I know, I know. Mardi-Gras has passed already! But I’m continuing to have belated celebrations of sorts. And by that, I mean I seem to be making a lot of crepes these days. They’re just so easy and versatile. And to be honest, nothing is better.
Typically Mardi-Gras is a festive time of year to over-indulge in food before the fasting season of Lent begins. As an American, when I think of Fat Tuesday (literal translation from the French, Mardi (tuesday)-gras (fat)) I think of New Orleans parades and parties. Purple, yellow, green beads being thrown around, endless drinking, and of course, feasting on King Cake’s. Our cakes in this country are sweet brioche wreaths with cream cheese filling, sweet icing, and purple, yellow, and green sprinkles. To learn about King Cake’s in France, head over to this recipe for the Galette de Roi that I make each year for the Epiphany in January: Galette de Rois, King Cake This would be a great recipe to make for today as well.
With a French husband and all, I feel I should honor the French tradition of Mardi-Gras. So I’m swapping the sweet buns we enjoy here, with what the French eat most on this day: their beloved crêpes.
It’s a bit confusing because I thought we ate our King Cake’s on this day because that’s what they do in France. But actually, they eat their King Cake’s, as mentioned above, on the Epiphany (after the Christmas holidays come to an end).
So Mardi-Gras is really their day of enjoying crêpes. (To get even more confusing, they have another crepe holiday in February, “le chandeleur” which is a day to enjoy crepes for reasons involving harvest and the wheat crops, and seasons changing etc. etc.) They don’t limit Fat Tuesday to crêpes. They enjoy all sorts of fatty foods, including Waffles.
This recipe for crêpes is my very favorite. It’s straight-forward and delicious. And best of all, they taste just like the crêpes in France. I have so many great memories of crepe nights while living in France. The best discovery for me was that when the French host crepe nights for their friends and family, it’s just straight to dessert. They don’t make ham and cheese, mushroom and spinach, etc. They throw out the concept of savory crepes entirely when they’re having “une soirée crêpes”. As a sweet tooth, and one who eats dinner only so I can eat dessert, this was quickly praised by me. When I host crepe nights here in the States though, I do offer a couple savory options and a green salad before jumping straight into sweet because I think an American would walk out on us if there wasn’t at least something substantial before going for dessert. Maybe I’m wrong though. 😉
To get you started, here are some options for toppings:
Options for sweet toppings:
- Lemon and sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Peanut butter and banana
- Fresh fruit (sliced banana and strawberries)
- Any fruit jam, jelly, or preserves
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate sauce
- Biscoff cookie butter spread
Options for savory toppings:
- Smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, & dill
- Ham and cheese
- Sautéed vegetables
- Pesto and turkey
- Mushroom and brie
This classic French crepe recipe is the only recipe you'll ever need. It's quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. Double and triple the recipe for a crepe party!
- 1 cup Flour
- 1 tsp. Sugar (optional (omit if making only savory crepes))
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 3 Eggs
- 2 cups Whole milk
- 2 tbsp. Butter, melted
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
In a small bowl, combine the flour, optional sugar, and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Whisk in the milk. Whisk in the melted butter and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the flour mixture until smooth.
Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium/high heat. Add oil to to grease the pan. Smooth the oil around with a napkin so it is well covered. Reapply the oil-coated napkin between crêpes, or as needed. Scoop the batter (approximately 2-4 tablespoons for each crêpe) on to the pan. Spread batter as thinly as possible, tilting and rotating the pan to evenly coat it with batter. Brown each side and serve.
Adapted from the crêpes I ate in France.
Note: Double for a party of 4; triple for more than 4 people.