Mascarpone & Leek Stuffed Crepes

I’ve recently discovered the wonderful world of Meetups. Having social events where you just turn up and don’t have to harass people for availability has considerably lowered my anxiety levels. I’m enjoying a French exchange group and also a book club/games night. Tomorrow, we’ll be discussing ‘Woman on the Edge of Time’. Feminist dystopia is so my genre with the added benefit of being a warm pub as opposed to being in the arctic tundra of my house (the boiler has broken down). This delicious recipe was in Gino Di Campo’s cookbook ‘Gino’s Veg Italia’ which is highly recommended. I used tinned artichokes but proper ones or the nice jarred ones would be even better. I was proud of myself for finally being able to make a half decent crepe. The trick being a hot pan and plenty of butter.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 115g plain flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • salt & pepper
  • butter
  • 2 tins artichokes
  • 1 leek
  • 50g self raising flour
  • 150g mascarpone
  • 50g parmesan
  • 25g parsley
  • pinch nutmeg

Method

1.) Make the crepes by whisking together the plain flour, milk and 1 off the eggs. Add a pinch of salt.

2.) Melt enough butter to cover a frying pan and pour in 1/8th of the crepe batter.

3.) Fry until browning on the bottom then turn over (or flip if you’re feeling brave).

4.) When browned on both sides, remove to a plate.

5.) Repeat until all the mixture is used. Wash out the pan.

6.) Now, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C

7.) Wash and slice the leek finely.

8.) Melt 1 tbsp butter into the pan and add the slices of leek. Open and drain the tins of artichokes and then wash the artichokes under the tap to remove the grit.

9.) Chop up the artichoke and add to the pan.

10.) While the leek is softening, separate the remaining two eggs into yolks and whites. Finely chop the parsley and grate the parmesan.

11.) Add the mascarpone, a pinch of nutmeg, the parmesan, some salt and pepper, the flour and the egg yolks to a mixing bowl and whisk.

12.) Once the leek is soft, remove everything from the pan and add to the mixing bowl. Give it a stir.

13.) Whisk up the egg whites until there is a light foam and then stir this through into the mixing bowl.

14.) Find an oven proof dish and start loading up with the crepes and filling. Do this by folding a crepe into half then half again to make a pocket. Stuff with the mascarpone mixture.

15.) Bake for 18 minutes to crisp up the pancakes.

Galettes

Having just spent a week in Provence, I usually like to try to make some dishes of the local cuisine after I arrive home. I think it’s an attempt to convince myself that I’m still on holiday. Towards the end of the trip, we visited a hilltop village which catered very well to English tourists by selling all sorts of crêpes and this put the idea into my head. The word galette more refers to the shape of the dish so a galette can be savoury – a crêpe made with buckwheat flour (as above) or sweet. The sweet version is kind of like a pie with the ends folded over, usually filled with some sort of fruit. These savoury ones are featured in Rachel Khoo’s ‘Little Paris Kitchen’. The recipe in Rachel Khoo’s book does call to leave the batter overnight but I must admit I wasn’t well prepared enough to do this and it was still very tasty. As a filling you can have whatever you like but I used spinach (in an attempt to reach my 5 a day fruit and veg recommendation), eggs, quorn ham and a selection of french cheese (Reblochon, Brie and my personal favourite Brie de Meaux).

Serves 4 for lunch, 2 for dinner

Ingredients

  • 200g buckwheat flour
  • salt
  • 600ml water
  • butter
  • 1 pack quorn ham
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g cheese (I used a mix of Brie de Meaux and Reblochon)

Method

1.) Mix the flour and salt in a bowl.

2.) Gradually add the water and whisk after each addition until you have a smooth batter (but don’t overwhisk).

3.) Let the mixture refrigerate for an hour minimum or preferably overnight.

4.) When ready to make the galettes, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C

5.) On a baking tray, spread out the spinach, places slices of the ham around, tear up the cheese and add blobs everywhere. Move the spinach around so there’s some wells then crack the eggs into there.

6.) Bake in the preheated oven for around 10 minutes.

7.) In the meantime, start making the galettes.

8.) Put a frying pan on a medium heat and add enough butter to melt and cover the pan.

9.) Add enough batter that with a bit of tipping the pan, it is covered with the batter. (The recipe is supposed to make 10 – 12 galettes though I found it made a bit less)

10.) After a minute or so, use a spatula to loosen the edges of the galette. start lifting the galette to check if it’s done, then when it looks done on one side, use the spatula to turn over the galette and brown on the other side.

11.) Repeat with butter and buckwheat flour mixture until all is used up.

12.) Serve up the galettes and top with the quorn spinach mixture (or whatever you fancy)