Saturday, July 21, 2012

Crepes with Marinated Beef and Olive and Basil Tapenade

Posted by - Maria from Box of Stolen Socks

Yesterday was not a good day for my cooking. It was a great day for my kitchen floor though! It got a pretty good taste of the Olive and Basil tapenade I was preparing for my French Fridays with Dorie entry and claimed the life of one of my favourite Delimano frying pans. They sure are earth and health friendly but they are not at all floor friendly.

Today, I woke up determined to change my bad karma in the kitchen. I burned some incense, planted a new basil plant next to the one I trimmed yesterday, and went ahead to sacrifice some grass fed beef to appease the angry carnivorous spirits that inhabit my tiny kitchen. 
I questioned my already overworked memory cells hard to figure out with what to accompany the beef and they came up with a wonderful idea: Crepes, this months challenge at Have the Cake. Ethereal, comforting crepes, just perfect to wrap then around succulent strips of herb marinated beef. Comfort food to compensate for today's sudden change in the weather - it is 18C outside and the sky is ominously black.

As for the Olive and Basil Tapenade, I owe it to Dorie and to myself to make it again. What little I managed to salvage yesterday tasted and smelled so good. Salt, lemon, olives and basil are the tastes of the Mediterranean summer and I am lucky enough to have my own organic, olive oil cured olives from a friend's olive groves in Chalkidiki. There was really no one to stop me from making it again...apart from my kitchen floor....

I marinated the beef for about two hours, while I was searching the food blogosphere for the perfect recipe for gluten free, egg free crepes. I did not want to use buckwheat flour, I wanted something lighter that could make a crispier, more elegant crepe. I found it in this great recipe from Scadi Foodie. My namesake, Maria, uses sorghum flour and potato starch to make light and crispy crepes that stay together in one piece so you can actually flip them over in the pan, exactly as I wanted them to be!

The three deterrent elements of this recipe came together beautifully and harmoniously as the flavours really complemented each other. The only dissonance in today's kitchen experience came again from the tapenade which found its way to the kitchen floor again but this time the bowl did not brake.

Should I take this as a sign and stop making it or should I defy the cosmic powers and make it again tomorrow?

Crepes with Herb Marinated Beef and Olive and Basil Tapenade
Serves 2
Olive and Basil Tapenade
Adapted from Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan
1/2 cup pitted oil-cured black olives, chopped
1 anchovy, drained
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Pinch of rosemary
Pinch of thyme

Herb Marinated Beef
300 gr grass fed beef cut in strips
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Gluten Free Soja sauce

Gluten Free, Egg Free, Lactose Free Crepes 
From Scadi Foodie 
Makes 4 medium or 2 large
250 ml soja milk
75g sorghum flour

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 pinch of salt
Olive oil for frying
Put the beef strips in a zip-lock bag and add the rest of the ingredients. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Make the tapenade:
Put all the ingredients in a small blender and blend, until the olives are puréed. If you like it thinner you can add more olive oil.
Make the beef:
Heat a deep frying pan and add the marinated beef. Stir fry for 5 - 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make the Crepes:
Combine the milk, flours and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Brush a small frying pan with olive oil and pour a thin layer of the crepe batter on to the pan. Swirl the pan to spread the batter. Cook for a few minutes, then flip over to cook the other side. Continue with the rest of the batter.
Fill the crepe with the cooked beef, spread a little of the tapenade and serve.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July Challenge: Crepes

Posted by - Rena

This month's challenge is to make Crepes. I know this seems simple but you'd be wrong about that. It takes a lot of skill and the right amount of ingredients to make them correctly. Mine are usually way too thick. Being that it's summer now, I thought we'd give the oven a rest for a bit.

There is a little cake shop on the upper east side of NYC called Lady M Confections. They make a cake (pictured below) called Lady M® Mille Crêpes - twenty crepes layered with the most delicious pastry cream you've ever tasted. They are famous for this cake and I can vouch for its deliciousness. They also make a green tea version that is to die for. This cake was the inspiration for this challenge.

There are numerous ways to use crepes and please feel free to make something savory this time if that's the direction you're heading. There is an amazing creperie in Denver called Crepes n' Crepes with scrumptious savory crepes. You can browse their menu to see what delicious varieties they offer and if you ever visit Denver, or live there, please do stop by for a meal. You won't be disappointed.

Happy July!