Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Savory Crepes

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
We had crepes for dessert last year when we had the pumpkin carving party at a co-workers house. I should say it was tres magnifique since they were made by a French guy. The crepes were filled with Nutella (this oh so good chocolate hazelnut spread) and it was really good. Cedric Pienton, the creator of this wonderful dessert gave us his recipe and I've adapted it to something more savory. 

My inspiration for the savory treat was a crepe dish that I used to order in a small restaurant across the pond from the University that I attended which if I remember correctly was called Annie's. It was almost like a trailer type of structure yet they served wonderful crepes and kick-ass desserts, in particular their cheesecakes. My particular favorite was the creamy chicken and mushroom crepe and it was oh so yummy. I've tried to make this concoction before to no avail and was not even close to being good. I figured I'll try again given it has been over 10 years since my last experiment and that I have this new recipe to try out. I had to switch out some of the ingredients as I was told that the recipe for a sweet crepe is different from a savory crepe. I'm glad I held back on the sugar since the crepe came out great. Granted also that I'm on the no meat diet for now, I had to switch to my favorite meat substitutes, spinach and mushrooms. 

Crepes Francais à la Cedric Pienton (adapted) 


500g flour (4 cups)
5 eggs
500 mL Belgian beer (2 cups)
500 mL buttermilk  (2 cups)
1 tsp salt

1. Mix all the ingredients with a wire whisk and let stand for 20 minutes. 
2. Butter and ladle in about 1/2 cup of batter and tilt the pan to spread the  
    batter into the desired size and thickness. 
3. Wait until the edges start to lift off the pan and flip. Cook for another   
    minute or two.   
4. Transfer to a plate and let cool. I just piled them up while cooking the 
    rest of the batter and I had no problem with them sticking to each other. I
    ended up with about 16 crepes

Béchamel Sauce:

½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup flour
3 cups half and half
1 cup water  
salt and nutmeg to taste

1. Melt the butter in a metal skillet over low heat. 
2. Add the flour and mix very well with a wooden spoon to make a roux. 
3. Slowly add in the half and half and with a wire whisk, mix very well to
    break up the lumps. Add the water. 
4. Simmer and keep stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the salt and a pinch of
    nutmeg and check for taste. Make sure the sauce does not taste of
    raw flour. Let cool.
Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Spinach and Mushroom Filling:

1 lb frozen spinach (defrosted and drained)
1 lb chopped mushroom
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic
3-4 cups of grated cheese (I used a mix of Monterey Jack, parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar)
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup white wine
½ cup chopped parsley + extra for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a skillet, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil. It has become my
    habit to sweat out the onion with salt every time I saute them. Another 
    habit is to add a few turns of black pepper with my pepper mill. Cook for
    about 5 minutes until the onions are transluscent. 
2. Add the mushrooms and the wine. Let the mushroom soften and cook until
    most of the liquid is dry. 
3. Add the spinach and mix well. Adjust the seasoning. 
4. Let the mixture cool for about 15 minutes and add about half of the     béchamel sauce. Mix very well.
5. Add in two cups of the grated cheese and the chopped parsley.  

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs

1. Thin out the remaining
    béchamel sauce with 
    ½ cup warm water.
    Ladle half of the sauce
    into a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Fill the crepes with
    ½ cup of the creamy
    filling and wrap into a
    square. Lay it flat on
    the baking dish. Do the
    same for the rest of the
    crepes. You may need
    two baking dishes so just portion out the béchamel sauce. 
3. Pour remaining béchamel sauce and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese
    and the parsley.
4. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes until the cheese has melted and the
    béchamel sauce is bubbly

1 comment:

  1. Folks, any unfiltered beer will do and the resting time for the crepe can be longer than 20 minutes. You can leave it up to an hour. For sweet crepes, replace the buttermilk with regular milk and replace the salt with 5 tbsp of white sugar.