Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back at home...Mushroom Cheese Crepes

Crepes are such a versatile food with their velvety suppleness. They can be street food, an every day meal or dressed up for a formal occasion, all depending on the filling and topping. On chilly days in Paris, I love to get a freshly made, hot crepe as I walk around. It warms the hands and the tummy. In the summer, it is quick dining al fresco. And sometimes after a meal I don't have room for a large dessert, but during the walk back to the hotel, a dark chocolate or Nutella crepe fills in the gap. The performance of the street crepe maker as they swirl the batter to the hot edges of the pan and add each requested ingredient, is just as fulfilling as the crepe itself. One of my favorite savory crepes, that you can't get on the street, is filled with buttery gruyère cheese and an assortment of sauteed mushrooms. Adding a brandy cream sauce and some fresh thyme makes it just that much richer and more special. I made this for lunch the other day with a small green salad and still had a few leftover crepes for dessert....the sweet rendition will be left for another time, though. For now, the savory.....

Mushroom Cheese Crepes

Crepe Batter

1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
pinch of salt
Butter, for the pan

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour to rest. The batter will keep for up to 2 days.

Heat a medium crepe pan or non-stick pan over medium heat. Add just enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook until the crepe starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and is lightly brown on the underside. Turn over using a spatula, and cook until lightly brown on the other side. Put on a plate to cool and then you may stack them. Continue making the crepes until all of the batter is gone. Crepes can be made in advance and either refrigerated or frozen, before filling.

Mushroom Cheese Crepe Filling

8 ounces sliced Baby Bella mushrooms*
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brandy
3 tablespoons light cream**
sea salt and pepper to taste

1 1/3 cups shredded gruyère cheese

*you may use any assortment of mushrooms you like. I used a combination of Baby Bella, shitaki, chanterelle, dried portabella (soaked in water) and blue foot mushrooms.** If you want more cream sauce, just add another 3 tablespoons cream.

In a medium saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute mushrooms, shallots, and thyme until the mushrooms are cooked and the shallot is translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the brandy and cream and continue stirring until the cream is hot. Salt and pepper to taste.

Take a crepe and reheat in crepe pan. Add 1/3 cup shredded gruyère cheese on crepe and one fourth of the warm mushroom mixture. Heat until cheese melts. Fold into thirds, remove from pan and serve. Serves 4.

Mushroom Cheese Crepe recipe (pdf)

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