Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring Green! Swiss Chard Pancakes and Crepes for French Fridays with Dorie

A few weeks ago, Sunset magazine ran a Facebook Weekend Photo Challenge called "Spring Green." After fans posted photos of everything green, from glowing lush hills to baby lettuce crops, Sunset posted favorites to an album the following week. My photo of this beautiful Swiss Chard bouquet made the cut.

Swiss Chard from my friend Holli's Garden

That particular bouquet of chard found its way into Pantry Pasta (rigatoni with olive oil, garlic, capers, crushed red chile flakes, anchovies, chard, a squeeze of lemon and a dusting of Parmesan).

Pantry Pasta

Holli graciously offered to harvest another bouquet of chard for the pancakes, but I ended up settling for store-bought chard. The French name for this week's savory pancakes is farçous  - defined as a type of pancake or thick crepe loaded with greens, especially Swiss chard. In addition to milk, eggs and flour, Dorie's batter has onions, shallots, garlic, parsley and chives. You can find the recipe here. I followed the recipe exactly but just lightly brushed the pan with grapeseed oil between each batch.

Farçous - Swiss Chard Pancakes

Dorie forewarned the recipe makes a ton of pancakes - about forty, 5-inch pancakes.  In French homes, farçous are a robust main course, most often served with a salad. Dorie's preference, and mine, is to make them small enough to be served as an hors d'oeuvre. My initial thought was to top them with a dab of creme fraiche and a few crumbles of crispy prosciutto. However, by the time I cooked my way through a Vitamix full of batter, and nibbled on too-many-to-mention of these addicting pancakes along the way, my creatively and energy level fizzled rapidly.  About half way through, to speed up the process, I switched over to crepe-mode by adding a little more milk to the batter and I was able to produce eight lovely crepes. Note: I was using a very small cast-iron skillet and could only cook 2-3 pancakes at a time (exactly 1 tablespoon of batter for each pancake); obviously, using a larger pan or griddle would speed up the process substantially.

Swiss Chard Crepes

The pancakes supposedly freeze well, but I may try to bring them to cocktail party tomorrow evening. Trapper has a few other ideas for the crepes.

Trapper on crepe patrol

Breakfast Update: I warmed a few of the leftover crepes and served them with scrambled eggs and prosciutto garnished with chives. Nice alternative to toast or tortillas!

Crepes & Eggs


French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group, dedicated to Dorie Greenspan‘s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. As members of the group, we have purchased the cookbook and cook along as much as we can. There is a new recipe each week, and we post about that recipe on Friday. We are asked to refrain from posting the actual recipes on our blog. The book is filled with stunning photography, and personal stories about each recipe, which makes it that much more intriguing. I highly recommend adding it to your cookbook collection if you haven't already!


Cher Rockwell said...

Beautiful - I really like your crepe adaptation. Seems like you could do a lot with those.

HolliDe said...

Fabulous! I can't wait to taste them! ;-)

Dessert By Candy said...

Love your crepe version. They look so pliable! And the larger size must be awesome for wrapping all kinds of different fillings. The possibilities!

Teresa said...

Your crepe version is especially beautiful. I love that these stand up to refrigeration or freezing, too.

Diane Balch said...

Brilliant making crepes...even more versatile than the pancakes. Love the simple side of eggs. Nicely done.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Post. Beautiful photography! Fur and crepes... brilliant! - Carmen

Amy Andrews said...

Yes - you did a wonderful job on these! I am mystified why Dorie called for so much oil -- good for you for just knowing to brush w/grapeseed oil. :)

Amy Andrews said...

Yes - you did a wonderful job on these! I am mystified why Dorie called for so much oil -- good for you for just knowing to brush w/grapeseed oil. :)

Betsy said...

So much to say. Congrats on the Sunset album. That's very cool. And the pantry pasta sounds delicious. I love Swiss chard and any other green. As for the pancakes, honestly, these weren't my favorite, but I like the look of your thinner crepe version. I made the mistake of using lots of oil, like the recipe said, which was obviously not needed as you and others proved. Mine ended up tasting greasy. They were improved when I ate some leftovers topped with scrambled eggs though. Have a great week.

Kathy said...

Absolutely beautiful! Love you crepe version…a lovely idea! Congrats on your photo being picked by Sunset!

Mary Hirsch said...

Well, Denise, you seem to be back on top of the world. Your last few Posts have been wonderfully upbeat and especially happy. You're my third new food friend who has a Vitamix so when I get my kitchen put back together here in Aspen this Summer, I may have to splurge. I loved your crepe idea. Liked this use of chard or any other green leafy thing. Congrats on your Sunset Mag picture. Why wouldn't it be chosen? All your photographs are beautiful.