National Post (Latest Edition)
Crepes worth savouring
Push your brunch boundaries with Brussels sprouts
As someone who writes about food for a living, I’m surprisingly loyal to my favourite restaurants and have to be pushed into trying new ones. For instance, I’ve been eating at Toronto’s Foxley Bistro on a regular basis since it opened almost five years ago (I’ve nailed the perfect order; email me and it’s yours). I simply love chef/owner Tom Thai’s cooking; his flavours are like a punch in the face; plus the service is warm and fluid and the room is relaxed.
But recently, Foxley has had some competition for my dining dollars in the Hoof Café, where a bonanza of a brunch includes chef Geoff Hopgood’s offensively delicious jam-filled bone marrow beignets, house-cured pastrami bacon and suckling pig eggs Benny, all amidst a tiny room done up in a French country farmhouse look. Nighttime dishes are equally addictive. (That said, get there before the end of the month, as they’re shutting down for a bit to reinvent themselves as the more fieldto-table upmarket BHCO.)
Both of these restaurants are a joy because they literally and figuratively tickle my taste buds, push my boundaries and come up with flavour combinations that I never would have imagined, not even in my most delicious dreams — including these savoury crepes from Hopgood.
HOOF CAFÉ’S CREPES WITH MUSTARD MAPLE SYRUP, HAY HAM, CRÈME FRAICHE AND FRIED BRUSSELS SPROUTS LEAVES (serves four) For crepes:
3 cups all-purpose flour 6 eggs 1½ cups milk 1½ cups water 1 tsp salt ¼ cup melted butter Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately, then blend together. Pre-cook in a nonstick pan and reserve for later. (Keep the crepes separate between sheets of parchment paper until serving time.) For mustard maple sauce: 1 cup maple syrup 3 tbsp Dijon 1 tbsp grainy mustard Mix maple and mustards and reserve for later. For ham and crème fraiche: Buy a good-quality cooked ham and heat on a griddle. Crème fraiche can also be bought. For Brussels sprouts leaves: Separate a handful of Brussels sprouts into separate leaves. Have some lemon and salt standing by. When ready to serve:
Spread some crème fraiche on the plates.
Heat the maple mustard and 2 tbsp of butter in a pan, warm crepes in a separate pan.
Griddle the ham and fry the Brussels sprouts in 350F oil until crispy. Toss the sprouts on paper towel and season with lemon juice and salt.
Plate the crepes with the ham, then spoon lots of syrup over crepes and finish with the fried sprouts.
Amy Rosen is the food editor at Canadian House & Home magazine.