Using Crepes to 'Recycle' Leftovers

Times Staff Writer

Question: Crepes are delicious and a great way to "recycle" leftovers, but making crepes is a nightmare. A while ago, The Times ran a feature on crepes that said frozen (plain--ready for stuffing) crepes could be purchased. None of my local markets carry them. Where can I find them?

Answer: We had trouble finding frozen crepes too. We discovered, however, that fresh plain crepes are now available. These are being distributed by Frieda's Finest Produce and may be found in the produce sections of specialty food markets and supermarkets such as Bristol Farms Markets, Von's Pavilions stores and selected Gelson's Markets and Ralphs Grocery Co. stores.

According to Judi Greening of Frieda's, if they don't already stock the crepes, most of the major supermarkets may order them, so check with the produce or general manager of the store. Shelf life on the crepes is one week at room temperature, one month under refrigeration and six months to a year when frozen.

Q: How can I cut a slice of pie with meringue without tearing the meringue all to pieces?

A: To ensure a clean cut, use a sharp knife and dip it into hot water after each cut.

Q: Last Christmas someone gave me some gourmet food items, one of which I have no idea how to serve. It's a can of boiled quail eggs. Do you have any suggestions?

A: Quail eggs are considered a delicacy by the Chinese and Japanese. Check cookbooks of those cuisines for recipes using the eggs as an ingredient.

Q: Please tell me whether any oil is needed to cook food such as a small steak in non-stick SilverStone pans. I have asked many people and no one really knows the answer.

A: A pamphlet from the Metal Cookware Manufacturers Assn., which includes information on non-stick finishes, reads "Most homemakers find that oils, fats and butter may be desirable in frying, not to prevent sticking, but to contribute to the flavor of foods and also to aid in even browning. Eggs have a tendency to stick slightly; however, cooking them with a small amount of fat aids in the release from the pan."

They go on to say, "Basically, non-stick finished utensils should be used and cared for in the same manner as metal cookware and bakeware. Before first use, the utensil should be washed in hot sudsy water, using a soft sponge or dishcloth. It should then be rinsed and dried. Do not use abrasive scouring pads or powders."

Many manufacturers recommend that non-stick fry pans, Dutch ovens and bakeware be seasoned with cooking oil before they are used for the first time. Cooking oil should be wiped on the non-stick surface with a paper towel--and the utensil is seasoned.

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