Review: Chasi’s Place BBQ

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Restaurant Review

Update: Chasi’s has moved to a building near the corner of James and Main (technically on Main, just east of James, right by the motel) on the East side. Keep an eye out for the sign and the smoker outside.

This past weekend was a great one – one full of new food discoveries. Just when I think I’ve had everything that Columbus has to offer, I make one new discovery after another. I’ve been on the lookout for new food trucks ever since Taco Trucks Columbus came to fruition, but this was the first time I’ve ever seen a BBQ truck.

Chasi's Place BBQ Truck

I sent Paul over to scout it out, and was amazed by what he found.

Sign for Chasi's Place

Chasi’s Place BBQ is on Briggs Rd, a little bit west of Briggs High School. It’s run by one Joe Craig, a God-fearin’ Tennessee native who taught himself to cook when he was growing up in a big family. He was so friendly, and a pleasure to speak with, and more than happy to talk barbecue, one of his loves.

Joe Craig of Chasi's BBQ Truck

He lives right across the street, which makes it easy for him to drag over his smoker every morning to fire it up. He prefers using hardwoods because of the superior flavor. On this particular day, he was using cherry. By the time we got there, the ribs had been smoking for hours and were fall apart tender.

Ribs/Smoker at Chasi's Place

But the true test? Is in the eating. A full slab of ribs (actually honest to goodness spare ribs, long and thick with meat) is twice the amount shown below (and you’re only seeing one layer there, there’s actually another layer of ribs in that box), and can easily feed 4 normal people or 2 people with ravenous appetites. They are *the* best ribs I’ve had, ever, beating even those I’ve had down south. Nicely dry rubbed, smoked for hours, and served with a side of his homemade BBQ sauce – totally worth the $20 per slab cost.

Half Slab of Ribs from Chasi's BBQ Truck

He also has perch sandwiches ($6), which were nicely cornmeal breaded and deep fried to perfection. If you’re eating it in sandwich form, though – watch out for the pinbones, of which there were quite a few. It looks like 6 fillets come on a sandwich, so it’s one heck of a value.

Perch Sandwich from Chasi's BBQ Truck

Later on, we also had a smoked chicken ($11, but not pictured), which was also amazing – the flavor went though clear to the bone, and it was unbelievably tender and juicy.

He usually does sides (potato salad, collard greens, etc) but didn’t yesterday, so we’re hoping to stop by again soon to try them.

Who would have thought that you could find the best BBQ in Columbus at a roadside truck? I sure didn’t, but now that I know….

If you’d like to go: Chasi’s Place BBQ, 2686 Briggs Rd, Columbus, 43204, 614.209.8758 (call ahead orders accepted), Tues-Sun 11a-7p.

Event: Columbus Taco Truck Tour ’09

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Ethnic, Events

When the folks over at Taco Trucks Columbus announced that there would be a tour of the west side taco trucks, my husband and I were stoked – after all, this was our side of town, these are all trucks that we visit regularly, and how often does it happen that a fun event happens around here? I’ve long been of the opinion that in a lot of ways, the west side is underrated, and that is especially true when you consider the great food these taco trucks are putting out. So if taco trucks are our claim to fame, so be it. :) And that was one of the things that I was most looking forward to happening during this tour – others falling in love with this food and these people as much as I have.

The tour started at the Little Mexico taco truck on Sullivant, where at least 80 people gathered. The organizers were smart, and gave everyone different maps, which would keep the trucks from all getting swamped at one time. My husband, in his infinite wisdom, decided that even though I was driving the route, he wanted to bike. Even joked about, how with the detour (because of the construction on Clime Rd) and all, he’d even get there before me. Fast forward to about an hour later, when everyone else had moved on to their next destination, and I’m sitting there getting sunburned, with the sound of crickets all around. Bethia and I decided to head next door to the Mexican bakery, and we spy Paul pushing his bike down the road. Apparently, the biking contingent had some really fierce headwinds to deal with, which made bicycling west rather unpleasant. So off we go to Las Delicias, his bike in the trunk. ;)

I had a variation of two tacos at almost all of the trucks we tried (with the exception of Los Potosinos, where we ordered a whole pollo al carbon to go). Here are my asada tacos from Las Delicias:

Taco Truck Tour Columbus Spring '09

The day was extremely hot, and both Las Delicias and Los Potosinos had Nieves, a Mexican shaved ice that was quite refreshing. I tried out the coconut at both, with Los Potosinos having a slight edge.

