Savory Pancakes Part I: "Crepes" with Crispy Potatoes, Greens & Creme Fraiche (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free)
OK, I’m going out on a limb here, but…I declare it summer. I know, we’ve had no spring at all, but that’s how we roll…0 to 104 degrees F (yes, we reached 104 this week!) in the blink of an eye. Very Lamborghini, Minnesota, perhaps without the sex appeal. But no matter – it’s relatively consistently warmish now, which means the farmers’ markets are in full swing, and that’s summer enough for me.
Do you subscribe to a CSA? If you’re already feeling a wee bit overwhelmed by vegetables, no worries. Everyone who acquires a weekly box of vegetables feels that way, and if they say that they don’t…well, they’re lying. But worry not – of course carry forth with simple sautes, and throwing vegetables on the grill, or making lovely salads. But when you want to mix things up a bit, consider…
…savory pancakes. It is incredibly satisfying and delicious to roll a crepe or other pancake around cool, crispy vegetables. Or warm, crispy vegetables. Add a tangy vinaigrette, or a sprinkle of cheese, or creme fraiche, and you have the flavor explosion known as a meal. For very little effort. Which is what almost-summer is all about.
I have three savory pancake ideas for you to mess around with over the next few days. The first is a grain-free, gluten-free version, really just a very thin herb-omelet, wrapped around crispy potatoes and whatever greens suit your fancy. Add ricotta cheese or creme fraiche (if you eat dairy) and I swear you will be happily stuffed in no time. If you would like a little meat with your potatoes – fine! Saute sausage or bacon first until crispy, then add the potatoes and greens. Oh my goodness would that be good.
“Crepes” with Crispy Potatoes, Greens & Creme Fraiche
Adapted from a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi from Plenty
This recipe is highly adaptable to whatever seasonings meet your cravings. I immediately envisioned sauteeing a chopped fresh chili with the potatoes, adding a bit of cheese over the top to melt, and serving with salsa and sour cream. Adjust the herbs in the crepes accordingly. You could also fill the crepes with beans, uncooked greens, yogurt, any herb imaginable, on and on and on. Fun!
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter, divided
4 medium new potatoes, diced small
1 small bunch greens (spinach, bok choy, Swiss chard, or other quick-cooking green), coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
5 free-range eggs (or 4 duck eggs, if you’re lucky)
1/3 c. milk
1 c. chopped fresh herbs (any combination of basil, thyme, parsley, tarragon, oregano…)
1/2 c. creme fraiche
Put olive oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. When butter is melted and hot, add the potatoes, greens, and a generous pinch of salt. Toss the vegetables to coat with the oil, then cover and cook for 5 minutes, until greens are wilted and potatoes are beginning to soften. Set the cover aside and continue to saute until potatoes and greens are nicely browned. Stir in paprika and saute for another 3 minutes. Season with more salt if needed and add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, herbs, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a generous grind of black pepper. Cut the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter into 4 pieces. Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 small piece of the butter, swirling it around the pan until browned. Ladle in 1/3 c. of the egg/herb mixture and swirl the pan so that the egg is a very thin crepe. Cook until the edges are dry & browning, about 3-4 minutes. Flip crepe and cook for 1 minute more, then turn out onto a baking sheet. Cook the remaining three crepes the same way.
To serve: Spread crepes with creme fraiche. Divide potato mixture among the four crepes, roll, and eat warm or heat in the oven for a few minutes until hot. Serve with additional creme fraiche.