Lately, the nights are soaked in rain and thunder claps. I dream about jazz and crepes. When I wake up, I remember songs from Woody Allen's film, Stardust Memories and decide to make crepes.
The set-up. If you're making morning or midday crepes, brew a cup of tea or coffee to sip as you cook. For evening or dessert crepes, pour a glass of wine, a white or red burgundy, either way you can't go wrong, and taste.
1. Begin in the Beguine by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra
Gather ingredients for making crepes. One 8- to 10-inch nonstick skillet. Quinoa, corn, and tapioca flours. Xanthan gum. Sea salt. Hemp milk. Flax Seeds. Coconut oil. Maple Syrup. Time for warm-up exercises.
2. Flight of the Bumble Bee by Harry James & His Orchestra
Prepare to sweat a bit. Crepes take some practice to master the art of flipping. Put on your matching wrist and head bands. Jog in place, up to 2 minutes. Warm up your wrists for crepe flipping by doing wrist rotations (both hands), 20 rotations left and right. Finish with 10 jumping jacks. Now you're ready to make the crepe batter.
3. Stardust by Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra
Hydrate with a glass of water. Grind the flax seeds. Melt the coconut oil. Mix separately, dry and wet ingredients. Combine. Add more hemp milk for a pourable batter. Take a sip of your beverage of choice.
4. I'll See You in My Dreams by Django Reinhardt
Heat the nonstick skillet. Pour batter into the pan with one hand as you swirl the pan in the other to coat the batter. Accept that crepes #1 & #2 will be failures and clump together like fluffy cumulus clouds. Remember: You are not alone! After the first two tries, your crepes will be flat as flat and round as LP records.
5. Did I Remember (To Tell You I Adore You) by Billie Holiday and Her Orchestra, Bunny Berigan, Artie Shaw
Bask in the glory of success. Pour more batter. Repeat flipping technique. Store cooked crepes in the oven over low heat. Serve with sweet or savory fillings (see paper-thin, part two).
6. Goodbye by Benny Goodman
Wrap unused crepes in foil and refrigerate. When ready to eat, reheat in a 325F oven. As the sun sifts through the curtains only to be overshadowed minutes later by another downpour of rain, sit down with a crepe sprinkled with maple sugar and fresh lemon juice. Enjoy your crepe success while you watch Stardust Memories, you've earned a break.
Stay tuned for a playlist for crepes, part two: the fillings.
Gluten Free Quinoa and Corn Flour Crepes
Yield about 1 dozen crepes (4 to 6 servings)
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup corn flour (different from cornmeal)
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 - 3 cups hemp, soy, almond, or rice milk (more or less to make a pourable batter)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (plus 3 tablespoons boiling water, whisked)
2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
virgin coconut oil for cooking
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups hemp milk, flax seed mixture, and the melted coconut oil together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently mix together. If the batter is too thick, add a few tablespoons of hemp milk at a time, up to 1/2 cup more hemp milk to make a pourable batter. (The batter should be thin enough to spread easily in the pan). Allow the batter rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Heat an 8- or 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a small dab of virgin coconut oil for cooking. Pour about 1/2 cup batter into the skillet and at the same time, rotate the pan so the batter covers a thin layer on the bottom. Use small amounts of batter to repair any holes; work quickly and keep the crepe thin.
Cook until the top of the crepe is dry, after about 1 minute, loosen the edges of the crepe from the pan with a spatula. Flip with your fingers or gently toss and flip (this may take a few attempts, but works best) and cook the other side for 3o to 60 seconds. Stack the cooked crepes on a plate. Keep them warm in a low oven or fill each crepe while it's in the pan, spooning the filling across the lower third of the crepe. Roll the crepe from the filling end or fold the bottom third over the filling, fold in the sides, then fold the crepe from the bottom up to make a pocket. Repeat the process, adding more coconut oil between crepes as needed, until all the batter is used up. Store leftover crepes in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic. Enjoy.
(This recipe is inspired by several cookbooks: Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman, and The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Alyssa Segersten and Tom Malterre).