There's nothing you can’t do, now you're in New York.
These streets will make you feel brand new, the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York.
– Lyrics from Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z, Rapper and Trophy Husband
There are certain recipes that change the way you think about food – for me, cheese blintzes is one of them. I was raised on the traditional American suburban breakfast repertoire of pop-tarts, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., so when I was told these odd looking cheese-filled bundles sitting on the dark pool of fruit sauce were "breakfast," it took a few moments to register such a thing was possible.
In addition to helping me realize there was a whole new world of breakfast options out there, cheese blintzes also fed my fascination with New York City. My father grew up in New York, but the small town in which he married my mother and started his family was about as far removed from the City as you could get.
His colorful stories (many of which were true) about growing up in New York City often included mentions of strange and exotic foods from his childhood. I loved these stories, and fell in love with New York through them.
On the occasions when I would get to taste things like knishes, lox, pastrami, and blintzes, it was more than just something to eat; it was a visceral connection to another place.
Ukrainian immigrants (John senior was half Ukrainian) brought these wonderful cheese-filled crepes to New York City, and the Big Apple is now considered the blintz capital of the world (Photo (c) Flickr user kennymatic).
As you watch this video recipe, it may seem a little complicated, but while it does have several steps, they're fairly simple and so worth the effort. This video was shot for About.com during my trip to NYC a couple months ago, so when you click on the video below, you'll be taken to the recipe page there.
Cheese blintzes are a perfect special occasion breakfast or brunch dish, and can be made up ahead of time and finished at the last minute. I hope you give them a try. Thanks Dad. Enjoy!