The wonderful crepe: Dinner for less than $5

Need to stretch that dollar to the max when feeding your family? Elise Cooke, author of "Strategic Eating, the Econovore's Essential Guide," says cooking for four for less than $5 is a snap if you think crepes.

Practically by definition, crepes are made with leftovers, because the food in them only heats up long enough to melt cheese. Dig around in the refrigerator, and pull out what you've got.

For savory crepes, some kind of pre-cooked meat, chopped small, with sauteed onions and added cheese taste wonderful. Most vegetables and grated or crumbled cheese do well in this dish as well. Crepes can also go in a sweet direction: chocolate, nutella, cinnamon-sugar, and sweetened thinly sliced fruits all make terrific desserts.
Crepes (makes 15 10-inch crepes)
2 cups flour
4 eggs
1 cup each of milk and water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus 2 more for coating the pan

First, fully prepare what will go in the crepe and set aside.

Whisk together all the ingredients, except 2T of the butter, until thin and runny.

Heat a thin coating of butter on medium heat in a 10- to 12-inch skillet until it's bubbly. Pour in a scant quarter cup of the batter and immediately tilt the skillet so the batter spreads evenly and thinly.

When the batter is light brown on the bottom, carefully turn it over with a wide spatula to brown the other side. Immediately, add about 3/4 cup of filling, and fold the edges of the crepe around it, covering completely.

Turn the crepe over once to finish browning all the sides. Serve hot, with sour cream, jam or syrup, if desired.
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