• The Enhanced Monterey Crepe Recipe

    by Richard Oh

    The Monterey Crepe Company came to fruition in the fall of 2003. The first location is on Wave Street and a second is located on Alvarado St. The owner Mohamed Ibessaine was born and raised in Algers, Algeria and after visiting his wife’s (Andrea Coniglio-Ibessaine) family in Monterey fell in love with the area. It’s because Monterey reminded him so much of home. He loved his wife’s Sicilian heritage and the parallels between their cultures. He knew that someday he wanted to plant his own roots in Monterey. With parenthood approaching they decided to move to Monterey to be close to the family and feel that sense of pride and deep connection. Having spent so much time in Paris they wanted a way to bring all their worlds together. The best way to bring everyone together of course is with food. The Peninsula is famous for amazing local food but was missing accessible big city street food. With their deep nostalgia for Paris what could be better than crepes? Crepes are on every corner in Paris and anyone from tourists to real foodies can enjoy them. An old friend of the family was selling his Wave Street business and by coincidence or fate Mohamed walked in and they made the connection. A few months later Monterey had a creperie; serving a variety of sweet and savory crepes.

    A few years later the owners decided they needed a second place that honored locals. The downtown Monterey location was a perfect spot. This time he included his brother-in-law Jason Coniglio. The Ibessaines have named three crepes for their three children and one in memory of “Pappa Johnny” John Coniglio, their beloved father and father in law. He would have been so proud to see the hard work of his son in law and how they have continued the tradition of working with family. If you pass by the Alvarado street location most mornings you will see Mohamed spinning fresh crepes and now will also understand why there are four flags hanging on the wall: American, Algerian, Sicilian, and Italian. You can also sit at the counter and have “Mo” make you one of his free style crepes that are not on the menu. The Ibessaines travel most summers to Europe and Algiers so their kids can experience the magic of traveling and of course to always find new inspiration for their eclectic menu. Visit them for lunch or late night snack. They have something for everyone

    The Wine:

    2011 Dolcetto, Pasos Vineyard, Lodi.

    Dolcetto is widely grown in the Piedmont region of Italy. It is also home of Nebbioloand Barbera varietals. Dolcetto means “little sweet one” but almost all are dry usually with lower acidity, moderate to high tanins, and very fruit forward. The skin color is dark purple and has high levels of anthocyanins which affects the tannins in the wine and doesn’t require a lot of skin contact to achieve the dark color. Winemakers typically remove the skins early so the wine isn’t so tannic. The 2011 Dolcetto is very fruity with dark cherries, strawberries, hints of chocolate and soft tannins. Winemaker Antonio Pasos did a great job balancing the structure and flow of the wine. It’s drinking very nicely now. I wouldn’t hold onto this wine for more than three years. It’s meant to be shared now. This paired amazingly well with the chocolate and strawberry crepes.

    The Crepe: serves four

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 8-10 strawberries thinly sliced
    • 3-4 oz dark chocolate (or 4 Tbsp. Nutella)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
    • ¼ tsp. vanilla
    • Whipped cream and chocolate sauce

    Procedure:

    • In a large mixing bowl, mix together egg, water, milk, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add the flour whisk together stirring to combine: beat until smooth.
    • Lightly oil griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Scoop the batter onto the pan, using about 1/2 cup for each crepe.
    • Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
    • Cook the crepe for about 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side for another 2 minutes.
    • Melt chocolate while the crepe is cooking.
    • Lay crepe on plate and add strawberries and chocolate (or Nutella).
    • Fold or roll the crepe then add chocolate sauce and whipped cream to taste.

    This is not the actual recipe they use at Monterey Crepe Company. The crepe recipe was enhanced by me. They want to preserve their secret recipe. I don’t blame them, I would too.

    richard pix for 5-24

    posted to Cedar Street Times on May 24, 2013

    Topics: Oh, Have A Taste!

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