Thursday, January 17, 2008

La cucina di Nicola: Crepes with nutella and banana

Welcome to Nicolas' kitchen! My son and I have started "cooking lessons" together; I am the teacher and he is my only student. I singlehandedly decided that this was a good idea, and Nico is willing to give it a try. I want him to learn, but mostly I want him to enjoy cooking. Based on this premise, recipes are chosen solely by Nico and I should warn you: there would be lots and lots of desserts. Wednesday afternoons are from now on, our time to make something together (and eat it together.)
I will share each recipe with you on Thursday.
So without further ado, our first installment of "La cucina di Nicola"

(Makes around 20 crepes)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs
2 cups milk
2 oz unsalted butter, melted

Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl and make a well in the center.

In a second bowl beat the eggs (this is fun!) and add 1 cup of the milk a little at a time. Incorporate. Pour this mixture into the larger bowl with the flour and whisk (at full kid's speed) until there are no lumps in the batter. Now, add the melted butter and the rest of the milk a little at a time.

Here is the secret to great crepes: let the batter stand for at least an hour. Believe me, you are better off leaving it alone.

Now for the cooking... You will need a flat non-stick pan. They sell special crepe pans, but we use our seasoned and trustworthy cast iron skillet. It NEVER sticks, it is flat and wide, but it is heavy. Nicolas did a great job at lifting it to spread the batter evenly all over the surface. Good workout!

Heat the skillet (add a dab of butter if needed) and pour enough batter to cover the entire surface evenly. If you pour too much, you can always pour off the excess batter. You want thin crepes. Cook over moderate heat until the pancake comes loose when the pan is shaken. Flip with a spatula (another highlight of our class) and cook the other side for about a minute.

We had pre-warmed our nutella in the microwave (but you can use a double boiler to keep it warm) and we had some bananas already cut into slices. Chef Nick spread nutella over half of the crepe, and added the banana onto a quarter of it. He then folded in half, then again. He added some whipped cream and cocoa powder on top (It looks so much better mom!)

This is it! Simple and delicious.

World Nutella Day

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