Tuesday, April 10, 2012
An electric green crepe? How's that for fun with food! The outrageous hue here is derived from pandan essence. Pandan essence comes from the leaves of the screwpine, which resembles but is not related to a palm tree. In Southeast Asian cusine (think Malaysian, Thai, Philipino), pandan is used similarly to vanilla in western food, imparting fragrance to desserts, drinks, and various dishes. The taste is difficult for me to describe, but I have to say I love it! In this dish, I added a few drop of pandan essence (found at a local Asin store - it is impossible to find actual pandan leaves here in Ithaca) to a basic crepe batter. I then made a sweet black sesame filling for the crepes. This is an incredibly easy recipe that produces an exotic looking and delicious dish in a short time and makes for a nice snack or breakfast item.
Crepe Batter (makes ~8 medium crepes):
1 cup AP flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk (I used skim, and it works fine)
1 tsp pandan essence
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup roasted black sesame seeds
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
Let me preface this by stating that I've never made crepes before. But I found out that it really is easy!
Start by making the filling. Use a food processor to grind the seeds into a coarse powder. Melt the butter over medium heat in a small skillet. Add the sugar and sesame seeds and cook until they form a uniform mixture - this only takes 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
To make the crepe batter, simply mix all ingredients and beat until smooth. Heat a skillet over medium heat, and grease it with butter. Ladle in the batter, and then pick the pan up off the heat and swirl to spread it. The result should be a nice round and thin crepe (it took me 2 tries to get it just right).
Let the crepe cook until its nicely set. When you can easily lift the sides with a spatula, give it a flip and finish cooking. Add about a tablespoon of sesame mixture and roll it up. And that's really all there is to it!
NOTE: It's important to re-grease the pan between each crepe. If the butter browns right away, your pan is too hot, so turn your heat down (you may need to adjust throughout the entire batch of crepes).