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The Cross and the Cleaver: Crepes, Crepes, Crepes!!!

Disclaimer – this one contains several shortcuts😉.

I grew up with crepes (in polish naleśniki). Thin pancakes stuffed and rolled with fried sauerkraut and mushrooms, or meat, or savoury cheese and spinach, or sweet cheese and fruit, or powidła (delicious Polish prune plum spread) … you get the drift. Then there is a Polish krokiety (croquettes), served with a cup of clear borscht (my favourite). They exist in many cuisines and are generally understood by many as “tasty things wrapped in tasty dough.”

First things first – making crepes. If you know how, then I tip my hat to you, and you have my eternal respect. Because the first time I made them, which was also the last time I made them, I seem to have ended up with some flat, hard, egg-shaped discs resembling more of a failed production line of frisbees sold in a store nobody ever goes to, than anything remotely edible. Normally, I am not a quitter and I try again. This time I made an exception. You can imagine my excitement, when I spotted a package of ready-made crepes at our local co-op! I am set!!! “What, not making it from scratch?” you might ask. Nope. Unlike what your mother might have told you, and mine certainly still does, not everything must be made from scratch. Remember: “what the eyes don’t see, the chef gets away with.” Just make sure they don’t see you opening the tin or the package. You do that, and Bob’s your uncle. Let’s cook … 

SAVOURY CROQUETTES:

Can of sauerkraut, size depending on your appetite, drain, rinse if you find the taste too sharp.

Handful of dried mushrooms (porcini/boletus/cepes/penny buns are the best!!!) reconstituted in water. Once reconstituted, drain, reserve the liquid and chop coarsely. 

Preheat a non-stick pan to medium-high, once hot drizzle with oil.

Put in mid-sized chopped onion … after 60 sec. put in cup of thinly sliced fresh mushrooms and sauté for 5 min until soft, with golden hue. Remove from pan.

Wipe the pan, pour in a little oil, and once hot put the sauerkraut in …I can hear the sizzle 😊. Fry for 7 minutes stirring frequently, then put in the reconstituted mushrooms, fry for 5 minutes then mix in the onion-mushroom mixture. Fry for 3 min. then pour in the reserved liquid from dried mushrooms. Once bubbling, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for approx. 15 min. Once liquid evaporated, season with pepper, stir and keep warm.

To serve – put some sauerkraut mixture in the middle of the pancake, fold the ends in, then roll. Toss the wraps in egg-wash, then in breadcrumbs, and fry in butter. Serve with a cup of clear borscht (beat juice, which you can buy in a bottle) seasoned with touch of vinegar and black pepper. 

DESSERT (unless you eat five, then it is lunch)

Container of cottage cheese, drain, reserving the liquid. Bind the cheese with touch of full fat cream or Greek-style yoghurt and sugar or honey to taste. Roll the mixture in pancakes and serve topped with cream, or yoghurt or/and choice of fruit. Don’t forget the chocolate drizzle if you want to impress!!! 

I-DON’T-FEEL-LIKE-ANYTHING version …. Spread the pancake with Nutella, top with sliced banana, roll, and you are done. 😊

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