrace the changes that will come.

Happy weekend! :)