So I magically made it back to France after a good 8 days at home in San Francisco. When I first heard about the Volcanic eruption I thought it was a joke. I mean it was quite blockbuster"esk" wasn't it? A volcano erupts and causes the closure of hundreds of airports in Europe due to a cloud of ash?? I mean, really? Well, a joke it was not and due to the Icelandic Eyjafjallajokull volcano disaster I was actually contemplating taking the QE2 ship for 6 days from NY to Southhampton, England. I think it would have been a hilarious and amazing adventure to meet handfuls of other trapped people desperately trying to get back to Europe and have 6 random and glorious days at sea. Only problem was the QE2 was totally booked and I couldn't even get through to them on the phone. So, so much for the QE2..maybe one day though :)
Despite the anxiety of how I was getting back to France I loved my impromptu trip to beautiful, sunny California. It's crazy how much you really appreciate a city after you're gone for 8 months. I can't even begin to tell you how great my trip back was. I mean who can complain about seeing all their best friends, having nights of girl talk, laying on sandy beaches after a hike and drinking glasses and glasses of wine at home, at ottimista on Union in San Francisco http://www.ottimistasf.com/and having a going away dinner at Kokkari-the best restaurant in town. I also thoroughly enjoyed sailing in the bay with friends at sunset on a Friday and relaxing when the wind cooled to eat baguette, fresh oozy, creamy and ooh so good creme infused burratta from AG Ferrarri http://www.agferrari.com/and a sheep, cow, goat blend with olives, California sparkling wine and Chardonnay. In my 10 days home I went sailing, hiking and did a plethora of exercise classes (Daily Method, yoga, pilates, etc) and came back to France feeling thoroughly refreshed and healthy.
The 2nd night back in France after not crawling out of bed until noonish I somehow made it on a 3 km walk to a Thursday local market. I was feeling inspired to make Michael Mina's scallops 3 ways and purchased almost all the ingredients before I heard that Reza wouldn't be back from class til 8. So, I decided to scrap my cooking idea and just relax and read a french book.
By 9ish I realized I probably needed to eat and decided to whip something up quickly. This is literally of those meals that you can make without going to the grocery store and although cooking a crepe might seem quite daunting it really isn't and I urge you to give it a try! Once you do you'll be making them all the time.
The ingredients for the crepe are very basic and you can fill it with anything you have available. Eggs and cheese, cheese and ham, smoked salmon, dill and creme fraiche, turkey and pesto, chicken and artichoke hearts, etc. I had prosciutto and mozzarella handy and had to make a quick dinner in less than 20 minutes so I decided to go with a light crepe and fresh salad. The proscuitto and mozzerella are the perfect combination and the saltness of the proscuitto perfectly compliments the creamy soft mozzerella. I garnished the crepe with a few finely diced tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. For the salad I simply washed the arugula, diced some avocado and tomato and then dressed the salad just with a squeeze of lemon, good quality french olive oil and salt. I then broke off a piece of fresh baguette which I bought warm at the local boulangerie. I paired the meal with my recent obsession Cornouaille Cidre or Cider from Beaubourg France. With the left over crepe i melted some 70% chocolate + creme de nosiettes au miel or hazelnut spread similar to nutella! I topped the dessert crepe with a dollop of creme and a few raspberries.
Basic Quick and Easy Crepe Recipe
1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 Tbls melted butter
In a large skillet melt the butter. After it's melted pout into a large mixing bowl and whisk together the butter, flour and eggs. Gradually add in milk, water and salt and beat well until smooth. Heat the skillet which should already be lightly oiled from the melted butter earlier. Over high heat pour the batter into the griddle making sure to quickly swirl the pan and lift it up off the heat so the crepe is an even thin circle. You barely want the crepe batter to cover the pan so be careful not to pour in too much! Really, the thinner the better here (but make sure there aren't any holes). Cook the crepe for a few minutes and then lean the pan to the far edge and flip the crepe over. Add the prosciutto in a big piece and broken up pieces of the mozzarella. Add some fresh rosemary if you feel like it to add some extra flavor. Fold the crepe and flip one more time. Serve the plate still warm and fold one last time so it's a small triangle. Rebutter each time you start a new crepe until the batter is gone! Make sure to leave some batter for a few desserts crepes after you finish your meal. For dessert simply add butter and sugar or honey and kiwis or peaches and marmalade or chocolate, nutella and bananas and strawberries.