My “Secret” Crêpe Recipe and The RIGHT WAY to eat a Crêpe

Crêpes are the most popular French dessert in the whole world. Everyone knows what they are and about them. In this recipe, I am giving away one of my secrets! Hint: it’s all about the heavy cream and the other ingredients.

THE WRONG WAY TO EAT A CREPE

Also before we start, I want to teach you the proper way to fold and eat a crêpe. I don’t know why lots of people in America want to roll their crêpes. It’s NOT A BURRITO! This is a serious sin that should be punished by death (okay, maybe not death, but at least a heavy flogging!)

THE RIGHT WAY TO EAT A CREPE

The RIGHT way to eat a crêpe is to add any desired toppings and then FOLD it in half and then fold it in half again. Then you can either eat it directly off of your plate using a knife and a fork or if eating it with your hands you pick it up holding the rounded open edges up so the toppings don’t fall out. Then you eat it from the top down.

NEVER EAT THE POINTED FOLD FIRST, your toppings will fall out and you’ll look like a fool. It’s like eating an ice cream cone upside down. (Okay rant over)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Additional butter for cooking
  • Toppings as desired (most popular include: bananas, Nutella, strawberries, or jam)

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:

  • Crêpe pan
  • Flexible plastic spatula

The special equipment really makes all the difference. I recommend purchasing these online to really do crêpes right.

If you can get it, I recommend an authentic French Crepe pan from T-fal.

Link to crêpe pan: https://tinyurl.com/yazepfts

Link to the crêpe spatula: http://a.co/d/3lNUI7v

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a blender, combine milk, heavy cream and eggs. Mix on medium-high speed until foamy, about 10 seconds.
  2. Turn blender to low speed and with blender going, add sugar and salt. Blend on high speed for a few seconds, then turn blender back to low and add butter and vanilla and then once again, blend for several seconds on high after each addition.
  3. Turn blender off. Add flour all at once and blend until just combined.
  4. Place crêpe pan over moderately high heat. Spread a tiny amount of butter in pan and heat until butter just begins to smoke. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter into the pan. As you pour, quickly tilt the pan in all directions to spread a thin layer of batter across the bottom. Pour in just enough batter to cover the pan.
  5. Cook crêpe over moderately high heat until bubbles just begin to form on the exposed surface, about one to two minutes. Lift up the edge to check the cooking process—if the crêpe starts to burn before it is cooked through, turn down the heat. If it is not nicely browned after two minutes, turn up the heat.
  6. When the underside of crêpe is browned, flip and cook another minute or less, until the other side is browned.
  7. Remove from pan and keep warm in the oven, loosely covered with foil.
  8. Grease pan with a very small amount of butter as needed and repeat process. Continue until all batter is used, stacking cooked crêpes on a plate in the oven.
  9. To serve, place the crepe on a plate and put toppings on 1/4 of the surface area. Then fold in half and then in half again. (See my eating crepes rant at the beginning of the post)

Grandma’s French Onion Soup Recipe

Since I have lived in America I have found one really funny thing, Americans LOVE French Onion Soup even more than the French! In fact, people want me to make it all the time and that’s funny to me because French people typically eat it ONLY at weddings. But I make it here because people say it is to die for after tasting my French Onion Soup and that makes me happy!!

French Onion Soup

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 3 hour, but the more you cook it the better it is

Yield: 4-6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 large sweet yellow onions
  • 4 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of beef stock (if you use bullion “Better than Bouillon” is a good brand)
  • 1 cup sweet white wine
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 inch-thick slices of French bread or baguette
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere

DIRECTIONS

  1. Peel and thinly slice onions root to stem, you should have about 10 cups total when sliced.
  2. Caramelize the onions: In a 5 to 6 quart, thick-bottomed pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and toss to coat with the olive oil.
  3. Cook the onions, stirring often, until they have softened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter and cook, stirring often, until the onions start to brown, about 15 more minutes.
  5. Then sprinkle the sugar in to start the caramelization, add 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook until the onions are well browned, about 10 to 15 more minutes.
  6. Add the minced garlic and cook for one minute more.
  7. Deglaze the pot by adding the white wine to the onions and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom and sides of the pot, deglazing the pot as you go.
  8. Add the stock and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a very low simmer. Cook for 1 to 3 hours—the longer the better. You can even place it in a crockpot and leave for hours.
  9. Season to taste with more salt and add freshly ground black pepper. Discard the bay leaves.
  10. While the soup is simmering, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil and preheat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
  11. Brush both sides of the French bread or baguette slices lightly with olive oil.
  12. Put in the oven and toast until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn and brown the other side. Remove from oven.
  13. Use individual sized oven-proof bowls. Ladle the soup into the bowls. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with Gruyere cheese. Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350° F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned.
  14. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

Blanquette de Veau

This dish is really fabulous and easy to make. You will love it—I promise you. It is a really great dinner for fall and winter. Every time I make it I remember my mom teaching me how to make it and it makes me happy! In French culture, food is so much more than just something to keep you alive, it creates memories and friendships. In France, we always sit down at the table to eat dinner, whether it’s as a family or at a dinner party. It’s not uncommon for us to enjoy a meal with family or friends for 2 to 4 hours. It usually consists of several courses and each person typically only takes a small portion of every course so they can fit more in.

