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 2Olive 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.