Surprisingly simple to delight with retro crepes
Andre Burgener has been immersed in all things food since she took over the making of the family's lunch box sandwiches aged eight (her mom could make a mean creme brulee and a staggering souffle, but could never butter the bread all the way to the edges.
SWEET TALKING RETRO STYLE
CREPES Suzette at home. Yes, why not?
This fantastic and seldom-served delight, once such an anchor in the repertoire of fine dining establishments, is far easier to make than its legendary status would have you think.
When I was young, the thrill of ordering this flaming dish was major (I must assume it was because the heat removes most of the alcohol that we were allowed to order this at the most tender of ages). If you use good, shop-bought pancakes - and I assure you that once awash with the sauce, few humans can tell shop-bought from home-made - this takes a matter of minutes to make.
Of course, feel free to make your own pancakes from any reliable source. Flambeed crepes are just the thing to follow a bowl of unassuming mid-week vegetable soup. Indeed, they could constitute dinner.
CREPES SUZETTE FOR TWO
4 tbsp butter / 6 tbsp sugar / zest of one orange / juice of one orange / 3 tbsp triple sec / double tot cognac / 6 thin pancakes.
How: Melt butter and sugar in a large pan, letting it caramelise a little, stirring as it lightly browns.
Add orange zest and juice and triple sec. Lay pancakes in sauce, then carefully fold them each over twice, into triangles. Arrange pancakes so all are evenly and well sauced, and cook for a few minutes until hot through.
Now, provided you have a gas hob: add cognac to pan, heat for a few seconds, then tilt towards flame and set alight. Bring flaming pan to table quickly and serve up. Or: tip unflamed pancakes and sauce into deep plates, heat Cognac pronto in a ladle from underneath (by candle or lighter), and pour over once flaming.
For small children, a blob of vanilla ice cream could replace the booze.
THINGS I find depressing: car-ports made of shade netting, Carrol Boyes cutlery, fusion dim sum, and - less facetiously - the fact that everywhere I go, fishmongers and restaurants are still selling fish on the Sassi orange list, and sometimes red too.
Orange indicates that stock is probably well on the way to red if we keep grabbing it off the supermarket shelf, or that there are issues of by-catch or environmental damage. Red is illegal.
Just this week at an upmarket fishmonger in the suburbs, I photographed rock cod of dubious origin and snapper, neither of which the fishmongers deemed to be problematic.
Any doubts? Just SMS the name of the species to 079-499-8795, and in seconds the status will come back to you. Easy.