FOR ME, CREPES have always been the delight of a weekend restaurant brunch. When I lived near Capitol Hill, my weakness was sweet crepes dusted in powdered sugar and sprinkled with lemon juice at 611 Supreme (now closed); after a move to Shoreline, it became savory salmon crepes at Red Twig in Edmonds.
I singled out crepes because restaurants are for eating dishes that I can’t make at home, or that turn out better with professional or specialized gear — croissants made with a dough sheeter, pizza from a wood-fired oven. Obviously, home was for pancakes and French toast; restaurants were for crepes.
Then along came J. Kenji López-Alt, the science-minded writer behind the “Food Lab” column at seriouseats.com (plus a book of the same name). My husband, who tends to handle the pancake-flipping (I’m in charge of coffee cake), came across a column where López-Alt suggested crepes should be thought of as “skinny pancakes,” and no harder to make.
Next thing I knew, I was served a platter of crepes at home. Next after that, I was making them myself. Not only are they easy; they’re also quick, to the point where we’ll cook up a savory batch for a last-minute dinner, or a sweet batch for a quick dessert. (One night, when last-minute guests dropped by, we doubled down and did both.)
I don’t mean they’re easy in the way people say that about a pie crust or loaf of bread. (I categorize those as “easy once you know how.”) They’re not even easy the way that omelets are easy. (File that under “easy to make, harder to perfect.”) For crepes, the secrets are simple: Mixing the batter in a blender makes it quick. A nonstick pan and thin spatula (along with your fingers) make it all work smoothly. No specialized crepe pan or crepe griddle or batter-spreader or elaborate swirling techniques are needed; it took more time and work for me to master really good scrambled eggs.
The other advantage of crepes, we’ve found, is completely pedestrian: They’re a catchall for leftovers in the same way as frittatas or Taco Tuesdays. Got a piece of cooked chicken to shred? Leftover roasted vegetables? Odds and ends of cheese? All delicious in crepes, alone or together. And if you want to feel especially luxurious, I recommend making sweet crepes some weekend morning, squeezing lemon juice over the top, and dusting them with powdered sugar. Start to finish, it takes less time than the average Seattle brunch line.
Here’s the recipe at Serious Eats.