Blintz Me, I’m Icelandic
Ari Georgsson is one of Iceland’s most famous chefs, but don’t tell anyone at Katy’s Korner in San Ramon. To the longtime staff and regulars, he’s just Ari, the proud papa of this incredibly popular café.
In the mid-1980s, Georgsson hosted The Master Chef, a popular, pre-Emeril cooking program on European television. He moved to California in the late 1970s, and worked as an executive chef at several of Carmel Valley’s poshest eateries, including the Restaurant at the Quail Lodge. But late nights in the kitchen made this father of five yearn for a more family-friendly gig, so he opened a popular Carmel breakfast joint called Katy’s Place, named for a longtime waitress.
Georgsson relocated his kin to Alamo in 1998, and opened Katy’s Korner
in San Ramon that same year. Some of his Carmel staff came along, and
the new hires from the East Bay have become part of the family. The
always-busy restaurant has been a Tri-Valley breakfast favorite since
it opened. And the blintzes (see recipe at right) are one of the many
Katy's Korner Blintzes with Fresh Berries
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
Mix all ingredients except flour and butter. Add flour slowly and mix well. Grease an 8-inch crepe pan or frying pan lightly with butter, and heat until butter is quite hot, but not burned. Ladle about 1/3 cup (or a bit less) of the batter into the pan and rotate the pan to spread the batter evenly. Cook the crepe until it looks firm and is lightly browned at the edges (about 1 minute), then turn the crepe over with a thin spatula or your fingers and cook the other side for about 30 seconds. Grease the pan with more butter about every other crepe, or when crepes begin to stick.
1 ounce cream
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 pound ricotta cheese
Mix all ingredients except ricotta cheese in a mixer until the sugar dissolves. Add ricotta cheese and mix well.
To assemble blintzes:
Place a crepe on a clean surface. Place 2 tablespoons of filling at one edge of the crepe. Fold each side in, and then roll the crepe from the bottom up, ending with the seam side facing down.
Heat 1 tablespoon
butter in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Place a
few blintzes in the pan, seam sides down. Avoid crowding too many
blintzes into the pan. Fry until nicely browned, 3 or 4 minutes on each
side, adding more butter as needed. Spoon warm fruit sauce (Ari
recommends raspberry) over the blintzes and top with a dollop of crème
fraîche. Sprinkle with fresh mixed berries. Serves 4–6.