Tasty yummy eggy things!
September 14, 2005 9:46 AM   Subscribe

I want to make delicious crepes and omelets! What are your favorite fillings and combinations, and what's the best pan to use?

I like crepes and omelets, and I eat a lot of them (especially omelets, which I make for breakfast almost every morning). I've been experimenting with different fillings. So far I have:

ham and cheese (green onions optional)
plain cheese of various varieties
spinach and feta
spinach and ricotta and parmesan
brie and pears/apples
sharp cheddar and pears/apples

But I want to spice things up! I want my crepes and omelets to go "Bam!" So what are your favorite filling suggestions? Bonus points for fillings that work for both crepes and omelets, but anything that you find tasty and delicious would be grand. I have no prejudices against any food group or type of cuisine; I'll try any wacky combination you can hand me (if there's something you don't quite dare to put together in your own kitchen, I'll be your guinea pig and report back). I just want them to be yummy!

I prefer omelets to not have stuff stuck in the egg itself (so it's basically an eggy crepe wrapped around filling, rather than having onions or something stirred into the egg). And I usually make these in the morning before work, so it'd be nice if there's not tons of prepwork involved (or if the prepwork can be done the night before). But hey, I'm flexible.

A related question: what are your favorite pans to use for this type of cooking? I'm looking for specifics ("I love my Cuisinart stainless steel 12-inch skillet"...etc.) I've read this thread, and I'm interested in stainless steel or cast iron. I don't want aluminum or nonstick surfaces (although I've been using a nonstick pan up until this point, I'd like to replace it--I really don't like the health implications of aluminum and nonstick). I don't have any issues with using as much butter or olive oil is necessary to keep things moving, and it'd be nice if the pan in question is <$50.
posted by fuzzbean to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My wife occasionally makes crepes for the crowd. When she does it, it's a fruit-filled affair with a light cream (I'd say whipped cream, but that would be wrong, it's heavier than that).
posted by thanotopsis at 10:00 AM on September 14, 2005

Crepes aren't made by their filling alone. If you haven't been making savory crepes for the dinner variety, you're missing out. The recipe I have at home uses buckwheat flour, though I'm sure there are other varieties out there...

My favorite crepe vehicle is the Tibos electric crepe maker - totally even heat distribution, smooth surface for raking them across - it's the same type as the ones the street creperies use in France. They also have a cast iron commercial version, but they are way not below $50.

As for fillings you've listed all my favorites that aren't dessert. If you're looking for dessert don't forget butter/sugar, lemon/sugar, and strawberry and surgar or chocolate. Thanotopsis might be referring to creme fraiche, possibly?

I know absolutely nothing about omeletes.
posted by whatzit at 10:04 AM on September 14, 2005

Mix some Pesto in with your omelet eggs. Toss in some artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, diced tomato, and cheese.
posted by onhazier at 10:08 AM on September 14, 2005

Sliced bananas and chocolate chips is always a winner in the dessert category. Frankly, just some chocolate ganache spread inside a crepe is pretty damn fine.

Prosciutto and goat cheese is good, esp. with an herbed veloute sauce

Somewhere I have a recipe for a potato-sage filling that was pretty good, I'll see if I can dig it up.

I recently had a crepe in the food court at our mall which was tuna salad with honey mustard, and it was interesting.

This is a pretty good cookbook of crepe fillings and other styles of crepe batter than the traditional.
posted by briank at 10:11 AM on September 14, 2005

I've had excellent luck making a frittata (similar to an omelet but baked off in the oven after pan-cooking) with coarsely chopped lobster meat, fresh spinach, and either white cheddar or mozzarella.
posted by justonegirl at 10:16 AM on September 14, 2005

Quin family secret: malt vinegar and white sugar
posted by NinjaPirate at 10:16 AM on September 14, 2005

Add a few drops of truffle oil. Makes absolutely everything taste fantastic.
posted by skyboy at 10:43 AM on September 14, 2005

Crepe in bowl.
Ring of pineapple.
Vanilla ice cream on top of that.
posted by idiotfactory at 10:47 AM on September 14, 2005

Ham, sharp cheddar, 2 cloves sliced garlic, jalapenoes, you can't beat it.
posted by repoman at 10:52 AM on September 14, 2005

This is awesome! I want more!

whatzit and briank: if you guys have those recipes easily available, I'd love to see them...

