PARIS & PRAGUE! Mr. J and I booked a 2nd anniversary trip to Paris and Prague in September!
I cannot contain myself. It makes me just want to skip down the streets of Paris munching on a fresh baguette. I was so fearful that it wouldn’t happen. I’ve been obsessively dreaming about going to Paris for uhh, at least a YEAR. My fall calendar was filling up and I was afraid that the idea of the trip would keep getting bumped back. It’s happening! I’m just so psyched. It’ll be a whirlwind (or as the Jersey housewives would say: world wind) but that’s just how we do.
Because I’ve been Paris obsessed, I wanted to make some French food. It was uuuuber hot here in Boston so I also was figuring out meals that didn’t require any oven action. I got this electric crepe maker back in high school. Probably around the time I went to Paris on an exchange when I stayed with a family in a suburb between Paris and Versailles. Yup, pretty awesome.
Crepe night was like a sophisticated taco-night to them. It meant there weren’t a million courses (unlike usual) and it meant that dessert was crepes too. It was the dad’s-cooking-dinner-tonight meal for the family I stayed with.
Now, for the crepes. The batter is really simple but I don’t think it’d be as simple to actually cook it in a regular pan. The French don’t really use crepe makers like this, but it is fool-proof for me. Of course, it is an art form in France with a dramatic dowel-like-tool swooped across a hot griddle or pan. Ohh well. This is delicious enough for me.
I figured bacon + veg + cheese + ready-made sauce would be perfect. I wanted bacon, leeks, gruyere, and bechamel sauce. I couldn’t find any gruyere, so I got gouda. I decided that I wasn’t wanting to make my own sauce, so I chose light asiago cream sauce from a jar for the win.
1 large leek stalk, chopped
⅔ cup milk
¼ cup water
½ cup flour
2 tbs melted butter + 1 tsp butter
4 slices of bacon, chopped
4 oz grated cheese (I used gouda)
1/2 cup bechamel sauce (I used Asiago Romano jarred sauce)
If using fresh leaks: Soak leaks in water, and let sit for 5 minutes. Sift them out (without letting any sand from the bottom get back into the leeks). Repeat again until no sand/dirt comes out to the bottom of the water bath. Mine were already washed & chopped leeks in a bag from Trader Joe’s.
Whisk or blend together egg, milk, water, flour, and melted butter. Then let sit for 5 minutes.
In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat, until crisp.
While bacon is cooking, grate cheese and warm sauce.
Discard bacon fat but use the same pan to cook the leeks. Add one tsp of butter to deglaze the pan from the bacon, and add the leeks to cook for about 5 minutes.
While leeks are cooking, set up for the crepes.
If using an electric crepe pan, pour batter onto a plate. “Dip” the crepe maker upside down onto the crepe batter plate. Swiftly turn upright and let it cook for 1-2 minutes.
Repeat to use all the batter.
Add the bacon back into the leeks.
Fill crepes with bacon/leek mixture, then cheese, then sauce. Roll up and serve or keep warm as you fill them.
I loved this dinner. I served them with some salad which made it feel super easy. I enlisted Mr. J to the assembly line to fill. The crepe itself isn’t quite sweet or savory. I adore the consistency. Crepes are super thin and have the slightest egg flavor without feeling like breakfast. I love how soft and delicate they are.
It only made me wish I had dessert fillings around. More crepes to come!
Have leftover leeks? Make Potato, Leek, & Bacon Pizza or chop it up to freeze it so you can add it into your lasagna/soup/enchiladas next time!