One of the perks of Valentine’s Day falling on a weekend this year is the opportunity to make a special breakfast for the three valentines in my life – my dear husband, delightful two-year old daughter and cuddly new 7-week old son. Well, that last one doesn’t really get to enjoy any, but it’s the thought that counts.
I’ve often wondered what crepes might be like on the panini grill (when you write a panini blog, these are the things that occupy your thoughts). Would they maintain their soft texture? Would the pancakes stay intact? I’m pleased to report the answers to those questions are “yes” and “yes”. This post on the Stone Spoon blog ultimately convinced me to give it a try. So this year I will be treating my valentines to Ham, Egg & Cheddar Breakfast Crepes: sliced ham, a one-egg omelet and cheddar cheese rolled in a savory crepe and grilled on the panini press. With a little sundried tomato purée heart on the side.
I really should make crepes more often. I tend to psych myself out, thinking it’ll be too hard to get them to come out right. But when I actually start swirling them in a skillet I always get the hang of it after a few tries. It sounds like a lot of work to make both the crepes and the omelets before grilling but in reality they only take a few minutes each. The sundried tomato purée, aside from looking cute on the plate, adds a nice sweetness to the crepes.
If you don’t have a panini press, you can certainly make these in a regular skillet. In fact, you don’t even have to make the omelet separately, as I learned in this post on Baking Bites. The most important thing is how they taste and they taste great no matter how you make them.
Ham, Egg & Cheddar Breakfast Crepes
Makes 4 rolled crepes
4 Savory Crepes (see recipe below)
4 Omelets (see recipe below)
4 slices cheddar cheese
4 slices ham
Sundried tomatoes, packed in oil (for purée garnish, optional)
Preheat the panini grill to medium heat.
Place one crepe on a clean work surface. Place one omelet on top of the crepe (the omelet should be about the same size as the crepe). Layer a slice of cheese and ham on top of the omelet. Carefully roll up the crepe and place it on the panini grill, seam side down. Grill for about 2 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden grill marks appear on the crepe.
(Optional: For garnish, purée sundried tomatoes and a small amount of the oil in a blender or food processor to create a paste. Spoon the purée into a small plastic bag, cut off a small corner of the bag, and pipe the purée in a heart shape – or any other design you like – onto the plate.)
Savory Crepes (from the Joy of Cooking)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus more for the pan
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour the batter into a pitcher or other container with a pouring lip. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 2 days. (This allows the flour to thoroughly absorb the liquid and gives the gluten in the flour a chance to relax.)
Place a nonstick or seasoned crepe pan (a 7-1/2″ skillet will work as well) over medium heat. Coat the pan with a little unsalted butter. Stir the batter and pour about 2 tablespoons into the pan, lifting the pan off the heat and tilting and rotating it so that the batter forms an even, very thin layer. Cook until the top is set and the underside is golden. Turn the crepe over, using a spatula or your fingers (fingers work best here) and cook until the second side is lightly browned. Remove the crepe to a piece of wax paper. Continue cooking the rest of the crepes, buttering the pan and stirring the batter before starting each one. Stack the finished crepes between sheets of wax paper. Use immediately or let cool, wrap airtight, and freeze for up to 1 month.
4 large eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Make each omelet one at a time, ideally just prior to rolling into crepes.
Heat a small skillet (you might use the same one as for the crepes) over medium heat. In a small bowl beat one egg with a splash of milk and salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture into the skillet and cook until the top is set and the underside is browned. Flip with a spatula and cook the other side until cooked through.