Crêpes feel like a special occasion dish, and often a crêpe bar is requested for weddings or special occasion parties.
They're wonderfully versatile. They can be rolled and stuffed with cheese, seafood, spinach or mushrooms (as in this delicious recipe), or all of the above for that matter. They can be stacked into a fancy crêpe "cake" with luscious fillings spread between the layers, or simply folded on a plate and sauced or served with berries and whipped cream. And, of course, crêpes are the basis for one of my favorite brunch dishes, Blintzes.
They can go sweet or savory, as large as a dinner plate, or cut into minis for cute little tray passed hors d'ouevre.
Over the next few posts, at this blog and my painperdublog, I'll be sharing some favorite crêpe preparations, beginning with these very special Mushroom Crêpes with Mexican Sabor, adapted from Patricia Tausend's great cookbook, Savoring Mexico: Recipes and Reflections on Mexican Cooking, flavored with cilantro and chiles. I know it's not what most of us in So Cal think of as Mexican food, but it's not that odd, really. The French were in Mexico for quite a while, during the colonial era, and being lovers of good food, well, it's no wonder the Mexican people incorporated crêpes into their cuisine.
And while some may try to present crêpes as being intimidating to make, they are really quite simple. I've had my friend Kenneth tape me making them, so you can see for yourself.
By the way, they would make a perfect dish for an intimate little Valentine's dinner. Keep reading below for the recipe and the video...
Mushroom Crêpes (or Crêpas de Hongos)
For the crêpes:
- 1 1/4 cups Wondra flour*
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 3 eggs
- 2-3 tablespoons clarified butter
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
* I use Wondra flour, but all purpose flour can be used, however the batter will need to "rest" longer (about an hour) after mixing before cooking the crêpes.
- Whisk together the flour and salt.
- Dribble in the milk a little bit at a time whisking continuously. A little more milk or water may be needed. The batter should be very thin.
- Whisk in the eggs, 2 tablespoons of the butter and the cilantro.
- Let the batter rest for 10 minutes, if using Wondra flour, or an hour if using all purpose flour.
- Using a 2 ounce, or 1/4 cup measure, pour the batter into a hot crêpe pan coated with a tiny bit of the remining clarifed butter. After the first crêpe or two, you will not need any butter in the pan. Cook for about 25 seconds on the first side, then flip the crepe over and cook for about 15 seconds on the second side. Flip onto a parchment lined baking sheet. (See the video).
For the filling:
- 1/4 cup olive oil, or more if needed
- 4 arbol chiles, seeded
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/4 pounds shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan, Add the chiles and fry for just a few seconds, then transfer them to a paper towel to drain. When they are cool, crumble them and set aside.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté over medium heat until the onion is golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer the onions and garlic to a dish, then raise the heat and toss in the mushrooms, adding more oil if needed.
- Cook the mushrooms stiring occasionally, until soft and brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved chiles, onions and garlic, then add the cilantro, salt and pepper.
For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup Mexican crema
- 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for a few seconds.
- Stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds, then add the milk and crema, bringing to a slow boil. Reduce the heat nd simmer, stirring continuously for several minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Mix half the sauce into the mushroom mixture.
- Stir the cilantro into the remaining ascie
- 1 cup Manchego or Jack cheese
- Several stems of cilantro leaves
- Spoon a couple spoonfuls of the mushroom mixture onto each crêpe and roll them.
- Place the crêpes in a single layer, seam side down, in a baking dish buttered and spread with a bit of the sauce.
- Top with the sauce and cheese. Bake the crêpes in a 375 degree oven until they are brown and the sauce us bubbling, about 10 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and serve.
Related Posts: Muriel's Goat Cheese and Shrimp Crepes at IFBC NOLA