12 Feb valentine’s savoury crêpe
I love a sweet crêpe, but I really love a savoury crêpe. There are so many options for fillings, apart from the classic ham and cheese. You could fry up some Irish Gubbeen chorizo and pair it with crème fraîche, cheese and handfuls of crispy rocket. Or what about dollops of Irish-made Toonsbridge ricotta cheese with kale and preserved lemon? I add chilli flakes, salt and pepper but you could experiment by adding a touch of your favourite spice blend to the batter and match your fillings to it. For example, how about adding a pinch of cumin seeds to the batter and a filling the crêpe with Ras-el-Hanout spiced tomato sauce and an egg?
I would love to be able to flip a crêpe over in a frying pan with a quick flick of my wrist, but at the moment, this is beyond my culinary capabilities. To flip over a crêpe in a frying pan, I make sure it is nicely browned on the cooked side. Then I carefully transfer it to a large plate. I then use the plate to help me put the crepe back into the frying pan, uncooked side down, shaking the pan or using a spatula to smooth out the crêpe. It’s not as dramatic or impressive as flipping it in the pan, and it can be a bit fiddly, but it works for me.
If you have more of a sweet tooth, the basic recipe for the crêpe batter below can be adapted easily. Mix the flour, milk and eggs together but, instead of adding chilli flakes, salt and pepper add a tablespoon of sugar. Cook it using the same method, but serve it with dollops of Nutella and slices of caramelized banana. Yum.
Whether you go sweet or savoury, these crêpes would make for a very successful stay-at-home Valentine’s supper this weekend.
Makes 2 large crêpes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Butter and oil, for frying
100g plain flour
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of crème fraîche
Handful of roughly grated Gruyère cheese
- Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. Measure the milk into a measuring jug. Break the eggs into the milk and whisk until well combined. Pour in a third of the eggy milk to the flour, and use a whisk until combined. Pour in another third and whisk until combined. Pour the remaining milk into the flour and whisk until combined. Adding the milk gradually like this will help avoid a lumpy batter. Add the chilli flakes and a generous pinch of salt and pepper to the batter, mixing well.
- Heat a little butter in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat. Once it’s good and hot, pour about a quarter of the batter into the pan so that the entire surface of it is coated with a thin layer of crêpe batter. Cook for 5 minutes until flipping over and cooking for another 5 minutes on the other side. Layer a large baking tray with parchment paper. Transfer your cooked crêpe to the parchment paper and set aside until ready to stuff with fillings. Repeat this process to make a second crêpe. You will have some leftover batter, which will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 24 hours.
- While you’re cooking your crêpes, get work on your fillings. Slice your leek into thin slices and wash thoroughly. In another frying pan, melt a bit of butter and oil together over a medium heat. Fry up your leeks for 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Slice the mushrooms and add them to the leeks, frying for another 5 minutes. Finely dice the garlic and add to the mushrooms and leek, frying for another 3 minutes. Add the crème fraîche, mixing well and cooking until the crème fraîche starts to bubble. Take it off the heat and set aside.
- Pre-heat your oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6. Once your crêpes are ready, lay them on a large baking tray. Put half of the leek and mushroom mix into the middle of one the crêpes. With a wooden spoon, create a little space for the egg. Carefully crack the egg into it. Top with a small handful of the roughly grated Gruyère cheese. Fold up the sides of the crêpes to make a tidy little parcel, using toothpicks to keep the edges together. Repeat with the second crêpe.
- Transfer the baking tray into the oven, carefully, and bake the crêpes for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the egg is set but the yolk is still runny. Serve with some extra crème fraîche on the side and a crack of black pepper on top.
Crème fraîche: I often have a carton of crème fraîche in the fridge. It’s such a handy ingredient to help whip up a quick sauce for a pasta dish or for our crêpes. Glenisk make a fantastic organic crème fraîche and is available nationwide.
This recipe first appeared in The Irish Independent on February 11th