Did you say dairy?

Blintzes and crepes for Shavuos

By: Richard Pearce, Owner and Head Chef Totally Kosher

Shavuos is a celebration of the giving of the Torah. It is Hashem and His Torah that have preserved and been the motivating force of the Jewish people’s existence throughout the ages. Cultures, diets, languages, and countries of residence all change, yet Torah remains constant because it is founded on unconditional truth, the only kind of truth that can continue to insure the unique existence of the Jewish people despite all odds. The Torah was given by G-d to the Jewish people to keep and guard for all generations wherever we may find ourselves.

On the first day of Shavuos it is customary to serve a dairy meal. Cheese dishes, such as blintzes, are traditionally served. Many reasons have been put forth for this, one being that the Jews had just received the Torah which contains the laws of what one may and may not eat and as they were not yet well-versed in the laws of shechita (kosher slaughter), they refrained from eating meat.

So, my wife Danya asks me why, in our home, we don’t have a dairy meal on Shavuos. The answer is simple: I’m lactose intolerant.

Enjoy the recipes and chag sameach!




Blintze and Crepe


The basic blintze (parev)

1 cup flour

Pinch of salt

3 eggs

1¼ cups of water

2 Table spoons of vegetable oil

To make different colours one can replace a ¼ cup of water with beetroot juice for a light pink tone or strained spinach juice to make a green-tinged crepe.

The gluten-free crepe (Makes 6-8 crepes)


5 eggs

½ cup almond flour

2 tablespoons arrowroot flour (optional)

2 teaspoons honey (or other sweetener)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch sea salt

Olive, coconut, or avocado oil for frying


In a medium-sized bowl, break the eggs and whisk them until they are well-mixed. Add the flour(s), honey, vanilla, and salt and combine well. You are done stirring when there are no lumps in the batter; it should have a similar consistency to a heavy cream. Heat your pan hot enough that water will sizzle if you flick a few drops on it. If you have a cast iron pan, definitely use it; its heftiness allows it to get very hot and hold its heat very evenly for great results. Brush your oil onto the pan. Pour about ¼–½ cup of batter onto the pan and tilt and swirl it until it cannot get it any wider. Try to swirl it evenly so that it is nicely round, but don’t worry about it too much. Flip the crepe when the top is shiny and the edges are quite dull — this should only take about one minute so don’t walk away! Cook the other side for about one more minute. Serve your crepes with whatever toppings you desire, either folding them in half or in quarters, or rolling them up into delicious little tubes.


Savoury fillings


Goat cheese and courgette

6 spring onions, sliced

4-6 courgettes grated salted and strained to remove excess liquid

½ cup (125ml) grated mature cheddar

½ cup (125ml) crème fraîche

3 large eggs, beaten

1 roll goat cheese

Salt and milled pepper, to taste

Take the grated courgettes with the addition of a little salt, place in a strainer and allow all the excess moisture to drip out. Cut the spring onions finely and add to the courgettes that have been strained. In a separate bowl, mix the crème fraîche and eggs together, then mix with the courgettes and spring onions, and fold in the grated cheddar. Break up the goat cheese into small pieces and add to the finished mixture. Fill and fold into the blintzes or crepes and bake or fry as desired.

Spinach and feta

30g Butter

1 onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, crushed

400g baby spinach leaves, wilted

100g Feta Cheese, crumbled


30g Butter

20g flour

½ cup Full Cream Milk, hot

¼ Cup Cream, warm

Salt and black pepper

Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute. Whisk in the hot milk and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cream and stir. Season with salt and pepper.

For the spinach, heat the butter in a pan over a low heat, cook the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Finely slice the drained and dried, wilted spinach. Stir in the spinach, cook for one minute and add the feta.

Sundried tomato and basil pesto

Sundried tomato paste

100g Sundried tomatoes

1 cup water

30 ml lemon juice

30 ml spirit vinegar

5g oregano

5g chopped garlic

15ml olive oil

3 tbsp. sugar

Place everything in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until the tomatoes are soft. Allow the mixture to cool and then blend the tomatoes to a paste adding in a little liquid at a time, don’t make it too runny.

Basil pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach)

1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan Reggiano cheese

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts)

3 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Place basil leaves, nuts, garlic, and grated cheese into food processor and start to pulse blend the ingredients. Slowly add in olive oil and don’t make the mixture too runny. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Medley of mushrooms

2 tbsp. butter

1 large shallots, finely chopped

500g white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered

100g shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 1-in.-thick slices

100g oyster mushrooms (cut in half if large)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish

1 tsp. lemon zest


Heat butter on medium-high. Add shallots and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms, garlic, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and browned and liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently. Only add zest at the end or it will bitter the mushrooms. Fill the blintzes or crepes.

Smoked salmon and cream cheese relish

Cream cheese relish

250g Cream cheese

50 g Pickled cucumbers drained and strained, padded on a paper

20 g Spring onions

20g Chopped celery

1 Tablespoon brown onion soup powder.

Mix the ingredients above together to make the cheese spread. Spread approximately 2 tablespoons of softened cream cheese on the blintz or crepe. Cover with smoked salmon. Place spring onions, in a bunch, over the salmon. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the salmon. Roll up tightly and wrap in saran wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight. Slice and serve


Sweet fillings


The sweet cheese

1 tub smooth cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp. fresh lemon zest

1 tsp. vanilla essence

Pinch salt

Mix all the ingredients together and spread on blintz or crepe.


8 tbsp. unsalted butter

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. salt

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt and bring to a boil. Continue boiling, stirring continuously, until the mixture is dark, about 2 minutes. Allow to cool. Spread on the blintz or crepe and top with sliced bananas. Fold over and fry till golden brown.

Orange coffee and ricotta cheese

1 tub soft ricotta cheese

¼ cup sugar

2 tsp. orange zest

2 tbsp. orange juice

1 tsp. coffee powder

Mix all the ingredients together and fill the blintzes or crepes.

Apple Butter

Wash and remove the stems and quarter 2kg of apples. Cook slowly in 2 cups of water, cider or cider vinegar. Put the fruit through a fine strainer. Add to each cup of pulp ½ cup of brown sugar.

Then add

3 tsp. of cinnamon

1 ½ tsp. of cloves

½ tsp. of all spice

Grated lemon rind and juice

Cook the butter over a low heat stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Spread a layer on your blintzes or crepes, roll, and enjoy. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar to enhance the flavour.

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