10/19/10

You don't have to be French to make crepes...



...though it doesn't hurt. Crepe-making can be, shall we say, a little nerve-wracking for the cook who is not accustomed to having to throw out the first 3-4 of whatever she's cooking. So whenever I make crepes, I always listen to music of one of my heroes, Josephine Baker to get me in the mood. She was the first American to so successfully "fake it till she made it" as French that she ended up spying for the French Resistance in WWII and eventually received the Cross de Guerre, the French Medal of Honor. (Although, let's not compare the small inconvenience of making crepes to the incredible story of Baker, who started out at 12 dancing on the street-corners of Harlem, became a vaudeville sensation, then landed in Paris where she danced as a topless savage in an (arguably racist) revue dressed in a banana bikini... then went on to learn French, buy her own club, transform herself into a ballgown-wearing diva, and become such an icon of dance, film, and music that she is known only as "La Baker" in France. You should really read one of her biographies sometime, she's awesome.)

Anyways, you have to have a little joie de vivre to attempt crepes, but if you do, the payoff is great and results in versatile but equally delicious treats. They go gracefully from a soft wrap for balasamic-kissed vegetables, as I served the other night (sauteed mushrooms, shallots, green beans and carrots in a tiny bit of balsamic with soy yogurt on top)...

...to a crunchy shell for dessert once you gently refry them, as I had the next day (with bananas, brown sugar, and more soy yogurt.)

In either case, if you can get past the fear (more like certainty) of a little failure, than you get the hang of it pretty quickly and have a stack of crepes to enjoy for as long as you hold on to them. The recipes are also omni-present in every vegan cookbook, and I've had great success with both the Sarah Kramer version and the V'Con version.

So basically what I'm saying is, whether you need a jaunty little beret, some music, or a banana-leaf bikini to get in the mood, be brave and make some crepes because they are delicious and will put your friends (and lovers) in awe.

Here are some more ideas and tips for crepe making and crepe-filling from the archives:
-Lentil and Walnut Dinner Crepes
-Banana, Brown Sugar, and Soy Sour Cream Crepes

Song of the Day: Josephine Baker- J'ai deux Amours

8 comments:

Mihl said...

I haven't amde crêpes in ages. Yours look so wonderful. And thank you for the encouragement.

jessy said...

i've never made crepes as a vegan (and only once in my pregan days). i think i need to get my ass in gear and break out some crepe yumminesses! sweet crepes for breakfast sound gloriously good, and savory for lunch or dinner = absolutely delightful. i'm thinking of cashew cheezes, mushrooms, asparagus, balsamic - brainstorming ideas is fun! your crepes are inspring, T! i'm gonna be brave and give 'em a whirl. :)

shellyfish said...

Glad to see another Ms. Baker fan! Crêpes are a regular staple in our house sweet & savory. We love them! Craving some now...

Michelle said...

Those look delish! Someday...I'm going to try my hand at making crepes. :o)

miss v said...

up until about a year ago, i always thoughts crepes had to be sweet - like breakfast or dessert. (that's what my high school french class taught me.) then kansas city opened up a crepe restaurant and it blew my crepe brain away!

i have yet to try and emulate, but thank you and ms. baker for the inspiration!

Tea and Sympatico said...

Great post. I am terrified of crepes, pancakes, waffles etc! Any attempts always end with loads of swearing and about 1 edible one. You have tempted me to try again and approach it with a different mind set!

Jill - Vegan Backpacker said...

I've never tried to make a crêpe at home. Seems so complicated. But maybe you're right on with this approach of not worry too much if the first few don't work out. Isn't there a special crepe pan to make this whole process easier...?

Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

These crepes look delicious (and good thing you don't have to be French, I'm Indian hehe.)