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Palascinta - crepes

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Rod Franklin View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 April 2013 at 15:52
Here's another one I grew up with and just made a few minutes ago. These have been on the table often throughout my life, usually Sunday, but often enough a savory dinner item to be eaten with gulyas or some other stew. Eating these things is like getting a hug from your Grandma. Well, a hug from my Grandma anyway. She gave good hugs.

Makes about a dozen

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk (more or less)
1 pinch of salt
1 cup AP flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter - melted, and more for the pan
1 scant teaspoon sugar

Put a 7" non-stick pan on about medium low to low heat.

In a bowl whisk the eggs, 1/2 cup of the milk and the salt. Whisk in the flour till it's real smooth, then add the sugar, the butter and the rest of the milk. Whisk it real good to make it smooth and running like cream.

Set up the bowl of batter with a large spoon and the butter and a brush next to the pan. On the other side of the pan have a warm plate. The heat should be kind of low. Better too low than too high. I shoot for a little too high while warming the pan and let it cool slightly to the right temp just before I'm ready to go. You want the pan thoroughly and evenly heated. It's important.



Brush the bottom of the pan with a little butter, then pour a spoonful of batter in the center of the pan. If your stove top is level (it is level, isn't it?) it should just flow out to the edge of the curve. No need to roll the pan around.



Allow it to cook till the top surface just dries. Maybe 2 minutes. Then use a sharp edged silicone spatula wiped with a little butter to flip it over. Allow it to cook for several seconds then just flip the pan over the warm plate you have nearby to deposit the finished crepe on the plate.



Notice these things are NOT BROWN! If they have even a hint of brown on them you have made them wrong and obviously the heat is too high or you've let them sit in the pan too long. Wipe butter and sprinkle sugar on those failures and eat them before anyone sees what you have done! Adjust heat/timing till you get it right. Like this:



Pale is what you want. Now you have a world of options to choose from. I chose to use some very fresh ricotta cheese mixed with cinnamon and sugar. Rolled up and brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar.



Cottage cheese instead of ricotta would have been the go to filling of my youth then topped with dollops of sour cream. Blueberries, raspberries etc. Or the rolls layered in a casserole with a little cream spooned over and baked. Hell, these things are good with gravy. Use you imagination and go get a hug from your Grandma.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 April 2013 at 16:44
Wow! Talk about a blast from the past.

Palascinta was the first Hungarian dish I'd ever had. My relationship with Friend Wife (who is of Hungarian extraction) had reached the serious courting stage, and I was invited to eat with her family at the Budapest Restaurant, which was on New York's upper East Side, at the time.

I know I had a full meal. But mostly what I remember is the palascinta with sour cherry preserves.

Thanks for sparking that memory, Rod.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 April 2013 at 17:10
Glad I could stir some fond memories. Pictures will do that. I'll bet your wife remembers them and the whole meal fondly too.

These things make an impression on people. I can't recall anyone NOT liking them. Michigan is a great sour cherry producing state. In fact there was an orchard not far away. Almost any preserve is good with these. Eggy and soft. A little buttery with just a light tooth to them. These qualities make these a very versatile foundation to wherever your imagination will take you. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote africanmeat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 April 2013 at 22:42
love it looks yummy  .
thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 April 2013 at 08:11
very nice, rod - these are another one that i've been wanting to try. i really like that ricotta, cinnamon and sugar idea ~
 
a beautiful pictorial and perfect-looking palascinta ~ thank you for posting it! Star
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 April 2013 at 10:14
Rod,
 
Lovely Pictorial, and thank you for posting. We are in Cherry Season ...
Your crepès look delicious ... I believe they would be a wonderful Sunday Brunch 11am - 12pm.
 
Designation of Origin: Valle de Jerte, Extremadura, 3 hours southwest.
 
Hope you had a lovely
Easter.
Margaux.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DIYASUB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 April 2013 at 18:33
Pot cheese filling
(Turos Toltelek)
 
Sweetened pot cheese (or small curd cottage cheese) makes delicious filling for palacsinta.The palacsinta should be arranged in a single layer in shallow baking dishes and heated through just before serving. one pound of cheese will yeild enough filling for 18 palacsinta.
 