I have found that a 2 to 4-hour dinner is usually unrealistic here in the USA. People just aren’t used to that, but our family tries to sit down for dinner at the table almost every night we are all together. It’s a fantastic time to enjoy your family and get your children to talk about their day even if it’s only for 30 to 40 minutes. We started this tradition 5 years ago and at first, the kids acted like it was torture, but now they are used to it and even seem like they enjoy it from time to time.

If you can, I encourage you to sit down at the table and pretend you are French even if you can only do it once a week!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pounds veal breast, boned, cut in large dice
  • 20 pearl onions
  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 1 sachet d’epices (1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon peppercorns, 1 tablespoon thyme and 1 bay leaf in a cheesecloth bag)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces (about 2 cups) white button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cover the veal with cold water to “blanch” it for about 3 minutes.
  2. Skim off impurities as they appear.
  3. Drain and rinse the veal.
  4. Boil about 2 cups of water in a saucepan and then add the pearl onions briefly to scald them.
  5. Drain and slip skins from the pearl onions and set them aside.
  6. In a large saucepot, combine the veal with the stock and simmer covered over medium-low heat until the veal is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. After the veal has been simmering about 30 minutes, add the sachet d’epices. Then uncover the pot to allow the stock to reduce to intensify the flavor.
  7. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a small pot and gradually add the flour to make a white roux. (Do not allow the roux to brown.) Remove and discard the sachet from the stew. Add the roux to the stew pot and simmer until thickened.
  8. In another pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and gently cook the pearl onions and mushrooms until they are tender. To this pan, add the lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside.
  9. The heat under the blanquette (stew) must be such that the stew is just below a boil. In a small pot whisk together the egg yolks and cream (known as a liaison) and temper by heating gently and gradually. (You are only heating it. Do not boil. Do not cook.) Add the liaison to the blanquette. Add the reserved pearl onions and mushrooms. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste, if needed.

Île Flottantes (Floating Island) Recipe

Sprinkled on top of these delicate meringues—which float in a vanilla custard—are praline roses, caramel-coated almonds dyed a bright pink. The color’s a bit shocking, but they’re a staple of Lyonnaise pâtisseries and lend a nice crunch and color to this white-on-white backdrop.

INGREDIENTS

2 1⁄2 cups sugar, divided

1  cup water, divided

1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1⁄2 cups  sliced almonds

8  extra large egg whites, at room temperature

1⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Creme Anglaise

4  extra-large egg yolks

1⁄2 cup sugar

1  teaspoon cornstarch

1 3⁄4 cups  scalded milk

1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1⁄2 teaspoons cognac

1⁄2 vanilla bean, seeds of (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2 FOR THE CARAMEL: Heat 1 1/2 cup of the sugar and 1/2 cup of the water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Cook over medium heat until the syrup turns a warm caramel color. Don’t stir, just swirl it in the pan.

3 Turn off the heat, add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 teaspoons of the vanilla; be careful, the syrup will bubble violently.

4 Stir and cook over high heat until the caramel reaches 230 degrees F. (thread stage) on a candy thermometer. Set aside.

5 FOR THE PRALINE: Combine the almonds with 1/4 cup of the caramel and spread them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the almonds are lightly browned.

6 Allow to cool at room temperature and then break up in pieces.

7 Lower the oven to 250°F Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

8 FOR THE MERINGUES: Beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed until frothy.

9 Turn the mixer on high speed and add the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Beat until the egg whites are very stiff and glossy.

10 Whisk in the remaining teaspoon of vanilla. With dessert spoons place 12 mounds of meringue on parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

11 FOR THE CREME ANGLAISE:

12 Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.

13 With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs. Pour the custard mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened. The custard will coat the spoon like heavy cream. Don’t cook it above 180F or the eggs will scramble!

14 Pour the sauce through a fine strainer, add the vanilla extract, Cognac, and vanilla seeds, if using, and chill.

15 FOR SERVING: Pour creme anglaise on the bottom of individual plates. Place a meringue on top of each serving, drizzle with caramel sauce, sprinkle with praline, and serve.

16 To make a day or two ahead, leave the caramel and praline at room temperature and refrigerate the creme anglaise. Bake the meringues before guests arrive and assemble the desserts just before serving.

