Crepes!

Gruyère Cheese & Mushroom Crepes

I’ll bet you think crepes originated in France. Being of Scottish and Irish descent, I must tell you that crepes first originated in Brittany, a former Celtic kingdom, which is now a northwest region of France. Today, crepes are considered a national dish in all of France and are very popular here in the “States”.

This is a very tasty dish, especially if you like cheese. Be warned: it is not a “heart-smart” dish by any means. The good news is that it is an easy dish to prepare and assemble. If you really like cheese, consider using 2 cups of Gruyère instead of the 1½ in my recipe.

Crepe Batter:
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour

Filling:
1½ pounds fresh cremini mushrooms (cleaned & sliced)
½ cup green onions (chopped)
½ cup butter
1¼ tablespoons fresh basil (chopped fine)
1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base
1½ cups water
¼ cup unbleached white flour
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1½ cups Gruyère cheese (grated)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

The Crepes: Combine all batter ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for at least one hour prior to making crepes. Cook eight to nine 8-inch crepes (they should resemble thin pancakes) and set aside. Wrap them in plastic or put in a baggie to keep them from drying out.

The Filling: Sauté mushrooms and green onions in ¼ cup of the butter. Add basil and cook until mushrooms are limp. Set aside. Mix bouillon in the water. Melt the remaining ¼ cup butter in saucepan. Add flour and cook approximately 2 minutes. Slowly add bouillon mixture, wine and cream. Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Do not allow to boil. When the sauce is ready, pour 1/3 over the mushroom mixture and allow to cool slightly. Reserve remaining sauce.

Assembly:  Fill crepes with mushroom mixture and fold, seam down, in a greased, oven-proof serving dish. I like to fold them into squares but folding them into roles (like enchiladas) works well too. Pour remaining sauce over the completed crepes and top with cheese.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Serve with croissants and a fresh garden salad with vinaigrette dressing.

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Flower Pot Bread

This bread recipe features fresh rosemary. You can make it without rosemary or with any other herb you like (thyme?).

Robin and I recently took a short retreat to Cambria. During our retreat, we ate at the Sow’s Ear on Main Street, just down from our B&B. The food was good, and their bread was amazing. Continue reading

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Super Bowl Nacho Dip

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

This is a hot, tasty dip that I make for Super Bowl Sunday and the first time I am sharing it. Continue reading

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Spanakopita Bread

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

Pizza dough bread with Spanakopita filling.

Spanakopita literally means “spinach pie” in Greek. So why do I call this “bread”? Continue reading

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Diners

 

Bonnie Lu’s in downtown Ojai, California.

While enjoying breakfast one morning at one of my favorite restaurants, Bonnie Lu’s Country Café in Ojai, I wondered about the difference between a restaurant and a diner. So, when I got home, I asked a couple of friends for their definitions of restaurant and diner. Continue reading

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Happy New Year !

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Pull-Apart Bread

This is a recipe found on the back of a Pillsbury flour sack. I modified it a little to meet my needs. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
3½ to 4½ cups bread flour (divided)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1¼ cups warm milk
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
1 egg
1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated fine)
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
½ teaspoon paprika
5 tablespoons butter (melted)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet or a baguette pan with cooking spray.

Stir two cups of the flour and all of the sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Mix until well blended. Add milk and oil. Beat with mixer on low speed until moistened. Blend in egg, mixing thoroughly.

Stir in an additional 1½ cups flour until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl. Knead the dough in the bowl until it is smooth and elastic, adding additional flour if necessary.

Add olive oil to a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat it all over with the oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in size — about 30 minutes.

Combine cheese, garlic salt, oregano, and paprika in small bowl. Set aside.

Punch the dough down and divide into 16 equal pieces. Roll pieces into balls. Dip each ball in butter to coat. Roll in cheese mixture to coat then arrange in prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size — about 30 to 40 minutes.

Uncover and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely before pulling the bread apart and bringing it to the table.

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