Friday, April 10, 2009

TFF - Back With Blueberry Blintzes, Baby!

I'm writing on a deadline here. Must make it to this week's Tyler Florence Fridays round-up! Ok, it's a self-imposed deadline really, because what's the worst that can happen - it'll just get featured next week, no harm done. But, giving myself a deadline tricks my brain into working overtime, and it gives me an adrenaline rush!

Here's an interesting (if completely off-topic ... but what's new there?!) tidbit for you. I take it that most of you have been keeping abreast of the Pirates vs. The World drama going on, off the Horn of Africa? Well, I used to work for that shipping company, Maersk, whose vessel our brave captain was manning when he was taken hostage. As a matter of fact, I joined the company right after graduating from university. And they were good to me! No ex-boss bashing here (sorry)! I left a few years ago because of personal circumstances, so there's no bad blood. I was even fortunate enough to spend a week on one those giant cargo vessels (scrubbing the deck yarrrrrrrrr ... no, I'm kidding! It was more like hanging out with the crew and watching Titanic in the common room). That experience was one of the highlights of my life (no, not movie watching with the crew .. being on the ship .. not that I didn't enjoy chillin' with the boys ... oh ferget it!). What I do know is that they really prize their ship captains and crew. So my feeling is that the top guns in the company are probably pulling all the strings to rescue the captain of the Maersk Alabama. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and sending out positive thoughts for him and his family.

Okay! Phew! Glad I got that off my chest. Back to Tyler's Blueberry Blintzes. Two words for all you Tyler fans out there - MAKE IT! I was going through a dry patch with Tyler. Everything was rosy, with one recipe after another being a complete success. I started to think that Tyler would always pull through for me. Then I tried his Chicken Francese ... and we had our first falling out. I know I know, every relationship is different - some of you have been very happy with Tyler's Chicken Francese. But for some reason, which I haven't yet figured out, it just didn't work for me. There were some harsh words exchanged, and feelings were hurt. But (and here's the good news), like most successful long-term relationships, Tyler and I have moved past that event and we're back on track! Don't you just love happy endings?

Blueberry Blintzes (original Tyler recipe on Food Network's website)
Serves 5

Ingredients for Crepe Batter:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cold water
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for sauteing the crepes
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Ingredients for Cheese Filling:
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 lemon, zested and finely grated
1 egg

Ingredients for Blueberry Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 pints blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 lemon, juiced

For the crepes: Combine the milk, water, eggs, flour, salt and sugar in a blender. Blend on medium speed for 15 seconds, until the batter is smooth and lump-free. Scrape down the sides of the blender and pour in 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Blend it again for a second just to incorporate. Refrigerate the batter for 1 hour to let it rest. If the crepes are made immediately, they have a tendency to be rubbery; when you let the batter rest, the crepes have a better texture and a softer bite.

For the cheese filling: In a food processor, combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, and egg and blend until smooth. Chill the filling to firm it up a bit so it doesn't squirt out of the blintzes.
For the blueberry sauce: Combine the butter, blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring up to a low boil and stir gently until the berries break down and release their natural juices. The consistency should remain a bit chunky. It will thicken up when it cools down slightly.
Making the crepes: Put an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat and brush with a little melted butter for added assurance. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and swirl it around so it covers the bottom evenly. Cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until the crepe batter sets; then flip it and cook another 30 seconds. The crepes should be pliable, not crisp, and lightly brown. Slide them onto a platter and continue making the crepes until all the batter is used. Cover the stack of crepes with a damp towel to keep them from drying out. This makes 10 crepes.
Assembly: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spoon 1/4 cup of the cheese filling along the lower third of the crepe. Fold the bottom edge away from you to just cover the filling; then fold the 2 sides in to the center. Roll the crepe away from you a couple of times to make a package, ending with the seam side down.
Ewwww, I hate chipped polish! But that's what I live with, people.
Put an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Brush with melted butter. Pan-fry the blintzes for 1 min per side until crisp and golden.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes so the egg in the filling cooks slightly and the cheese sets. Using a spatula, transfer the blintzes to serving plates. Spoon the blueberry sauce on top, dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve right away.

Verdict: Blintzes are great for breakfasts and brunches. What you can do, to cut down on all the prep time, is make the cheese filling and blueberry sauce the night before. Make the batter in the morning, then go do something else for an hour while it rests (take a shower, get out of those comfy-ugly pajamas, watch an early morning talk show, or just get a few more precious moments of sleep). If you have someone to help, one of you can make the crepes, while the other starts assembling them into neat little packages - goes much faster. The recipe is wonderful, and I didn't find any faults with it. It's just that there are a lot of steps. But Tyler's girls aren't intimidated by something like that, are we?


NKP said...

These look so good, maybe I will make them for Easter brunch. Thanks for cooking with us, you are awesome!

Donna-FFW said...

These sound fantastic, and they look absolutely delicious!! I will have to add them to one of my round up weeks, missed this week:)..

Sweetie Pie said...

