We have all heard of and most likely eaten some type of crepe. They are very thin and delicious French pancakes that can be filled or not filled. Crepes are very versatile and can be eaten many different ways, at any time of day. They can be filled with a savory filling and eaten as a main meal or they can be filled with fruit and/or other fillings to be eaten as either a dessert or breakfast. The word crepe is French for pancake, but derives from the Latin word crispus, meaning crisp. Originally they were called galettes, which translated to flat cakes. Crepes originally hail from the Northwest region of France, known as Brittany. When they were first created, they were used as bread and very rarely had fillings. Up until about 100 years ago, savory crepes were always made with buckwheat flour and were knows as galettes sarrasines. Dessert crepes were made with wheat flour. In France, “crepes are traditionally eaten on Candelmas and Shrove Tuesday to celebrate renewal, family life, and hope for good fortune and happiness ahead. ” (p. 5 – Crepes – Sweet & Savory Recipes for the Home Cook, by Lou Seibert Pappas). It is customary to touch the handle of the frying pan and to make a wish with a coin in the hand while the crepe is being flipped. In earlier times, the French farmers would give their landowners crepes as a symbol of their allegiance to them. Crepes are eaten all over the world and go by many names. The Italians call them crespelles. In Hungary, they are known as palacsintas. The Jewish culture refers to them as blintzes and the Russians call them blinis. To the Greeks, crepes are called kreps and Scandinavians call them plattars. Each country and each culture adds a slightly different and unique twist to their crepes, but no matter what you call them, or where you eat them, they all have one thing in common; They are all delicious.
I made my crepes last night with a bit of a Southwestern flair. When Larry smoked the ribs and the turkey, we had some smoked turkey legs as well. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, then the idea of making crepes struck me, and my Southwestern smoked turkey and vegetable crepes were created. I took the meat of the bones and shredded it, then added pumpkin, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and red pepper flakes to use as my filling.
Smoked Turkey and Vegetable Filling
1-1 1/2 lbs smoked turkey, shredded
1-2 cups fresh spinach, stemmed and chopped in a rough cut
1 shallot, minced
1-1 1/2 TBSP garlic
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
5-6 mushrooms, sliced thin
1 cup pumpkin, cubed small
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil for cooking
Saute the pumpkin first for about 5 minutes, then add the rest of the vegetables and the other ingredients and continue to cook for about another 5-7 minutes. One the vegetables are all cooked, add the turkey. Mix everything together well and set aside.
Savory Sage Crepes
2 large eggs
1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup corn flour or masa harina
2 tsp fresh sage, chopped fine
2-3 TBSP melted butter
1/4 tsp salt
Mix everything together in the food processor for about 30 seconds or until well blended, then cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before cooking. In a small, HOT skillet, with butter, and add about 3 TBSP of the batter to the hot skillet. Make sure to swirl it all around to cover the pan completely. Cook for about 1 minute, then loosen the edges with a spoon, and gently flip the crepe over and continue to cook for about 1 more minute. Repeat until the crepe mixture is all done. Greek Crepe Cannelloni Stuffed with Beef.
Preheat the oven to 350* F
Once the crepes are all cooked, spray a baking pan with cooking spray, and fill each crepe with filling, then roll everything together. Lay the crepes side by side in the baking sheet until the baking sheet is full. Before baking, if you like, you can top the crepes with cheese of your choice. bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is nice and hot.
I hate dry food and almost always have some kind of a sauce to top my foods. I made a tangy pumpkin-yogurt sauce to top my crepes.
Tangy Pumpkin-Yogurt Sauce
1 cup pumpkin vinaigrette
1 cup plain yogurt
1 TBSP ginger
1 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Mix everything together and heat in a saucepan for about 5 minutes, then spoon over the hot crepes and serve. I served my crepes over wild rice with a roasted vegetable medley, with a fruity, lightly oaked chardonnay. C’est ce bon!