Thursday, October 13, 2011

The 4-H Year is Under Way!

Well, my first 4-H Cooking Project Meeting is over and was a lot of fun. I have the perfect number of kids in it this year. I have had, in the past, too many to fit in the kitchen and have everyone be hands on. As a project Leader, I get to read the kids' 4-H Books at the end of each year and see their suggestions. Last year, one young lady thought it would be fun to learn about foods from other countries. What a great idea! I knew that I wanted to teach them how to make the glorified pancake called a crepe...well, there was France! My Mom made a dish growing up called Palacsintas or Hungarian Pancakes. It involved a mixture of ground ham, olives, sour cream layered with crepes and made a tower of yumminess topped with buttered bread crumbs and baked to perfection. It is then cut into wedges and served. With a salad, this is really a great meal. Several weeks ago, I dug out the recipe to make it for my family. Something happened...schedules changed and we weren't going to have dinner together that night. Rather than pitching a fit and stomping my feet, I changed direction. The crepes were made and rolled around the filling and placed in a pan, like enchiladas. I plopped that into the freezer and went on with my life. Days later, when I was ready (and the family was home), I tossed buttered bread crumbs on top of the crepes and baked until hot. They were devoured and declared a new favorite. While the presentation was not nearly as unique and pretty as the original, the flavor and ease was great. (I have also discovered that if you fill and roll these, place them on a cookie sheet to freeze and then place the individually frozen pieces into a freezer bag, they can be defrosted and heated in the microwave for a quick after school snack for hungry kids) Okay...back to my international 4-H Cooking meeting. I also wanted to teach the girls how they can use the crepe with a sweet filling as well as a savory one, so they made Blueberry Crepes as well. Here are the recipes, if you would like to try them.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk in1-1/4 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup water. Whisk until smooth and add one beaten egg and 1 TBL melted butter. Continue whisking until there are no lumps. The batter will resemble a very runny pancake batter. Heat a small 7 or 8 inch saute pan (nonstick is ideal) over medium high heat. Add 1/4 tsp butter to hot pan and then 1/4 cup batter. Swirl pan slowly to coat bottom of pan completely. Cook until edges begin to curl back...about 1 - 2 minutes. I used a spatula to flip the crepe over and cook about 30 seconds more. There will be large air bubbles present when done. (The girls thought they looked alive) Slide crepe onto a plate and continue. This recipe makes about 12 crepes.

Blueberry Crepes

Mix 2 cups blueberries (I used the frozen ones I had from picking with Sugar Plum Fairy) with 1/8 cup sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla. Heat until sugar dissolves and set aside to cool slightly.

Place crepe on a flat surface and center about 1-1/2 TBL of the berries on top. Fold two opposite sides of crepe toward the middle and roll entire thing. Place seam side down in a baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the berries. Pour remaining juice over all and bake at 325* for 20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy. (This amount of berries makes about 6 filled crepes)

Palacsinta Filling

10 ounces ham

1/4 cup black olives

1 green onion

Place all into a food processor and process. (You can also just chop this very finely)

Add a scant 1/2 sour cream, 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce and S and P to taste. Mix all together.

Place crepe on a flat surface. Arrange 2 TBL of filling down the center of crepe in a "log" shape. Roll like an enchilada and place in a baking dish. Toast 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs with 2 TBL butter in saute pan and top the crepes. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Oh, yes...and because I was a teacher in a previous life, I will be subjecting these lovely children to a test at our last meeting. They will need to remember such nonsense as from whence the term "crepe" and "Palacsinta" come. They will also need to identify common kitchen utensils, terms and food items that they use throughout the year. The details of this are still whirling around in my mind, but it will be fun, not very serious and there WILL be prizes. Can YOU identify each item?

As much as I love 4-H and all that it represents, I am glad to get these first 2 meetings done. I am spending the day with my Mommy today and have changed my mind on the redecoration of the small room while my husband is will happen eventually, but it was turning into a larger job than I want to battle this week. I intend on enjoying my Thursday and I hope you do as well!


Farmchick said...

Nice recipe for the crepes!

Twisted Fencepost said...

I have never eaten a crepe before so I am looking forward to trying this. My guys are so picky, I'm sure they'll "try" them with turned up noses, but who knows if they'll like them??? I like the idea of making them, freezing them and having them on hand for a quick meal or snack.

Practical Maniac said...

I am happy to see this! I just had a crepe for the first time this last week at a local bistro. It was delish and I was thinking about trying one of my own. Now I have a recipe to try, thanks!

Melinda said...

Okay - you're putting this 4H leader to shame. Stop it all already! :)

Seriously - some great ideas! So fun!