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Now browsing: Hometown News > Columnist Archives > Cooking - The Seasoned Chef

Crêpes: the versatile, delicious little pancakes
Rating: 3.21 / 5 (202 votes)  
Posted: 2007 Oct 12 - 02:55

There' s something about crêpes that just deserve attention, at least from me.

I guess it's the endless varieties they come in, and the fact that when done right, they downright make you happy. You know, like a kid and a bowl of ice cream.

Sharing is good, except when it comes to your favorite ice cream and a good crepe. The crêpe is the French version of "pancakes." They can be made from plain or sweetened batters with various flours and used for savory or desert dishes.

Dessert crêpes may be spread with a jam or a fruit mixture, rolled or folded, and sometimes flamed with brandy. Savory crêpes, such as in the recipe that follows, are filled with various meats, cheese or vegetables, and most often topped with a complimentary sauce. They can be served as a first course or main dish.

Butter poached lobster and roasted shitake mushroom crêpes

Makes 4 servings

Crêpes

1 cup of all-purpose flour

3/4 cup of sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups of milk

1 tablespoon of fresh chives sliced thin

4 tablespoons of melted butter

Pinch of salt

In a large bowl, mix the flour and sugar well. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs and milk together, whisk the flour and egg mixture together and pass through a fine sieve. Finish with 4 tablespoons of melted butter and fresh chives.

You will need a small non-stick pan to cook the crêpes, preferably an 8 1/2-inch size. Get it really hot, then coat it well with pan spray. Laddle 1 1/2 ounces of batter into the pan and swirl it around until it forms a circle. Cook for 45 seconds, then flip it over and cook for another 15-20 seconds. Place on a sheet tray lined with paper towels and repeat the process.

Butter poached lobster

Four 6-8 ounce lobster tails

2 pounds of butter

In a medium pot, heat the butter over medium heat until it is melted. Cut the lobster tails in half lengthwise and remove the meat from the shells. Don't throw the shells away, because we will make a sauce with them.

Wash the meat and place it in the pot with the melted butter. Turn the flame down a bit and cook for 12 minutes, remove and set to the side. Now for the sauce.

Lobster sauce

Shells from 4 lobster tails

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion

1 carrot

1 stalk of celery

5 garlic cloves

1 shallot

8 sprigs of thyme

3 cups of chicken stock

2 cups of heavy cream

3/4 tablespoon of paprika

2 tablespoons of butter

Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil and lobster shells over medium heat for 8 minutes, moving the shells around frequently. Then add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, shallot and thyme, and stir constantly until the bottom of the pan is so brown it can't get any more brown without getting burnt. Add the chicken stock and, with a wooden spoon, scrape all that flavor off the bottom of the pot.

Bring to a boil and reduce by half, then add the cream and reduce by half. Finish with the paprika and butter and cook for another 5 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve and keep warm.

Roasted shitake mushrooms

30 shitake mushroom caps, large diced

1/2 cup of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Toss the shitakes in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Place on a baking tray and cook in oven at 380 degrees for 12 minutes.

To bring this dish together, slice the poached lobster and place in a large pan with the shitake mushrooms. Heat over a medium flame, add a 1/2- cup of the lobster sauce and toss together.

Evenly distribute in the center of eight crêpe shells and roll. Then place two stuffed crêpes on each plate, drizzle lobster sauce over the top and serve.

Tips and techniques

Make sure the melted butter for the lobsters is just simmering and not rapidly boiling, when you cook the lobsters

The sauce will take the longest, about one and a half to two hours, and should not be rushed.

When sautéing or cooking in a pot, always adjust the flame and rotate the pan or pot over the flame to insure even cooking

For the crêpe, the side you cook first will be the presentation side, so place it facing down when rolling.

Contact Chris Kennedy at Seasoned Catering at (561) 351-0221, or e-mail chris@seasonedcatering.com.





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