Crepe is the French word for pancake, and usually, when we think about pancakes, we see them covered in Nutella. Or any other sweet stuff. However, both in France and in Italy (where they are called crespelle), they are often served with a savoury filling. Crepes with ham and mushrooms are easy enough to make, just a little time taking. Mornay sauce is a bechamel that has been enriched with eggs and cheese. The cheese used is traditionally gruyere, however here I have used a mix of three cheese to lift and enhance an otherwise very mild flavoured meal.
Ingredient for 8 portions:
For the crepes
200 gr of 00 flour
40 gr of butter, melted
300 ml of milk
For the sauce Mornay
50gr of butter
70 gr of 00 flour
500 ml of milk
2 egg yolks
100 ml of double cream
40gr of grated pecorino Romano
20gr of grated parmesan
20 gr of grated gruyere
salt and pepper to taste
For the filling
500 gr of closed cup mushrooms
400 gr of cooked ham
Vegetable oil for cooking
salt and pepper to taste
- To make you crepes with ham and mushrooms, start by making the sauce mornay. In a small saucepan, melt the butter on a low heat. Sir in the flour to create a roux. Very slowly, whisk in a little milk at the time, letting it incorporate into the roux before adding more. Do not rush this passage, as it is essential for a smooth and lumps-free sauce.
- Cook the sauce on low heat, wishing or stirring constantly, until it becomes dense and thick. Season to taste. Set aside
- In a bowl, whisk the two egg yolk with 100ml of double cream. Grate the parmesan, the pecorino, and the gruyere. Stir the cheese into the eggs, then pour everything into the bechamel sauce. Mix well. Cover with cling film, making sure that it adheres to the sauce’s surface to prevent the skin from forming. Set aside.
- Now prepare the crepes. In a bowl, beat the eggs, the add the sifted flour. Stir vigorously until you get a smooth paste. Stir in the melted butter. Little by little (exactly as when making the bechamel), wish in the milk, adding a little and letting it incorporate before adding more. Again, this passage is essential to avoid lumps: do not rush it!
- Take a 24 cm diameter non-stick frying pan and brush it with a tiny amount of vegetable oil or butter. Place it on a high heat. With the help of a ladle, spoon the crepes batter into the pan, and rotate the pan until its flat surface is completely covered in batter. Cook for a couple of minutes on both sides, until the pancakes have taken a nice golden colour. Do this until all the batter has been used. You should get at least 8 pancakes. Set aside.
- Clean and slice the mushroom. Cut the ham into strips of about 1/2 cm width. In a deep non-stick frying pan, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and the ham and saute for about 10 minutes. Season to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/ gas mark 5. Put in a bowl half of the sauce Mornay and set aside the other half. Stir in the mushrooms and ham. Divide the filling over on half of the eight pancakes. Fold each pancake twice, first in half, then in quarters. Place the pancakes so prepared in an oven dish, being careful not to overlap them (you might need more than a dish). Cover everything with the remaining mornay sauce. Dust with some more grated parmesan. Place the dish in the oven, onto the middle shelf, and back for about 30 minutes, or until the top has become a lovely golden colour.
- Serve you crepes with ham and mushrooms immediately, with a simple green salad on the side. To offset the sweetness of the dish, use strong flavoured leaves, such as radicchio or rocket.
Store your leftover crepes with ham and mushrooms in an airtight container, in the fridge, for a maximum of 3 days.
Better reheated in the oven at 160°/gas mark 3.
If not feeling confident with making the mornay sauce, you can use creme fraiche instead: mix the creme fraiche with the grated cheese, put it in the pan with the ham and mushrooms, and cook for 10 minutes, until the cream has thickened up. With this method, It’s not advisable to bake your crepes: just fill them with the creamy ham and mushroom sauce, fold them in quarters, and serve them.