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Posts tagged ‘crepes’

How to Make Savory Crêpes

What is a crêpe? A crêpe is a very thin pancake, which is usually stuffed and folded. Commonly found throughout France, the crêpe is a classic at brunch or breakfast, but can easily serve at lunch or dinner.

Many think of crêpes as being filled with fruit and topped with chocolate sauce or whipped cream. But the best thing about crêpes is that they can be served sweet or savory. You can probably guess that we like ours savory! The combination of fillings for a savory crêpe is endless. Think of anything you would put on a sandwich or a pizza…and read on to see some of our ideas.

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Easy Recipe for Crêpes

Before you can fill them, you need to make some crêpes. Here’s the simple recipe.

Basic crêpe batter: Whisk together 2 eggs, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup sifted flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Once the mixture is smooth, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This allows the batter to thicken, which is an important step in crêpe making.

Once the batter has rested, it’s time to cook the crêpes. Heat a small non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Brush a little melted butter over the surface of the pan. Pour a small amount of batter (about 1 ounce) in the center of the pan. Quickly lift the pan and swirl to allow the batter to spread out into a circle. Cook until the edges of the crêpe look dry, about 45 seconds to a minute. Gently flip the crêpe over and cook for another 30 seconds, or until done.

The crêpe will be dry, yet pliable, but will not take on any golden brown color. Transfer to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter. Stack up the crêpes as you make them. The batter will make a number of crêpes, so it’s okay to consider the first few crêpes as practice (and samples for tasting).

Savory Fillings for Crêpes

Anything goes as a filling for a savory crêpe, so make your own delicious combinations. Here are a few crêpe ideas to get you going:

  • Try a breakfast crêpe filled with crispy bacon, shredded white cheddar cheese, and either scrambled eggs or a fried egg.
  • Fill a crêpe with long strands of thin prosciutto, blanched or steamed asparagus, and crumbled goat cheese.
  • Make a simple béchamel (white sauce) and stir in sautéed organic mushrooms. Place inside a crêpe along with leftover shredded poultry (e.g., chicken, turkey, or quail).
  • For the flavors of a classic ham and cheese sandwich, layer slices of ham, Gruyere, and a thin spread of Dijon mustard.
  • Add crisped pancetta, braised rabbit, and some fresh rosemary inside of a crêpe for a remarkable combination.
  • Fold a crêpe around duck confit (or duck rillettes) and sweet caramelized onions for an elegant lunch.
  • Create a hearty crêpe with leftover braised lamb and herb-marinated tomatoes.

Saucy Series VIII: Bordelaise

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Bordelaise Sauce

Sam Ward was one of the great entertainers of the 19th century.  He virtually invented lobbying in Washington.  He had a talent for creating great dinners with perfectly assembled guests who then made deals since they were in a great mood after great food and conversation.

Uncle Sam Ward

When I looked at one of Sam’s dinner menus, I could see what all the fuss was about –– it is everything you would imagine it to be. The menu is thoughtful and yet full of piquant touches like the Sorbet au Marasquin –– a touch of prussic acid from the cherry pits in maraschino liqueur in the sorbet to aid in digestion and cleanse the palate for the last of the dinner. His nephew, another renowned tastemaker named Ward McAllister, said Sam made sure he would never allow that lest “the fatal mistake should occur of letting two white or brown sauces follow each other in succession; or truffles appear twice in that dinner.” It was always a perfectly choreographed dance of flavors –– and conversation. Without both, the event will never be as great a success.

menu 1

What would I chose for the 4th dish from Sam’s dinner table? I think that Crêpes a la Bordelaise are the perfect choice –– a great addition to a beef dinner with steak or roast, potatoes and a vegetable. My crêpes are light and airy with a winey, mushroom-y bordelaise sauce. They could be served flat or as a beggar’s purse. I know they will delight at your dinner. I have made a white wine bordelaise before for you HERE, but this calls for the red wine version.

Bordelaise is another addition to my Sauce Series that uses both the mother sauce Espagnole and demi-glace. I have included recipes for both but it’s a breeze to order your demi-glace from D’Artagnan and store it in the freezer. I just slice off what I need and put the rest back in the freezer. Bordelaise is great for any steak. You can make it ahead and freeze it easily so you can make your meal in a snap.

Menu 3

Delmonico’s Chef Filippini Recipe from Sam Ward’s Era

Menu 2

Delmonico’s Chef Ranhoffer’s Recipe from Sam Ward’s era

If you are so disposed, you can dissolve a spoon of marrow into the mix, as was done long ago. I skipped that step and let the meatiness of the mushrooms add additional flavor and depth. It’s really pretty easy to make if you have the basics in your freezer.

Crêpes Bordelaise for 4

1 recipe for crêpes
1 recipe for bordelaise
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 T butter

Sauté the mushrooms in the butter. Add the mushrooms to the bordelaise. Fold your crêpes into quarters on your plate and ladle the sauce over them or serve the sauce on the side. They can be plated separately or served on a platter.

Crêpes (makes 12)

3/4 c milk
2 eggs
1/2 c flour
1/4 t salt
butter for pan

Throw the milk, eggs, flour and salt into the blender and let it rip for a minute.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.

Use a stick of butter like a marker and run it all over your pan (or you can use a spoon of clarified butter if you have it). Be especially generous for the first few and use butter before each pour of batter. Swirl 2 T of batter around the pan and flip once it has set –– do not allow to brown too much. Keep warm or reheat gently when you are ready to serve.

Bordelaise

2 shallots, chopped fine
2 t oil or butter
1 c red wine
1 clove garlic, chopped
6 T demi-glace from D’Artagnan
3 T Espagnole sauce* (or add a t. of flour to the sautéed shallots with 1 t. of tomato sauce or ketchup and a little more demi-glace)
stems from 4 mushrooms
1/2 bay leaf
pinch of cloves
1 1/2 c mushrooms, sliced
1 T butter or oil

Sauté the shallots in the oil till softened somewhat.

If you are skipping the addition of Espagnole, you can add a teaspoon of flour to the shallots to give the sauce the extra body and add a t. of tomato sauce or ketchup for the right flavor.

Put the wine, garlic, shallots, demi-glace, Espagnole (if you are using it) and stems from mushrooms into a pan and reduce at medium heat until thickened.

Strain the sauce –– you should have about 1/3 cup of sauce about the texture of chocolate syrup –– a bit less if you don’t use the Espagnole. This sauce keeps well for a few days.

*Super-quick version of Espagnole Sauce

1 T butter
1 T flour
1 T bacon
1 T onion
1 T white wine
1 t ketchup
1 cup stock
2 T demi-glace from D’Artagnan

Sauté the flour in the butter till medium brown. Add the rest and cook on low for 20 minutes to 1/2 an hour — till thickened. Keep watch lest it go too far. Strain and use.

•Quick Version of Espagnole Sauce

4 T butter
4 T Flour
3 T diced carrot
3 T diced onion
3 T bacon
2 c stock
1 t thyme
piece of bay leaf
2 T white wine
1/4 c demi-glace from D’Artagnan
2 T tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the flour and butter till it is a medium brown on a medium flame –– stirring all the time.

Add the vegetables, ham and bacon and stir. Slowly add the stock, wine and demi-glace. Cook over a low flame for 45 minutes and add the tomato sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes and strain, pressing hard on the solids. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Save the rest for other uses. It is an invaluable addition to sauces. Freeze it in small portions. Quickest and easiest is to put it in ice-cube trays in 1 T portions and store them in a baggy in the freezer. Then it’s a breeze to use.