Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WIAW #63: Savory Herbed Blintzes

I’ve been doing a lot of big dinner cooking lately but not much of photographing. And because of these rich dinners that often involve complicated carbs, my breakfasts and lunches aren't taht interesting to begin with. Think yogurt, granola, grapefruit, leftovers...and chocolate pumpkin quinoa bars. Okay, those are interesting. 

But either way, I hope you enjoy the main part of my day: dinner.

When you Google “savory blintzes,” you mainly get recipes for sweet dessert blintzes that may have a line or two at the end saying, “try these savory!” 

Instead, I simply made my own version based on one of those sweet recipes. I’ll tell you, it’s completely worth it. The light airy crepes give way to oozing, deliciously herbed ricotta. Doesn’t that sound much better than topped with maple syrup?

Now, the sweet blintzes have their moments, but unless you are entertaining, the savory version is much more practical for a special meal for two or four.

I must say these babies are definitely decadent. For a meal you really only need two along with a hearty salad or bowl of vegetable minestrone like we did. Playful re-imagining of grilled cheese and tomato soup I guess. Also, an awesome one.

You can also customize this as much as you want. I topped ours with caramelized onions, keeping the toppings simply to let the blintz itself shin. But, this recipe also makes a great base for an authentic manicotti. Simply use your favorite marinara sauce to coat a baking dish, place blintzes on top, and cover with sauce, cheese, and additional herbs. Bake at 350 until bubbly and brown on top.

They also freeze quite well for up to a month. Simply freeze for 30 minutes on a baking sheet, and then transfer to a plastic bag so they won’t stick together. Thaw in the fridge before reheating in the oven.

No matter what you topping them with (roasted tomatoes anyone?) you will go nuts over these. It actually makes me miss Philadelphia and its amazing Italian food a little less…. or more because its so good.

Savory Herb Blintzes
(Adapted from The Working Class Foodies Cookbook by Rebecca Lando)

¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 cup 2% or whole milk
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 tsp. salt
½ tsp. white or black pepper
Olive oil

1 ½ cup part-skim ricotta
4 oz. (1/2 block) cream cheese, softened
½ cup grated Parmesan
1 large egg, beaten
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. herb de Provence or mix of rosemary and oregano
1 tbsp. fresh sage minced
2 tsp. fresh oregano, minced
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Dash Worcestershire sauce

Minced fresh parsley
Grated Parmesan
1 cup Caramelized onions (roughly 1 large yellow onion)

For the Caramelized onions, sliced onion into thin rings and cook over low heat in a pan with 1 tbsp. butter and drizzle olive oil. Let onions sweat until soft and very translucent, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tbsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper. Stir until darkened. Once onions are dark, add ¼ cup water and cover. Cook until very dark and soft.


For the crepe batter, whisk eggs, milk, melted butter, and salt together in a large bowl. Mix in flour a ¼ cup at a time until just combined, scraping the side of the bowl. Refrigerate batter in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix all the ingredients for the filling together. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. Make caramelized onions if using.

Once you are ready to make the crepes, heat a large pan or skillet over medium heat with a little drizzle of olive oil.

Scoop about ¼ cup batter, or just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, swirling the batter quickly to cover the bottom in a thin layer. Cook each crepe for about 90 seconds or until lightly brown on the bottom. (Don’t flip.)

Place crepe on a plate a cover with a piece of parchment paper or a paper towel. Repeat with the rest of the batter and use more oil as needed.

To assemble the blintzes, lay a crepe on a plate or clean cutting board. Spoon a thick amount of the filling on the bottom half of the crepe. Fold half over the filling, then fold over sides and tightly roll with the last half, make a tight bundle, with the seam on the bottom. Repeat with the rest of the crepes and filling.

Using the same pan, heat back to medium high and drizzle enough olive oil to just cover the bottom of the pan. Fry each rolled blintz for 2-3 minutes on each side until crispy and brown.  Fry two or three blintzes at a time depending on the size of the pan. Place on paper towels until all finished.

Transfer blintzes to plates, top with caramelized onions, parsley, and grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.


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