I do not think blintzes need any introduction. They are loved in many families. I make them once a week since my boys really like blintzes with different fillings. Our favorite fillings are ground meet, fruits (which makes them crepes), cheese or just plain raspberry jam and honey.
While there may be a lot of blintz recipes out there, this recipe is special to me, because I learned it from our childhood nanny. She was a chubby, sweet old lady and her personality was so pleasantly infectious. She prepared delicious meals and was dedicated in making everything right. We would sit for hours in the kitchen and talk about anything and everything in the world. The last time I saw her, was before we moved to our new house about 10 years ago… She cried and cried, because she couldn’t move to the new place with us. We cried and we still cry, as we lost her out of our sight for good. My dad went back to her house to look for her, but he never found her. Our memory of her now lives in this simple, but heartwarming breakfast treat. Every time I make blintzes, amazing memories of nanny Lyuba come gushing through my thoughts.
- 4 cups (1L) of warm milk (any kind of milk is fine)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2,5 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 8 oz of ground beef
- 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1 large onion minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cumin
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 egg
- little butter (optional)
Crack the eggs into the warm milk, add the baking soda, sugar and salt.
Whisk everything well with a help of a mixer. Add the flour and give a nice whisk so that everything is mixed well.
Add the oil but do not whisk it.
Grab a ladle and give the dough a toss. Here is how the batter should look. I highly recommend following this recipe to the T if you want to have the right consistency for the batter. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile you can prepare the meat filling.
Heat the skillet on medium high, add the oil and add the meat.
Immediately put the minced/chopped onions on top. Meat and onions should cook at the same time. Add the spices and salt. Mix it well. After frying for a good 5 minutes, add the water and turn down the heat to medium low. Close the lid and let the filling rest for 20 minutes.
When the 20 minutes are up , in a small bowl whisk one egg with just a little bit of water. Add it to the meat and mix very well to evenly spread the egg. Turn the heat off and close the lid of the skillet. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
For cooking the crepes, it is ideal to have the crepe pans. They are very easy to use and the process goes much faster. But if you do not have one, you can use your non stick pans or cast iron pans in 9 inch or slightly bigger sizes. Grease the pan slightly and heat it on medium heat (5). Keep the same temperature for the time. Give the batter nice mix before starting to cook it. Once the pan is nicely warm, hold the pan in one hand and using the ladle, pour the the batter evenly over the bottom of the pan. My ladle measures 1/2 cup. I approximately pour 1/3 of the ladle. Keep in mind, if your batter sticks to the bottom of the pan, you will need to slightly grease the pan up after each crepe. Also keep mixing the batter time to time in order to prevent the flour to settle in the bottom of the bowl.
Once the sides of the crepes turn slightly brown and start getting unstuck on the sides of the pan (happens pretty quickly), flip them to the other side, remove the crepes in 10-20 seconds. I usually use my bare fingers. Some like to use spatulas. These crepes are very delicate (so are you fingers). Use caution and, of course, use the method which best suites your purpose.
If you are using butter, cut a small piece of it and spread it thinly over each crepes while they are still warm. I keep the butter close to the stove. That’s how I manage to spread butter over each crepe right after they are done.
Spread one spoon full of meat filling in the middle of the crepe, press it gently, fold the sides and roll forward.
Enjoy them warm with a cup of hot tea! You can also roll fruits and whipped cream into the crepes and enjoy them that way. Whichever rocks your boat that nice weekend morning, fulfill your desire :)