Last week, we picked up eight ears of corn at the grocery store when it was on a great sale (eight for $1). Then, on Tuesday, we got four more ears in our weekly CSA produce share, so we have a bit of corn to go through. Since corn is best within a couple of days of picking, well, we have to figure out ways to turn it into our meals.
Today’s post is just one such way. We pretty much thought this up once we knew what we were getting at the CSA. We knew we were getting goat cheese, so how do we use some of that? Well, it’s slightly tangy, so, perhaps, along with something else that’s tangy? We decided on something involving Whole-Wheat Crêpes, using buttermilk (tangy) in place of the milk. Then it was corn, ’cause we have a lot, and that bunch of kale was pretty big, so using a couple of leaves would help pare it down. That’s pretty much it, except adding a few spices — smoky is always good — and we had our dinner.
Obviously, from the above discussion, this is another 100% Scratchin’ It original recipe.
We decided to go with a smoky overtone since corn is so good on the grill. Hence, the smoked paprika and chipotle powder, but you could go with something else, too. For the goat cheese, go with something that you like; it’s supposed to be tangy, but some kinds of goat cheese, taste, well, goaty (we remember getting a blue goat cheese at a restaurant that was unbelievably bad), so choose well. We use cheese from Black Mesa Ranch, up in Snowflake, AZ, partly because we get it through our CSA, but also because it’s very good, and we know the goats are treated well (we’ve met them). Note that we suggest using buttermilk in place of regular milk in the crêpe batter. It’s a simple substitution, and, if you make your own buttermilk, you’ll have some on hand.
Procedure in detail:
Preheat oven to 200°F. Since you need to be making and filling crêpes right before serving, it helps to keep them warm while you work. We find it easiest to heat the oven to 200°F, plate, fill, and fold a crêpe at a time, keeping the plates in the oven while you make the next. Obviously, making crêpes for more than a few people will be difficult.
Cook onions. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add onions and cumin seeds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to start adding flavor, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.
Add kale and corn. Add the kale, followed by the corn, or the corn followed by the kale –the order doesn’t matter. Stir and cook until the kale starts to wilt, about 5 minutes. The corn will start to release some starch that will stick to the pan, so add a bit of water, if needed. Or, use wine instead of water for a bit more flavor.
Season. Once the kale wilts, add the chipotle powder, smoked paprika, oregano, and salt to taste. Stir and continue to cook until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Again, if needed, add a bit of liquid to prevent sticking.
Add cheese. Reduce heat to low and stir in the goat cheese until it melts and makes a thick sauce. Once stirred in and completely melted, reduce the heat to keep the mixture warm while you work on making and filling crêpes.
Make crêpes. We give detailed instructions in our Whole-Wheat Crêpes post, but the basic technique is to heat a 5-inch heavy skillet over medium heat. When hot, wipe with a bit of canola oil to coat the pan, and pour in about 1/8 cup of crêpe batter. Immediately swirl the batter to coat, and cook until the top of the crêpe looks dry and the edges are starting to curl up slightly, about 90 seconds. Flip and cook the over side about the same length of time.
Fill and keep warm. Place the crêpe on your plate and scoop about 2-3 Tbs of filling mixture onto one side. Fold the crêpe over, and place everything in the oven (use hot pads, of course) while you continue making crêpes.
Serve. Once all the crêpes are cooked and filled, serve immediately, perhaps sprinkled with a garnish of dried basil and a bit of smoked paprika. Let the diners know the plates are hot.
These were really good. It’s a lot of trouble to make enough crêpes for a whole dinner, though. We do like making them occasionally, though, since they’re able to make a simple filling mixture seem like a fancy meal. If you’re not up for crêpe making, we think this filling would work with tortillas, just without the light texture and sophistication that crêpes seem to provide. We really liked having the slight smoky taste; it seemed to pair very well with the tang of the goat cheese. We’ll say four stars — just because you have to make crêpes.