With about a half a basket of okra left — not quite enough to fry up — we were looking for something that would be pretty fast and easy for lunch, and we came up with the idea of smoky okra crêpes. Now, this didn’t just come to us out of the blue; instead, it’s based somewhat on the idea of smoky mushroom crêpes (which we want to try) in Charmian Christie’s book, Messy Baker. For some reason, the idea of mixing a nice smoky flavor with something like a crêpe appealed to us, and, since we don’t have mushrooms in the house and we do have okra, well, let’s just change it up. We should point out that this recipe really doesn’t have much in common with Charmain Christie’s, other than the use of smoked paprika to add the smokiness, and the idea of having it inside crêpes.
You remember our post about crêpes. The one where we told you the ratios of the perfect crêpe: 1-1-2.5, that is, one part egg, one part flour, and 2.5 parts liquid (all by weight). Oh, you don’t? Ah, well. That’s the ratio, and it made is super simple to make up our crêpe batter for this dish. We just cracked and egg (54g), added the same amount of flour (54g), followed by 2.5 times as much milk (135g), a bit of salt and some baking powder. Hit it up with a whisk, and done. If you need more details, look at our savory crêpes recipe.
We know a lot of people complain that okra is gummy and sticky. We’ve never had that problem and we think that might be because we always use fresh okra. I.e., okra used within a couple of days of being picked. Try picking some up at a local farmers’ market and see if that works for you. Everything else here is straightforward, although if you get locally grown, freshly-picked tomatoes, we think you’ll see a world of difference.
Not an ingredient, but we made half of the recipe above, since only one of us was home at the time. The pictures show that difference.
Procedure in detail:
Cook onions and garlic. Add oil to a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until they’re tender and translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring often so the garlic doesn’t burn, until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes. Stir in chopped tomatoes, paprika, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are mostly broken down, about 5 minutes.
Add okra. Stir in the sliced okra, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring only as necessary, until the okra is tender, about 10 minutes. We think that too much stirring will also release the gumminess of okra, so stir with caution. Once ready, reduce heat to low while you prepare the crêpes.
Heat pan. Heat a 5-inch non-stick, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. We find a small cast iron skillet is perfect. Once hot, add a drop or two of oil and spread around with a paper towel to coat the skillet.
Cook crêpe. Add a scant 1/4 cup of batter (we get about 6-7 crêpes per cup of batter), and swirl the pan around to spread the batter evenly. Let the crêpe cook until bubbles have formed over the surface and the edges have just started to curl upwards, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook another minute.
Fill. With the crêpe on a plate, place a large tablespoon of the tomato okra mixture in the center, spreading it from one side to the other. Roll up crêpe into a cylinder and plate seam side down. You can keep crêpes warm in a 200°F oven while you finish making them all.
Top and serve. After the crêpes are filled, top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Serve immediately.