Happy Father’s Day! My dad was up from Florida to visit for Father’s Day, and I said he could have whatever he wanted to eat. He said for breakfast he wanted Crepes Suzette. I said that was a dessert, but he insisted as it is his favourite, so, hey, why not? Crepes Suzette for breakfast it was. I was too busy flying around the kitchen to photograph these.
For dinner he wanted ribs. Not being the best at preparing ribs I got my brother involved in this project. He loves ribs but is against the boiling of the ribs in water method used by many prior to cooking - “…it makes the meat fall off the bone easily, but I like to chew the meat when eating ribs.” So with his assistance, we lit up the barbie and did racks of ribs for dad.
Ribs for dad on Father’s Day, photographed on my kitchen counter coming out of the oven at the four hour mark.
The rib method used: cook the ribs covered in foil for 3 hours at 325F. Then remove cover, baste with sauce, and cook at 350F for one hour uncovered, keeping your eye on them. After that, transfer to the outdoor grill preheated to 450F for 2 minutes per side to finish. We made slaw to go with these using a Napa cabbage, and fresh parsley from my herb garden, and a baked potato with sour cream and chives from my herb garden. Dad was thrilled with it all and said it was the best Father’s Day he could wish for.
If I ever have kids one day, I hope the little nippers will make me a great meal for Father’s Day too (I won’t pick ribs, but you get the idea). If Emma and I ever had kids I wonder what they’d look like - probably handsome, dashing, beautiful - the Cary Grant and Grace Kelly of their generation no doubt haha. I’ve heard there are computer programs that do composites, but I prefer to leave that up to my imagination. In my mind, they would be perfect. Well, the important thing today was that I (and my brother) had a happy dad with a belly full of ribs. A cheer for the dads of the world!
My crepes Suzette recipe, in case you’re interested, I took from “The Joy of Cooking” (Irma S. Rombauer, Scribner, 1975). It is a good one to write down and I will vouch that each time the crepes are delicious:
"Henri Charpentier, a young chef at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo in the nineteenth century, is said to have invented this dessert by accident. One day when he was composing a complicated crepe sauce for his patron, Albert, Prince of Wales, the cordials accidentally caught fire, and he thought both he and his sauce were ruined. Quickly he plunged the crepes into the boiling liquid, added more of the cordials, and let the sauce flame again. The dish was a triumph. Below is an approximation of Henri’s crepe batter and sauce. The easiest way to make the sauce for the crepes Suzette is in a large skillet in the kitchen; it can then be transferred to a chafing dish in the dining room so that when the last bit of warmed brandy is ladled over the crepes and set aflame, no one will miss a thing."
Place in a large skillet or chafing dish over medium heat:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 1 small orange (optional)
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to melt the sugar, then continue to boil until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in:
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons Cognac
Return to a boil and boil for 30 seconds. One by one, place in the sauce:
12 basic sweet crepes (see recipe for those below)
Allow each one to heat through and soak up some sauce (about 15 seconds). Using tongs, fold the crepe into quarters, so that it forms a ruffle-edged triangle with the brownest side out, and transfer it to a warmed dessert plate. Arrange 2 crepes on each plate so that they overlap each other slightly in the centre. Continue heating and arranging the crepes. When you are ready to serve, pour a little of the remaining sauce over the crepes. Then heat in a sauce pan until warm 1/2 a cup of Grand Marnier. Spoon it over the crepes, and, standing well back [so as not to become a human torch!] ignite with a long wooden match. Serve still flaming.
[Note: only ignite the sauce in a metal chafing dish or large metal skillet - not in a Teflon-coated frying pan. Always keep a kitchen fire-extinguisher nearby when making this just in case - I do, though I’ve never had to use it]
To makes the basic sweet crepes:
Combine in a blender until smooth:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
Pour the batter into a pitcher or other container with a pouring lip. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 2 days this allows the flour to thoroughly absorb the liquid and gives the gluten in the flour a chance to relax). [Hint: I usually put in the refrigerator for 1 hour prior to use].
Place a non-stick or seasoned crepe pan over a medium heat. Coat the pan with a little unsalted butter.
Stir the batter and pour about 2 tablespoons into the pan, lifting the pan off the heat and tilting and rotating it so that the batter forms an even, very thin layer. Cook until the top is set and the underside is golden. Turn the crepe over, using a spatula or your fingers (fingers work best here) and cook until the second side is lightly browned. Remove the crepe to a piece of wax paper. Continue cooking the rest of the crepes, buttering the pan and stirring the batter before starting each one. Stack the finished crepes between pieces of waxed paper. Use immediately or let cool, wrap airtight, and freeze for up to 1 month [Hint: use immediately]
Okay, that is all for today. Check back tomorrow for more.