Savory Crepes and Lemon Crepes

In my family, there is such a thing as having "Malke's." The term is a reference to a story, Malke's Secret Recipe, in which a man tries to duplicate a recipe for potato latkes that taste as light as clouds. When he recreates them, however, they taste like ordinary latkes. Thus, when someone remembers something (particularly a food) as being better than it is, we say that they have a case of Malke's.

Enter crepes with lemon and powdered sugar. Once upon a time, many years ago, I ordered them at the Original House of Pancake, my hometown's token breakfast establishment. Like the latkes of Malke fame, they were as light as clouds. I remember sinking into the soft, chewy crepe, and feeling the powdered sugar escape from the inside and melt over my tongue. For years, I've dreamed of making them myself, but I always feared that I was just having Malke's, and that any attempt would dissapoint me.

Last night, I toughened up, and we made crepes -- first savory, then with lemon and powdered sugar. And guess what? It wasn't Malke's! We didn't have a crepe pan, we didn't use real butter, and the ordeal lasted under 30 minutes, which leads me to conclude that either Mark Bittman is in cahoots with my pancake house, or crepes prepared that way are simply unbelievable, possibly even impossible to ruin! Oh the relief.

And she lived happily ever after. The end.

1 1/4 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp butter or butter substitute, melted
1 cup flour
pinch of salt

(savory filling)
2 chicken cutlets, sliced into strips
2 cups broccoli, cut into small pieces
2 cups mushrooms, cut into small pieces
4 cups spinach
1 cup onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 lemon
2 tbsp dijon mustard
sherry cooking wine
feta cheese (optional)

(sweet filling)
powdered sugar
butter or butter substitute

To make the crepes, simply wisk the batter ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth. Take a large, non-stick pan, or spray a large pan with non-stick spray, and turn the heat to medium high. Using a 1/2 cup dry measuring utensil, scoop up batter and pour it into the pan. Move the pan in a circular motion so that the crepe assumes a nice, circular shape. Once the top of the crepe is no longer liquid (about 30 seconds), turn the crepe over with a spatula and cook for about another 15 seconds, until it is light brown.

For the savory filling, we sauteed the garlic and onion together in a teeny bit of oil, then added the chicken until it began to brown, then added the other vegetables. Then we squeezed the juice of one lemon over the mixture, followed by the mustard and a splash of the cooking wine. We covered it for a few minutes to let the vegetables steam, and then turned off the heat. If you use the feta, add it in when you are filling the crepes.

For the sweet filling, simply squeeze fresh lemon juice over the crepe. Add a bit of smart balance or butter, then sprinkle powdered sugar. Roll up the crepe, and repeat on the outside. It sounds simple, but it tastes amazing.