Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jan 28, 2008 at 6:02pm

If it appears I’m cooking more than usual, it’s because…I am. Don’t know why exactly… Overly house-bound in truly deep-freeze weather? Trying to cheer up a Blue Johnny? Whatever the reason, I’m going with it while the inspiration moves me. Bonus One, children + husband = very pleased, ha, since I even made dessert last night, which I usually only do for dinner parties or holidays. (Scrooge Mommy? Perhaps a bit, but in the name of moderation, we have to trim somewhere… And since sweets aren’t “my thing,” the effort goes into dinner, which is. My thing. Bah humburger.) No fancy tortes, just my stepmom Susanna’s Apple Crapple (Apple Crisp), easy to assemble while Nathan and John grooved at the U2 3D movie (they loved it). Bonus Two, makes the house smell like heaven (Apple Crapple, not the U2 3D movie) and best of all – with its extra-generous crust – it’s pretty insanely delicious. And Bonus Three, uber-fab the next day. Nathan had a big ol’ scoop for brekkie, oh yeah, happiness.

I also baked bread (yesterday) and turned it into French Dip sandwiches for dinner – the last hurrah, and third tasty iteration, of the beef pot roast I braised on Saturday afternoon. I feel like such a Depression-Era Leftover Queen (Waste Not, Want Not!) with my hashand roast beef sandwiches. Not fancy, just rib-stickin’ cheap eats which happen to taste damn gooood. Happy, happy. Happy.

Tonight, I had a bag of frozen shrimps to turn into…something. Different. Grill ’em, stir fry ’em, toss ’em with pasta, toss ’em into a salad, meh, I wanted a new groove. Something Frenchy, perhaps. Under puff pastry? Just did meat pies last week. Soup? Just did the clam version the week before. Think think think. Ooh, I know, crepes! I forget about crepes! I’ll Pimp my Shrimps with crepes! Easy peasy, totally scrumptious, I whipped up a batch, and a quick, creamy sauce (not terribly rich, actually), folded the shrimps into the sauce, spooned the sauce into (and onto) the crepes, ran ’em under the broiler, et voila.Browned, crusty, shrimpyFondue de Crustaces en Crepes (a la Julia Child, by the way; once again, thank you Julia…recipe posted in comments, below). Serve with a simple, crisp salad and you’ve got dinner (or a pretty, special luncheon).

Tomorrow – no balmy walk like I scored this morning. Back into the deep freeze we go, sigh. Man, it felt nothing short of amazing to be strolling bare-headed, without windpants, without huge mittens, and best of all, without a wet, soggy scarf over my face (ugh). Well, perhaps more inspired eats to cheer my about-to-be-chilly-again soul. Hey, lunch with my stepmom Susanna at Luci Ancora will be a great start! (Props for the ongoing celebration of my 41st year, yes!) Stay tuned…

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  1. By Stephanie on August 18, 2008 at 8:10PM

    Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Child, Bertholle & Beck
    Makes 25-30 crepes, 6-6 ½ inches in diameter

    Stephanie’s note: the key to simple, quick crepes is to use a nonstick pan and a few spritzes of nonstick spray. Not terribly French, but makes them a snap, so definitely worth it. These are wonderful filled with savory fillings such as the shrimp that follows, but are also fantastic for breakfast with syrup, or rolled up with jam or cinnamon-n-sugar. And of course for dessert, with fruit and whipped cream or any number of decadent, creamy fillings.

    1 c. cold water
    1 c. cold milk
    4 eggs
    ½ tsp. salt
    1 ½ c. flour
    4 Tbsp. butter, melted

    nonstick spray
    8-inch nonstick skillet
    cookie rack

    Put the liquids, eggs, and salt into a blender jar. Add the flour, then the butter. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend for 2-3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Stephanie’s note: if I’m pressed for time, I don’t chill the batter first and it works fine.) The batter should be a very light cream, just thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. If, after making your first crepe, it seems too heavy, beat in a bit of water, a spoonful at a time. You cooked crepe should be about 1/16th of an inch thick.

    Have a cookie rack and plate ready near by. Heat an 8-inch, nonstick skillet over medium high heat until the pan is hot. Spritz the pan with a bit of nonstick spray, then quickly pour about ¼ c. of batter into the center of the pan. Immediately lift the pan and tilt it in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film. This whole operation takes but 2 or 3 seconds. Return the pan to heat for 60-80 seconds (until the edges dry and crepe is lightly browned), flip crepe, brown lightly for about 30 seconds. This second side is really no more than a spotty brown, and is always kept as the underneath or nonpublic aspect of the crepe. When the crepe is done, slide it onto a rack and let cool while you prepare the next crepe. As the second crepe is quickly browning on its second side, transfer the crepe on the rack to a plate. Repeat this process, stacking the crepes, until all the batter is used.

  2. By Stephanie on January 29, 2008 at 10:02AM

    Fondue de Crustaces (Cream Filling with Shellfish or Clams)
    Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Child, Bertholle & Beck
    For about 2 cups

    Serves 4-6 as written, although you will have plenty of crepes and a bit of shrimp sauce for another meal.

    Stephanie’s note: I used a 1 lb. bag of shrimp (frozen, from Byerly’s, thawed, then diced), and have adapted this recipe to accommodate crepes gratinee.

    1 ½ Tbsp. minced shallots or green onions
    2 Tbsp. butter
    1 lb. raw shrimp, diced (other options: flaked, cooked, or canned shellfish, or canned minced clams)
    salt and pepper to taste
    ½ tsp. dried tarragon (or 1 Tbsp. minced fresh herbs)

    2 Tbsp. butter
    2 ½ Tbsp. flour
    1 c. boiling liquid (I used ¼ milk, ¼ white wine, the pan juices from sautéing the shrimp, and a little clam juice to equal 1 c.)
    pinch of cayenne
    salt to taste

    ¼ c. whipping cream
    ¼ c. grated Swiss cheese

    In a medium skillet, cook the shallots or onions in the butter for a moment over low heat. Stir in the shrimp and cook slowly over low heat until pink and no longer opaque. Spoon the pan juices off into a measuring cup (then top off with milk, wine, and clam juice to make one full cup). Pour liquid into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Season shrimp to taste and stir in herbs and set aside.

    In a 2-quart saucepan, cook the butter and flour slowly together for 2 minutes without coloring. Off heat, beat in the boiling liquid, cayenne, and salt to taste. Boil, stirring for 1 minute. Beat in in the cream. Boil again for 1 minute, stirring. Sauce will be quite thick. Correct seasoning.

    Off heat, stir in the cheese. Remove about ½ cup of the sauce and reserve (as a topping for the crepes), then fold the shrimp into the remaining sauce.

    Preheat the broiler.

    Spray a tart pan or other shallow baking dish with nonstick spray. Fill about six crepes (or as many as it takes to comfortably fill the dish) with the shrimp filling, placing rolled crepes in baking dish. Top with reserved sauce, broil for a few minutes until browned and bubbly, and serve. (Note: you will have leftover sauce and crepes, amount depending on the size of the dish you use. Crepes are delicious just filled with shrimp sauce on the reheat the next day.)