Last year, when we spend a week in Provence, I tried to cook a new french recipe every day. This year however I was not as diligent and maybe also not as french. I guess in our memories the dishes I prepared would be still somehow french, only because of the fact that I was using local products and herbs de provence, something we would not get as easy in Spain. Today's recipes as already mentioned are maybe not authentic french, but there was certainly a french twist to it. Braised vegetables wrapped in a crepe with some fresh herb creme legere, made in my newly acquired ceramic pot and fresh cherry and speculoos cookie trifle with vanilla creme legere.
I do believe we all have been doing crepes in our life and everybody have a family recipe we got from our moms. I always stick to my recipe of the blinis (Russian pancakes) as for me they are most similar to the french version, as also in Russia or maybe just in my family we always tried to make them as thin as possible, something we all know from the crepes. German version of the pancake and I think the Swedish too are done a bit thicker and I know many people who does prefer it exactly that way. The ingredients for the crepes, blinis, Pfannkuchen are however always the same...eggs, milk, flour and butter (or vegetable oil). Using the recipe below you can make the crepes the way you like it, as thin or as thick as you like.
Blini - Russian pancake
Prepare the pan, put it on medium-high heat, grease it with little vegetable oil and let it get hot. If you have a blender put all the ingredients there and blend, till all well combined. The batter will be rather liquid, so you can spread it easily all over the pan.
Preparation without blender: put the flour in a big bowl, add sugar, salt. Make a whole in the middle and add eggs and some of the milk... whisk with a hand whisk from the middle to the edges. Add some more milk as you go till all is used. Keep steering to avoid clumps. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes. Finally add melted butter and mix till all well combined. Pour some of the batter into the hot pan, spread it equally all over the pan (by taking the pan and circle it, till all batter it well distributed), cook it till the edges start to brown (shall not take more than 10-20 seconds). Turn it around and cook from another side.
- 1 courgette
- 1 eggplant
- 1 bell paprika
- 1 big tomato
- 1 red onion
- 1 small cup of red wine
- salt, pepper, olive oil
- fresh herbs (I used rosemary, savage, basil)
- 1-2 tablespoons creme legere
Preheat the oven to 200C. Wash and cut the vegetables in equal cubes. Put them in big bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Let them rest for couple of minutes. Pour good splash of olive oil over the vegetables and steer till all veggies are covered. Put the veggies into a ceramic dish (or dutch oven), stick fresh herbs in and pour over the wine. Let it cook for about 30-40 minutes in the oven. Check the eggplants if the are cooked through, if so add creme legere, steer and let it cook another 5 minutes.
Fresh herbs creme legere
- creme legere (creme fraiche)
- fresh spring onions
- fresh mint leaves
- salt and pepper
Chop the herbs. Add creme legere into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the herbs over it and mix roughly.
Fresh cherries speculoos cookie trifle
- 8-10 speculoos cookies (such as Biscoff)
- hand full fresh cherries
- vanilla sugar
- creme legere
- some fresh cherries and cookies for decoration
Crash the cookies roughly with your hands. Wash the cherries half them and take away the stones. Take a glass put some of the cookie crumbles, followed by some cherries and finally topped with creme legere, sprinkle some of the vanilla sugar on top. Repeat the same one more time and top it with a whole cherry and a cookie. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.