There's something about dairy

Originating is Central Europe, these thin folded quick breads (yes, breads!) are light, delicious, and versatile.

There's something about dairy photo image

Crepes, blintzes, and blinis? The recipe for all three are basically the same -- for simplicity's sake we will refer to them all as blintzes. Originating in Central Europe, these thin folded quick breads (yes, breads!) are light, delicious, and versatile. Sometimes filled and often just folded and soaking up a delicious sauce, as in a Cherries Jubilee or Bananas Foster, these multipurpose, nifty quick cakes are your best friend for brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Blintzes have a bad reputation for being difficult and fussy. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. This is a recipe so simple and delicious you can't miss. A few ingredients, a bit of planning, and you can enjoy a delicious Mother's Day brunch, Shavuot lunch, or savory and oh so French dinner -- all with the same recipe.

Bonus! Blintzes can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for one month. Ooh la la!

I have included some filling recipes, but don't stop there. Make your own family favorites and be sure to get the kids in the kitchen. Cooking together is a great way to spend Mother's Day and the holiday.

For the Blintzes

*Yields 11 nine-inch blintzes

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (plus more for buttering pan)
1¼ cups whole milk (this will yield a tender blintze)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (omit if making savory blintzes)
4 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
A good pinch of kosher or sea salt

  1. Whisk together butter, milk, vanilla, eggs, flour, and salt in a bowl or pulse in a blender. A few lumps remaining in the batter are fine. Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Heat a 9-10 inch pan (prefer non-stick variety for less headaches!) over medium heat. Once hot, brush the pan with butter and add ¼ cup of batter to the pan. Tilt the pan to spread the batter and once the bottom the pan is covered, let it sit for about 2 minutes.
  3. Check for light browning by gently sliding a spatula under the crepe and lifting it slightly.
  4. Once lightly browned, slide a spatula under the crepe and flip it over, or, use your finger to gently flip it (it is not THAT hot!).
  5. Cook on the other side for about 30 seconds and turn the crepe onto a plate.
  6. Continue making blintzes and piling them on top of each other.
  7. To serve filled crepes: preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  8. Dollop several tablespoons of filling in the center of a blintze. Gather the bottom (side closest to you) and draw it to the center. Draw the top to the center and then fold the sides to the center, slightly overlapping. Place seam side down in a pan.
  9. To serve unfilled: Fold blintzes into handkerchief triangles, kind of loose and pretty. Dollop toppings on the blintze and serve.

Some Filling Ideas...

Smashed Berry Filling

This is a great project for little hands. Everyone can help make brunch for Mom or blintzes for the holiday.

1 cup softened cream cheese
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup fresh blueberries or raspberries
1 tablespoon honey

Using a potato masher or large spoon, mash cream cheese, berries, and honey together until a thick and all berries are incorporated.

Sweetened Ricotta Cheese and Lemon

2 cups ricotta cheese
¼ cup honey
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Stir together ricotta, honey, and lemon zest and juice.

Nutella and Sprinkles

2 cups softened Nutella

No words necessary here!

Savory Mushroom and Shallot

Extra virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
3 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup grated Swiss or gruyere cheese, or your favorite cheese

  1. Heat a medium sauté pan, lightly coated with olive oil, over medium high heat.
  2. Sauté mushrooms, salting lightly, until edges are beginning to caramelize and turn golden brown. Add shallots and garlic and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes until shallots have softened.
  3. Transfer mushrooms to a mixing bowl and stir in cheese. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Cool before filling blintzes.

Mom likes vegetables and wants you to eat them too! This recipe requires a bit more prep, but Mom is soooo worth it.

6 Roma (small and very dense tomatoes), sliced in half lengthwise
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
1 small eggplant
½ red pepper, sliced thinly
3 tablespoons sliced fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F; line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Drizzle tomatoes and onion slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast tomatoes for 30 minutes until wrinkled and lightly browned.
  3. Generously drizzle remaining vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add veggies to the pan with tomatoes and onions and continue roasting for another 20-30 minutes until lightly browned and caramelized.
  4. Transfer veggies to a bowl and add basil and parsley.
  5. Cool before filling crepes.

Laura Frankel is a kosher chef and Director of Catering at The Standard Club. Previously, she was the Culinary Director for Jamie Geller's Test Kitchens and Kosher Network International. Frankel is the author of two Jewish cookbooks -- Jewish Cooking for All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes (Agate Publishing) -- with a third book forthcoming. She is the founder of Shallots Restaurants in Chicago, Skokie, and New York, and served as Executive Chef for Wolfgang Puck.

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