Spinach... crepes... are you mad?

As a brush, my friend. Now gather ye round and learn how to cook something that will impress anyone. Especially those vegetarian chicks. They're suckers for this shit.

Trust me.

What you need:
110g plain flour
200ml milk
75ml water
2 large eggs
Couple of big handfuls of spinach
Some fresh parmesan (not that ready grated crap)
200ml cream
Salt
Pepper
Butter. Lots of butter.

How to cook it:
Cook the spinach. Steaming it is good, but I just chuck it all into a big pot with a little water at the bottom and bring it to the boil. It cooks really quickly anyway, so give it about five minutes. Drain the remaining water and leave aside.

Get a big mixing bowl and sift the flour into it from a decent height. Make a 'well' in the middle of the flour and crack the two eggs into it. Whisk it up, gradually adding more of the water and milk until it's all used up. Give it a really good whisk and make sure there are no lumps. Throw in 2 tablespoons of melted butter and a good pinch of salt. Grind a little pepper in too and give it another whisk for good luck. This batter doesn't need to stand, unlike other inferior crepe batters.

Now to cook the crepes. Get yourself a decent sized frying pan(or a special crepe pan if you're a bit la-dee-dah), throw in a good knob of butter and put on a high heat on the stove until the butter melts and is just beginning to turn brown. Remove from the stove and turn it down to a medium heat. The pan is now ready. Using a ladle (I have this small soup ladle that does the job nicely), pour in enough batter to cover one third of the surface area of the pan, into the centre, then quickly tip the pan around so that the batter moves around it and covers the bottom completely. You have to do this very quickly, otherwise the batter will start to cook in the middle and you'll have massive holes in your crepe. The first side of the crepe will cook within 1 or 2 minutes, so straight away, using a butter knife, ease the crepe off the sides of the pan and gradually work it underneath until it’s unstuck. This should happen easily. If not, you’re probably not using enough butter. Now flip the crepe over to cook the other side. If you’re a culinary genius like myself, this can be done at the merest flick of the wrist. If this is not the case, use the butter knife and your fingers to turn it over. Cook on the other side for 2 or 3 minutes and remove from the pan.

Congratulations, you’ve made your first crepe!

However, the first crepe will come out crap. This always happens and is unavoidable. Feed it to the dog. Add a little more butter to the pan and after each subsequent crepe. The second one will be slightly better. You eat that one. By the third crepe, the pan will just right and all the following crepes should be perfect. Just make sure to move that batter around quickly and that there is a little butter in the pan all the time.

Cook as many crepes as you can from the batter and leave aside. Cover them with cling-film (saran wrap, I believe our American cousins call it) so that they don't dry out too much. Dry crepes = bad. If in doubt, use more butter.

Now to put the crepes together. Take a crepe and put a little spinach in the middle and roll it up, exactly as you would a duck pancake. Don't put too much spinach in as this will dull the flavour of the finished article. Place as many rolled crepes as you can into a baking dish. Grate a generous amount of the fresh parmesan over them then pour the cream on top. Grate a little more cheese, how much depends on how cheesy you like. It's really up to you. Grind some pepper on top, a little salt too and chuck in a hot oven for 10 minutes.

Et voila! Spinach crepes. Serve as a starter or as accompaniment to a main course. Goes really well with white fish and red meat. It's a really fun dish to cook too.

Enjoy!


The batter recipe is a hack of Delia Smith's pancake recipe. It's bulletproof.

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