Crêpe Suzette

crepes arial h

The recipe below is based on a recipe from Bobby Flay but I made it non-alcoholic. If you’d like to make the alcoholic version, use only one tablespoon of orange juice in the crêpe part and add in one tablespoon of Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur). For the sauce, stir in two tablespoons of the liqueur once it’s removed from the heat.

Crêpe Suzette (non-alcoholic version)

For the Crêpes

  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cup Milk + a little more as needed
  • 2 Tbsp. Orange Juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Orange Zest
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Butter (for the pan)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour & salt. In a large mixing bowl, mix the eggs & sugar until they become fully combined & a little bit paler in color. Whisk in the milk, orange juice, zest, & vanilla until everything is well combined. If the mixture seems too thick, add in a little more milk. Cover the batter with plastic wrap & refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat a small to medium-small pan over medium heat & coat with butter. Once the butter is just melted, pour in 1/4 – 1/3 cup of batter & quickly swirl around to reach the edges of the pan & create a thin circle. Cook on one side for about 45 seconds & then flip & cook for 20-30 seconds more. Remove to a plate & continue making crepes until the batter is used up.

For the Sauce

  • 2 Cups Orange Juice
  • 3 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Fresh Orange Zest
  • Several Orange Sections (garnish)
  • Whipped Cream (homemade recipe here)

In a medium pan over high heat, bring the orange juice to a boil. Turn the heat to low & add in the sugar & zest & then stir until the sugar melts. Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens a little & then remove from the heat.

One at a time, place the crêpes in the pan of sauce & swirl them around on both sides until fully coated. Using a fork, fold the crêpe in 1/2 & then 1/2 again until they are all triangles. Remove to a serving plate, two to a plate. Place a generous dollop of whipped cream alongside the crepes on each plate. Coat the orange sections in the remaining sauce & use as garnish. Store any left over crêpes in a plastic container & refrigerate.

crepes vCrepes bite
Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 8: DOWNTON ABBEY

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Apple Charlotte

apple-charlotte

It never actually got made on Downton Abbey, but its absence led to Mrs. Patmore’s raspberry meringue, which led to spoonfuls of salt, which led to Sir Anthony Strallan nearly choking and Lady Grantham with one of her Lady Granthamest lines ever: “Bring fruit, bring cheese, bring anything to take this taste away!”

Served with a lovely Lady Grey creme anglaise.

Apple Charlotte

Adapted from Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management

  • About 6 large slices bread, crusts cut off and buttered, more if needed
  • About 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced, more if needed
  • 3 pinches of salt
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 heaping tablespoons brown sugar

Heat oven to 350°

Butter a pie pan. Tear large pieces of bread and place in a single layer. Arrange a layer of apple slices on top, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt, a third of the lemon zest, and a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar. Repeat for the other two layers. Gently press down and cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour (I checked at 45, the apples were cooked but firm, by an hour they were cooked down properly).

Allow to cool, then overturn on a plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with vanilla ice cream, or creme anglaise (recipe follows).

Lady Grey Creme Anglaise

Adapted from Biscayenne

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Lady Grey tea bags
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Bring milk, vanilla and tea bags to a simmer, then remove from heat and steep 10 minutes. Remove tea bags (after squeezing out the liquid).

Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture is pale yellow. Pour half the milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour everything back into the sauce pan and reheat over medium heat, constantly stirring, until mixture has thickened. Do not boil. It is ready when it coats a spoon, and you can run your finger over the creme and the trail remains.

Pour into a bowl placed into a larger bowl of ice and stir until the sauce is cool. Refrigerate to thicken further.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 8: DOWNTON ABBEY

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Fried Smelt, Sesame Greens, and Daikon Pickle Bentos from My Neighbor Totoro

totoro-bento

Little Satsuki sweetly prepares bentos for herself, her father and sister in My Neighbor Totoro. This is my interpretation!

While I fried the smelt here, in the movie it’s smoked. My smelt were deboned, but if your fish are small enough you can actually eat the bones and not worry about deboning them. Alternately you could roast them in the oven, or just used canned smelt or sardines.

Smelt, Sesame Greens, and Daikon Pickle Bentos from My Neighbor Totoro

For the fried smelt

  • 1 pound frozen smelt (cleaned and deboned), thawed and rinsed
  • 1 cup cornmeal (you could also use AP flour or panko breadcrumbs)
  • generous sprinkle salt & pepper
  • oil for frying
  • lemon

In a large, flat pan, heat 1/2 inch of oil on medium high. On a plate, mix the cornmeal with a generous pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Dredge the smelt in the cornmeal mixture and fry in batches for about 2 minutes each side (you can just roll them over with a fork). Transfer to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet to remove excess oil. Finish with a spritz of lemon juice.

For the sesame greens

  • 1 bunch chard (you could use other greens such as collard greens or spinach), trimmed and chopped into thick ribbons
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • couple pinches coarse salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the chard for about 2 minutes until vibrant green and very tender. (If you are using other greens, adjust the blanching time for the coarseness of the greens). Drain.

In a medium to large bowl, stir together sesame oil, garlic, sugar and a small pinch of salt. Gently press the excess water from the greens, and toss with the sesame mixture.

With a mortar and pestle, grind the sesame seeds with another pinch of salt, and sprinkle over the greens.

For the daikon pickle

  • 1 pound daikon radish, peel and grated
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small piece roasted beet for color

Mix well the rice vinegar, salt, sugar and beet. Toss the daikon radish with the mixture and allow to sit for at least an hour (it will be a little dry but will release liquid over time).

For the bentos
Arrange all ingredients, along with perfectly cooked Japanese rice (technique on The Kitchn) and an umeboshi (pickled plum).

totoro-bento-2

I saw some other good interpretations including this one on Anna the Red

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 7: STUDIO GHIBLI

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Studio Ghibli Films

Ponyo Ham!

Diana and Carrie get spirited away by the world of Studio Ghibli. Between ramen (college dorm or primeval storm, it’s the perfect comfort food), enchanted rice balls, mysterious and oft-debated dumplings, human blood, cutie bentos, steamed buns, aggressively viscous soup, and HAM! we may have bitten off more than we can chew!

Recipes

Referenced

Into: My Neighbor Totoro Theme (Instrumental)
Outro: Kamigami Sama from Spirited Away

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