Saturday, April 14, 2007

Vegetable Crepes

(April Supper Club: Tapas)
Adapted from Penelope Casas's "Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain." The secret weapon is the (almost classically French) reduction cream sauce in which the crepes get bathed. The leafy greens and carrots balance out the richness really well.

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter

Melt the butter in the pan you'll use to make the crepes. The crepes should be about 5 in round, so ideally you want a small, non-stick pan. Combine all the ingredients and the melted butter from the pan in a blender. Re-heat the pan to medium high. Use only enough batter for each crepe to coat the pan. Each crepe should take less than 30 seconds a side. Pile each crepe on a plate as you finish. They shouldn't stick together.

Vegetable mixture:
1 large bunch dark leafy greens like collards or chard
4-5 medium carrots, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp parsley, minced
1/4 tsp thyme

In a pan large enough to accommodate the carrots and the greens, saute the onions in the olive oil over medium heat until just golden brown. Add the minced garlic and saute a minute or so more. Add the diced carrots and cover the pan. Cook until the carrots are just tender, stirring often enough to prevent over-browning (adjust heat if necessary). If things are getting too brown you can add a little bit of water.

Chiffonade and wash the greens. (Chiffonade: Stack the leaves, and then roll them into a long roll. Cut 1/4 inch slices off of the roll.) Add the greens to the pan, and cook until wilted. You may need a little more water. Add the parsley and thyme and remove from heat. Add the whole thing to the food processor and process until it seems like a good texture for crepe filling. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup white wine (original recipe calls for dry, but I think I used a Riesling that wasn't quite as dry as I would have liked for drinking purposes, and it was pretty good)
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 tsp whole grain mustard, preferably Pommery
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the wine, broth, and mustard and boil down to reduce by half. Salt and pepper to taste. (Be sure to salt and pepper _after_ you reduce, since all flavors will become more concentrated in the process.) Stir in the cream and simmer until the sauce thickens noticeably.

Mix 1/2 cup of the sauce with the vegetable filling. Fill crepes (a couple of spoonfuls of filling per crepe) and lay them seam side down in a greased baking dish. Cover with the remaining sauce and bake at 350 for just about 5 minutes to heat through.