As university students, it’s astonishing if we manage to even have time to make breakfast, let alone eat it. Even if we do have the time to make something, it’s probably always the same: cereal, bagel, eggs, bacon, or if ambition takes over maybe even pancakes. However, if you have a free weekend morning, and you really want to make a memorable breakfast, you can’t go wrong with crêpes.
Crêpes are by nature a blank canvas. They’re bland enough that you can make them taste pretty much however you want depending on what you pair with them. Likewise, crepes are relatively low in calories, so they can be as healthy or as fattening as you want them to be. Most importantly, they’re probably the easiest food to be creative with.
Crêpes are surprisingly relatively easy to make. While an Internet search will yield a variety of recipes, they all follow pretty much the same formula. My favorite recipe is Alton Brown’s. Once the crêpe batter is made, you can start preparing whatever ingredients you desire. Most people seem to prefer sweet dessert crêpes, while others would rather go the savory route. I like to combine both savory and sweet for the best of both worlds.
Here are a few of my favorite savory, sweet, and savory-sweet crêpes.
The savory crêpe is almost a breakfast sandwich sans bread. It includes a fried egg, prosciutto, Havarti cheese, and diced tomato. Add a little fresh basil too for extra flavor. Fry the egg before starting on the crêpe so that it is almost fully cooked (to your liking) by the time you pour the batter. Once the crêpe is halfway cooked add the cheese and then the fried egg and let it cook just a bit longer to melt the cheese and finish off the egg. These crêpes are ideal for meals enjoyed with friends and family; the richness of the crêpe can enhance any dinner party setting, family holiday, or complement that aromatic dark roast coffee and a copy of the NY Times on a Sunday morning.
Most of you who have tried crêpes most likely sampled one of a sweet variety. It’s certainly popular not just in the United States, but also across the globe. My favorite sweet crêpe has strawberry, banana, Nutella, toasted walnuts, and whipped cream. Nutella is a must as it’s a popular filling in both Europe and the US. These crêpes, though tasty, should be enjoyed in moderation. The sweetness can sometimes be too intense. You can tone the sugar down with some espresso, or a cappuccino like in France. Sweet crêpes are best complemented with a good book or an old classic black and white film on a brisk morning.
Last but not least we have the savory-sweet crêpe. These are my personal favorite as they combine the best attributes of the salty and sweet crêpes. This perhaps remains the healthier option. My favorite savory-sweet recipe contains pear slices, goat cheese with lemon, toasted walnuts, and honey. Savory-sweet crêpes can be the most fun to make because the list of combinations seems almost endless. The key to a good combination is the proper cheese and fruit pairing. Another good combination to try is raspberry preserves and farmer’s cheese. Softer, more spreadable cheeses work the best and they do not need to be melted.
While these three recipes are my favorite, they should provide you with an iota of the knowledge needed to craft your perfect crêpe. Have fun with it, and let out your inner celebrity chef out by creating crazy, yet delicious, mash-ups to impress your friends.