Crepes. I love crepes. They are so versatile. You can have sweet dessert crepes or savory crepes, either as breakfast, an entrée or as an appetizer. You can even have them as a snack. You can make them in little purses, triangles, cylinders like a french enchilada or folded like a french burrito. They really are remarkable and tasty, too. This dish is a crabmeat crepe made in a little purse because it’s purty.
Crepes are delicate thin, flat pancakes you can stuff with all sorts of comestibles. They are remarkable in their simplicity, yet they make an elegant presentation. Crepes are a french institution and one of the national foods of France. People in France, especially in the northwestern portion of France in Brittany, have been eating crepes since the Middle-Ages. In fact, originally, crepes were peasant food made with buckwheat stuffed with savory fillings like cheese, vegetables and meat. Later, white flour was used for sweet crepes filled with fresh fruits and creams. As time passed, like all simple peasant dishes, the elite began to take notice the peasants were eating something good. So, crepes began gracing the finest tables and restaurants in France and ultimately were available to all Frenchmen. So uniquely french are crepes that when people think of french food, one of the first things they think of is crepes.
Eventually, crepes made their way to the United States and were served at the fanciest restaurants. People drooled over Crepes Suzette. In the 1970s, however, crepes gained great popularity among the middle class (perhaps due to Julia Child’s bring french cuisine to the American table in an understandable, simple manner) and various creperies began to appear. As with all crazes, the crepe craze subsided almost as quickly as it arose. Although they were still served at fine dining establishments their popularity among the masses dwindled. Now, however, they are making a reemergence. Of course, leave it to the Japanese to take such a distinguished dish and turn it into street food fair. Crepes now have come out of the dining room and into mainstream populace thanks to the Japanese, street vendors and food trucks. So if you want to try an elegant yet simple dish, give this recipe a try. If you don’t want to hassle with the purse, simply roll it and serve it with sauce over the top with a garnish of chopped chives. Don’t let crepes intimidate you. Try this recipe. You will like it.
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoon clarified butter
- 1 lb lump crabmeat
- 1 medium onion, small dice
- 1/2 orange (or red) bell pepper, small dice
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 4 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp parsley, minced for garnish
- chives to tie the purse
White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 shallot, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
For the Crepes: Mix flour and salt. Add eggs and mix with a wooden spoon to create a stiff paste.
Slowly add milk in batches mixing with a wooden spoon to incorporate. At first, the milk simply loosens the paste.
Next, it begins to thin into a batter.
At this point, switch to a whisk and vigorously whisk the remaining milk to fully incorporate.
Add the clarified butter and whisk to fully incorporate.
Set batter aside for at least one hour before using to allow the flour to swell completely and the glutens to relax. I like to make the batter the night before and let it sit overnight. Also, don’t worry if the batter has little lumps. Once the batter rests, whisk again and the lumps will no longer be there. One other note. After the batter has rested you will probably have to thin the batter because it has a tendency to thicken as it rests. In some instances you may need as much as another 1/4 cup milk. Just make sure you check it and thin it to the desired consistency (i.e., the consistency of heavy cream) before using. If you’re not sure if it is too thick, make a test crepe and see.
When ready to serve, using a ladle, ladle the batter into a preheated 9 inch nonstick sauté pan and turn the pan to coat the batter evenly along the bottom of the pan.
When done on the bottom (you can always cheat and left an edge to see if it is browning right) flip the crepe to the other side. If you are skilled at tossing the crepe to turn it then by all means do so. If you cannot do that kitchen trick, use a spatula and your fingers to turn it.
After 30 seconds remove from pan to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat the process stacking the crepes as you go to keeping them warm until you are ready to plate.
For the Crabmeat Filling: Heat olive oil until shimmering. Add the onions and sweat, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent roughly 3 – 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook another two minutes.
Now add the bell peppers and cook 2 more minutes
Next the mushrooms
and the corn
Cook vegetables for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally (Baby Lady was tickled she caught this shot)
Now add the wine
and lemon juice and let it reduce by 50%, roughly 3 – 5 minutes.
Add the crabmeat and toss gently to incorporate but not break up the crabmeat.
Cover and gently heat over medium heat to allow the crabmeat to heat through.
For the White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce: In a sauce pan, heat 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until softened and beginning to color, roughly 2 minutes.
Add wine and increase heat to high. Bring to mixture to a boil and reduce to 1/4 cup. Remove sauce pan from burner and strain the shallots leaving only the mixture behind. Discard the shallot.
While the mixture is still warm, whisk in butter,parsley and lemon juice. Set aside and keep warm until the fish is done. Because this is an emulsification be careful not to keep it too hot so as to “break” the sauce.
To Plate: Quickly parboil some whole chives to the string to tie off the top of the purse. Put a spoonful of the filing in the middle of the crepe.
Gently pull the edges toward the middle to make the purse.
You will now need some assistance. While you hold the crepe, have someone tie the chive around the top. Serve and enjoy with the sauce on the side.