Taco Truck Tour Columbus Spring '09

The biking contingent of the group and most of the organizers seemed to end up at Los Potosinos, where we spent a good amount of time joking around with Lydia, one of the proprietors of the truck. My husband and I are Los Potosinos regulars, and absolutely love Lydia and her husband. The fun really started when she broke out the sombreros.

Taco Truck Tour Columbus Spring '09

Witness the two amigos, aka Jim and Zach, aka Columbus Foodcast.

Taco Truck Tour Columbus Spring '09

I think amigo #3 was too full to stand. ;)

Taco Truck Tour Columbus Spring '09

Even though I didn’t get to make it to all six trucks, I had a wonderful time. Even (thanks to Jim mentioning it), discovered a pink all-seafood truck named (I think) Muy Chula (loosely translated to ‘very cool’ in Spanish) on Sullivant (in a gas station lot between Wilson and Demorest) that has the most wonderful fish/shrimp empanadas ever, and really good and spicy ceviche and octopus.

Looking forward to the taco truck tour of the east side!

Review: Bayleaf India Bistro

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Restaurant Review

Ever since my go-to Indian place, Sher E Punjab, closed a few months ago, I’ve been searching for a replacement. When I’ve asked friends and people I respect for recommendations, one of the names that came up over and over again was Bayleaf India Bistro, which is located in the former Ted’s Montana Grill space up at Polaris. A few months ago I went and had lunch buffet with Lisa, and enjoyed it very much. So much so, that I vowed to return with my husband in tow for dinner.

Outside of Bayleaf Indian Bistro

The decor and atmosphere is surprisingly elegant given its strip-mall location, and the food can best be described as gourmet Indian or Indian with a twist on the traditional. At least on the evening we went, they seemed to cater to a predominately Indian clientele, which is always a good sign in an ethnic restaurant. After being seated, we were presented with a basket of pappadum (a crisp flatbread) and two sauces – one tamarind and date based, the other a conglomeration of fresh herbs and yogurt.

Pappadum from Bayleaf India Bistro

I’ve been craving samose like crazy all winter, and thoroughly enjoyed their version of them (3 samosa for $3.95). The filling was nicely spicy, and although they are a deep fried item, they weren’t overly greasy as many samosa usually are. They were served with a sweet chili sauce on the side.

Samose from Bayleaf India Bistro

We also opted for an appetizer of Vegetable Pakoras ($3.95), which were vegetables such as spinach leaves and onions dipped into a chickpea batter and deep fried, and served with the same sweet chili sauce that came with the samose. These were also solid, at least as good as any other we’ve had.

Vegetable Pakora from Bayleaf India Bistro

For my entree, I decided to go with one of their signature dishes, something a little different from traditional Indian dishes, called Khuroos-E-Tursh ($15.95), which is a chicken breast stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, onions and cheese and topped with a creamy cashew curry sauce, redolent with cardamom. It came with sides of saffron rice and veggies, which suited the dish perfectly.

Stuffed Chicken with Cashew Sauce from Bayleaf India Bistro

My husband opted for the Mixed Grill ($15.95), an assortment of tandoori cooked meats, each with their own marinade and heat level. It was nicely paired with the saffron rice and a brown curry sauce, and seemed to be a great value.

Mixed Grill from Bayleaf India Bistro

For dessert, I chose the Kheer ($3.95), a rice pudding prepared in the traditional method. Although quite delicious, the cardamom got a bit overwhelming after a few bites.

Kheer from Bayleaf India Bistro

My husband went with the better choice, a Bayleaf specialty and a twist on a traditional dessert – Chocolate Gulab Jamun ($4.95) fried cottage cheese balls in a chocolate syrup. It was nice and rich without being too overwhelming.

Chocolate Gulab Jamun from Bayleaf India Bistro

Service was a little uneven – we seemed to have two different waiters, one of who was excellent and very attentive, the other who seemed indifferent and ignored us for the most part. The bright spot of the evening was speaking to the owner (or manager, not sure) who was very friendly, engaging, and gave us a lot of information on the specific dishes.

Bayleaf also offers a lunch buffet 7 days a week, which I think to be one of the best in Columbus. Although, for us, frequent trips to Bayleaf aren’t very practical because of distance, it’s definitely somewhere we’d go again if in the area.