NinjaPirate: But how?
posted by fuzzbean at 11:01 AM on September 14, 2005

Potato, Onion & Sage Crepes (from the crepe cookbook linked in my first comment):

8 crepes
1.5 lbs new potatoes
3 T. dry white wine
1 T. olive oil
2 sweet onions, chopped
1 egg
3/4 cup ricotta
1/3 cup light cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. fresh sage, minced
3 T. fresh chives, minced

Steam the potatoes until tender, 10-15 mins., slice, sprinkle with the wine and let cool. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil then sweat the onions until soft, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the egg, garlic, chives, sage, potatoes, onions, and both cheeses and mix lightly. Spoon 1/2 cup of the filling in a thin ribbon down the center of each crepe, then roll the crepes (like filling a burrito). Arrange the crepes in a 9x13" pan and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Seriously, buy that crepe cookbook.
posted by briank at 11:24 AM on September 14, 2005

Aye, aye, cap'n sir. Consider it bought. Danke.
posted by fuzzbean at 11:31 AM on September 14, 2005

You don't have anything to worry about in a Teflon coating for cooking an omelet. You're not using nearly enough heat for it to be a factor. I also wouldn't worry about aluminum intake from your omelet pan. Honestly, the health implications of butter and eggs FAR outweigh anything due to the pan. I use an Anolon nonstick for my omelets, which uses anodized aluminum instead of Teflon, and is incredible.

skyboy's truffle oil suggestion is a good one, though be mindful of what your other ingredients are. Match it with mellow, earthy flavors, not anything intense.

A general, often overlooked tip- sautee your veggies and onions (I use shallots) first, then empty them into a bowl. Then start cooking your eggs and put the ingredients back once they've set. Another tip- add a little (very little) water to your beaten eggs, not milk.

Shiitake mushrooms, IMO, are the perfect omelet mushroom, and gruyere is the perfect omelet cheese (and the perfect complement to truffles).
posted by mkultra at 11:41 AM on September 14, 2005

I tend to think of crepes purely as a dessert offering. Sliced bananas and Nutella in a crepe is my all time fav. dessert.
posted by darsh at 11:54 AM on September 14, 2005

My office building has a crepe restaurant downstairs and I simply can't resist the Nutella crepe. They spread Nutella on the crepe and then put bananas and chocolate chips in it. Yum.

You might find some inspiration from their menu.
posted by MeetMegan at 11:55 AM on September 14, 2005

I like crushed pineapple and cheddar cheese omelets. Or scallions, ham, and sundried tomatoes. Or sweet onions and ham. Always saute the onions first to bring out the sweetness.

Actually, anything I put on top of a pizza, I put into omelets.
posted by gaspode at 11:58 AM on September 14, 2005

fuzzbean: the savory crepe recipe is at home, I'm not, but I'll be sure to post it late tonight.
posted by whatzit at 12:01 PM on September 14, 2005

if you have access to freshly steamed blue crabs, there is nothing better than scrambled eggs with crab meat. This is one of my favorite foods. I like it better scrambled than in omelet form.
posted by phildog at 12:27 PM on September 14, 2005

Sorry fuzzbean, use them in the most obvious way -
1) make the crepe
2) add vinegar and sugar
3) roll then slice
4) eat
posted by NinjaPirate at 12:32 PM on September 14, 2005

One I whipped up a few months ago on a whim, and worked, was ricotta cheese with milk chocolate, covered in a fruit something or other.
-double boil the chocolate to melt
-mix into ricotta cheese until it's chocalatey enough for you
-fill crepe with chocalatey mixture of joy
-cover with frozen strawberries with that ridiculously fun frozen sauce it comes with.
posted by eurasian at 12:47 PM on September 14, 2005

I like to fry some sage leaves in the butter and then pour the egg on top of it. Sorry, I know this violates your "nothing mixed into the egg" rule but you should try it at least once.
posted by escabeche at 12:47 PM on September 14, 2005

Eat a plain crepe with salmon roe, like the Russians do. Very tasty.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:29 PM on September 14, 2005

From eGullet Culinary Institute, All About Eggs -- Omelettes and More - this is comprehensive with text description and how-to step-by-step photos. It is by far the best omlette I have ever cooked. There is also a Q & A for this particular lesson - one ... this post in particular was particuarly insightful on finishing the omlette off:

the method our "Egg Man" had learned from the George V and the Ritz Hotels in Paris ... The one thing that made every Omelet super fluffy and brought customers back again and again was quite simple and could be done everywhere. After the Eggs had set in the Pan, and the filling was put inside all the Pans were quickly placed under the Broiler for several seconds, just long enough to set and let the eggs puff up under the heat. Then they were quickly folded up into the warm platters and served.
posted by fourstar at 2:11 PM on September 14, 2005

