How you doin’? Are you being able to manage your anxieties? In California it been a rough year—fires, power outages, civil unrest, and of course, contentious elections. Tensions have been running high even as businesses are slowly trying to re-open—maybe just a little bit. Some of us may still have jobs to come back to others won’t and will have to start looking for new options.
What’s needed are fast, easy comfort foods for cooks who may now be on a budget. Which brings me to this inexpensive cheese blintzes recipe and Junior’s Deli.
The original Junior’s Deli opened in West Los Angeles in 1959. It had no relationship to Junior’s (cheesecake fame) in New York City. Junior’s LA was a small operation run by the Saul Brothers that mainly sold corned beef, their grandmother’s blintzes and other deli foods to go.
They soon moved to a new building that was more of a restaurant than a bakery near Westwood, California. Almost instantly, Junior’s became one of great local success stories for the kind of business of which dreams are made. It wasn’t because the food was so outstanding—it wasn’t. The restaurant thrived on the personality of Marvin Saul. Aside from Marv, what Junior’s had going for it was a good, friendly feel and a great location. If you had to meet a friend or business associate for breakfast or lunch, it wasn’t easily the best choice, it was the only one. Junior’s is now gone and the building remains empty, but the ghost of old-fashioned blintzes lives on.
These are basic cheese blintzes—nothing fancy—develop right here in the Perspectives test kitchens. They are mild, buttery, cheesy and creamy—the ultimate comfort food! Their smell, taste and abundance are sort of imprinted on my memory. Serve these blintzes with sour cream or strawberry jam for those who liked them a little sweeter.
Prep time: 20-25 minutes
Batter set time: 1 hour
Crepe cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 20 blintzes
For the crepe batter
3 cups all-purpose flour
6–7 cups 2% milk at room temperature
7 large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the cheese filling
3 pounds farmer's cheese (sometimes labeled “hoop” cheese)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
To finish cook and serve
2–3 tablespoons butter
To make the crepe batter
ChefSecret: Farmer’s or hoop cheese looks like very small curd, dried cottage cheese. You can also substitute farmer’s cheese with ricotta cheese. What are you going to do with all the subpar test crepes?
Eat them, silly—they delicious coated with cinnamon-sugar, so enjoy your mistakes.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: I was just wondering, why do stores have signs, 'Guide Dogs Only', the dogs can't read and their owners are blind?
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To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind—that’s the American way. If you have a little extra in your pocket to share with others at this difficult time, please consider donating to Feeding America. Thanks for reading.
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