If you’d like to go: Bayleaf India Bistro, 1025 Polaris Parkway, Columbus, OH 43240, 614.825.1053

Bayleaf India Bistro on Urbanspoon

The bonoPIZZA Pay It Forward Plan

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Restaurant News

Want to see our favorite pizza joint have another brick and mortar home? One with lots of seating and parking? Here’s how you can help. As seen on Columbus Underground (if you have any detailed questions, ask on the CU thread):

Want To Help bonoPizza Move Into a New Location?

Last weekend bonoPIZZA made their return with an outdoor parking-lot setup in front of the old Cowtown Pizza location. Due to the overwhelming response, Bill & Peggy Yerkes are looking to expedite the process in which they’re going to be moving back into a more permanent indoor venue. Bill notified us earlier today that they’ve found a great spot in the Grandview-Area that features loads of free parking, patio seating, and indoor seating space for 30-40 people. The only catch is that they’ve only got around 80% of the funds ready to get the location secured and opened, and are currently around $5,000 short.

Always the non-traditionalist, Bill has put together a proposal for his loyal customers to help raise the extra cash quickly. He calls it the “bonoPIZZA Pay it Forward Plan”.

Effective immediately, bonoPIZZA will begin selling half-price gift certificates in $100 and $200 increments. The $100 gift certificate will cost $50, and the $200 gift certificate will cost $100, making it a great deal for anyone planning on dining at bono in the future. The goal is to sell approximately 75 of these certificates to cover the cost of raising the additional $5,000.

Once the $5,000 mark is reached, certificates will no longer be sold, so quantities are very limited.

Bill stated that the certificates issued will be individually numbered with each contributor’s name labeled as a “bono savior”. If the $5,000 amount is not reached, all checks and payments will be returned in full, and Bill said that a “WTF, We Tried” certificate will still be issued to all who gave it a shot.

To place an order you can reach Bill via phone at 614-441-2880, or send a check to:

Bill Yerkes
1724 Northwest Blvd
Columbus, Ohio 43212

I know Paul and I are in – $200 in gift certificates will get us through most of the summer, and I can’t think of a single place I’d rather see open again. Who else is in?

BTW, there’s very little time to get this done – the deadline is April 28th. So act fast! :)

Cookbook Spotlight: Gale Gand’s Brunch

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Blogging Event, Food Porn

I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in this round of Cookbook Spotlight, a food blogging event where a group of bloggers all receive the same book, and blog about it by cooking a recipe from within the book. On this go round, the book chosen was Gale Gand’s Brunch!: 100 Fantastic Recipes for the Weekend’s Best Meal, which is chock full of brunch recipes ranging from both the simple to the complex.

Torta Rustica

We chose to make the Torta Rustica (pg 65-67), which easily has to be in the top 10 list of the best things I’ve eaten in the past year. You would think that a conglomeration of ingredients like puff pastry, eggs, spinach, mushrooms, ham, mozzarella cheese and roasted red peppers would clash a bit, but it melded together in a way that brought out the best of each individual ingredient. And although a bit time consuming, it was one of the simplest and most satisfying recipes I’ve made in years. Unfortunately, by publisher request I can’t include the recipe (although I’d love to), so you’ll have to buy (or borrow) the book to get it.

The book itself is visually stunning, a nice dust-jacketed hardback with large colorful pictures of each recipe. This is a book that I would have added to my collection regardless, as there are still a ton of recipes that I still want to make, like Baked Cinnamon-Apple French Toast, Quick Pear Streusel Coffee Cake, Glazed Crullers and more. This is definitely one you want to add to your collection if you haven’t already.

Grandview=Foodie Central? Who Knew?

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Food Porn

When I heard a few weeks ago that BonoPizza would be making appearances on Friday nights in the parking lot of the carryout store on 3rd and Northwest, I got super duper excited. I mean, I made no secret of my love for their pizza last summer. Unfortunately, the date slipped my mind, so I remembered (with the aid of Twitter) that last night was the night, but didn’t leave the house until like 7:30 or so. I didn’t think it would be a problem, because they were supposed to be there from 5-10. When I got there at almost 8, it was darn near like a party in the parking lot, which was packed. Unfortunately for me, it was a party I was a day late and a dollar short for, as they had stopped taking orders about 45 minutes previous, when they ran out of dough. Perhaps it was a good thing, though – because I learned that because almost everyone ordered their pizzas at the same time, it took upwards of 2 hours for some pizzas to get done. And I came this–>< --close to getting towed, I'm sure, even though I was parked in a legal space. But it seemed to be a mellow crowd, who for the most part, were perfectly content with waiting as they miss BonoPizza just as much as I do.

