Saturday, October 22, 2011

Smoked Salmon and Poached Eggs in Dill Crêpes with Crème Fraîche

Sometimes, the ingredients I have converge into one dish.  Smoked salmon.  Eggs.  Crème fraîche.  Dill.

This dill plant started out as a seed (I guess all plants do...) that I bought for 1,000 won from Daiso.  It was a feeble little fry.  I moved it outdoors where it thrived, even holding its ground against lettuce that sprouted up from lettuce seeds that had been tossed into the soil by a mischievous, burrowing dog.

I found a recipe to work with except that whoever wrote it didn't proofread.  The amount of flour needed is omitted.  I think that's pretty important, so I went with a recipe source I could trust - Alton Brown.  I adapted the basic crêpe recipe to include lemon zest and dill.

Dill Crêpes Recipe
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
zest of half a lemon
Butter or oil, for coating the pan

If you have a blender or a food processor, pulse all the ingredients together for 10 seconds.  Alton says to let it rest in the fridge for an hour so there'd be less bubbles which cause tearing in the crêpes. 

I don't have a blender or a food processor or an hour to wait on bubbles.  So, I decided to make the batter using a whisk.

Combine the dry and wet ingredients separately.  Then add them together and whisk to get a smooth batter.

Let the crêpe batter de-bubble as you prepare the pan.  Brush some vegetable oil or butter into the pan over high heat.  Get the pan very hot, but not so hot that the oil starts smoking (so don't use olive oil).

Drop about 3 tablespoons worth of batter into the pan, and quickly swirl it around to coat the pan in a very thin, circular layer until the batter is no longer dripping.

Cook until the surface bubbles a bit and the bottom is lightly browned and can be easily lifted from the pan.

Cook for a few more seconds to lightly brown the other side.  Then move onto the next one until all your batter is gone.

Crêpes take some measure of experimentation so your first one (or first few) will be utterly disgraceful.  Don't be sad, and keep trying.

Poached Eggs
eggs (however many you plan on eating)
1-2 teaspoons rice vinegar

Boil the eggs for 30 seconds in their shell so the eggs can set up their shape.

Bring the water to a simmer and add the vinegar.  Then crack an egg carefully into the water.  If you're nervous, crack an egg into a small dish and gently plop it into the water.  If your egg sticks to the bottom, very gently slide a spatula under the egg after 30 seconds of cooking.  Boil for 3-4 minutes, and remove with a slotted spoon.  Let it sit and dry off.

Crêpe Assembly
dill crepes
smoked salmon
poached eggs
crème fraîche/whipped sour cream
few sprigs of fresh dill for garnish

There are many ways of folding a crepe.  First, I made a folded crêpe.

The outside of the crêpe should be the side with all the flecks of dill and lemon zest.  I forgot this while making mine.  Obviously, it doesn't affect taste.  It just looks better.

Lay the smoked salmon across half the crêpe.

Then fold twice.

Top with the poached egg, dill garnish, and crème fraîche.

You can also make a rolled crêpe.

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