1 pound pot cheese or small curd cottage cheese
3 eggs, seperated
1/2 cup sifted vanilla confectioners sugar
grated rind of 1lemon (1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons)
3/4 cup of yellow seedless raisins
3/4 cup of sour cream
3 tablespoons buttermilk
 
Lightly butter shallow oval or oblong dishes (as many as you need to hold all the palacsinta rolls in one layer).
Strain the cheese and force it through a potato ricer. Mix well with the egg yolks, confectioners sugar, and lemon rind. Stir in the raisins.
Beat the three egg whites until stiff and fold them in.
Spread some of the filling on each palacsinta. Roll it, and place it in a baking dish.
Thin the sour cream with the buttermilk, wisk it with a fork, and spread it on the palacsinta rolls.
Half an hour before serving, place in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 April 2013 at 18:48
Thanks for all the great replies. DIYASUB, that looks mighty fancy and good tasting. Have you done that recipe before?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DIYASUB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 April 2013 at 20:07
Hey Rod!
 Although I got lazy and copied that out of a book, it truely is a twin to the recipe that my grandmother handed down to me and that I've been using all my life. I also sometimes just fill the palacsinta with the same lekvar or apricot filling that we use for cookies.
 There's also a recipe for a ham filling to turn the palacsinta into a dinner, but I dont have it close at hand. I've got a number of Hungarian cookbooks that I'll have to go through to find that one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 April 2013 at 23:30
The ham filling sounds very lovely. Iberian acorn fed air dried aged ham would be loveely or Prosciutto.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2013 at 07:46
These recipes come from Bennett and Clark's The Art of Hungarian Cooking

First, because we've been discussing it, comes

Rakott Sonkaspalacsinta
(Layered Ham Pancakes)

1 recipe palacsinata pancakes
1 lb chopped boiled ham
2 egg yolks
1 cup sour cream

Combine the ham, egg yolks, and cream. Place a freshly baked pancake on a buttered baking dish; spread with 1 tablespoon of filling, and repeat until you have many layers. Only the top cake should be buttered. Place in a moderate oven (350F) until filling is set, usually about 20 minutes. Cut pie fashion and serve hot.

A variation of this is

Kirantott Sonkaspalacsinta
(Fried Ham Pancakes)

This is a crispy entrée. Make the palacsinta extra thin for rolling. Spread 1 tablespoon of the hame filling on ech. Roll up and tuck in ends. Lightly beat 2 egg whites or 1 whole egg. Dip rolled cakes first in egg, then in flour, again in eggs, and finally in bread crumbs. Fry in deep fat until crust is light brown. Serve at once.

Finally, comes this one, which we'll be having for tonight's dinner:

Gombaval Toltott Palacinta
(Mushroom-Filled Pancakes)

Plain pancakes
1 1/2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
2 tbls butter
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg, slightly beaten

Brown mushrooms in butter; cool slightly, then combine with the salt and pepper, sour cream, and egg. Using this filling, proceed as for Layered Ham Pancakes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote africanmeat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2013 at 08:06
Thanks for the recipes 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2013 at 09:26
Sky's the limit! You folks have offered the opportunity to bring a level of fine and fancy to these humble things that I have never experienced.

I've only had them plain, rolled with simple fillings and an even simpler topping, or filled, layered, topped and baked. I remember having them with mushrooms inside. I don't recall ham, but really, these things can be used a lot of different ways.

I remember having many of them just wiped lightly with butter and sprinkled with sugar and then into my lunch bag to take to school. The other kids were eating twinkies or peanut butter cookies, and I was eating these. Exactly like the ones pictured above.

They're like Hungarian tortillas. They go with everything!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2013 at 09:51
Just finished making the crepes, using Rod's recipe. I have to say this is the best of several recipes I've tried, and will be my go-to version in the future.

Which just proves, once again, that tried-and-true family recipes are the way to go when preparing ethnic dishes.

Thank you, Rod, for posting it.

As I made them a couple of thoughts occurred to me, for those who have never made crepes. Don't hesitate to try them, they're not as difficult as some "authorities" make out. But keep these things in mind:

1. Batter. As you mix the batter you're going to think it's too thin. Such is not the case. Most recipes say "the consistency of cream." Maybe so. But a little thinner than that won't hurt, and will help the batter fill the pan properly.

