Friday, February 12, 2010

Playdate Special: Crepes for Valentine's

What about sharing your passion for food with your loved ones this weekend? That was the inspiration for this week playdate, a rehearsal for Valentine's Sunday brunch.

The intention of spreading the best feelings was in my menu, even though my mostly lovely kids were far from being adorable. Tantrums and arguments about sharing toys, loud and happy voices, and running around were the special of the day. I tried hard to concentrate and put together my project, a simple recipe of savory crepe-pancakes with a gentle filling inspired by Hawaiian pizzas, and the whole mission was looking like a challenge. But against all odds, the crepes ended up being delicious.

For dessert, white chocolate fondue,  strawberries and sugared hibiscus flowers were highly appreciated by older kids. I was also planning on preparing a cranberry-flavored bubbly to pair up with the meal for the moms, but distractions were so many that we ended up just drinking cranberry green tea. On Sunday I will do it all over again, and hopefully the spirit of Valentine will turn everything very mellow.

Crepe Sunset

I used precooked baby beets, which can be found at Trader Joe's. They didn't overshadow the flavor and added a soft pink color to the crepe. The pineapple can be from a can (in pineapple juice) or fresh.

Crepe batter
2 small cooked beetroots
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
2 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
4 slices smoked Gouda cheese, cut in half
4 cups yellow cheese, grated
8 tablespoons pineapple cubes

Using a blender, mix beetroots and milk until smooth. With a whisker, gradually integrate eggs, oil, flour, cheese, and salt into the mix. Make sure that all ingredients are well combined. Set aside.

Heat a medium shallow skillet over a medium flame and coat lightly with oil. When hot, pour in 1/4 cup of batter, tilting the pan to coat the whole bottom. Wait until the edges of the crepe begin to detach from the edge of the pan. Loosen the edges with the help of a spatula, then flip the pancake.

When it starts to show small bubbles, add 1/2 cup shredded cheese, 1/2 slice of gouda, 1 tablespoon of pineapple, and 1/4 cup shredded chicken. Close the crepe, roll it, and transfer to a plate.

If you want to serve all at once, set the cooked crepes in a ovenproof dish in a 200 F heated oven, cover them with cheese and pineapple pieces, and broil at low for 5 minutes before serving.

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