My parents moved from Paris to Mexico in the early 80s, with little savings and big dreams. My mum didn’t speak a word of spanish, so she made bracelets on the virgin beaches of Playa del Carmen, while my dad took a few adventurous tourists on snorkelling trips each day.
When my mum got pregnant with me, they decided to move to Cancun. By the time I was 10, my mum’s Spanish was great and my parents decided to open the 1st “creperie” in Cancun.
In France, crepes are very popular. Cheap, easy to make and delicious. In Mexico, they were perceived as a fancy treat, which must have contributed to the restaurant’s success. But I think the real source of success was my mum’s initiative to fill the crepes with mexican ingredients. Offering her customers a french-mexican culinary fusion, while saving money on imported ingredients. Fusions are common these days but at the time, this was pretty revolutionary.
Having grown up in Cancun, within a French household means I also turned out as a bit of a French/Mexican fusion myself.
Here is the recipe for one of my mama’s delicious crepes:
Crepe a la mexicana with cactus (can be replaced with green pepper), corn and mushrooms topped with a spicy tomato salsa
Ingredients for the crepes:
150g white flour (I prefer using wholemeal but it deff changes the taste and texture)
2 large eggs
15cL milk (I rather use a non sweetened dairy alternative if possible)
10cL beer – secret ingredient
A pinch of salt
Ingredients for the filing:
½ white onion
1 corn on the cob / 1 tin if you want to save time
1 nopal (cactus) or 1/2 green bell pepper
A pinch pepper
A pinch of salt
Ingredients for the spicy tomato salsa
½ white onion
2 plum tomatoes
1 bunch coriander
½ small chile de arbol (any chilli you can find, just make sure you don’t put too much. Youo can always add more, not so easy to take out!)
Salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients for the pancake mix
Leave the mix for an hour for best results
Heat a little butter or coconut oil in a medium sized pan
My mum always used a soup ladle to pour in the right amount for a crepe in the pan
When it starts to bubble, flip the crepe and leave it a couple of minutes or until both sides are cooked.
Crepe Filling method:
Boil the corn and cut the kernels off the stalk or open and drain your sweetcorn tin
Cut the onion and the nopal (cactus) or the green pepper into slices and lightly fry in olive oil
Chop the 2 mushroom into thin slices and add to the pan once onion and nopal / pepper are soft
Season with salt and pepper and add to your crepe
Dice and lightly fry the onion in olive oil, once soft, add the chilli the diced tomatoes. Leave to simmer until it looks like a sauce. Add the thinly chopped coriander and the salt and pepper.
Fold the crepe in 4 and add a couple of spoonfuls of salsa on top
Et voilà, Buen provecho!
I should mention that my mum was a bit disappointed that I purposely omitted to include cheese to this recipe. I try to limit my dairy consumption but if you aren’t, add a bit of Oaxaca or Gruyere cheese.
Here is a photo of me and my mama in Cancun when I was a little girl. Te quiero mama ♡