As I reached into the pots and pans drawer for a skillet, my hand took hold of the crepe pan. Good sense stepped aside momentarily, and I knew this would not create a traditional omelet as I'd set out to make. I knew the eggs would quickly roll to the edges, creating a paper-thin sheet, more akin to a flourless crepe than the fluffy texture of an omelet one would expect from a recipe titled as such.
Still, I moved forward, unable to control myself. I was curious, and that is always good in the kitchen. It is what moves us to create something new. The disasters and flops are the pitfalls and rights of passage as a recipe developer.
So to create the best possible image as we talk about this, let's agree to call it an egg crepe, okay? Before I set out to make my egg crepe, I prepped the asparagus. See, that's really how this all started. I bought my first bunch of the season at the farmers' market a few days ago, and was eager to do something with it—just a few spears to tide me over until I could use them more substantially.
A few drops of water in a ceramic dish and 60 seconds in the microwave were all it took to cook three pencil-thin spears. No boiling water. No extra pots to clean. No strainer. They were done before I had time to crack and beat the eggs.
As expected the egg scurried to the edges of the pan as soon it hit the hot buttered surface. I placed the asparagus on top, added a few dollops of creme fraiche and at the last minute decided a pinch of smoky paprika would add some oomph. I folded my omelet, ahem, crepe, then left the pan on the heat a few seconds longer than I should've.
At least longer than I thought I should've.
As the creme fraiche started to ooze out I decided it would need more tweaking before it I could share it with all of you. It was not what I had visualized as the dish came to life seconds earlier in my mind.
Then I tasted it, and the corners of my mouth began to curl upwards, a smile coaxed by the creamy, spice-flecked mistake I'd happened upon. Turns out the delicate creme fraiche sauce, as it shall now be known from this moment forward, was an elegant touch to a seemingly simple breakfast.
Asparagus & Creme Fraiche "Crepe"
Good quality ingredients always make the difference, but especially so here. Farm fresh eggs, homemade creme fraiche—if you have it, and pencil thin asparagus, just coming into season right now really elevate such a humble sounding dish.
You can prepare the asparagus two ways. Either roast a big batch, and keep it in the fridge to use throughout the week, or simply steam what you need for this recipe. I did the latter since this was a spur of the moment breakfast, and placed a few spears in a ceramic dish, then cooked them in the microwave for one minute.
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Butter, to coat the pan
3 spears pencil asparagus, steamed or roasted
2 dollops of creme fraiche
Generous pinch of smoked paprika
Beat the eggs lightly in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
Melt a thin pat of butter in a 9-inch crepe pan over medium heat. Add the eggs, and swirl the pan, lifting edges with the tip of a butter knife so any uncooked egg can "fall" underneath. When the top of the eggs look mostly cooked, add the dollops of creme fraiche, sprinkle with the parika, and place the asparagus on top and. Fold the right third of the egg over the filling, then fold the left third of the egg on top to close the omelet (kind of like the way you would fold a sheet of paper in thirds). Let cook for 30 to 60 seconds more, just until the creme fraiche starts to ooze out.
Transfer to a dish and serve immediately.