Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chicken, Bacon, Spinach and Swiss Crepes

I am the <self-proclaimed> queen of crepes. At the hand of my brother who lived in France for a while, I learned the delicate art of crepe making. I took my skill to the marketplace in 2008 when started a food stand at a local summer concert series where I sold freshly made crepes with a variety of tantalizing sweet and savory fillings. I did this for three summers in a row. So, when it comes to all things crepe, you can trust moi.

This is a brand new creation that I made in the face of the 6:00 "what's for dinners?"

Chicken, Bacon, Spinach, and Swiss Crepes

1 batch of crepes (recipe to follow)

For the filling:
2-3 slices of bacon, sliced into lardon-style bits (I like to freeze my bacon. It makes it much easier to slice.)
1 breast of chicken, cut into small cubes and seasoned with salt and pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup milk
4 slices of swiss cheese, cut into cubes (or 4 oz of grated swiss cheese)
1 cup frozen spinach, cooked in the microwave for a few minutes
a dash of nutmeg and pepper to taste

1. Make the crepe batter and let it sit while you start the filling. For best results, crepe batter really should rest for a while before you start cooking.
2. In a large frying pan, sautee the bacon over medium heat. When the bacon is cooked, remove the bits and let them drain on a paper towel. Remove most of the fat, leaving a tablespoon or so.
3. Add the chicken to the bacon pan. (Chicken cooked in bacon fat...winning).
---(This would be a good time to turn your crepe pan on and start cooking crepes if you can multi-task.)---
4. When the chicken is nice and brown, turn the heat down to medium-low and add the butter and melt. Then, add the flour and cook and stir for a minute or so. Then, add the milk, stir, and, return the heat to medium and let the mixture come to a simmer.
5. When the mixture simmers and is thickish, turn the heat to low and add the swiss cheese. Stir and wait for the cheese to melt. Then, add the spinach, nutmeg, pepper, and at the last minute, return the bacon to the pan.
6. Scoop some filling into each prepared crepe, roll it up and place it on your plate. It should make about 9 8-inch crepes if you make sure to get lots of sauce and a only a few bits of chicken in each crepe.

Okay, here it is. My *sacred* crepe recipe:

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 Tbsp water
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp. melted butter
extra butter for cooking

Beat milk, eggs, and water together. Add dry ingredients. Whisk really well so there are no lumps. I use my immersion blender, and I've seen this step done in a regular blender as well. Stir-in melted butter. Let rest. Heat a small frying pan or crepe pan on the stove to medium. Brush the pan with some melted butter. Then, ladle a small amount of batter into the pan, swirl until the pan is just barely and evenly coated (beware of too-thick crepes!). Cook for a minute or two, flip and cook for another minute.

The best news of all: There should be enough crepes leftover for dessert crepes. Tonight we had lemon and sugar as well as Nutella and Strawberries.

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