Croissants Recipe

Croissants are the most popular pastry in the all world. If you talk about croissant everyone will know what you are talking about. In France we eat them for breakfast mostly. I love the crunch of this delicious fluffy pastry. French people love dipping them in our Coffee or in my case, Hot Chocolat. This recipe is advanced, but easier if you carefully follow the instructions. The quality of the ingredients you buy also makes a big difference so try to get the highest quality ingredients you can and they will turn out better.

Preparation Time: 1 hr

Cook Time: 20 min

Yield: 20 servings

Level: Advanced

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ounce fresh yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup white or packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, or more
  • 1 pound unsalted Amish butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a mixer with a dough hook, place the yeast, flour, sugar, salt, and the milk and mix for 2 minutes until a soft moist dough forms on the hook. If most of the flour isn’t moistened with this quantity of milk, add more, a tablespoon at a time until it is moistened and smooth, using up to 4 tablespoons.
  2. Turn mixer on high and mix for another 4 minutes until very smooth and elastic.
  3. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured board, cover with a damp tea towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes to relax the gluten.
  4. Remove the towel and, using a French rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10 by 9-inch rectangle 5/8-inch thick. Wrap in plastic then chill for 1 hour and up to overnight.
  5. Ten minutes before the dough is done resting in the refrigerator, prepare the butter. Beat it with your rolling pin on a floured surface to soften it and form a rectangle 6 by 8 1/2 inches. Place it between parchment paper or plastic wrap and set aside.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it on a floured work surface into a 10 by 15-inch and 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Brush any excess flour off the dough. Place the shorter side of the dough parallel to the front of your body on the work surface. Place the butter in the middle, long-ways. Fold the bottom up over the butter and brush off any excess flour and then fold the top down over the butter to overlap and encase the butter. Press down lightly with the rolling pin to push all the layers together and make sure they have contact.
  7. Continue rolling the laminated (layered) dough to form a new 10 by 15-inch rectangle, patching any holes with a dusting of flour where butter may have popped through. Fold into thirds, like a letter, brush off any excess flour and mark it with an indentation made by poking your finger once at the corner of the dough meaning you have completed the first “turn”.
  8. Wrap well in plastic and chill 1 hour and up to overnight. Do this again three more times (some people only do 3 turns total, some do 6, some do 3 plus what’s called a “wallet” turn for the last one which is a 4 fold turn that’s folded into itself like a book jacket) marking it accordingly each time and chilling in between each turn.
  9. After the fourth turn, you can let the dough chill overnight, or, for 1 hour, or, roll it out to a 13 by 24-inch square that is a little less than 1/4-inch thick and cut out your croissants and shape them.
  10. You can roll out your dough and cut it with a sharp large knife into 6-inch strips then cut them into triangles, 4 inches wide at the base of the triangle (or for a more curved croissant cut the triangles 6 inches wide).
  11. Stretch these triangles again 9 inches long, then place on the work surface and put a piece of scrap dough in the center of the wide end to enclose, which will plump up the center.
  12. Roll the triangles up towards you starting at the wide end and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment lined sheet pan with the tip tucked under and the ends slightly curved in to make a crescent shape. You may freeze the croissants at this point, or, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk and brush the croissants with this egg wash.
  13. To proof the croissants, place them in an oven that is warm but not turned on, with a pan of hot water in the bottom to create a moist environment like a proof box. Set aside to proof for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours until puffed up and spongy to the touch. Remove from the oven.
  14. Spritz a preheated 425 degree F oven with water, close the door, and get the croissants. Place the croissants in the oven and spritz again, close the door and turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
  15. After 10 minutes, rotate your pan if they are cooking unevenly and turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. Bake another 5 to 8 minutes until golden brown.

HACHIS PARMENTIER (MASHED POTATO CASSEROLE)

The French love casseroles. It’s one of the most popular family dinner dishes. I will always remember my time around the table with my family. In France dinner is the most important moment of the day. I will share with you all my family recipes.

READY IN: 40 mins

SERVES: 8

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large frying pan, cook the onions & garlic in the butter & olive oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, ground beef, herbs, salt & pepper. Cook until the meat is browned thoroughly.
  3. Turn off heat & add egg yolk & Parmesan cheese, stirring to mix completely.
  4. Spread the meat in the bottom of a lightly oiled oven proof dish (a 9×13 would be perfect).
  5. Spread the potatoes on top of the meat mixture.
  6. Finish by sprinkling the grated cheese on top.
  7. Bake in 400 deg oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted & the potatoes lightly browned.

Creamy Pumpkin soup recipe

This creamy pumpkin soup is even better if it’s made a day ahead of time. Just refrigerate it overnight, reheat it on the stovetop and then add garnish immediately before serving.

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Crème fraîche, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Once the butter is just beginning to brown, add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, sugar, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and broth, stir to incorporate, season with salt and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cream and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth.
  8. If needed, add additional water or broth to reach desired consistency. Return the mixture to the pot or large a sauce pan.
  9. Serve warm.