I love blintzes, and these are gorgeous. The recipe sounds delicious, and I think that this is one of those things that you eat first with your eyes. So beautiful!

I too have positive thoughts for the captain and his family. I've been reading quite a bit about the pirate situation over the past few months, and there don't seem to be a lot of easy answers for solving the bigger problem. For now, I am just hoping that they get the captain home safe.

How cool that you got hang out on one of the big boats?!

Have a great weekend! :-)

test it comm said...

Those blintzes look so good!

Varsha Vipins said...

I loved this n so wanted to try..but I dunno if I could get my lazy self to fight throught that long process..:p..They look like a success Muneeba.. N I liked the happy ending..:) ..Hope you hub knows who TF is n what you are talking about..:D..

Kim said...

These look so good!! I love blueberry desserts and your blintzes turned out so perfect. I wanna come over and eat some : )

Deb in Hawaii said...

Glad you and Tyler resolved your differences and made such beautiful blintzes together! ;-) So good to have you back at TFF!

natalia said...

Ciaao ! this recipe sounds great ! OK I'll make it !Hope Ozzie is better

Unknown said...

I've never made blintzes, but this could change my mind! They look mah-velous!

Michelle said...

I read this recipe a few weeks and wondered if I should try it or not. I'm not very good with making crepes. But now with your tutorial, I think I will be fine.

Gorgeous dish!

Doppelganger said...

I spy with my little eye, someone with perfectly manicured nails! :)

Your stay on one of those big boats sounds like a wonderful experience and the first time I saw the news about the Pirates who took the boat and saw Maersk emblazoned on its side, I thought of you! I thought of the captain and his family too, but for me you and Maersk are forver synonymous. Just like you and TF are becoming synonymous too! :D This looks like a fun recipe to make (if I ever have the time for it!) and looks absolutely gorgeous!

I do have to complement you on your wonderful creative use of language! Funny, expressive, very alive, and reminiscient of a chat with a dear old friend!

Jenny said...

I can't remember if I've ever even had a blintz like this before, but these look like they would also make a great dessert. Have to try them soon.

Suparna said...

Hi Muneeba,
Am glad abt the happy ending :)
The blintzes look so rich and yumm..right! would be great for brunch. the blueberry sauce is so tempting...n jammy! loved the look of the combo.
Have a fun weekend!

Anonymous said...

i can't wait to make these, and i hope mine turn out at least half as beautiful as yours! glad you and tyler made up. :)

Foodiewife said...

I want to hug, squeeze you! Thank you! Blintzes are my favorite breakfast of all time, but I've been too afraid to make these. There's a restaurant where I live (Carmel, CA) that makes THE best blintzes. Thanks to you, I am going to make these for Easter. Yep, that's final. I cannot wait! Only, I'm going for strawberry blintzes. Thank you!

Muneeba said...

Natashya & Deb, I'm SO glad to be back with my TFF girls! Tyler knows how to kiss n make-up ;) ... lemme know if you try out these blintzes for Easter!
Donna, girl ... I can't wait for a future TFF post from you abt these blintzes - bet your experience will be much more fun to read :D
Sweetie Pie, thks so much for the compliments! And yeah, it is a really complicated situation ... let's hope for good news for the captain's family at least.
Thks Kevin!
Varsha, am I glad that somebody's thinking abt poor DH of mine! ;) hahaha ... that really made me smile ... trust me, he knows all abt my shenanigans!
Thks Kim!!
Natalia, Ozzy is doing MUCH better (no barfing in the last 3 days, yayyyyy)! Thks for asking :)
Rosebear ... I like the way you said "mah-velous" ... can I use that?!
Michelle, you'll do more than fine with this recipe ... because, guess what? This was my first time making crepes too!
Shai, my girl, my buddy ... I'm so glad we found each other :))) .. the universe works in mysterious ways! Btw, I kinda still wish I was with Maersk ... they were a good company.
Jenny, yes, pls do give these a shot, even if it's as a dessert.
Suparna, thks! Yeah, I let that blueberry sauce cook for longer than I should've ... but hey, who doesn't love blueberry jam?!
Karen, Thank You!
Debby, strawberry blintzes sound AWESOME! And you're very welcome ... I know how you feel, sometimes I just wanna HUG my fellow foodies too, 'coz it's like they've read my mind when they post a particular recipe!!

unconfidentialcook said...

LOVE blintzes, and these looks so delicious. The blueberry sauce is the perfect finishing touch--yummo!

Anonymous said...

Blintzes are our family's all time favorite! I love the blueberry sauce with them!

Jamie said...

I have wanted to make blitzes for years and never have! Your blueberry blintzes look gorgeous and just perfect.

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

MMMMMM....Muneeba! They look georgously delicious! Yum Yum yum!!!

Yasmeen said...

I'm sure Tyler will be impressed.I'm drooling over for the generous serving of blueberry sauce,Yummy!

Resh said...

blintzes are my very favorite and these look amazing! thanks for the post :)

Foodiewife said...

I made these! I gave you a shout!
I'm so glad that you inspired me to try these. They're a lot of work, but well worth it.