The mesh sieve is for sifting your flour to make sure your crepes are light and lump-free. Mesh sieves are very useful in the kitchen as they can ensure your sauces, soups, sorbets, coulis, etc. are smooth and silky. You can also use it for rinsing dry grains or bean, or draining soaked nuts.
The skillet is where you'll cook the crepes, and cast iron is my favorite cooking medium: it conducts heat well so that food can cook evenly, it's durable as long as you treat it well, it takes on the best flavors and imparts them back into your food, it's naturally non-stick if it's well-seasoned, without being toxic (unlike Teflon....), and can be really inexpensive if it's a bare bones style. Of course, there are also the high-end enameled pieces of cast iron like Le Creuset which are pricey, but definitely worth it....they're just not for everything. While Le Creuset makes a crepe pan, I think it's unnecessary if you have a small kitchen or a tight budget.
The silicone brush enables you to keep your hot crepe pan well lubricated without having to worry about melting the bristles. I'll admit I was skeptical when I first saw the thick, rubbery bristles of a silicone brush. I though, "How in the world is that thing supposed to hold any oil, or agave nectar, or heaven forbid, a lighter liquid like soymilk?" And then I tried one. Immediately, I was hooked. Silicone pastry brushes are, in my opinion, the only way to go. Have you ever made baklava? If you use a plastic bristle pastry brush, the firm bristles catch and tear the delicate filo, and if you try using a soft natural bristle brush, you'll inevitably end up losing bristles in your baklava, which sure is appetizing! And the best reason to use silicone brushes is that they don't melt when you're working with heat, as silicone brushes have high melting point, usually around 500° F.
I'm sure the benefits of a crepe spreader are obvious, so there's really nothing for me to add.
Finally, there's the super thin and flexible stainless steel spatula. These are amazing tools. Perfect for flipping pancakes or crepes, moving hot cookies from cookie sheet to cooling rack, flipping burgers, tempeh or tofu in a cast iron skillet, or even for moving a cake from a square cake pan to a cooking rack. I certainly don't advise you to use any non-stick coated pans, but if you do, you'll want to avoid the stainless steel spatula, and instead opt for one of the nylon versions.
So, now that you know what the utensils do, I suppose you'll want a recipe and some pictures.
1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour, or more if needed
1/8 teaspoon unrefined sea salt, SI brand recommended
organic safflower oil
3/4 cup organic unsweetened soy milk or rice milk
Sift flour and salt into a small bowl.
Mix 1 teaspoon of safflower oil and soy milk together, then whisk into dry ingredients. Batter should be about the consistency of melted ice cream, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time if needed. Set batter aside.
Lightly brush safflower oil onto a griddle or cast iron skillet and heat to medium–high heat. Pour 2--4 tablespoons of batter onto hot skillet and quickly spread batter into thin round. Gently flip crepe in a quick, fluid motion and cook just until crepe is set. Crepes should be beige and flexible, not golden brown or crispy. Remove crepe from pan and repeat until all batter has been used. Brush more oil onto pan if needed.
-Fill crepes with fresh fruit and cashew créme for a simple but elegant brunch.
-Fill crepes with cooked tempeh, steamed asparagus or sautéed mushrooms for a savory meal.
The crepe recipe is pretty easy and straight forward, so I'm showing you some of my favorite ways to enjoy crepes. I think my favorite of all were the Crepes with Wild Asparagus and Shiitake Béchamel and the Luscious Strawberries and Cashew Créme Crepes: both of these dishes were gorgeous and delicious, but they also had very complex flavors and textures while being clean and simple. The Luscious Strawberries and Cashew Créme Crepes are something I would never order at a restaurant, but oh. my. god. were they amazing!
For béchamel: heat olive oil in a skillet and mix in flour to make a white roux. When flour is well incorporated into oil, add unsweetened soy milk and whisk until sauce/gravy texture is achieved. Season with sea salt and/or shoyu and herbs or pepper if desired.
For Tempeh Crepes with Chives and Béchamel: wrap 2-4 pieces of tempeh up in each crepe. Covered with béchamel and garnish with chives.
Asparagus in Crepes with Wild Mushroom Béchamel
Crepes with Wild Asparagus and Shiitake Béchamel
To prepare Fresh Fruit and Cashew Créme in Crepes: slice or dice fresh seasonal fruit or your choice you can use one variety or many (I used blackberries, pineapple, and mango). Fill crepes with about 1 tablespoon of cashew créme, 3 tablespoons fruit, and roll closed. Garnish with fresh mint, fresh fruit and/or cashew créme.
Luscious Strawberries and Cashew Créme Crepes
To prepare Luscious Strawberries and Cashew Créme Crepes, fill crepes with about 1 tablespoon cashew créme, add some berries, roll closed, top with more berries, a generous amount of berry liquid, and an extra dollop of cashew créme.