Forkful's speedy suppers: Valentine's savoury crêpe
I love a sweet crêpe, but I really love a savoury crêpe. There are so many options for fillings, apart from the classic ham and cheese. You could fry up some Irish Gubbeen chorizo paired with cheese and handfuls of crispy rocket. Or what about dollops of Irish-made Toonsbridge ricotta cheese with kale and preserved lemon?
I would love to be able to flip a crêpe over in a frying pan with a quick flick of my wrist, but at the moment, this is beyond my culinary capabilities.
To flip over a crêpe in a frying pan, I make sure it is nicely browned on the cooked side. Then I carefully transfer it to a large plate. I then use the plate to help me put the crepe back into the frying pan, uncooked side down, shaking the pan or using a spatula to smooth out the crêpe. It's not as dramatic or impressive as flipping it in the pan, and it can be a bit fiddly, but it works for me.
If you have more of a sweet tooth, the basic recipe for the crêpe batter below can be adapted easily. Mix the flour, milk and eggs together but, instead of adding chilli flakes, salt and pepper add a tablespoon of sugar. Cook it using the same method, but serve it with dollops of Nutella and slices of caramelised banana. Yum.
Whether you go sweet or savoury, these crêpes would make for a very successful stay-at-home Valentine's supper this weekend.
Valentine's savoury crêpe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Butter and oil, for frying
100g plain flour
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 leek, sliced and washed
6 mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 tablespoon of crème fraîche
Handful of grated Gruyère cheese
1. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. Mix the eggs and milk together. Gradually mix the eggy milk into the flour, whisking well to break up any lumps. Add the chilli flakes and a generous pinch of salt and pepper to the batter, mixing well.
2. Heat a little butter in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat. Pour about a quarter of the batter into the pan so that the entire surface of it is coated with a thin layer of crêpe batter. Cook for 5 minutes until flipping over and cooking for another 5 minutes on the other side. Layer a large baking tray with parchment paper. Transfer your cooked crêpe to the parchment paper and set aside until ready to stuff with fillings. Repeat this process to make a second crêpe. You will have some leftover batter, which will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 24 hours.
3. For your fillings, fry up your leeks for 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Add your sliced mushrooms to the leeks, frying for another 5 minutes. Add the diced garlic, frying for another 3 minutes. Add the crème fraîche, mixing well and cooking until the crème fraîche starts to bubble. Take it off the heat and set aside.
4. Pre-heat your oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6. Once your crêpes are ready, lay them on a large baking tray. Put half of the leek and mushroom mix into the middle of one the crêpes. With a wooden spoon, create a little space for the egg. Carefully crack the egg into it. Top with a small handful of the roughly grated Gruyère cheese. Fold up the sides of the crêpes, using toothpicks to keep the edges together. Repeat with the second crêpe.
5. Bake the crêpes for 12 to 15 minutes in the oven, until the egg is set but the yolk is runny. Serve hot.
This week's storecupboard essential:
Crème fraîche: I often have a carton of crème fraîche in the fridge. It's such a handy ingredient to help whip up a quick sauce for a pasta dish or for our crêpes. Glenisk make a fantastic organic crème fraîche and is available nationwide.
Photo: Mark Duggan