My Favorite Mistake: Savory Filled Breakfast Crepes

February 26, 2008

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“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]  



I really hate making mistakes.  Not only because they sometimes wreak havoc (“What?  The model of Stonehenge on stage was supposed to be 18 FEET high, not 18 inches???” or, “What?  But I thought the BLUE was the ‘panic button,’ Mr. President!!!”), but also because they make me feel really knuckle-brained sometimes (“Um, HH, can you come pick me up?  I’m kind of stranded out here in the woods with The Girls. I’ve locked my keys in the car. . . and it’s running.*”).

Of course, that’s not to say that I don’t have my share of doozies lurking around in my past (though at least mine aren’t as egregious as the  Y2K fiasco, or 8-track tapes, or Julia Roberts in Mary Ryan, Steel Magnolias The Pelican Brief Stepmom anything except Pretty Woman).  True, there were those three months I dated philandering Rocker Guy (he of the black leather pants); but for the most part, my mistakes tend to the be the innocuous kind, such as dialing my friend Babe’s number when I meant to call the CFO instead (I may be great at remembering phone numbers, but I don’t always note to whom they are attached); or buying decaf instead of regular; or wearing stripes with paisley (which, as we all know, couldn’t possibly go together). 

And then there’s the entire gamut of food mistakes.

Salt instead of sugar?  Done it.  Chocolate seized while melting? Been there. Pie crust with soggy bottom?  Don’t ask. Noodles so al dente they could double as a gardening implement?  You betcha.  Usually, these mishaps don’t bother me too much.  Especially when it comes to baking, I realize that the process is so mercurial that what works perfectly one day may turn out completely different the next, so I compensate by adding extra sweetener, reducing the amount of flour, substituting a different kind of nut, or doing whatever is required to appease the petulant confection.   

When it comes to cooking, I’m less inclined to experiment.  Yet that’s exactly what I did this past weekend, purely as a result of my own gastronomical gaffes. 

You know how some women will work an entire outfit around a single accesory? For instance, they might spy a cute little fuschia-and-orange flowered scarf and then go out and purchase matching pumps, belt, handbag and turtleneck, just so they can wear that scarf to a dinner party on Saturday night.  In the end, that little rectangular scrap of rayon costs $872.48.  Well, I must confess, I am that woman when it comes to ingredients.  Which brings me to. . . . The Mistake of the Miso.

Mistake Number One:  On Sunday, I decided to construct a brunch menu based on some extra miso gravy in the fridge. Originally, I’d planned to serve the gravy with sweet potato fries for dinner on Saturday, only to discover that I’d grated the last potato as part of The Girls’ dinner the previous night.  (“And we really did appreciate that, Mum.  But don’t worry about the extra gravy–we’d be happy to help you out with that.”)

Having gravy but nothing to slather it on, my imagination went to work. Mashed potatoes and gravy at brunch?  Excellent. But what to accompany it?  I pulled out a recipe I’d been eyeing for Tempeh-White Bean sausage patties from Vegan with a Vengeance .  I planned to finish off the plate with simple pancakes sans the typical fanfare (my usual recipe contains fruit and other extras, not necessary here).  Everything, it appeared, was in order.  

Mistake Number Two: Since the sausages were somewhat time-intensive, I started with those. Isa does caution that these are softer than typical processed sausages, but mine fell completely apart on the plate, looking something like shards of clay from an old planter that had fallen off the windowsill.  Would the HH eat broken patties? They did smell heavenly, however, so I set any worries aside and kept them warm while I moved on to the pancakes.

Mistake Number Three: Ah, yes, bad things always come in threes, don’t they? Perhaps it was something in the air.  Perhaps it’s finally time to fill that new eyeglass prescription.  Whatever the reason, the pancakes were a disaster as well.  As thin as the line between sexy and hooker; as flat as the line before you call a Code Blue; and altogether too chewy, though not quite enough to cross the line from springy over to rubbery. I knew these would not pass HH muster, as my Honey favors airy, light, cake-like pancakes.  (“Mum, seriously, we can help you out with that! Just toss a couple our way. . . “).

These griddle cakes were, it occurred to me, much more akin to crepes than true pancakes (though, according to Epicurious, a crepe is “the French word for ‘pancake,'” which would suggest the only difference between the two is the language in which you mumble,  “Please pass the syrup”).  For many of us, however, crepes evoke a thinner, more flexible cake, suitable for enveloping a sweet or savory filling.  It’s sort of like the distinction between a scone and a biscuit, I think; but to get the scoop on that one, you’ll have to read Johanna’s blog.)

 So.  I found myself with crepes.  And decided to just go along with that. 

Rectifying all the Mistakes in a Single Delectable Brunch: In the end, I decided to re-assign the basic elements of the meal, crepefilling.jpg crumbling the sausages as if they were ground meat, and mixing in a few chopped veggies. I stuffed this mixture into the crepes, then smothered the whole shebang with miso gravy.  The dish was accompanied by a tried-and-true dandelion salad.

The resultant meal was a bit more elaborate than I’d anticipated, perhaps, but truly memorable. The HH appeared to relish every mouthful, peppering the meal with an occasional interjection of “Very nice,” or “Very tasty,” somewhat like Anthony Hopkins in 84 Charing Cross Road.  When he’d polished off the first crepe, he requested another, and thoroughly enjoyed that one, too. 

