Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer Vegetable Crepes

Before I scare some of you off, I want to welcome my new readers. Hi! Today I am going to induct you thoroughly into my crazy, so get ready.

San Francisco. I drove up to the city Thursday morning. I had an interview at 2:45 yesterday, and proceeded to drive right back to LA at 4:30 in the afternoon. I sat in atrocious traffic trying to get onto the Bay Bridge, and then all the way through the East Bay until I finally got onto the I-5. This is where my crazy begins. I've done a lot of driving in the last few years. I drove between the Midwest and LA many times while in law school, and even drove from the Midwest to DC and then from DC all the way back to LA during my last semester. Suffice it to say, I am an expert on that which is the Two Lane Highway. You'd think learning to drive in Los Angeles and enduring its traffic for years would incite many an instance of road rage. Let me tell you something: nothing, and I mean nothing, incites road rage within the depth of my soul more than driving on two lane highways.

I know, how can this be? Surely, being cutoff and stuck in traffic is worse than long stretches of nothingness passing by at 75 mph. No. Absolutely not. When I drive long distances on these stretches of interstate, I use cruise control. I get myself up to speed--usually between 5 and 8 miles above the speed limit--and flick the handle. This ensures that I don't get foot cramps and that I never reach ticketing speed. This would be amazing and I'd make great time if it weren't for truckers and stupid people who don't comprehend signs that say Slow Traffic Keep Right. If you are in the left lane, at the very least, go the speed limit. If you see that I am really gaining on you, move over, and now. If I honk at you, which the vehicle code says to do, seriously, move over. If you're too dense to understand this, and I try to pass you by getting into the right lane, do not speed up. That's illegal too. And by all means, if you're on my ass, and you can see a car is in front of me that is blocking my way or that it's impossible for me to get over, slow the hell down, wait two minutes, and I'll let you pass. And truck drivers? Wait till us cars pass before you decide to block both lanes--that's rude.

Phew. I clearly have some anger towards people who mess up my flow and destroy my ability to use cruise control. Plus, yesterday, I was carting a bag full of produce from Berkeley Bowl that needed to make its way out of my warm car and into the cold fridge. This was incredibly important because I had to make these crepes today. I always stop at the Bowl on my way in/out of the city, so by Wednesday night I was planning what goodies I was going to purchase the next day and what exactly I wanted to make with them. The Bowl always has seasonal vegetables by the drove and at good prices--so I had a place to start. Eggplant, zucchini, squash, leeks, mushrooms, basil and even shallots and garlic are technically in season in California right now. I know some of you have been taking similar combinations and making pasta dishes, but not I. Pasta and I are sadly (and not willingly) on a hiatus. In fact, a good portion of my beloved carbohydrates and I have been forcefully separated. What does any carb-loving lawyer do in such a situation? Figure out how to stay just within the rules and still get what she wants. Given my arsenal of alternative flours, I knew what was in order: crepes made from soy and chickpea flour. Those of you not under a doctor-ordered carb-embargo, go ahead and use wheat flour, but add in the bit of cumin--it adds a nice dimension of flavor.

Seasonal Vegetable Crepes

Makes 6 Crepes

1/2 cup soy flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
seasonal vegetables, cubed
3-4 cloves garlic, roasted
1 shallot, minced
2-3 oz. mozzarella, grated
1/2 cup pesto

1. Take some tinfoil and make a little bowl. Then, take your garlic cloves, still in their papery wrapping, and cut off the tops. Place in the bowl, and leaving open, throw it in your toaster oven. Turn it on broil. It will be roasted in about 15 minutes.

2. Chop up enough vegetables for your filling. I used eggplant, zucchini, sunburst squash, eight ball squash, leeks and mushrooms. Along with the shallot, saute until cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.

3. In the meantime, whisk all ingredients from the flour until the cumin together. Make sure it is smooth. It should be a thin batter, so if you need to, add a little ore milk or even water.

4. I use a round griddle for this with low sides, but use what you want. Grease and heat your pan until, when flinging water on it, it sizzles. Taking 1/6 of the batter at a time, pour the batter in a circular motion moving the pan as well. I make ugly crepes, so a youtube video is probably your best bet.

5. At this point, everything should be done. Take your garlic, squeeze it out of its skin, and smash it together into a paste.

6. Move a crepe onto your crepe pan on a medium temperature. Spread some of the garlic paste onto the crepe. Then sprinkle with cheese. When cheese is melted, move onto a rolling station and put a line of filling down the middle of the crepe. Roll and place seam down on plate. Repeat with all of the crepes.

7. Top crepes with pesto. I used the pesto from this post, frozen in little ice cubes. Why tomato basil pesto? Tomatoes and basil are in season, duh.


Monet said...

You are so entertaining...I am loving your blog. I am not a very positive person in traffic (which is not too good considering I'm about to start commuting to grad school this fall) so I feel your pain! But goodness gracious, these veggie crepes look out of this world. It is midnight here and I am drooling...I could eat a whole plate.

Spicie Foodie said...

Cute blog post :) I love your recipe perfect for a hot summer night. Your shots are also really nice.

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

People on the road should just get out of your way when you have food needs. That'd probably be best for everyone! :) I have chickpea flour but I really only use it for one thing. I love that you're using it for lots of things!

Pacheco Patty said...

Welcome to the bay area, where did all these crazy people come from? At least we have good produce, worth taking your life in your hands, forget cruise control, you'll be lucky if you can cruise in control, ha ha! The crepes look very good, would love to try one, maybe we'll meet one day on the high speed train between so cal and nor cal, ha ha , I won't live that long!

Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } said...

Berkeley bowl is fantastic! These crepes look perfect for a Sunday morning breakfast treat. Good luck with your interview. :)

The Cilantropist said...

Mmm... looks delicious, perfect for summer! And oh, OH can I empathize with your road rage!! I cannot tell you how many times I have been driving around at various places in Cali and have just wanted to scream. I wish it was appropriate to beep at people to say, "hey! Get moving!" but instead we can only use the horn to tell someone if they are blatantly about to hit us. Ugh. Traffic. :P said...

I mean what are they thinking?! Soo funny! The gluten free crepes look super - thanks for sharing! I enjoyed your "crazy"!

jen cheung said...

woah! i never ate crepes with veggies before. usually its like a dessert to me where i have fruits and chocolate in it :). this is such a healthy idea :)


kattyskitchen said...

Nice pics and a good idea, too! :)

Lauren said...

Hey, these are awesome, and veggies are awesome. So yeah, I'm down. My problem is, I'm crazy, and I would try to put four times the veggies into one crepe and break it and have veggies with really tasty goo.

Also, because I am not from LA, I learned to drive like a normal, lawless person in Miami. BUT, and this is a huge BUT, I had also seen Clueless, which means I was terrified of the freeway long before I knew a thing about driving. I am now okay with taking the 10 and MAYBE the 405, but not at night. And that took almost a year... Ugh.

Ms. WhitePlates said...

I hate driving. I grew up where aggressive driving is the norm and I'm totally used to that but I've moved to a part of the country where everyone is a nice driver (you have to read that with a snarky voice). I'll often complain about the drives Hubby is all, "for the love of god, would you just calm down!" and I say, "Flow of traffic! These people don't get it!". Sigh.

Onto your crepes... they are phenomenal! I'm terrified of making crepes because I'm sure it'll look like I did it with my feet. I really want to make these, we have a million zucchinis and all I'll need is some smoked salmon. Mmm... a tip, I started weighing my gluten-free flours because their volume is different than their mass. Or something to that affect and it can screw with the outcome.

Angie's Recipes said...

Love the veggie treat!

Jean said...

You sounded just like my husband when we get stuck in traffic and I totally understand. Glad you made it back safely and I hope the interview went well.

I wish I had your will power to cut back on carbs--I just can't do it. That said, your vegetable crepes are beautiful, especially since you can enjoy them guilt-free.

Adelina said...

I don't think I will be missing the carbs with this recipe. Thanks for your fun post.


Great post! This dish is such a beauty!

Biren said...

I like the flours that you use in your crepe. The chickpea flour will make it very tasty and a little nutty.

I have not seen those patty pan squashes here in MN or maybe I am not looking in the right places. Hopefully some farmer will grown some soon.

Baking Barrister said...

@Monet - I try! The trick to staying positive in traffic is blasting very loud music and singing along. It makes everything better.

@Spicie - You're too nice. My shots need massive lighting improvement. And according to FG, I suck. ;)

@Lawyer - I need blinking lights in green to denote a food emergency.

@Pecheco - I wish there was a high speed train. I hate that drive, but I can make it with one tank of gas each way, so it's cheaper than flying.

@Lisa - Isn't it fantastic? I could live in BB.

@Cilantropist - I don't mind LA drivers, but I hate SF and SD drivers. LA drivers are a very specific breed. And totally use your horn to get them to move! The vehicle code actually says that on 2 lane highways, you need to signal to the person in front of you to move out by flashing headlights or HONKING. I do it. And I wave to the other lane as well like "wtf dude, MOVE". Uh yeah.

@foodulation - what is anyone thinking?

@jen - if you leave the sugar out of crepe batter, you can make all sorts of crepes. think of them as tortillas.

@katty thanks!

@lauren when I first started driving, I was horrified of the freeway too.

@Ms. WhitePlates - when I lived in the Midwest, they weren't nice drivers, but they also couldn't drive at all. I kept wanting them to speed up and stay in their lanes. And I make ugly crepes--I figure that as long as they taste good, who cares? I'm only serving them to myself and my family.

@Angie - Thanks!

Nicisme said...

Your crepes look delicious, as do those beautiful squashes. Great veggie food!

Weight Loss Tips said...

Hilarious, sorry not laughing at you by the way, just how I have the same emotions every-time I get on the highways here too. My husband and I always make comments - are you scared? do you understand we are going fast? Just makes me giggle, there are some really bad stupid drivers on our roads, and I don't think we are going to see them get any better in the near future.

Did love the vegetable crepes, would be great after a long hot drive.

baking.serendipity said...

I usually don't think of crepes as being filled with veggies, but this is such a great idea! After a long time of commuting, my husband and I finally bought a house in the same neighborhood as the school where I teach. I'm so glad that the long morning and afternoon commutes are in the past :)

Shree said...

nice post! I'm wondering how your crepes didn't tear with all those chunky veggies?

Baking Barrister said...

Shree -- don't pack them too full and cut the veggies into smaller pieces.

Isabelle said...

Next time anyone asks me why I don't drive, I'm sending them to your post. Just reading it is enough to make me break out into a case of road rage, so clearly I don't belong behind the wheel of an actual car on an actual road. :)
Also, crepes made with chickpea flour sound very intriguing... I don't have any on hand, but I think this is the excuse I need to buy some. Yum.

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