Archive | June 2013

Sweet and Savory Crepes

There are very few foods that are more awesome and versatile than crepes. They can be a little tricky to flip, but other than that, are fairly straightforward. This week’s choice was the result of a couple random decisions. I had lots of eggs and milk, so I figured that I should those, hence the crepes. I also wanted to try cooking rhubarb. I’ve never really eaten rhubarb, and certainly never cooked it before. But my brother-in-law is a HUGE fan of rhubarb and I’m supposed to be trying new things so what the hell right?

The original plan was to make these individual Strawberry-rhubarb pies. I made the filling (super easy, and trust me, the honey makes all the difference) and stuck it in the fridge to cool.

strawberry-rhubarb filling

Then, a couple hours later, I still hadn’t made the crust for the pies, and I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I had some kale, but wanted to do something more interesting than just sauteing it and eating it as a side dish. But crepes and pie seemed like a weird combination, so my dad suggested that I make some sweet and some savory crepes, just like at a creperie.

Best. idea. ever. So I made a giant pile of crepes, using this recipe. I tend to make my crepes a little thicker than they suggest, but I think they taste great that way. Then I made the savory filling. Chop and sautee some kale with onions and garlic. Add some shredded mozzarella and goat cheese. Put the filling into the center of the crepe, and fold over the edges like a burrito.

kale crepe assembly

kale crepe assembly

Place those filled crepe in a baking pan and stick in the oven to bake for a while at 350. While those were cooking, I filled other crepes with the strawberry-rhubarb filling. I decided not to heat those up at all, but fill, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve cold.

strawberry-rhubarb crepe

Both crepes tasted amazing. Such a great combination. The kale crepes were delicious, and baking them so the cheeses get all melty is a very important step. The rhubarb crepe were also unbelievably good. I don’t really know how to describe it. They were sweet, but not in an overdone way, and the honey added a very mellow sweetness which was excellent.  So my first rhubarb experiment is an unqualified success.

Eggplant gratin with three kinds of cheese

This past week I bought an eggplant, figuring I’d do something with it because I like eggplant and it looked good in the grocery store. I try to buy the best looking produce I can find and decide meals from there. So that was the extent of my planning. I was vaguely considering making ratatouille, cause I’ve never done that, but then I found the perfect recipe: Eggplant and Tomato Gratin. I say it was the perfect recipe because I magically had everything it calls for, down to the pine nuts and the mint, which was at the “use me or throw me out” phase of existence.

Since I’ve linked to the recipe, I won’t go through the minutia of how to prepare it, just my adjustments. Well, I lied when I said I had everything. I didn’t have feta cheese. I’m not a big enough fan to buy it instead of other cheeses unless I have a very specific reason. But I had four other kinds of cheese. I settled for a soft goat cheese mixed with mozzarella, and it worked extremely well. For the topping, I didn’t bother toasting the pine nuts, because, why bother? And I added some parmesan cheese to the topping as well. I do that for most toppings, mix parmesan in with the bread crumbs. Genius idea my dad taught me. Layering the gratin properly is one of those things that seems weird, and then you do it, and it suddenly makes sense. Only annoying thing is that this thing takes a while to make, between the eggplant prep and the final baking. Although, I just baked it for 30 minutes at 350 at that worked perfectly well.

eggplant gratin 2

The recipe was awesome! At least if you like eggplant. The mint and the goat cheese added really interesting notes, without being overly noticeable. The only issue is that, if you reheat it in a microwave, it loses its crispiness, which can be unfortunate. Ideally you should reheat it in an oven. Sadly the kitchen at my job doesn’t have an oven so …  This kind of meal can be served with basically anything, but wine is better than beer for veggie casseroles as a general rule. I paired it with a glass of vinho verde, a Portuguese white wine, but I’m sure most wines, red or white, would go nicely with it.