Didn't see anyone mention it. Salsa on an omelet is quite tasty. If I'm not mistaken IHOP's "International Omelet" has salsa
posted by Justin Case at 2:40 PM on September 14, 2005

I'm a total omelette fiend, and spent two years of weekend mornings perfecting my technique, based largely on Julia Child's tips in "The Way To Cook".

When cooking the filling, pay attention to the ingredient order: onions go in first, peppers/mushrooms later (but not much later), garlic about a minute before you're done. Tomatoes go in just long enough to heat them up and get some of the excess water content out. Shallots are great, but not as...hardy?...as onions, so don't saute the crap out of 'em. Do you have an herb garden? Fresh herbs in an omelette make a world of difference. Stuff like thyme and rosemary I'll toss in while the filling's cooking, but things like parsley and tarragon I'll add right before serving.

I use actual butter to saute the ingredients in, then switch to ghee/clarified butter to cook the omelette. (burned butter = bad) You do want the pan to be fairly hot; theoretically it shouldn't take more than 30 seconds to cook the eggy part. Constantly swirling the pan as you cook the eggs makes for a really nice texture...just don't go too high up the sides.

My favorite omelette filling: crimini mushrooms and shallots. Cook those up, toss them in (on) the omelette with some freshly minced tarragon. Grate some gruyere over all of it. (I call it the "French Connection". Yeah, I'm a dork.)

As for the crepes...thin slices of a tart apple, quickly sauteed in butter and cinnamon, make an awesome filling. Even better: put your rolled crepes in a baking dish, ladle a few tablespoons of bourbon over it, then set them on fire. Now that's good eatin'!
posted by Vervain at 2:42 PM on September 14, 2005

in college, we tried chocolate and norwegian cheese (i think it was just a skim-milk version of swiss cheese) as an experiment and it turned out to be quite good.
posted by clarahamster at 2:57 PM on September 14, 2005

Oh, man, people, this is good stuff. I'm going to be having little foodgasms all over the place for weeks. My tastebuds thank you (although my waistline doesn't :) ). Keep 'em coming.
posted by fuzzbean at 4:14 PM on September 14, 2005

At home, and I can't find the book with the recipe in it. The book recommended upthread is definitely a good one, and will certainly have something similar. I hope to get someone to copy out the recipe and send it to me so I can post it tomorrow...
posted by whatzit at 8:47 PM on September 14, 2005

One snickers bar sliced 1/8in.thin, one egg beat with a little liquid to make it run.Pour the egg into your pan, just before the egg cooks thru add the snickers, tilt the pan and flip the top edge of the omlette over, and roll it up in the pan, the omlette should just roll up and land on your plate.
I want to try this as a crepe,should work about the same.
posted by hortense at 10:19 PM on September 14, 2005

OK, people don't seem to be commenting about the pan, so I'll just say that the best crepe pan is the All Clad stainless. Mine is 8" and has a lip that is ideal for both crepes and omelettes. Also, it's stainless on the exterior but aluminum on the interior for best heat distribution.

Also, shallots are good for almost every omelette filling. They're delicate, so be careful.

Sometimes I like just butter and jam for a crepe filling.

By the way, you are letting the crepe batter rest for at least an hour before cooking, right? I assume so, but should any crepe neopjytes see this thread, they should know to do so.
posted by lackutrol at 10:31 PM on September 14, 2005

Now that you mention it (crepe batter, that is), I found that using regular flour worked far, FAR better for crepes than the quick-mixing stuff. Counterintuitive, but there ya go.

So far I've had good luck with both crepes and omelettes using a higher-quality nonstick 12" Farberware frying pan.
posted by Vervain at 12:10 AM on September 15, 2005

A thick bottomed pan is the key. I recently read in the NYT that with Teflon, just don't heat up an empty pan. I know that can be problematic for pre-heating, so it depends on how cautious you are. I adore my Tivoli Pro Professional Nonstick 12" pan, which is Teflon coated. I've had nothing short of disasters with pans that are not non-stick.
posted by scazza at 9:19 AM on September 15, 2005

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