Crepes are loved all around the world. They go by many names, and are found in most parts of the world. The word crepe derives from the Latin word crispus, which means crisp. Crepes are very thin pancakes that are eaten in many different ways. They can be sweet or savory. Savory crepes are traditionally made from buckwheat and sweet crepes are usually made from wheat flour. The filling choices are limited only by one’s imagination.
Rumor has it that the first crepe was created by accident, in the 13th century, in the Northern part of France, in the Brittany, or Bretonne or Bretagne region of France, by a young kitchen helper. She ladled a bit of thin porridge onto a hot flattop iron cooktop in the fireplace, and a thin, crisp pancake, that would later come to be loved all over the world, was born. Today, crepes are known as the National dish of France. Originally, crepes were made from buckwheat, since wheat did not grow well in the Northern regions of France, due to the very wet climate. Crepes were eaten as part of the celebration feast for le jour de crepes, or the day of crepes, which was celebrated on February 2, in honor of La Chandeleur or Candelmas, marking the return of light and announcing winter’s end and the coming of spring. Crepes became part of the meal because it is said they resembled the sun, and were a reminder that the cold winter would soon be over and the sun would soon be shining again. Today, crepes are eaten and loved for no other reason other than they are just plain delicious.
I made savory crepes, though not from buckwheat, and I served them with wild rice, green beans with mushrooms and peppers, and a cool glass of Sauvignon Blanc. C’est ce bon!
Scallop and Mushroom Crepes
1 cup cold water
1 cup cold milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour, sifted
4 TBSP melted butter + more to cook each crepe
Mix everything together well, either by using a whisk or a mixer. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes before using. When the batter is ready, in a small 7″ hot skillet, melt a small amount of butter, then ladle about 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to move the batter all around the skillet. On a medium-high heat, cook the crepe for about 1 minute, then gently flip it over, using a spoon to loosen the edges and to help flip it over, and continue to cook for about 1 more minute. Repeat this process until all the crepes are cooked. If you do not want to use the crepes at that time, you can freeze them as well, and use them later.
While the batter is setting in the refrigerator, make your scallop and mushroom filling.
Scallop and Mushroom Filling and Sauce for the Crepes
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
3 green onions, sliced thin
3 celery stalks, cut into a small dice
1 bay leaf
1 tsp black pepper
2 lbs scallops, either bay scallops or sea scallops cut into smaller pieces
3/4 lb mushrooms, sliced
4 TBSP butter, melted
5 TBSP flour
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 cup shredded light or white cheese of your choice
1-2 tomatoes, diced small
Mix the chicken broth, wine, green onions, celery, bay leaf and pepper together in a 3-qt sauce pan. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 10 minutes.
As I have said many times, I “like stuff in my stuff”, so I did not discard the cooked vegetables. I chose to keep them and add them to the filling. But if you do not want to use them, that’s fine too. You can thrown them away at this point. Remove the bay leaf and throw away. Add the scallops and mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 minutes at a simmer. Remove the scallop mixture and set aside.
Mix the egg yolks, milk and heavy cream together and set aside. Mix the tomatoes and 1/2 the cheese with the scallop mixture and set aside.
Add the butter, stir in the flour and bring the stock back up to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly add the egg and cream mixture, making sure to whisk constantly so the eggs do not scramble. Replace the saucepan back onto the heat and continue to cook until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly. When the sauce has thickened, add the salt and lemon juice and mix thoroughly.
Once the sauce is done, pour about 2/3 over the scallop and vegetable mixture and mix together well.
Now it is time to fill the crepes.
Preheat the oven to 425* F.
Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
Spoon the filling into the center of a crepe and roll tightly and place in the cooking pan. Continue until the pan is full.
When the crepes are filled and rolled, top with the remaining sauce, then top with the rest of the cheese. Bake uncovered for about 10 minutes. If you are not ready to bake the crepes at this point, cover them and refrigerate until you are ready to use them.
Now it is all ready to enjoy. Bon Appetit!