Today, Mom made a local dish made of veal and rice. I am not a great fan of red meat and I did not feel like eating just the rice. So I decided to finally try a crêpes dish I wanted to make since ever… well since I tried it a few years ago at a family lunch where my great-aunt cooked it. My great-aunt worked as a cook and she always made the most amazing dishes. When I tasted this one, I asked what it is and she told me in her usual soft voice: it is crêpes.
Although then the filling was made with ground meat and the crêpes rolled like cannelloni. And we all already know I was not in the mood for meat…
I had to find a replacement. I have not long ago read on a Foodbuzz fellow’s blog (Frank Fariello), a crêpes recipe which was filled with Swiss chard and ricotta. Also the crêpes were folded in triangles. I did not want chard either; neither did I want its cousin the spinach. Finally after a little concerting with Zahrah, my Taste-Bud, I finally decided on an Asparagus/Mushroom filling. Initially I wanted to add mozzarella to the filling and top with parmesan, then I went for cream cheese.
Ricotta was not in the picture since it is not very easily found in Lebanon and I had to go to a certain store to get it. I was not even in the mood to get out of my pj’s. Since all my friends moved out of Lebanon, Sunday became my lazing around day: late morning and coffee in bed.
I started cooking at around 10:30 am. Prepared the batter for the crêpes and set out to make the béchamel. While it was simmering on the stove, I cooked the crêpes and of course took pics.
I have had the brilliant idea to use the halogen light as a photography projector since the kitchen is a bit dark even with lights on. It has been a challenge to take pics really, especially that I am using a pocket digital camera and not an SLR. The halogen light gave an amazing result. (I am no pro but I think these are my best photos yet).
Back to our cooking business. I set the crêpes aside and prepared the filling.
Rest was pretty much obvious: Fill crêpes, fold them in triangles, align them and cover with sauce and cheese.
I had to make a little extra béchamel since I was taken aback by the number of the crêpes. I made half the recipe but still got 9 small ones.
I even had a little extra filling left, so they were recycled into a sauce for baked tagliatelle.
Crêpes with Asparagus and Mushrooms in Béchamel Sauce.
- 10 Small Crêpes (see recipe I used here, I split in half and I got 9 small crêpes.)
- Béchamel Sauce – medium thickness (about 1 liter)
- 1 can mushroom or 200g fresh ones
- 1 can Asparagus or 200g fresh ones cut into 2cm pieces
- A 200g pack of Philadelphia cheese or any cream cheese
- 200g shredded Mozzarella
- 1 medium onion
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
Prepare the crêpes and set them aside so they cool down.
In the mean time prepare the béchamel and set aside.
Prepare the filling: dice the onion and sauté in olive oil. When the onion becomes translucent, add the soy sauce and cook till the soy sauce is reduced. Add the mushrooms and asparagus if using fresh ones. If using canned wait till the mushrooms are integrated with the sauce. Then cook for a couple of minutes.
Empty the Philadelphia cheese in a bowl, add the filling mixture and fold till all the ingredients make a uniform mass.
Fill the crêpes, fold them in triangles and put them in a baking sheet on a small béchamel layer. Repeat till the baking sheet is full or till you are out of ingredient.
Cover with the rest of the béchamel sauce, top with the shredded mozzarella and bake till cheese is melted and the top is browned.