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I made crepes today! I thought it was going to be a total disaster after my first two, but then I switched to my little 6 inch skillet. I read up on my technique, and thought I knew exactly what to do, but if your skillet isn’t non-stick, it’s not gonna work. I used almost 3 tbsp of batter for each crepe. I heated up the skillet to medium high and brushed it with melted butter. Then I poured the crepe batter with the skillet at an angle. I aimed for the far right quadrant and swirled the batter counterclockwise. The crepe recipe and technique are from Cook’s Illustrated via Cookography. My batter made 11 or 12 crepes after my first two 9 inch ones that ended up in the garbage.

I made creamed mushrooms as the filling, using a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I subbed some 2% milk for some of the cream to save a few cals, and used an entire yellow onion and probably 2/3 lb of mushrooms. I added thyme and they were absolutely delicious.

The actual idea for baking crepes came from Taste and Tell. I used her bechamel recipe (cutting back on some of the cream and using milk) and added S&P. I ended up adding more milk to the bechamel when it was time to assemble because it had thickened a little too much. I used black forest ham and put a little swiss inside the crepes. I filled and topped the crepes with some green onions as well. I baked as instructed, but broiled at the end to brown the cheese. Making this was a lot of fun and very good, too!

CREPES

From: Cook’s Illustrated

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for brushing pan

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in food processor or blender until a smooth batter is formed, 3 to 4 seconds.
  2. If you want to make a very tender crepe, transfer the batter to a covered container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You can leave the batter in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When you are ready to begin cooking, gently stir batter if the ingredients have separated.
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the pan bottom and sides very lightly with the extra melted butter. The butter should sizzle when it hits the pan. When the butter stops sizzling, pour the batter into the pan. For a 6 or 7 inch pan, use 2 1/2 tablespoons of batter (fill a 1/4 cup measuring cup just over half way). For a 10 inch pan, use a full 1/4 cup of batter.
  4. When pouring the batter, tilt the pan down and slightly to the right. Tilt the pan slowly, in counterclockwise motion, until a thin even crepe is formed. Cook until the bottom is spotty brown, loosening the crepe from the pan side with a table knife or rubber spatula to check for doneness. This should take 30 seconds to 1 minute. Flip the loosened crepe quickly with fingertips or spatula and cook until spotty brown on other side, about 30 seconds longer.
  5. Place cooked crepe on plate and repeat cooking process with remaining batter, brushing pan as necessary, every two to three crepes.

Note:

Crepes can be double-wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Creamed Mushrooms on Chive Butter Toast
Adapted from Melissa Clark, New York Times, 5/16/07

Clark originally crafted this recipe for morels, but the fact that they’re out of season now was really a boon as I realized, not even for the first time, that when you cook mushrooms well, even simple brown ones will taste like luxury. I used a mix of shiitakes and creminis, but you could easily just use creminis. They’ll still taste like they should be served from an ornate glass bowl with a delicate silver spoon.

1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, or a mix of wild mushrooms such as morels, shiitakes, oysters or chanterellas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for toast
1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons dry white wine or white vermouth
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Slices brioche or good white bread, crusts cut off if desired
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
Coarse sea salt such as fleur de sel or Maldon, for garnish

Clean excess dirt from mushrooms. Slice mushrooms in half lengthwise and brush away any grit; chop into 1/4-inch pieces.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until very limp, about three minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, for about five minutes. Add wine, reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for about five minutes more. (There are a lot of “abouts” on the cooking times because I found that mine took less time at each step; however, I also may have chopped my mushrooms and shallots smaller than the recommended size.)

Uncover pot and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about two minutes. Stir in cream; simmer until slightly thickened, two minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toast bread and spread with butter. (Clark recommended four slices of brioche, to make eight toasts, but I had enough mushrooms for almost triple that.) Cut each slice in half diagonally and sprinkle lightly with chives. Top each toast triangle with some mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with additional chives, garnish with sea salt, and serve.

Other uses for these mushrooms: I’d imagine they’d make a wonderful simple pasta sauce or, of course, something delicious to prop a poached egg upon, toast and all.

Ham and Mushroom Crepes

serves 6-8

total time: about 45 minutes

for the crepes
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
butter, for the pan

for the filling
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons flour, divided
1 cup cream, divided
1/2 cup milk
freshly grated nutmeg
12 slices of ham

1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss
parsley

Whisk together the eggs, milk, flour and salt. Set aside for at least 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a 6″ to 7″ non-stick skillet, heat a small amount of the butter. Add 2 tablespoons of the crepe batter and tip the pan around to cover the bottom. It will be thin. Let it cook until it is lightly browned, then flip over to cook the second side. Repeat, making a total of 12 crepes.

Make the filling: In a saute pan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour over the mushrooms and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute, then add in 1/2 cup of the cream. Cook until thickened.

In a saucepan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon flour and cook for a minute or two. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup milk. Grate in a small amount of nutmeg. Cook until thickened.

Assemble crepes: Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Put a piece of ham on each crepe. Top with the mushroom mixture. Roll each crepe and place, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish. Top with the sauce, and sprinkle with the cheese. Cook in the preheated oven until heated through and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

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