Food Friday : Asparagus and Mushroom Stuffed Crepes

What vegetable says springtime like asparagus? And what says Easter Brunch like savory, easy to prepare crepes stuffed with asparagus and mushrooms and topped with a velvety cheese sauce? Wow, I feel like a Better Homes and Gardens article. But what I’m trying to say is, delicious brunch entree recipe coming up ..

I’ve described how to make crepes before so I’ll just cut and paste that part:

This recipe will make 4 servings (with extra for the first one or two, which might get ruined … see below), but can easily be doubled/tripled for more.

Crepe batter:

2 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups flour, two pinches of salt
Mix the milk and egg together in a bowl. Then whisk in the flour and salt. (Mixture will have lumps so don’t worry about them.)

To make the crepes:

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add some corn oil (about a teaspoon) and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan. Remember this motto: “Hot pan, cool oil … food won’t stick”. With a soup ladle, add a scoopful of batter and swirl pan again to coat bottom. Cover the pan and cook for about a minute. The top of the crepe will form bubbles on it, which are a good indication as to when it’s time to flip your crepe, but you can also slip your spatula under a bit and see if it’s lightly browned on the bottom. Once flipped, cook for another 1/2 minute or so, then slide onto a plate. Repeat until you’ve used all the batter, keeping the ones you’ve already made in a warm oven. Please note: it is very common that your first crepe doesn’t work out nicely. This happens to everyone for some odd reason! I remember reading this once: “The first crepe is always for the pan”.

Filling:

For each crepe, steam 16 stalks of asparagus that have had the hard part of the stems trimmed off until they are quite soft. Thinly slice 16 mushrooms and finely chop one small onion. In about 2 tablespoons olive oil, saute the onion until soft and then add the mushrooms. Saute until cooked and then add 1/8 teaspoon of salt (or less depending on taste). Notice how adding salt suddenly causes the mushrooms to release liquid, making a bit of a sauce. Add 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme and generous grinding of black pepper and let mixture sit covered until ready to use. If they get cold, heat them up again before serving.

Cheese Sauce:

Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a frying pan. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons flour and mix around. Cook while stirring constantly for about 2 minutes until the flour begins to brown slightly. Remove the pan from heat (this is important in order to avoid lumps) and stir in a bit of milk. Whisk this around to form a smooth paste. Add a bit more milk and stir again to form a thinner paste. Repeat adding small increments of milk until you’ve added 1 cup. Return pan to low heat and cook the sauce for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will thicken while cooking. If it gets too thick, add a bit of white wine or beer, or more milk. Add 1 1/2 packed cups of grated cheese. We used Swiss, but cheddar either white or orange is good too. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Taste and season with salt if desired.

To serve: Place one crepe on working surface and add two stalks of steamed asparagus. Spoon on 1/8 of the mushroom mixture. Fold over edges of crepe to cover mixture and transfer to plates if serving right away or to an oven-proof dish if making ahead. If making ahead, once all your crepes are rolled, cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve. Top with hot cheese sauce before serving. Add freshly ground pepper if you like.

The crepes and cheese sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for a day or two. Just heat them up before using, and whip up the vegetables when you want them.

These taste really good and seem quite special. I have made them for dinner and served them with a grain or green salad on the side. In fact I surprised Nick with them for his last birthday and he loved them, and has since taken on making them himself.

Thanks for checking out my recipe,
loulou

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