Editor’s Note: This is the 16th week of a 19-week challenge, Dark Days, a pledge taken by 88 blogs spanning the country, to eat one meal a week as sustainable, organic, local and ethical possible. Alexis rocked her final meal- way to go! – Christina
Although I have Jewish heritage, I’m not sure I had ever had blintzes before making this particular meal. Making blintzes turned out to be a bit more of a challenge that I’d anticipated, especially since I decided to comply with the Dark Days rules and use only local, organic, sustainable and ethical ingredients. Salt ended up being an exception to the rules for this particular recipe, but otherwise I was able to get the ingredients I needed within the ramifications of the challenge.
Preparation for this meal began a couple weeks ago when I purchased some organic white wheat flour from Champlain Valley Milling and wanted to figure out how to use it for the Dark Days Challenge. I came across a recipe for blintzes and saw that the ingredients for the pancake are not only simple, but easily gathered from local sources. The fillings as well, although I modified the recipes I saw to my own taste, were also easy to obtain locally. I looked at many recipes online but, as usual, ended up using Mark Bittman’s recipe for the pancakes, since it seemed the most straight-forward:
3/4 cup flour
1 cup milk (BattenKill Creamery)
3 eggs (from the farm around the corner)
2 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
Mix these ingredients together, whisking them in a bowl, while you heat up a small, non-stick skillet over medium heat. I poured the batter in about a quarter cup at a time while holding the pan up above the heat and turning it as I poured to allow the mixture to cover the bottom of the pan. I probably got only one out of the dozen or so pancakes fully formed, and all the rest had holes in them. I let them stack up and when I was done made the fillings:
I used mashed potatoes, made from potatoes from my CSA share, to fill some of the blintzes . Most of them, however, were filled with a cheese mixture of my invention, made with feta cheese and whole milk yogurt, a little maple syrup, mashed up and layered on top of some apples pieces sauteed in butter.
Fill the blintzes by spooning a good amount of filling in to the bottom third of the pancake (I quickly realized you can add a lot of filling and the pancake will still stick to hold it all in). Fold over the sides and then roll in to the top. Bittman suggests filling an ovenproof platter with the blintzes and baking them, which I did, at 400 degrees for ten minutes. The mashed potato filling was good, but the cheese-apple was fantastic. I found myself licking the bowl of the feta cheese-yogurt-maple syrup mixture, but mixed with the sauteed apples in the blintzes it was explosively good!
I think my husband’s diet Dr. Pepper lends a nice balance to the local and organic aspect of the meal.