Lucky for me, someone gave me a heads up that BonoPizza would be at Junctionview Studios in Grandview tonight, so all was not lost. Indeed, I wouldn’t have to wait until next Friday to try again and roll the dice and camp out early for pizza. I could do that tonight.

We arrived as close to the 7pm start of the event there as possible, and I think we ordered the first pizzas of the night. Bill was there with his mobile pizza cart, a new employee, and raring to go. Even though BonoPizza is the best in Columbus, part of what makes it so good is Bill’s personality. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as genuinely nice in my whole entire life.

Bill of BonoPizza @ Junctionview Studios 4/18/09

We decided on three pizzas, none of which we’ve ever had before. We both took a chance and ordered the Berliner, which is a pizza with kielbasa, sauerkraut, and just a bit of Thai hot chili pepper which definitely made the flavor pop. We ate it piping hot while waiting for our other pizzas. Even though it doesn’t sound good, I assure you that the combination is delicious.

Berliner Pizza from BonoPizza

We also ordered a Funghi, which was topped with a delicious combination of very buttery tasting shiitakes and white mushrooms. Easily, hands down, my favorite of the evening.

BonoPizza Funghi Pizza

The Hulk pizza put us in veggie heaven – it’s usually topped with a combination of green veggies, and todays combination of spinach, zucchini, artichoke hearts, olives, green peppers and avocado, on a pesto base, was truly delicious.

BonoPizza Hulk Pizza

I unfortunately missed the bonding experiences of nights at the previous shop in the Eleni Christina space, but it seems like a brick and mortar location for Bono could be a reality real soon now. More details as I have them and am allowed to disclose.

But to our surprise there were other vendors there as well. I had been meaning to try Rad Dog all winter during the Rad Dog/Sticky Bun Challenges, but just about every day they were being held was far too cold for me to brave the weather. I have no idea how Tawd managed to do it himself without freezing to the bone.

Tawd of Rad Dog @ Junctionview Studios 4/18/09

The Rad Dog, a veggie beer brat topped with grilled onions, sauerkraut, and mustard, is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. Had I not known, I would have assumed they were meat. There definitely is no shortage of flavor here.

Rad Dog from Rad Dog

It’s a little bit easier to tell with the Cowabunga dog, which is topped with salsa, chil, ketchup, and mustard. But even then, it was a texture thing, not a flavor thing. I can honestly say I like these dogs at least as much as I like regular hot dogs. Go figure.

Cowabunga Dog from Rad Dog

And the biggest delicious surprise was Liberte Crepes. A crepe cart? In Columbus? Really?

Liberte Crepes @ Junctionview Studios 4/18/09

We got one savory, and one sweet. The savory was filled with spinach, mushrooms, and an Ohio swiss cheese. So, so good.

Spinach, Mushroom and Cheese Crepe from Liberte Crepes

The sweet? Nutella and bananas. I’ve never had the combination previously, but now that I have…watch out. Yum.

Nutella and Banana Crepe from Liberte Crepes

So what was originally going to be a quick BonoPizza stop turned into something that foodies dream of. A fantastic food free for all. Who’s been holding out on me?

By the way…I’m in the process of talking Paul into buying a wood-burning pizza oven for the backyard. I think it would go perfectly with the outdoor kitchen. We’ve almost reached an agreement. So who’s up for a pizza party if I can convince him it’s a good idea? :)

Review: Salvi’s Bistro

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Restaurant Review

Years ago, when we lived in Hilliard (and later on, Dublin), Salvi’s was a restaurant we used to visit quite often. It was, and still remains, a great alternative for the Olive Garden crowd. As a rapidly approaching middle aged couple with no children, we don’t usually need to consider small things like whether or not a restaurant is “family friendly” before we visit. And maybe things like loud unruly children annoy us a little more than they used to. So bear in mind that this review is written on the heels of being greatly annoyed by being seated next to a couple who allowed their five or six year old to chase their two year old around the restaurant instead of running after said child themselves, and almost watching said child cause a near disaster because one of the places they ran into was the kitchen as a server was coming out with food.

