Prep 1 hr 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
These versatile crêpes are equally suitable for weeknight meals or for dinner parties. Both the crêpes and the tomato sauce can be made well ahead of time and frozen. Or for a short cut, you could use a prepared sauce. If you have crêpes in the freezer, and take them out in the morning, made with a prepared sauce, this becomes an easy weeknight dinner. The crêpes only need 20 minutes in the oven! If you are serving the crêpes for a dinner party – either as an elegant entrée or, with a salad and crusty rolls, as an attractive and flavoursome main course – have the complete dish fully assembled and in the fridge, until you are ready to put it in the oven. Then you can be enjoying your guests’ company until moments before you are ready to serve. Since this recipe is most likely to be made in stages, I have not included the one hour chilling time for the batter in the estimated preparation time. This recipe is from the April 1991 edition of Gourmet magazine.
- 1 large green bell pepper, minced
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lb ricotta cheese
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- melted butter, for brushing the crepes
The herbed crepes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth, plus 2 extra tablespoons
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1⁄2 tablespoon salt
- 1⁄3 cup fresh parsley leaves or 1⁄3 cup chives, minced
- melted unsalted butter, for brushing the pan
The tomato sauce use 1 1/4 cups
- 1 (16 ounce) can tomatoes with juice, preferably plum tomatoes
- salt, to taste
- 1⁄4 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
- 3⁄4 cup peeled peeled seeded and diced fresh tomato
- Making the Crêpe Filling: Add the oil to a pan, over a medium heat, and when it is hot, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the bell pepper, stirring, until it is softened, add the garlic, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. In a bowl stir together the bell pepper mixture, the ricotta, and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan with salt and pepper to taste and let the filling cool.
- Making the Crêpe Batter: In a blender or food processor, blend the flour, the broth, the eggs, the butter, and the salt for 5 seconds. Turn off the motor, with a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the container, and blend the batter for 20 seconds more. Transfer the batter to a bowl, stir in the herbs, and let the batter stand, covered, for 1 hour. The batter may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. This makes enough batter for about 12 crêpes.
- Making the Herbed Crêpes: Heat a crepe pan or non-stick skillet measuring 6" to 7" across the bottom over moderate heat until it is hot. Brush the pan lightly with the butter, heat it until it is hot but not smoking, and remove it from the heat. Stir the batter, half fill a 1/4-cup measure with it, and pour the batter into the pan. Tilt and rotate the pan quickly to cover the bottom with a layer of batter and return any excess batter to the bowl. Return the pan to the heat, loosen the edge of the crêpe with a spatula, and cook the crêpe for 1 minute, or until the top appears almost dry. Turn the crêpe, cook the other side lightly, and transfer the crêpe to a plate. Make the rest of the crêpes with the remaining batter in the same manner, brushing the pan lightly with butter as necessary. The crêpes may be made 3 days in advance, kept stacked with a sheet of greaseproof paper between each crêpe, wrapped in plastic wrap, and chilled.
- Assembling the Crêpes: Spread about 2 tablespoons of the filling on each crêpe and roll up jelly-roll fashion. Arrange the crêpes, seam sides down, in a buttered shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them in one layer, brush them lightly with the butter, and sprinkle them with the remaining Parmesan. Bake the crêpes in the middle of a preheated 400°F oven for 20 minutes and serve them with the sauce.
- Making the Tomato Sauce: Roughly chop the canned tomatoes in the can with the edge of a spoon, then add them with the juice to a pan, stir in the salt, the sugar, the tomato paste, the basil, and the cayenne, bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer it, stirring, for 20 minutes. Add the fresh tomatoes and cook the mixture for 5 minutes. Serve the sauce warm. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
- Notes: If you want this to be a vegetarian dish, use vegetable broth. For variation, or if you prefer, use spinach in place of the green pepper. If you like your food spicy, add half a fresh jalapeno pepper to the tomato sauce.
This tasted great when it was finally done however, I would likely only make it for special occassions and not for a weekday meal (unless I had stuff pre done) as it took a while to prepare. I found the directions a little hard to follow and I had to piece together what to do when. I made the batter first, let it cool for 1 hour, then made the sauce, let it simmer for 20 minutes and then the filling. I didn't make any subsitutions and was pleased with the result, especially the flavour of the sauce and the consistancy of the crepe. I would definatly make the crepe recipe again but maybe with a different filling as I found the ricotta/green peppers a little bland for my personal taste. Definatly a recipe that I will keep for a special occassions and I will be making the crepe and the sauce again seperatly. Thanks for the tasty recipe bluemoon downunder!