Simplified home cooking and entertaining is the trend of today as more and more convenience products appear in supermarket deli departments and on grocery shelves.
The latest is ready-made crepes, thin French pancakes about 9 inches in diameter, which are ideal for savory as well as sweet fillings.
They may be displayed near the fresh berries in the produce departments. Refrigerated, they'll last up to two months, or freeze up to six months.
Use the crepes at room temperature, even with hot fillings, as they require no heating. Creamy seafood or chicken mixtures rolled into the crepes and served with fresh asparagus spears make easy main dishes. Or try a new twist on strawberry shortcake: Roll fresh berries in the crepes and top with yogurt or whipped cream.
For delightful Mother's Day brunch fare this Sunday, try Mexican Brunch-in-Crepe or Ricotta-Apple Crepes. Either dish will be well received by Mom on her day.
6 ready-made crepes, at room temperature
1 cup shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese
1 Anaheim chile, seeded and chopped, or 3 tablespoons chopped canned green chiles, drained
1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced, pitted black olives, drained
3/4 cup bottled salsa
1/4 cup milk
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Fresh avocado slices
Arrange crepes, overlapping, in bottom and up sides of 13x9-inch baking dish, sprayed with non-stick coating spray. Sprinkle with cheese, chiles and olives.
Beat together salsa, eggs and milk. Stir in onions, chili powder and pepper and pour mixture over cheese in dish.
Fold crepes down over mixture so they touch egg batter and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees 35 to 40 minutes or until nearly set in center. Garnish with avocado, cilantro and sour cream, as desired. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into squares or wedges. Makes 8 servings.
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 large Asian pears, Grannysmith or Rome Beauty apples, sliced
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
4 ready-made crepes, at room temperature
Sifted powdered sugar
Melt butter in skillet. Add pear slices, raisins and walnuts and saute over medium heat about 5 minutes or until pear slices are browned. Stir in lemon juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon. Remove from heat.
Combine ricotta and remaining brown sugar in food processor and process until well blended. Spoon 1/4 apple mixture down center of each crepe and top with dollop ricotta mixture. Roll up and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes 4 servings.