I read Pat Conroy's "Beach Music" a few weeks ago. Food plays a huge role in this book, as it does in all of the Conroy novels that I've read.
The author has also written a fabulous cookbook aptly named "The Pat Conroy Cookbook," which not only contains recipes but essays as delicious as his novels.
Conroy's cooking has a lot in common with Paula Dean's. His recipes sound mouthwatering, in part, because many of the recipes call for the liberal use of rich ingredients. His Apple Cobbler recipe, for example, calls for three sticks of butter and tons of heavy cream!
But here's a recipe for his Chocolate Crepes, which compared to most of the recipes in his cookbook, are almost like health food. I made the crepes per Conroy's recipe, but I like to experiment. I substituted whole wheat for the all-purpose flour (worked fine), and I added peanut butter and banana to the chocolate filling. Next time, I would skip the peanut butter--too dominant a flavor--but the banana with the chocolate made for a luscious combo.
Pat Conroy's Chocolate Crepes
For the crepes:
3 T. unsalted butter (melted), plus additional
2 large eggs
1 T. sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 T. hazelnut liqueur (optional)
For the filling:
9 1/2-10-oz. good bittersweet chocolate
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling
1. To prepare the crepe batter: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and salt together. Add the milk to the melted butter and pour half the milk and butter into the eggs. Sift in the flour and whisk, then add the remaining milk and butter. Whisk in the liqueur, if using. When the mixture is smooth, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.
2. To make the crepes: Melt 1 T. butter in a nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Ladle about 2 tablespoons of batter into the hot saute pan and quickly tilt the pan so the batter spreads evenly. When little bubbles appear on the surface and the edges begin to brown, about 1 minute, lift the edge of the crepe with a spatula and flip. Cook for another 30 seconds (the second side will not brown as much as the first side).
4. Invert the saute pan over a plate to remove the crepe. Continue cooking the crepes, adding more butter as needed. Stack the crepes between paper towels or wax paper and keep warm.
5. To make the filling: In a double boiler over hot but not boiling water, melt the chocolate just until soft enough to stir. The consistency of the melted chocolate should be thick, not runny.
6. To assemble: Spread the warm crepes with a generous tablespoon of warm chocolate. Roll, sprinkle the confectioners' sugar and serve.