I once read that “there are no mistakes in cooking, only new recipes.”  I can only agree. And this new recipe is definitely a keeper–make no mistake about it.  

Because it worked out so well, I’m submitting this dish as my entry to Weekend Breakfast Blogging, the event started by Nandita and this month hosted by Suganya at Tasty Palettes.

Savory Filled Crepes


This dish makes a satisfying, filling brunch or light dinner.  Vary the filling ingredients according to your own tastes–we didn’t have any mushrooms when I made this, but I think they’d be excellent in the filling, too.




16 Responses to “My Favorite Mistake: Savory Filled Breakfast Crepes”

  1. Romina Says:

    I love stories like this! When something that goes wrong turns into one of the best things you’ve made. The best things in life are mistakes. =) Those crepes look amazing, and I don’t think anyone would’ve known that they were the product of 3 successive mistakes. But it takes a great cook with a sharp mind to make it come together like you did. Well done!

  2. abracapocus Says:

    don’t feel bad about the tempeh sausage patties…mine wouldn’t stay in patties either. but they do eat up just fine as crumbles.

  3. Deb Schiff Says:

    Lovely mistake, Ricki!

    By the way, nice Spinal Tap reference. hehehe Mine goes to 11.

  4. Astra Libris Says:

    Your crepes are gorgeous, and their story is equally wonderful… It’s so true – some of the best recipes arise by a combo of pure accident and rapid-fire inventiveness!

  5. Suganya Says:

    Been there, done that. When anybody asks why it tastes different from the previous time, I would say ‘Thats the way its supposed to be’ ;). I love the flavours going on here. Thanks for the entry, Ricki,

  6. Johanna Says:

    a fantastic mistake indeed – I don’t think I always create a new recipe when I make mistakes in the kitchen but I do learn about why they are giving particular instructions (I get the ‘oh so that is why I am meant to put baking powder in a cake’ lightbulb moment).

    I love pancakes but get a little confused about the pancake/crepe difference so like your comments on it. I would never think to have this sort of pancakes for brunch but now I am thinking it looks like an excellent way to start the day

  7. melody Says:

    Sometimes mistakes are the best thing ever!

    btw, thanks for the link to that post (it actually didn’t work for some reason, but I saw the date of the post and went to your archives)..

    I think I may cut back on weighing to once a month.. everything you say there is so true.

    btw, your dogs are adorable. I’m a dog momma too.

  8. VeggieGirl Says:

    Yes, as a perfectionist, I LOATHE making mistakes (especially when baking!!) – but hey, when mistakes turn out as deliciously as yours did, I’d say all is well!! Keep making mistakes!! :0D

  9. Your “mistake” looks so much better than something I could do on purpose! I bow down to you!

  10. Lizzie Says:

    Yay for mistakes! I wish mine came out that yummy, but usually they’re too burnt to do anything with 🙂

  11. Lisa Says:

    Brilliant save! Thanks for the read and idea.

  12. Ricki Says:


    Thanks! I was relieved that things worked out. Though I can’t say I feel the same way about mistakes! 😉

    Thanks for commisterating. It does help to know!

    Well, it IS one of my favorite movies! And boy are you lucky–that “11” must be a collector’s item!!

    Astra Libris,
    Thanks so much. I’m glad it worked out this time, though can’t say I’ve been as inventive in other (non-cooking) situations!

    Thanks for the tip. . . I am definitely saying that next time 😉 .

    I’m definitely the same way–mistakes DO NOT always turn out this good for me. And I thought you might like the savory breakfast option. 🙂 (I also thought of you as I ended the post–that I should have had Sheryl Crow on the stereo!).

    Thanks so much for your comment! While this is probably one of my better mistakes, they’re definitely not all this good in the end. (I’d definitely recommend the once a month, too–it has made my life a lot calmer. And now I’m going to hop over to your blog to see YOUR fur baby!).

    Ah, another perfectionist after my own heart! But I guess they are intended to help us learn to think in a new way, and realize that they don’t have to be all that bad!

    I’ve seen your blog–what you make is fantastic! So now bowing (I think The Girls’ egos are quite big enough for one house, thanks!) 😉

    Thanks–but just do what I do: sharp knife, scrape away blackened bits, and –voila!–a new dish!

    Thanks–it didn’t feel quite brilliant at the time, but I’m glad it worked out. 🙂

  13. Astra Libris Says:

    P.S. I tagged you with a MeMe… 🙂 Details are in my Wed. morning post… 🙂

  14. Cakespy Says:

    DUDE, Ricki, this was an awesome read! I love the whole “favorite mistake” theme…way to live through some doozies and still bring breakfast to the table! 🙂 Looks delicious.

  15. Lindsey Says:

    This is the greatest post. I loved reading everything and the food looks awesome. I really want those for dinner.

  16. […] version–never tried the other) 80. Croissants 81. French onion soup 82. Savory crepes (love these for brunch time. . . ) 83. Tings 84. A meal at Candle 79 (I’ll start saving up now and maybe […]

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