So how did we end up here in this child-friendly hell, you ask? Well, we had fond memories of the PastaSalvi Speciale, and were tempted by both the promise of Osso Buco with Risotto Milanese (which unfortunately, I found out, they took off the menu due to poor sales) and the desire to use the Prestige Card discount for the place.

It’s a fairly large but still somewhat cozy space, darker than you expect because of the shutters over the windows. With ample seating available, we wondered why they sat us in the worst seat in the house, next to swinging kitchen doors and clanging so loud we couldn’t hear each other think when there were plenty of other empty tables. We asked if we could be moved, and they accommodated that request with no problem.

After finding out that there was no Osso Buco to be had, I was at a bit of a loss on what to order. We munched on the soft bread sticks and bread basket while we were deciding.

Salvi's Bread Service

For an appetizer, we chose the Chef’s Sampler ($12.95), which contains the much anticipated PastaSalvi Special (breaded and fried pasta, with marinara and mozarella over top), Mozzarella Fritta, Bistro Fondue and Mushrooms Stuffed with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Cheese and served with a Garlic Aioli. While they were all well prepared, I think my tastes in Italian food have changed over the years, because I personally found all the fried items to sit very heavy. I think these days I tend to lean more towards salads and small plates. However, I think this of combination would go over famously with a crowd, especially one that includes people who are hard to please.

Salvi's Appetizer Sampler

The entrees we chose normally come with a family style salad, but we opted to upgrade to Caesar salad for an extra $2 each. The Caesar salad was competent in its preparation and well dressed, but we needed to ask our server for more freshly grated cheese and pepper to suit to our taste buds. However, again, it was predictable enough in its preparation that it would be a family pleaser, as it lacked such traditional Caesar accoutrements like anchovy fillets.

Salvi's Caesar Salad

Without realizing it, my husband and I ended up with nearly identical entrees. My husband ordered his chicken marsala with fettuccine rather than potatoes, and it came out looking very much like my chicken fettuccine. The Chicken Marsala ($13.25) pairs slightly dry chicken tenders with quartered cremini mushrooms with a creamy wine sauce. Nice mild flavor, and it paired well with the pasta.

Salvi's Chicken Marsala

I went with the Tuscan Style Chicken Fettuccine ($13.25), which pairs spinach and egg fettuccine with a creamy alfredo-esque sauce, topped with chicken tenders and the same cremini mushrooms, and finished with some Marsala sauce. To be honest, although they were virtually identical, I preferred my husband’s version, because the alfredo muted the flavor of the dish quite a bit.

Salvi's Chicken Alfredo

So while we weren’t blown away by the cuisine at Salvi’s, were weren’t totally disappointed either. Other than the ambiance, everything was pretty good. Like we said, we could get a similar experience at Olive Garden, but why not keep the money local?

We hear they have a really good brunch on Sundays, and we’d like to go back sometime soon to find out. In the meantime, if you’ve got a crowd to feed, and don’t want to spend a fortune, and if you prefer your Italian family style rather than more authentic, there are a lot worse choices.

If you’d like to go: Salvi’s Bistro,1323 St. James Lutheran Lane, Columbus (closest major intersection is Trabue and Hilliard-Rome Rds), 614.870.8788

Salvi's Bistro on Urbanspoon

Creamy Southwest Chicken Pasta

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Blogging Event, Food Porn, Recipes

My “go-to” dish when I just need to whip something together on a busy night is usually some form of pasta. This dish is loosely inspired by the Southwestern Mac and Cheese at Surly Girl Saloon, made with a bunch of things I already had in my pantry and fridge. I’m submitting it to be part of this week’s Presto Pasta Nights roundup, hosted by Katie of One Little Corner of the World.

Creamy Southwest Chicken Pasta

Creamy Southwest Chicken Pasta

1 lb. rotini pasta
2 poblano peppers, seeds removed and cut into strips
1 large onion, sliced thinly
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 package chicken strips
1 bottle Heinz chili sauce
1 pint cream
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
4 oz. shredded cheddar/monterey jack, plus extra for sprinkling
5 Roma tomatoes, diced
Penzey’s Southwest seasoning, to taste
Penzey’s Fajita seasoning, to taste
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste

Start water for pasta, and prepare the pasta as you are making the sauce.

