Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

February 10, 2008

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Crepes And A Cooking Memory

crepes-2.jpgMy friend J. came to lunch the other day and I decided to use the leftover “crespelle” and turn them into a different dish. I immediately thought of “Crepes Clinton” a recipe from the very first cooking class I ever took. I had just moved to Denver and thought it would be fun to take a cooking class. I had been cooking since I was in high school and now that I was a college graduate I decided it was time to expand my repertoire.

I had never made crepes before and as soon as the class was over I ran out and bought a carbon steel crepe pan, returned home, “seasoned ” it and started practicing. Of course the first few I tried were less than perfect, but we had been forewarned of this and I kept at it until they were sliding out of the pan with ease. I made the recipe from class which were filled with spinach, mushrooms, onions and chicken and topped with a bechamel sauce with parmesan and a hint of sherry. Over the years I’ve made these for luncheons, brunches, my sister’s wedding shower and to be honest it’s been years since I thought of this recipe. I searched my vast pile of recipes and came up with my worn and stained copy and assembled the filling. With the crepes made ahead of time, this was a simple dish to put together. It’s a great “do ahead” dish and you can hold it in the fridge until you’re ready to pop it in the oven. With the first bite I was transported to that first cooking class and it brought a smile to my face to think of how many new things I’ve learned to cook since then! I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe to lighten up a little.

Chicken Spinach Crepes

Crepe batter-see post February 4 “Crespelle di Spinaci”

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
2 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons sherry
Salt to taste

Melt butter in large skillet and add onions, saute until soft. Add mushrooms and saute for a few minutes more. Remove from heat, add spinach, chicken, sour cream, sherry and salt to taste.

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup sherry
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/4 cup freshly grated gruyere
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt to taste.

Melt butter over medium heat and add flour . Whisk until smooth for about a minute or two. Slowly stir in sherry, milk, broth and continue stirring until mixture is thick. Reduce heat, stir in cheeses and nutmeg and salt to taste. Remove from heat and cover with a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper so a skin doesn’t form.

To assemble crepes, fill the crepes with the filling, roll up and place in buttered baking dish. Spoon sauce over and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Yield 8-10 crepes

One piece of advice for making crepes- go ahead and use an 8 inch non-stick pan. It’s easier than the carbon steel and you’ll have success on your first attempt!


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