Liver and spinach that kids will love: Spinach Crepes Bernoise

Dec 3, 2009 by

Think it’d be nice if you could get your kids to eat liver? or spinach? How about both at once? Here’s an unusual, easy and delicious recipe that my kids have always loved. The key: pretend you have no interest in whether they eat them or not, but enjoy them yourself. Ask very casually if they want to try any. Do not urge them. If they are hungry and you do not press them, they are pretty likely to try it.

Spinach Crepes Bernoise

Spinach crepes:

3 C fresh spinach

3 C milk

2 ¼ C sifted flour (whole grain if desired, or mix of whole and white)

4-5 whole eggs

Pinch of salt (to taste)

Pinch of nutmeg (to taste)

6 T melted butter

(you might want to actually bump this up to 4 c of spinach and milk and so forth. There are never too many crepes. We eat them plain if we run out of filing.)

  1. Place well-washed spinach in a saucepan and cook it gently, stirring and covering, until wilted. Drain it and when it is cool enough to handle, squeeze it into a ball between your hands until all the liquid is removed.
  2. Place the cooked spinach in the blender. Add a little milk and puree until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining milk and the rest of the ingredients except the melted butter and blend at high speed.
  3. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the butter, and let the batter rest for at least two hours, or overnight.
  4. To make the crepes, butter and heat a nonstick skillet. Pour some batter in and tilt the pan around to spread the batter thin.  The first one never works right, but then they do. Cook until lightly brown and turn over. Stack them carefully on a plate.

Filling

4 T unsalted butter

6-8 chicken livers, cleaned and dried

Salt and large pinch of white pepper (or black)

½ lb mushrooms, cleaned and minced

4 T minced scallions

16 oz cream cheese (room temperature)

½ to 1 stick of butter (original would call for 2 sticks, but that’s too much)

4 t minced dill (optional, but I think essential)

1. In a heavy skillet, melt 2 T butter. Add the chicken livers and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Season with salt and white pepper.  When they are cool enough, mince them and place them in a mixing bowl.

2.  Melt the remaining butter in the same skilled, add the mushrooms and scallions and cook until they are lightly browned. Season lightly with salt and pepper and add them to the livers.

3. Cream the cream cheese and dill together.

4. Blend the cream cheese with mushroom-and-liver mixture together.

Fill the crepes with the mixture, roll them up and place them in a baking dish. Pour a little melted butter over the crepes and heat them in the oven at 325° for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Perla Meyers’ excellent European-influenced The Seasonal Kitchen: A Return to Fresh Foods

Related posts:

“How to use the Negative Reverse Selling Technique at the Dinner Table”

“Is your child neophobic?”

Having trouble getting kids to eat? Feed them, but cook for yourself”

©  Sacred Appetite / Anna Migeon / 3 December 2009 / All rights reserved

14 comments
mserious
mserious

I agree, kids should be eating healthier foods like liver and spinach,for the iron, antioxidants, and vitamin B12. But if the only way you can get them to palate the stuff is by dumping a truckload of butter and cream cheese on it, you are sort of defeating the purpose. just saying.

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

Lanise, I would certainly give it a try. I don't know why it wouldn't work. Beef liver is firmer than chicken liver, but it might be a nice difference. You don't need a whole bunch of it. I would maybe try cutting it in biggish bite sizes to cook it and be careful not to overcook it. Please let me know how it goes. For a healthier version of these crepes, see Millie's, here: http://realfoodforlessmoney.blogspot.com/2010/01/spinach-crepes-bernoise-or-best-crepes.html. Thanks for asking! Good luck with it.

Lanise
Lanise

Would this work with beef liver? I don't have any chicken liver, but I do have beef. Thanks.

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

Millie, I'm sorry--I answered you right away but just now discovered that my email isn't getting my replies to comments on the blog. Thanks for letting me know you tried the crepes! I'm so glad you liked them. I also in the meantime discovered you had written a post about your adaptation of the recipe! I am going to have to study that post in detail before I make them again. I am definitely going to try more soaking and maybe buttermilk or soured raw milk. My big question for you is whether your girls ate them? and if so, what did they think?

Paula
Paula

We just tried this recipe tonight. It was quite good, and I think anyone who doesn't even care for liver might like it as well...if they didn't dismiss it before trying it. It doesn't have a strong liver flavor.

Ashley
Ashley

That sounds delicious to me and I'm not even a liver fan!

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

Sorry for the slow response time! I really appreciate your comment! I agree that cream cheese, especially, is of little nutritional value, if any. I see sugar as the true villain of American eating, though, and I see cream cheese as a far lesser villain, and figure if I only use it once in awhile, no real damage will be done. I actually think the worst part, health-wise, of this recipe is the use of white flour, and industrial milk is worse than useless, also. Using whole grain flour, soaked overnight in raw milk from pasture-fed cows is an improvement. My goal here is to introduce kids to the joys and flavors of an enormous variety of non-sugary, non-manufactured foods. Until we reduce the massive quantities of sugar and really bad fats (industrial, denatured fats), I think a little cream cheese and good quality butter in an enticing homemade meal is relatively harmless. The point here is to give kids a positive introduction to the tastes of liver and spinach, so they see them as friends, not enemies. The more we cultivate children’s tastes for high quality foods, teaching them to enjoy what’s good for them, the more we set them on a course to eat well the rest of their lives. I'm not afraid of fat in general, though: http://sacredappetite.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/fat-phobia-why-are-we-so-fat-if-we-don’t-eat-fat/ I have another great liver recipe on this blog, but it also involves loads of butter, I’m afraid: http://sacredappetite.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/how-to-get-your-kids-to-eat-liver/ My other favorite way to make liver is to cooks some sliced onions in olive oil or butter till they’re nice and soft and browned, then brown quickly slices of liver, pour on a little red wine, and cook it lightly so it’s still pink, tender and moist. That is a more “advanced” recipe that may be better suited to a child who is already open to liver, though. My kids have always eaten liver willingly. My view is if you buy good quality butter (from pastured cows) and don’t eat loads of it constantly, it’s a decent part of a healthy diet. It has some value. It’s real food, unlike so much of what people are eating. Not as much as salads and vegetables, perhaps, but in moderation, I advocate it. In fact, plain vegetables aren't as nutritious as with bit of butter. Variety is the key: http://sacredappetite.wordpress.com/category/variety-the-only-rule/, not eating the same stuff all the time. I’m aware that the general view is that butter and any kind of fat is bad, but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Kristie
Kristie

Hey butter and cream cheese supply a lot of good fats and protein (cream cheese).

Millie@Real Food for Less Money
Millie@Real Food for Less Money

Hi Anna! Each girl ate one liver filled crepe. I actually think that they liked them but didn't want to admit to it, stubborn girls. They loved the spinach crepes by themselves.

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

I'm so glad you liked the crepes! I hadn't made them in years but I am going to make them again while Alex is home for Christmas. They were always a favorite. Anybody who tried them has liked them. I see that kids are often prejudiced against certain foods because their parents communicate to them that it's something "yucky." Liver absolutely has to be cooked right for it to be good. I was lazy recently and just threw some leftover raw liver in a pan and cooked it plain and it was totally gross. I think most people try it that way, so I can't blame them. Cooked right it's delicious. Thanks for commenting on my blog!