Make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the chicken and add even more beautiful mushrooms to the filling
Crêpes are one of my favourites things in the world. I loved them so much that at 16 I taught myself how to make them for my sweet 16 birthday party. I filled them with strawberry jam and topped them with whipped cream. I think I may have been the only girl who catered her own sweet 16 birthday party!
The thing about making crêpes is it requires time. First, you have to make the batter. Once again I turned to my handy dandy copy of La Varenne Pratique for the basics. I put 1 cup of all-purpose flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt. I made a well in the middle and added 3 eggs and drizzled in 1 cup of milk (I used evaporated skim milk), slowly.
I like to start off with a wooden spoon and then move to a whisk
The recipe called for 2 tbsp spoons of butter but did not say when to add it so I just added 1 tbsp of canola oil and a little extra water until the batter became like a loose and thin pancake batter. I forgot to sift the flour at the beginning so I got lumps so I strained the batter after putting it all together which worked out just fine.
Let the batter sit for at least half an hour. It will thicken a little which is fine but if it seems too thick add a little more milk. I do not have a crêpe pan (yet!) so I used my T-Fal Nonstick Frying Pan. I heated heated the pan over a medium heat and added the butter with sputtered a bit. Using a ladle I slowly poured the batter in the middle of the pan and then swirled the batter around to make the shape of a circle. In just a couple of minutes they were ready to flip.
If the pan gets dry and they start to stick, add more butter. According to my book they recommended flipping with your fingers (yeah right) or tossing it in the air (um…I’m not quite there yet). I used a spatula! I decided to make only four crêpes so I could save the rest of the batter to make some sweet crêpes later. I will have to remember to add a little sugar to the batter!
I filled the crêpes up with some cooked diced chicken and mushrooms that are seasoned with salt and pepper and a spritz of fresh lemon juice. I tucked in the ends and folded them up, this is called a pannequet. I put them in a small buttered casserole dish and covered them with a clean towel, you do not want the crêpes to dry out.
Next came the sauce. The book recommended a Velouté sauce which sounds fancy but it means it is a sauce based on soup stock. I ended up making a roux which is a thickener for sauces. You start off with 1 1/2 tbsp of melted butter and then you add 1 1/2 tbsp of flour and cook them together for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Then I gradually and slowly added approximately 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock, first taking the pot off the heat and slowly whisking together. Then put it back on medium to medium high heat to thicken.
I think I might have added too much stock, I was worried I was not going to have enough sauce (which I didn’t) and so it was runnier than I would have liked but it still tasted amazing. I finished the sauce off with a little bit of fresh lemon juice.
I slathered the crepes with the sauce and topped it with one ounce of shredded Gruyère cheese. I put the crêpes in a 350F oven for 20 minutes and they were gorgeous! Yes, I screwed up a few elements of the dish but what I love about French food is, it still tasted amazing. I had never made a dish with Gruyère cheese before and I loved it so much that I may have to put it in the sauce next time. And perhaps inside the crêpes!
I hope you enjoyed this very long cooking lesson! You know, these crêpes are not something I will make once a week but I would love to make them once a month. I think next time I will make seafood crêpes! And for dessert this week? Chocolate strawberry crêpes…
I love food, the possibilities are endless.