A week ago I spent four days in New York City for a romance writers’ conference. I know—I write mysteries, but I started out trying to write romance, and now I’ve come back to it with a self-published paranormal romance series. I figured it was time to see what the opposition, er, our colleagues were up to now.
I won’t bore you with the details of a very large, very busy and very interesting convention. And I’ll admit up front, I wanted to go in part because it was held in New York, on Times Square. It’s a city with more restaurants than you could eat at in your life, assuming you ate out three meals a day. Or maybe four. You have Thai restaurants next to French bistros next to Cuban nightclubs next to Irish pubs. Yes, I found an Irish pub named Connolly’s and had dinner there, and a couple of pints.
But even the hotel food surpasses 97% of what I can get in my neighborhood. My last (sob) meal in the city, in the conference hotel, was breakfast at the hotel buffet, where I ate my first blintz. And then I went back for seconds. How was it I had never met these cuties before? They’re a bit time-consuming to assemble, but the ingredients are simple. Mostly they’re a thin crepe wrapped around a flavored ricotta filling, then sautéed in butter. The crepes and the filling can be made ahead, if you want to wow your guests at breakfast. (What, you never have guests at breakfast? Go ahead and eat them all yourself.)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tblsp sugar
3 Tblsp unsalted butter, melted
More butter for sautéeing the crepes
Combine the milk, water, eggs, flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Blend on medium speed for about 15 seconds, until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps. Scrape down the sides and pour in the melted butter. Blend again to mix.
Refrigerate the batter for an hour to let it rest.
Place a non-stick skillet over medium heat and brush with a little melted butter. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and swirl to cover the bottom evenly. Cook for 30-45 seconds, until the batter sets. Loosen the crepe from the pan, then flip and cook the other side for 30 seconds. (They will not be crisp—you want to be able to fold them.)
Slide the crepe onto a platter. Cover each one with a paper towel to keep them from drying out or sticking to each other. Repeat until all the batter is used up (this recipe made nine—if I’d made them a bit smaller I could have had a couple more).
4 oz cream cheese
3 Tblsp confectioner’s sugar
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
In a food processor, combine the cheeses, the sugar, the lemon zest and the egg and blend until smooth. Chill to firm up a bit so it won’t squish out when you make the blintzes.
Forming the Blintzes
Lay a crepe in front of you and spoon 1/4 cup of the filling along the bottom third. Fold that edge away from you to just cover the filling. Fold the two sides in toward the center, then fold the top side down. Roll it around to make a package, ending with the seam side down.
In an oven-proof skillet over medium heat, brush on melted butter, and pan-fry the blintzes for 2 minutes per side, until they’re crisp and golden.
When they’re all sautéed, place the pan in a 400-degree preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes, to cook the filling through. Transfer to serving plates.
|There are only eight here because one collapsed|
in the making. I ate it.
You can serve these as is, or you can add a fruit sauce or fresh fruit of your choice (blueberries or a mix of blueberries and raspberries works well). I went with a lightly-cooked blueberry compote.
Yes, dear readers, I write romance--a paranormal romance series (available in multiple e-formats). The only mystery in them is why my heroine starts seeing her dead ancestors. Luckily her boyfriend does too. BTW, I borrow a lot of my Massachusetts ancestors for this series, but I haven't met any of them face to face. Yet.