Yummy! Crepes :) Back from Paris I still feel I missed on some great food so I made my own French dinner: crepes. But not the luscious Nutella Crepes, a salty version of crepes, or a breton gallette if you want. Call it whatever you like but this thing has an outstanding flavor!
When making savory crepes I like to use whole wheat flour. Whole wheat gives the crepes a flavor of their own, instead of simply using them to hold the filling. I also make them thicker than sweet crepes.
I planned on making a few more for the hubby to take to work. They don’t suffer from being reheated in a microwave and therefore are a perfect lunch box. Something went wrong in the process and aside from dinner I ended up with a lunch for me and not one but 2 lunches for the hubby :P Oh well, I don’t easily get bored by flavorful things.
I used some Prague ham in the filling but if you skip it this is a delicious, addictive vegetarian recipe.
With the following ingredients I obtained 8 crepes. 2 crepes are a good portion for one person.
- For the crepes
- 4 eggs
- 400 ml milk
- 100 gr all-purpose flour
- 40 gr whole wheat
- pinch of salt
- For the bechamel (besciamella) sauce
- 60 gr butter
- 50 gr flour
- 500 ml milk (whole milk is ideal for added flavor)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- nutmeg to taste
- 400 gr white mushrooms
- 3 garlic cloves
- olive oil
- chopped parsley
- black pepper
- ham (skip for vegetarian crepes)
- 1 mozzarella ball cubed (could be substituted with pretty much any other cheese, gouda would be perfect)
- grated parmesan cheese
First prepare the crepes batter since it should rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. In a bowl mix the eggs with the milk, flours and a pinch or two of salt. Cover and let rest in the fridge while you prepare the other ingredients.
For the mushrooms we will use the recipe for funghi trifolati, sautéed mushrooms. Slice the mushrooms and toss them in a large pan. Cover and place over medium-high heat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times. The mushrooms will loose their water and begin to cook. Drain the mushrooms and pour in the pan a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, add the garlic cloves, minced or just scored. Fry the garlic and then add the mushrooms back in the pan. Cook for 10 more minutes, uncovered. Add some black pepper and parsley to taste. For the full instructions and pics for the mushrooms check my previous recipe.
On to the bechamel sauce, or besciamella in Italian. For this too you can check my previous recipe which explains how to quickly prepare besciamella in the microwave. I don’t have a microwave so here are the easy instructions to make it in a saucepan: melt the butter over medium heat, remove from heat, add the flour and stir through. A little at a time (so you won’t get lumps) add the milk. Add the salt and a pinch of nutmeg. Bring back to the stove and stirring continuously cook until it starts to boil and a couple of minutes more until it thickens. Taste the bechamel to make sure salt and nutmeg are just right.
You could use the besciamella and the mushrooms as is but I decided to mash the two together to get a mushroomy sauce ;) So I tossed bechamel and mushrooms in a food processor and pureed the whole thing.
All the ingredients for the filling are ready so it is time to prepare an ovenproof dish that will hold your crepes for the final oven touch. Butter the dish and set aside.
Put on the stove over medium heat a 18cm (7″) non-stick pan and let it warm. Add a small piece of butter in the center and pour some crepes batter, you want your crepes thicker than sweet crepes but not as thick as pancakes. Cook for a couple of minutes checking if the crepe starts to slide on the bottom of the pan. When it slides it means it is not liquid anymore so lift one corner and make sure the bottom side is done, it should have started to brown, flip and cook for a couple more minutes on the other side then slide onto a plate and fill.
Position along the center some pieces of ham (skip the ham for a vegetarian dish), pour some mushroomy bechamel sauce (or some bechamel and some mushrooms if you didn’t mash the two). Add some grated parmesan cheese and some cubes of mozzarella or another cheese of your choice. Fold 1/3 of the crepe, then fold the other third, move the crepe to the oven proof pan you buttered earlier.
Proceed in the same way until you finish the crepes batter. At the end I had 8 crepes. Spread a little mushroomy bechamel sauce over the crepes, top with additional grated parmesan and transfer to the oven.
Bake at 180ºC (360ºF) for 25 minutes. Alternatively you could just grill the crepes for few minutes until you get a crunchy top.
I forgot to put the mozzarella inside so I added it on top ;)
Serve your crepes warm and enjoy!