Monday, May 31, 2010

MyHOP Cheese Blintzes

I love IHOP.

I know it's nothing fancy and food snobs look down on it, but to me a weekend breakfast at IHOP is all about comfort food. A plate of those crispy hashbrowns, a big omelet, and a short stack on a Saturday morning makes my weekend. It's my guilty pleasure, although we only go about every other month.

One of my favorite dishes is their Cheese Blintz, which is simply cheese stuffed crepes with a fruit topping. I've never made crepes. Alexis made one attempt when we got married and that was using a store bought batter in a carton. Back then, we knew about as much about crepes as Ricky Bobby did. It didn't end well. Since then, I've stayed away from making them.

I was watching Anne Burrell's Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and she showed how she makes crepes. She explained it very well and made it seem easy. I knew that I could do that now and decided to try to make my own version of IHOP's cheese blintzes.

The batter makes about 10 crepes but you'll only need 6. Save the other 4 in a gallon zip lock bag with pieces of parchment paper between them for later use.

MyHop Cheese Blintzes
Source: Nibble Me This
Crepe batter by Anne Burrell

Crepe Batter
1 cup All purpose flour
2 ea Egg
1/2 cup Club soda
1 cup Milk*
3 tb Butter melted
1 pinch Salt

Cheese filling
8 ounce Cream cheese softened
1 cup Confectioners Sugar
1 cup Ricotta cheese

Cherry preserves for topping

Mix together all of the batter ingredients and let rest for at least 30 minutes. *Anne's recipe in the episode and as printed on Food Network's site says 1/2 cup milk, but in the episode she ended up adding about 2 shots of milk that seemed to be about 1/4 cup each. Ours needed a full cup of milk too, in order to get the thin consistency.

Whip the cheese filling into a smooth mixture. The sugar sounds like a lot but we kept adding until we got the taste right.

Get a medium sized saute pan heated over medium heat and then melt about 1 Tb of ghee or butter. Pour in 2 ounces (I use a 2 oz ladel to make it easy) of batter and quickly swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. Anne referred to it as "tilt-a-whirl action" which is a perfect description, just roll it around.

The edges will start to cook first. Use a spatula to lightly work the edges from the pan. After about 1-2 minutes, the bottom of the crepe should start to turn slightly golden and the batter on top will be set. Flip and cook another two minutes.

I proudly present to you, my very first crepe. (Forgive the white balance it wasn't that yellow, this was shot under a 40w oven range hood bulb.)

Remove and repeat. Stack the crepes with parchment or wax paper sheets between them.

Place 2-3 gooey heaping tablespoons of the cheese filling and roll the crepe.

Top with cherry preserves that have been warmed in a small sauce pan.

Holy carp! (sic) I can make crepes!