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet, and then saute peppers and onions until starting to soften. Add chicken. Add corn and beans, and stir. Add chili sauce and cream, and stir. Heat until simmering, and then add cheese, a little bit at a time. and stir though until melted. Season to taste with spices. Set aside.

When pasta is cooked, drain and add to sauce and stir though. Dish out into bowls, top with more cheese and diced tomatoes, and serve.

Fromage Fort

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Blogging Event, Food Porn, Recipes

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve got a serious cheese fixation – I’ve rarely met a cheese I don’t like. What this means for me is that at any given time, I’ve got a cheese drawer of cheese bits – packages of half eaten cheese that usually go bad before I have a chance to get back to them. That is, until I found this recipe for fromage fort, a spread made out of leftover cheese, wine and garlic. I’m a convert! Now, no cheese goes to waste, as whenever I half a half pound of cheese laying around, I whip a batch of this up. It changes flavor as it sits, and in my opinion, gets better as it ages. This particular batch is a mixture of mushroom brie, truffle cheese, and sundried tomato and basil cheese. I’ve yet to try the suggestion of spreading it on baguette and broiling it in the oven, but the idea sounds divine.

Fromage Fort

I’m submitting this recipe to be part of La Fete du Fromage, the monthly blogging event hosted by Chez Loulou.

Fromage Fort
recipe courtesy Jacques Pepin, via Food & Wine Magazine

1/2 pound cheese pieces
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup dry white wine
Black pepper
Salt

Put about 1/2 pound of cheese pieces in the bowl of a food processor, add 1 garlic clove, about 1/4 cup of dry white wine and a big grinding of black pepper. Salt is usually not needed, but taste the mixture and add some if it is. Process for 30 seconds or so, until the mixture is creamy but not too soft, and then pack it into small containers. The fromage fort is ready to use now, either served cold or spread on bread and broiled for a few minutes. Broiling will brown the cheese and make it wonderfully fragrant.

Cheese Blintz

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Porn, Recipes

Every year around Passover, I get a craving for traditional Jewish foods, even though I’m not Jewish myself. This cheese blintz recipe fired on all cylinders for me, and is definitely a keeper.

Cheese Blintz

Cheese Blintzes
recipe courtesy Marcie Cohen Ferris from “Matzoh Ball Gumbo”

For the crepe batter:
3 large eggs
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. water

For the cheese filling:
1 lb. farmers cheese
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch salt

For the crepe batter: In a blender, place all the ingredients and whirl until smooth, scraping the sides a few times. Or, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the flour, sugar, and salt. Gradually whisk in the water until the mixture is well blended and smooth. Set aside while preparing the filling. (Makes 2 1/2 cups.)

For the filling: Crumble the farmer’s cheese into a medium bowl. Add the cream cheese, sugar, egg, cinnamon, and salt and mash with a fork until well blended.
Rub a 6-inch nonstick skillet with a paper towel moistened with vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the batter, tilt the pan to evenly coat the bottom, and cook until golden brown on the underside, about 3 minutes (although successive crepes will brown faster).
Tip the crepe onto a plate. Place a small piece of waxed paper on top to separate crepes. If not using right away, wrap tightly and refrigerate or freeze. Continue making crepes, stacking them with waxed paper, oiling the pan as needed, and thinning the batter with a tablespoon of water if it gets thick. You will get 20 to 23 crepes.

To assemble: Place a crepe on a work surface. Spoon a scant 2 tablespoons of filling onto the bottom half. Fold in the sides and roll up. Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling. Blintzes may be wrapped and refrigerated or frozen once filled.

To serve: If baking blintzes, preheat the oven to 350° and butter a 13×9 inch glass baking dish plus a smaller baking dish for those that cannot fit into the larger dish. Arrange blintzes seam side down in single layers in the buttered dishes. Dot with 2 to 3 tablespoons butter. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until lightly browned and heated through, 10 to 15 minutes longer.

If frying blintzes, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add enough blintzes seam side down to fit in the pan without touching. Fry until lightly browned and crisp on the underside, about 2 minutes. Turn and fry until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large platter, cover loosely with foil, and keep warm in a 200° oven while you fry the rest. Add butter to the pan as needed. Serve.