2. Cooking time. If you normally use a timer for things, forget it! These are very thin, and very eggy, and cook quickly. They'll likely be in the pan closer to a minute than two. So the only way to know when they're done is to monitor them. As Rod said, as soon as the top surface is dry, it's time to flip them.

3. As with all pancakes (and waffles, come to think of it) the first one will not work. Don't worry about it. In fact, the way it fails will tell you what sort of adjustments you need to make....batter thickness, cooking time, heat of pan, amount of butter in the pan, etc.

4. Maybe it's just me, but I've always found it difficult to actually flip a crepe using a spatula. What I do, instead, is lift the edge of the crepe with a spatula, then lift and turn it with my fingers. As with all things culinary, you do what works best for you.

5. How much batter to use is always a question. It will vary, pan to pan and thickness of the batter. In my pan, 3 tablespoons of batter worked perfectly, and you might use that as a starting point.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2013 at 09:58
Originally posted by DIYASUB DIYASUB wrote:

Hey Rod!
 Although I got lazy and copied that out of a book, it truely is a twin to the recipe that my grandmother handed down to me and that I've been using all my life. I also sometimes just fill the palacsinta with the same lekvar or apricot filling that we use for cookies.
 There's also a recipe for a ham filling to turn the palacsinta into a dinner, but I dont have it close at hand. I've got a number of Hungarian cookbooks that I'll have to go through to find that one.


   Delicious sounding DIY!

   I've made a version of your ham recipe using prosciutto, fresh torn basil and parmigiano that turns out nicely.

   Rod, I...my family...and the guys at work are all fond of crepes...in many of its forms.  Thanks for posting the recipe, pictorial...and the inspiration for all these ideas!

   I'll also sometimes make a fruit reduction and either wrap inside...or put on top.  Then dust with powder sugar...or maybe a dollop of a nice double cream or clotted cream.

  Yum!

 Dan

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2013 at 11:02
Brought a tear to the old Franklins eye... Glad you like them. I've been meaning to take pictures of this process for a long time. The stars just never lined up the many times these were made in the past. I'm glad I finally did it and I'm glad you found it a good thing. Enjoy!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2013 at 06:40
So, here's a final report on the Gombaval Toltott Palacinta.

Making the filling is the heart of simplicity. Chopped, browned mushrooms, sour cream, and an egg. What could be easier?

The problem is there isn't enough of it following the recipe. Most palacsinta recipes make a dozen crepes. I was hard pressed to stretch it to use 8 of them. So next time I'll use at least 2 cups of mushrooms, and up the amount of sour cream appropriately.

While the dish is OK as it is, I thought it a bit bland. So departed from the recipe and made a paprikash sauce to accompany it. The combination was ideal; and certainly kept within the spirit, if not the letter, of Hungarian cooking.

The recipe, as printed, will serve four as a main dish or six as a first course or tapas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2013 at 07:28
Brook,

Thank you for posting your ham filled Hungarian crepès and all your tips for success ... How true about the 1st crepè !!!  



Lovely and easy recipe, thank you and Rod. 


I have to sub cremè fraîche for the sourcream. 

I shall pick up some air dried Dehuesa designation air dried acorn fed ham ... or Serrano which is designation Salamanca, Castilla León for these before month´s  ending ... And take a few fotos. 


Sour cream is a rare commodity outside of North America, Mexico and The U.K. 

Thanks again, Have nice Sunday.
Margaux. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2013 at 09:56
Rod - my sincere thanks and gratitude - I absolutely love it when a pictorial sparks discussion like this, and even moreso when it inspires members to try it. Your pictorial is truly another "anchor post" for this forum! Clap
 
Many thanks to Brook and Bill for the additional comments, notes and ideas. Brook, I may have an addition to your list of things to keep in mind; I've been told (not sure if it is true) that when making crêpes (or, in this case, palascinta), it is helpful to allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes or so, in order to contribute to a more-velvety texture - can you confirm or deny the truth of this?
 
Margi - in addition to North America, Mexico and the UK, sour cream is used quite a bit in countries of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, the western parts of the old Russian Empire etc. As you go farther south, toward the Greece and the Asia Minor, it seems that yogurt becomes the norm, so if you have no access to sour cream, you might try Greek yogurt as a subsitute ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2013 at 10:01
Tas. Greek Yogurt could be lovely with fruit. I w...ould like to prepare with Iberian Ham. Thanks Tas.
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