It's no secret that there is no shortage of good food to be found in Paris. Pastries, baguettes and cheeses abound everywhere you look. Given the fact that French cuisine is one of my all time favorites, I was equal parts thrilled for bites both out and in on our recent trip to France. As we usually do, we took full advantage of having a kitchen at our disposal to prepare simple meals and snacks in between dining out and various activities. While some may view aspects of French cuisine difficult, the majority of it is simple and straightforward. Bonus- the grocery stores there are, like most things, better than what we have here in the US. The food options are so fresh, even the things that come semi or fully prepared look amazing. And while anyone who knows me, knows I'm the last person to use something semi-homemade, I occasionally make exceptions. I made exceptions in Paris.
When trying to figure out an easy French treat to cook from our Airbnb kitchen and share with you guys, we immediately landed on the idea of crepes. Crepes have been a favorite of mine for a long time now. I mean, carbs smothered in Nutella or melted cheese? Sold! Of course, crepes are a popular French food and there are many places throughout Paris where you can sit and enjoy one or grab one from a corner stand to-go. Back home, I've always enjoyed making crepes from scratch and filling them up with whatever toppings we have on hand, something you can certainly do to make this recipe wherever you call home. In our Airbnb, for the purpose of having something that is quick, easy, delicious, versatile and French, we took advantage of the pre-made crepes available in the local grocery store. One package lasted us all week, giving us a light lunch, satisfying breakfast and even a sweet treat. Read on to find out how to make them + the simple grocery list and easy meal ideas that got us through our week in Paris.
This is really just a rough estimate recipe as you truly can make crepes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or a snack and customize them based on taste, preference or what you have on hand. If you're planning to make them while staying in Paris and you want to make the most of your ingredients, here I've also included a simple shopping list + ideas on how to make the most of all of the ingredients-
Shopping List Butter Jam Fresh Berries or Fruit A protein (we grabbed ham) Two cheeses (one soft, one grated) Two vegetables (mushrooms and arugula) Eggs Cornichons A Package of Crepes Baguettes Rose Juice
-The butter can be used on morning toast, to fry an egg, to sauté fish or meat for dinner, etc
-Jam and butter makes a perfect filling for a breakfast, snack or dessert crepe. The remaining jam can also be used on baguettes or other pastries for breakfast or desserts and it can be used as a mixer for cocktails or as a way to jazz up a simple salad dressing.
-Similarly to the crepe with jam, a crepe filled with berries or fruit is a light treat for snacking, breakfast or dessert. The fruit also make a great snack (especially on-the-go), a healthy side for breakfast, or a great topping on a salad.
-Depending on the protein you grab, the options of what you can do with it will vary (i.e. fish wouldn't be so great for breakfast), but we settled on ham as we know it would work well for a variety of meals. In the pictures you can see us cutting it up and serving it inside a crepe for lunch, but we also fried it up with eggs for breakfast and ate it with cheese and baguette for a simple supper sandwich.
-When it comes to cheese, I shouldn't even have to tell you. Get some. Even just the basic grocery store camembert is only a few dollars but it tastes like butter. We kept a soft cheese on hand for snacking or for snatches and then we got a grated one for eggs and crepes.
-In Italy, we always made sure to have garlic and onions on hand. In Paris, we settled on mushrooms and arugula as our two veggies of choice. The Airbnb we stayed in had salt, pepper, oil and vinegar so we could throw together a simple vinaigrette and arugula salad for a lunch or dinner side. We also added it to a egg, camembert and baguette breakfast sandwich, which was kind of everything. The mushrooms, sautéed in butter, were a perfect addition to our morning eggs, crepes or as a topping on a salad.
-The eggs got fried up every morning in some butter for breakfasts. Sometimes we put them in a crepe with ham and mushrooms, sometimes we made baguette sandwiches and sometimes we had them along with fruit and pastries from the bakery downstairs.
-The cornichons were just because. They're one of my favorite things so I knew we would have no problem finishing the jar in a week (heck, I could finish a jar in a day). They're just a nice crunchy snack or addition to a salad, to have on hand.
-Baguettes were our bread of choice. I lost count of how many we got from the local bakery, but suffice it to say we ate them morning, noon and night. You don't need me to tell you how to enjoy these little slices of heaven, but if you're struggling to figure it out, just do like the Parisians and rip right into one as you're walking home from the bakery.
-Rosé and juice, both as self-explanatory as the baguettes, I hope.
For the simple crepe and salad lunch in these photos, here's what we did:
In a large skillet, melt a small pat of butter. Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms. Once the butter is melted and heated through, add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
While the mushrooms are sautéing, chop your ham (or other meat, if you're using it). Set aside.
Once the mushrooms are cooked, remove them from the panned into a separate dish. Place the skillet back in a medium heat burner and add another pat of butter.
Meanwhile, assemble your crepes by layering grated cheese, ham and mushrooms on one half of a shell. Once you have added your fillings, fold the other half on top and and gently place it into the skillet. Cook for a few minutes, until it begins to brown, then flip it over and cook for a few more minutes.
Serve hot, with a side of arugula dressed in a simple vinaigrette, some cornichons (if desired) and rosé (or your drink of choice).