Friday, May 3, 2013

Vegetable and Crepe Terrine

Crepes are one of those things that can be a dessert served in all kinds of ways from a Crepe Suzette which are crepes cooked in an orange-butter sauce then flamed with Grand Marnier to one filled with jellies and topped with whipped cream to ones filled with fresh berries and drizzled with chocolate sauce and a garnish of fresh mint.  It can also be used in savory dishes... think of it as a pasta.  I have filled crepes with a ricotta and egg mixture flavored with basil, fold it like a book and layer a few near each other in a baking dish, spoon on some tomato sauce and Parmesan then bake it for 15 minutes or so....... cut cooked crepes into fettuccine shapes and toss it with  fresh summer tomatoes and herbs and a vinaigrette for a twist on a salad.  Crepes are as easy as making a pancake batter (crepes are pancakes in France).

Here, I was thinking of a lasagna but I called it a terrine because it sounds more french!  You can make this with whatever you like, as long as each component in delicious on its own and they all work with each other, the final dish will be delicious!

Obviously you want to make all the components and have them ready then they will be layered in a baking pan. I used a spring form pan that is 7 inchs in diameter because it was just the two of us but if you want to make a bigger one you may need to double the crepe recipe.

To make the crepes mix together in a blender or just with a whisk

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 tsp salt

Let this mixture sit at least 30 minutes so the flour is fully absorbed by the liquid.

Note: if you are using this crepe recipe for a dessert only use a pinch of salt in place of 1/2 tsp and add 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar to the mix

Use a non-stick skillet to make the crepes; heat over medium high heat and a bit of butter to just coat the pan; pour in some batter and quickly turn the pan so the batter forms a thin layer; cook on the one side for a minute or two then flip to cook the other side for a minute or until both sides are lightly browned ( I use a rubber spatula to flip the crepes); continue to cook the rest of the batter.

Place a crepe in the bottom of your pan and line the sides, leaving some of the crepe hanging over so when you fill it you can bring the crepe pieces up and over.  See what I mean....

I had 2 layers of roasted whole tomatoes (cut the canned tomatoes in half and place in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic); a layer of sauteed spinach with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic; a layer of Shiitaki mushrooms that I sauteed with butter, salt, pepper and fresh thyme deglazed with Madeira wine; a few strips of roasted red pepper right from the jar. I combined 4 oz of fresh ricotta cheese with 1 egg a pinch of salt and pepper and layered with the vegetables to give a creaminess to the final dish.

Remember you can use whatever you want I layered it with color in mind...tomatoes first then ricotta then a crepe then spinach then ricotta then crepe then roasted red pepper then ricotta then crepe then mushrooms then ricotta then crepe the tomatoes again then ricotta.  I just covered with a crepe on the top and brought the extra crepe pieces up, these pieces get nice and crisp in the oven.

Let it sit for an hour or so and then remove it from the pan.  Cut a wedge and serve it as an appetizer or have it for lunch..

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