Dear Eric: Thanks so much for the recent crêpe article. If I wanted to make seafood crêpes, would I use the same sauce? Other than shrimp, what would be good in seafood crêpes?
Dear Barbara: As you know, the article you are referring to was published April 24 and offered information and recipes for making and filling crêpes. The recipe with the sauce you note in your query was crêpes with ham, asparagus, Swiss and mustard cream.
In that recipe, a thin slice of ham, three blanched asparagus spears and some grated Swiss cheese is set on each of 12 crêpes. Each crêpe in then rolled up, encasing the filling.
To make them seafood crêpes, you could simply omit the ham and top the asparagus with some small salad shrimp, patted dry, before sprinkling on the cheese and rolling up the crêpes. You would need about one and a half cups of shrimp. The mustard cream, a rich sauce spiked with wine, garlic, tarragon and cream, would also work very well with that combination.
To give you a second seafood crêpe option, below you’ll find a recipe called seafood and ricotta crêpes with creamy tomato pesto sauce. To make it, crêpes are filled with a fine ricotta cheese mixture strewn with small shrimp and flakes of crabmeat. After the crêpes are baked, they are topped with an easy-to-make sauce made with tomato sauce, pesto and a touch of whipping cream. It’s a pretty rich dish — why two crêpes per portion is a good serving size. Add a green salad, or a steamed green vegetable, and you’ll create a nice meal.
I’ve republished my plain crêpe recipe for those who missed the previous article. It yields 12 to 13 crêpes, but you’ll only need eight of them if you make the seafood- and ricotta-filled crepes. Not a problem, though, because the leftover crêpes could be enjoyed for breakfast the next day as described in the latter part of the plain crêpe recipe.
Seafood and Ricotta Crêpes with Creamy Tomato Pesto Sauce
Cannelloni-like filled crêpes rich with ricotta cheese, shrimp and crab.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Makes: 4 (2 crêpes each) servings
1 (250 ml) tub ricotta cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (not the dried, powdered type), plus some for sprinkling
1 Tbsp pesto
1 large egg
• salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup small cooked salad shrimp, patted dry (about 125 grams)
3/4 cup fresh, frozen (thawed), or tinned crabmeat, drained well (if using frozen or canned) and patted dry (about 75 grams after draining)
8 (8-inch) crepes (see recipe below)
1 (14 oz/398 mL) can tomato sauce
• pinch sugar
2 Tbsp pesto
3 Tbsp whipping cream
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 Tbsp pesto, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix in the shrimp and crab.
Set a crêpe on a work surface, with the most golden (prettiest) side facing down. Place 1/4 cup of the ricotta mixture in the centre of the crêpe. Partially fold two sides of the crêpe over the filling and then tightly roll up. Set the crêpe on the baking sheet, seam-side-down. Repeat with remaining crêpes and filling. There should be about a 2-inch space between each filled crêpe.
Tent crêpes with foil and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are piping hot.
While the crêpes bake, make the sauce by placing the tomato sauce, sugar and 2 Tbsp pesto in a small pot. Bring to a simmer, simmer two minutes, and then whisk in the cream. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Cover and reserve sauce on low heat.
When ready, set two crêpes on each of four plates. Generously top with the sauce. Sprinkle each serving with a little grated Parmesan cheese and parsley and enjoy.
Thin French-style pancakes you can serve as is or use in other dishes, such as the recipe above.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: About 1 minute, 10 seconds per crêpe
Makes: 12 to 13 (8-inch) crêpes
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1 tsp sugar
• pinch of salt
2 Tbsp (1/8 cup) butter, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup 2 per cent milk
• a little melted butter for cooking
Place eggs in medium bowl and beat until yolks and whites are well blended. Whisk in the water, sugar, salt and 2 Tbsp butter. Gradually whisk in the flour until a completely smooth mixture forms. Whisk in the milk creating a thin batter.
Cover batter with plastic wrap, refrigerate and let stand for one hour. Give the batter a gentle stir to ensure it has the same consistency top to bottom.
Place an 8- or 9-inch non-stick skillet or well-seasoned crêpe pan over medium heat. Coat the pan’s cooking surface with a tiny bit of melted butter. (You should have to do this only once to ensure the first crêpe is easy to flip. After that, the butter in the batter should ensure they easily do so.)
When the pan is hot, lift it up and use a small ladle to pour about 2 Tbsp of crêpe batter into the pan. Tilt and swirl the batter in the pan until it evenly coats the bottom. Cook the crêpe until it is almost dry on the surface and light golden on the underside, about 40 to 50 seconds. Use a thin spatula to flip the crêpe over and cook about 20 seconds on the other side.
Invert the crêpe on to a wide plate. Cook the rest of the batter into crêpes, stack them on a plate as you go along.
If serving crêpes right away for breakfast or brunch, heat the stack of crêpes in the microwave a few seconds to ensure they are nice and hot, and then divide among plates, folding them, if desired, in half or quarters. Top crêpes, as desired, with butter, a sprinkling of sugar or drizzling of maple syrup and fresh fruit, such as berries.
If using the crêpes in today’s recipe or other preparation, once cooked and cooled to room temperature, wrap the stack of crêpes and refrigerate until needed. Crêpes can be made a day or two before needed. Warm up at room temperature 30 minutes before using.
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