Friday, October 10, 2008

Blintz Me

Yes, thanks to volunteering on several urban farms this week, I have a whole lotta veggies (and fruits) going on in my house right now. But what I really want are blintzes, preferably the ones made by my grandma Fae, may she rest in peace. Why? Probably because they're a typical part of the Yom Kippur breaking-the-fast meal.

Anyone? Grandma? Any blintz-fryers out there with farmer cheese at the ready? Once I get through all the apples, chard, and peppers, I'm going out to the Russian delis on Clement St and getting me some blintz-ready dairy products.

I live with regret that I never wrote down measurements for my grandmother's perfect blintzes. But this recipe (adapted from one on Epicurious) seems very close to what I remember her using.

For crêpes
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted, for frying

In blender, combine milk and eggs. Add flour and salt and blend at low speed until smooth, less than 1 minute. Let batter stand 1/2 hour.

Have ready large plate or platter. Place skillet over moderately high heat, brush lightly with some melted butter, and heat until butter just begins to smoke. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter into pan, tilting to spread into thin, even layer. Cook until crêpe begins to "blister," edges curl slightly away from skillet, and underside is lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Flip crêpe out of skillet and onto plate, cooked side up.

Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet lightly with melted butter before cooking each crêpe. Stack crêpes, cooked side down, on plate and let cool.

For filling
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) farmer cheese
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cottage cheese (4% milk fat) or pot cheese
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch salt
big pinch cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla

In large bowl, mash together farmer and cottage cheeses until blended. Add egg yolk, sugar, salt, and cinnamon and mix until combined. Taste and adjust sugar, vanilla, cinnamon.

Place 1 crêpe, cooked side up, on a plate. Place 2 tablespoons filling in center, and fold up bottom to cover filling. Fold in sides, then roll to seal. (If you've never seen a blintz before, think flattish, squared-off egg rolls.) Place on a large plate. Repeat with remaining crêpes and filling. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill until ready to fry.)

For sauce (optional; or just serve with more butter and powdered sugar or warm maple syrup)
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

In large saucepan, combine 2 cups blueberries, sugar, and cornstarch. Set over moderately low heat and stir gently until sugar dissolves. Raise heat to moderately high and boil, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Remove from heat and gently stir in remaining blueberries.

To fry blintzes, you'll need an additional 4 tb butter.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in iron skillet over moderately high heat. Add 3 blintzes and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining butter and blintzes. Serve hot with sauce.

I have now been an Officially Bad Jew on 2 Yom Kippurs. The first time, I was inadvertently (I swear!) recipe-testing the BLT for Fun Food that morning. Which meant I was standing in the kitchen, eating and frying several rounds of bacon while I should have in temple, fasting. Normally, I'm not even a bacon eater, which makes it worse. This time, I was out at Pier 23 celebrating Shar's birthday when I should have been at Kol Nidre services. Susie gave her all these fabulous Vosges bars, and so I ended up eating not just chocolate but bacon-studded chocolate. I'm hoping that maybe it was still before sundown when I did this. I'm also very glad Jewish theology really doesn't have an eternal-damnation thing going.

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