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Recipe Collection

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Prep time: 15–20 minutes

Cook time: 20–30 minutes

Yield: 16 blintzes

JEFFREY: I was only privy to homemade blintzes once in a blue moon when Grandma Ruth decided to make them. Hers were never too sweet, and they revealed their contents on the sides since she delicately sliced off the edges of each blintz, leaving the scraps for the children as a special treat. I feel every parent has to make at least one dish with ends to slice off for kids. It’s not fair to make them wait until everything is finished. Blintz ends are a pretty solid way to go. If necessary, you can make the blintzes in advance and store in the refrigerator or freezer until later. Just be sure to bring them up to room temperature before reheating so the insides don’t remain cold. Note that the yield in this recipe is based on an 8-inch-diameter frying pan. If you have a different size pan, the yield will differ. The crepe recipe is adapted from Mitchell Davis’s The Mensch Chef and works well with both our sweet cheese filling and savory mushroom-potato filling.

Ingredients

  • Crepes
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for frying
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Sweet Cheese Filling
  • 3 cups farmer’s cheese (about 1½ pounds), store-bought or homemade
  • ½ cup cream cheese (4 ounces), softened, store-bought or homemade
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons loosely packed lemon zest
  • Sour cream, store-bought or homemade, for serving
  • Fresh or macerated berries (optional), for garnish
  • Savory Mushroom-Potato Filling
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste, plus additional for boiling water
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for frying
  • 8 ounces coarsely chopped stemmed fresh mushrooms (chanterelles, shiitakes, porcini, etc.)
  • 2½ tablespoons chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish
  • 2½ tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup whole milk, warmed
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sour cream, store-bought or homemade, for serving

Preparation

  • To make the crepes: In a large bowl, food processor or blender, mix together the melted butter, eggs, milk, cold water, salt and sugar. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing between each addition to remove as many lumps as possible.
  • In an 8-inch nonstick pan, melt a small pat of butter over medium heat. Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into the center of the hot pan. Lift and rotate the pan immediately so batter coats the bottom entirely, then place the pan back on the heat to cook. You’ll get the hang of it after a couple of tries. At first, each crepe will take about 1 minute, but the process speeds up as the pan gets hotter, and each crepe should take 30 to 45 seconds. When the crepe is mostly cooked, the edges will lift up. With a spatula, check to make sure the crepe has splotches of brown on the bottom. When one side is fully cooked, flip the crepe onto a nearby plate lined with parchment paper so that the side that has not cooked is facing down. Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking each crepe on top of the others. No need to butter the pan between crepes—only add more butter about every fifth crepe. Note that the first crepe never comes out well. Don’t despair.
  • To make the sweet cheese filling: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  • To make savory mushroom-potato filling: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are very tender and can be easily pierced with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, in a skillet, melt a pat of butter over medium-high heat. When the butter is just melted, add the mushrooms and 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute to darken the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are lightly browned and their liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sage and tarragon.
  • Drain the potatoes, discarding the bay leaf. Roughly mash the potatoes with a fork, a potato masher or the bottom of a jar, removing any lumps. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference. This mixture should be saltier than what you’re accustomed to, as the egg and the crepe itself will mute the saltiness significantly. Whisk in the 2 tablespoons melted butter and the milk. Add the egg yolks, stirring quickly to avoid curdling. Fold in the mushroom mixture and the pepper.
  • To form the blintzes: Spoon about ¼ cup of the filling onto the cooked side of a crepe, in the middle of the lower half. Spread out the filling from side to side in a horizontal line. Fold the bottom of the crepe up to cover the filling, and then fold each end into the center to create a small package. Roll up the crepe tightly to form a compact blintz. It will be about 4 inches in length. Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling. At this point, you can fry them up now, or refrigerate or freeze the blintzes to eat later. To refrigerate, wrap each blintz individually in parchment paper (so they don’t stick together) and store in an airtight plastic container for up to 5 days. To freeze, set the wrapped blintzes on a baking sheet in the freezer until they harden, then transfer to an airtight plastic container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • If you prepared your blintzes in advance, be sure to bring them up to room temperature before frying them (so the filling doesn’t remain cold). Place a small pat of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and place the blintzes in the pan, seam-side down.
  • If your blintz is cylindrical, flatten it slightly with a spatula for even cooking. Do not crowd the pan. Cook the blintzes until golden on the bottom, then flip to the other side and cook until golden brown and the sides are soft, 3 to 4 minutes total. You may need to flip each blintz multiple times to avoid them getting too brown.
  • Serve the blintzes hot. Garnish sweet blintzes with sour cream and berries and savory blintzes with sour cream, chopped sage and minced tarragon. Keep just-fried blintzes warm in the oven at 250 degrees until ready to serve.
  • Excerpted from the book The Gefilte Manifesto by Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern. Copyright © 2016 by Gefilte Manifesto LLC. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Lauren Volo.
 

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