Last night was kind of exciting. I got home to find a package waiting for me.
That’s right, my duck liver had arrived!
As I opened it, the first thing I saw was a bunch of those horrible styrofoam peanuts. I hate those thing! But lurking just below the peanuts, under ice packs, was a load of good stuff! I got the foie gras; a 1.65 pound duck liver, from Hudson Valley Foie Gras. This was suggested because they feed with soy mixed in with the corn, and D’Artagnan feeds with only corn. The soy mix results in a firmer liver, which lends itself well to pan searing. Also in the delivered treasure were 4 tubs of duck fat, duck sausage and wild boar sausage and bacon. Good stuff to be trying over the week!
The one item I got into for the party last night was crepes. They refrigerate very well, so I took the opportunity to get them done before Saturday.
The recipe I use is really simple, and comes from Alton Brown, on the Food Network site. It’s very basic and easily modified for specific uses.
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
You also need just a touch of butter for the pans when you start. Basically, combine all the ingredients in a blender and pulse for 10 seconds. That’s it. The blender puts air in the batter, so it needs to have some time to release the air. I put it in the refrigerator for about an hour, but it can wait up to 2 days.
Tip: Make sure that the blender carafe is on tight so that the batter doesn’t leak out while it’s in the fridge!
To modify this, herbs and salt can be added, or just salt, for savory uses. Sugar can be added if the crepes are going to be filled with sweet stuff.
I found this great measuring cup by Cuispro, by the way. It has a magnetic slider on the side that moves a tab up and down. When you have the right amount of liquid, it’s easy to see. I like this better then the OXO cups. I think I got it at the Williams Sonoma outlet.
I have 2 crepe pans that are very simple metal pans; I have to use a welding glove or pot holder while I’m making the crepes. I heat them up and just lightly coat them with butter. Then I pour a little bit in the middle of the pan. How much? A little. It depends, for me, on what I’m doing with the crepes. Since this is for a party, and plates will be small, I made smaller crepes. I would usually put about an ounce or so in the pans for a normal crepe.
Once the batter is poured into the pan, I swirl it around immediately, trying not to let the batter set up before it spreads out. There are tools to help spread it, but I like to keep the rustic handmade look to them that swirling them gives. Once the edges curl up, it’s pretty much ready to turn over. It should only take about 30 seconds or less per side. The idea isn’t to really brown the crepes, but to just cook them. Browning will cause them to be too stiff, and they need to be easily rolled. If they have the right consistency, they’ll actually be a bit rubbery, which is fine.
So I got the crepes all cooked and stacked up, and they were still really nice and hot. That’s something I need to remember for later; when I cooked them and immediately stacked them, there was no problem getting them apart, but they also kept in a lot of heat. If I were using them immediately, I could spend several minutes finishing the filling without worrying.
I need them for Saturday, though, so I let them cool, put them in a ziplock bag, and put them in the refrigerator. They can keep for several days this way.
Tip: Make crepes ahead of time so you don’t have to make them while you’re cooking everything else. They heat up quickly and easily in a pan or microwave!
Now I just have to get the mushrooms ready on Saturday to fill the crepes. More photos of the process to come after the party!