Episode 57 – “Crepe Expectations”

Posted: March 4, 2016 in Season 5
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Crepes are a true favorite of mine. My mom would make crepes for us occasionally when we were kids, usually serving them for breakfast with bananas, strawberries, and whipped cream. Yes, we were quite fortunate to have a mom who made us such wonderful breakfasts! It had been quite a while since I had last made crepes (years, probably), so I had a good time revisiting crepes in this episode.

Crepes

Alton’s plain crepes are made by combining 2 eggs, 3/4 C milk, 1/2 C water, 1 C flour, and 3 T melted butter in a blender.

Blend the crepe mixture for only 7-10 seconds, as you do not want to over-mix the batter. To make your crepes sweet, add 1 t vanilla and 2 1/2 T sugar to your batter.

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Vanilla and sugar are added to the batter to make sweet crepes.

Sweet crepes are great with Nutella. My brother and I enjoyed many Nutella crepes when we took a trip to Paris a few years ago.

Alternatively, to make savory crepes, add 1/4 t salt and 1/4 C chopped fresh herbs to the batter.

Refrigerate the batter for 1-24 hours before cooking your crepes. When ready to make your crepes, heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lube your pan with butter and wait until the butter begins to bubble. You should only need to lube your pan prior to the first crepe.

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Pan lubed with butter.

Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour a thin layer of batter into the pan, swirling the pan to coat as you pour. A full 1/4 C of batter will be too much. For my pan, filling the measuring cup about 2/3 full resulted in perfect crepes. When the edges of your crepe start to pull back from the pan, your crepe is ready to flip.

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Crepe batter poured into lubed pan.

Alton flipped his crepe in mid-air, but I used my fingers to lift and flip my crepe. Cook the second side of the crepe just until set.

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Crepe finishing its cooking in the pan.

You can keep your crepes warm for about 30 minutes in a low oven. For longer storage, stack your crepes between layers of wax paper and refrigerate or freeze.

Mushroom Crepe Cake

Once you have made all of these crepes, what should you do with them? For a savory crepe entree, try Alton’s mushroom crepe cake. You will first need to make a batch of crepes, as described above; you can choose to make plain or savory crepes. I made a batch of plain crepes for my mushroom cake. Next, you will need to make the mushroom filling for your “cake.” Begin by dicing an onion and thinly slicing a pound of mushrooms – Alton used 1/2 pound brown mushrooms and 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms.

Once you have sliced all of your mushrooms, set half of the mushrooms aside and finely chop the other half.

Set a large skillet over medium-low heat and sweat the onion in 2 T melted butter.

When the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms and 1 t Kosher salt.

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Mushrooms added to the pan.

Cook this mixture until it has reduced by 2/3.

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Mushroom mixture, reduced by 2/3.

Add 4 ounces whole milk to the pan and cook the mixture until it is a loose paste.

Sprinkle 1/2 C shredded provolone over the mushroom mixture, and stir until melted; I had to chop some provolone slices for this, as I could not find a block of provolone at my store.

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Provolone added to the mushroom mixture.

Taste the filling and season it to taste with salt and pepper. To assemble your cake, place two crepes on a buttered sheet pan. Spread a thin layer of the mushroom filling over the crepe and sprinkle chopped chives on top. Top with another crepe.

Continue this layering until you have about eight layers. Sprinkle the top crepe with grated Parmesan cheese and warm the cake in a 250-degree oven until heated through.

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Layers of crepes and mushrooms.

Cut into wedges and serve.

We ate this mushroom cake as a dinner entree and thought it was delicious. I also shared some with my parents and they really enjoyed it. This cake also makes a very pretty presentation, as you can clearly see the layers when you cut the cake into wedges. The mushroom filling is rich, savory, and creamy, while the crepes are light and smooth. I think I will likely make this one again.

Crepes Suzette

For a crepe preparation using dessert crepes, Alton made Crepes Suzette. For this recipe, you will need a batch of dessert crepes, as described above. To make Alton’s version of this classic recipe, combine 4 oz orange liqueur, 1 T sugar, and 1 T brown sugar in a skillet over medium heat.

Stir this mixture until the sugar dissolves and is nearly dry. Stir in 1/4 pound of softened butter and stir the mixture until it tightens.

Add crepes to the pan, coating them evenly with the sauce and folding them into quarters.

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Crepes added to the pan.

Serve the crepes warm with vanilla ice cream.

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Crepes Suzette.

In full disclosure, I folded my crepes prior to putting them in the pan. And, I misread my recipe and added 1/4 C butter instead of 1/4 pound. Big difference, I know. Still, we thought these crepes were a delicious dessert. Though I had heard of Crepes Suzette, I can’t honestly say whether I had eaten them before this. The orange liqueur really does not come through much, as the sauce is really more of a caramel. We ate these two nights for dessert and thought they were great. If you make the crepes ahead of time, these come together in a matter of minutes.

Crepe Quiche Lorraine

The final recipe in this episode is for miniature quiches made with crepe crusts. I used my batch of savory crepes for this recipe. Begin by lining each cup of a nonstick muffin tin with one crepe, allowing the edges to pleat on themselves.

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Crepes lining muffin tin.

For the quiche filling, whisk together 8 eggs and 1 1/2 C milk. Add 1 t Kosher salt and some black pepper.

To each crepe cup add some sauteed onion, crumbled bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Ladle in some of the egg filling.

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Egg filling added to quiches.

Bake the quiches at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until set.

My quiches took a few extra minutes of baking. We ate these for dinner and thought they were a creative use of crepes. However, they were not mind blowing. My crepes seemed to be a little too large for the muffin tin, so I would use smaller crepes if I were to make these again. Overall, this was a really good episode and all of the recipes were really fun to make.

 

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