Bubbie’s Blintzes Are a King’s Delight!!
So, “nu”, did you place your order yet? What are you waiting for? I am busy here in the kitchen and I can’t do it for you! Go ahead…I’ll wait…You’re back so let’s get on with today’s adventure, one of my favorite Jewish delicacies, blintzes.
Hopefully, you’re ready for a bit more of a challenge because blintz making is not for the amateur balabusta (kitchen queen – pronounced ba-la-BUST-ah). Unlike latkes, blintzes require the true mastery of the frying pan or else you can end up with a burned mess. In fact, I meant to say frying pans, because you can’t produce blintzes in any useful quantity without having a couple of frying pans going at the same time.
Let’s talk about what a blintz is, because it’s not a crepe, which is yummy if you are in France. In Eastern Europe the process was improved, and the blintz was created. The batter that forms the outside wrap of the blintz is known as bletlach (leaves) in Yiddish. The leaves are made from a combination of flour, eggs, oil and milk. I carefully and slowly pour just enough of the batter to cover the bottom of the very hot buttered frying pan. Not too much or the “leaf” will be too thick to fold up with the cheese filling. I fry only one side and, then pick up the pan and flip the bletlach out onto a towel to cool and get ready to fill. Repeat, repeat, repeat, until you have 1200 bletlach! Oy, my aching arms!
Then I sit down and take a little rest before I start making the filling. There is one secret ingredient in the filling. I will tell you if you promise not to give it away. It is farmer’s cheese. In the old country we made it ourselves from milk, salt, and lemon juice. My “Zayde” (grandfather), being a “Bissel bezundar” (little particular), insisted that my Bubbie use this homemade farmer’s cheese with a combination of other cheeses for richness and tang. She would mix in a couple of eggs so the filling would set, along with sugar and salt to balance the flavor and, maybe, to keep harmony in the house.
The final step is to create the blintzes. Fill the bletlach with the cheese mixture then tuck in the sides and fold like an envelope. Fry to a golden brown, in butter, of course. Top with a bissel of sour cream or crushed strawberries or blueberries and you will know what heaven must be like. Now, go to the website, http://tbinh.org and add some blintzes to your food festival order. You’ll be glad you did.