Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Smoked Salmon Crêpes with Brie Cheese and Wild Cherry Cabernet Glacé

     Gourmet Breakfast Crêpes!  
     This was one of the first recipes that I wrote.  In fact, it was one of the first recipes that I ever cooked at home or on an electric range.  Professional cooks do 99.9% of the cooking in professional restaurant kitchens.  A busy cook or chef usually prefers not to do any cooking during their time off, so the electric range in the apartment is rarely ever turned on.        
     It did take some time to get used to using an electric range.  I really do not like electric burners or electric ovens at all.  Most restaurant kitchens have gas burners.  Gas temperatures are easier to control and food can be cooked quicker with gas too.  
     Dialing in the correct temperature for making crêpes is kind of a trial and error process.  Usually the first crêpe made is an indicator of whether the temperature of the pan is okay.  If the pan is too cool, the crêpe will stick to the pan.  If the temperature is too high, the crêpe will scorch and dark brown highlights will quickly appear.  When the temperature is correct, golden brown highlights will gradually appear and the crêpe will not stick to the pan.     
     Crêpe Batter: 
     This recipe yields about 6 to 8 small 6" crepes. 
     Step 1:  Place 2 large eggs in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 cup of milk.
     Add 1 tablespoon of cream.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Add 1 small pinch of nutmeg.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice or 1 pinch of fine grated lemon zest.  (Lemon juice prevents crêpes from turning a gray color after they sit for a while.)
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of melted unsalted butter.
     Step 2:  Add a little bit of flour at a time, while whisking, till a very thin batter is formed.  The batter should barely coat the back of a spoon.  (Crêpe batter should be much thinner than pancake batter.)

     Step 1:  Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium/medium low heat. 
     Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the pan with melted unsalted butter. 
     Step 2:  Pour just enough crêpe batter into the hot pan to form a crêpe that is 1/16" to 3/32" thick and about 5" to 6" wide.  (About 1 to 1 1/2 ounces.)
     Tilt the pan, so the batter covers the pan with a very thin layer of batter.  Tilt the pan to get the batter to form a round shape and to cover any holes in the crepe.)
     Step 3:  When the batter turns solid and is cooked firm, carefully use a thin rubber spatula to flip the crêpe.
     Cook the other side till light golden highlights appear. 
     Step 4:  Slide the crêpe from the pan onto a plate to cool. 
     Repeat these steps to make as many crêpes as needed.  (The crêpe batter recipe can be multiplied to make a tall stack.  Crêpes do freeze well.  For home, it is best to freeze 2 to 4 portions per package.) 

     Cherry Cabernet Sauvignon Glacé:  
     This recipe yields about 1/3 cup.  (1 portion)
     Wild Cherries are also called Sour Cherries.  Dried Sour Cherries can be found in Mediterranean food markets and Eastern European food markets.
     The word "glacé" can be used to describe a translucent glassy looking sauce.    
     Step 1:  Place 1 1/3 cups of water in a small sauce pot over high heat.
     Add 15 dried sour cherries.
     Bring the liquid to a boil.
     Step 2:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1/4 cup of sugar.
     Gently simmer till the dried sour cherries are plump and the sauce is a thin syrup consistency.
     Step 3:  Add 1 ounce of cherry liquor (kirschwasser).
     Add 3 ounces of Cabernet Sauvignon Wine.
     Simmer and reduce till the sauce is a thin syrup consistency.
     Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.
     Smoked Salmon Crêpes with Brie Cheese and Wild Cherry Cabernet Glacé:
     This recipe yields 1 petite entrée.    
     Step 1:  Place 3 crêpes on a counter top.
     Place 1 ounce of thin sliced smoked salmon on each crêpe.
     Place 1 thin slice of Brie Cheese on the smoked salmon.  
     Step 2:  Fold each crepe in half twice.  (quarter fold)
     Step 3:  Lightly brush a small baking pan with melted unsalted butter.
     Overlap the folded stuffed crêpes on the baking pan.
     Place a few thin slices of Brie Cheese on top of the crêpes.
     Step 4:  Place the pan in a 300ºF oven.
     Bake till the crêpes are warm and the brie cheese softens, but not browned.
     *Be careful not to bake for too long, or the double cream Brie Cheese will melt like butter and disappear!
     Step 5:  Remove the pan from the oven.
     Use a spatula to place the crêpes on a plate.
     Pour about 1/3 cup of Wild Cherry Cabernet Glacé over the crêpes and onto the plate.

     This is a tasty crêpe entrée!

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