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Fat Tuesday

02/21/2012

We just got back from a trip to France and Belgium, and to celebrate “Pancake Tuesday,” I made crêpes with chestnut spread, which was one of my favorite food discoveries in Paris. I first tasted it at the Louvre museum café, served on top of the best cottage cheese I have ever eaten. The French word for “chestnut” is “marron,” which is also the word for “brown.”

Crêpes are very easy to make, though flipping them properly takes a few test runs. It’s basically a thin pancake batter that you have to spread or swirl to disperse as widely as possible. Restaurants and crêpe stands usually have special, flat griddles and tools, but you can do it at home in an omelette pan, too.

Swirl the batter quickly:

Swirling the Crêpe

Let cook just long enough for the edges to brown and the batter to lightly thicken:

Cooking the Crêpe

Loosen the edges before turning (click for animation):

Loosen the Edges

Flip and then cook just a few moments longer. Then spread with filling and roll. These would have been nice with a little crème fraiche on top, too. (Maybe next time, when I’m not jet-lagged and feel like going to the store.)

Rolled Crèpes

This is the chestnut spread we used. It comes in cute little 3.5 oz. cans perfect for a single breakfast. We brought back a few from France, though I am sure you can get it in the U.S. at gourmet shops and fancy grocery stores. It’ll cost more than 80¢ here, though.

Chestnut Spread

You can also buy it on Amazon, though apparently not in the smaller cans.

The whole grocery-store experience in Paris was like visiting a gourmet boutique. I should have taken more photos of the cheeses and meats, but one thing I did catch was this, escargots (snails) in the frozen-foods section. You could also pick them up in the fresh-fish department. If we’d had an oven, I probably would have bought some. Notice the lovely red scallops, too, a slightly different variety than what we usually see in North America.

Escargots

Bon appétit!

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From → Food, Travel

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