Monday, June 1, 2009

Chives: Beautiful Bouquet and Savory Crepes

Really great Saturday at the green market. I saw the first lettuces of the season, as well as the first sugar snap peas (I bough a pound!), among other treats. But what struck me was the number of stalls selling chives. I used to grow chives on my fire escape, but the plant, which is a perennial, succumbed to some odd disease/bug infestation last year. Although I never let them get to the flowery stage, perhaps I should have as my informal research shows that most vendors charge twice as much for chives with blossoms (as compared to those without)! Luckily, I found a vendor charging a fair price, and picked up a nice little bouquet -- some for display but the rest for cooking. First dish - crepes. I am in a book club (which has been going strong, meeting monthly for at least four years now) and had the pick this month. My choice? "Julie and Julia" so I thought it would be fun to whip up a few recipes inspired by the book, including savory crepes. The girls are coming over tomorrow to discuss and eat, so I pre-made the crepes which is a good thing SINCE IT TOOK ME TWO HOURS.

The batter was a cinch, especially since I got to use my Pampered Chef batter bowl for the first time. But with a double batch of batter and one 6-inch skillet, cooking took forever. I did work out a good system in the end:

1. Most recommend using a quarter cup measuring cup to scoop batter. I filled it 3/4 of the way full. I also used a utensil pot clip to hang the measuring cup off my batter bowl and avoid a mess (or another dish to wash).

2. Although I used a non-stick frying pan, I did baste the bottom with Canola oil before pouring the batter in. A silicon basting brush worked for me, and I ended up using about a tablespoon of oil all together.

3. Julia Child apparently flipped crepes with her fingers. I was not that brave. When it was time, I tilted the pan away from me and grabbed the edge with a pair of silicon tongs (which can also be used for fish, as a grabber for items on a high shelf, etc.).

4. I slid the cooked crepes onto a wire rack "second side down." Although many times I was tempted to flip it to see how that side had cooked, invariably, the crepe tore every time I tried.

5. I had to lower my burner after a while since my pan retained a lot heat.

6. After a few minutes cooling, I stacked the cooked crepes in foil separated with parchment and dumped the entire thing in a ziplock and threw in the fridge.

How did the final product turn out, you ask? Stay tuned for part two.

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