Chicken and Mushroom Crepe Cake
Company was coming for lunch recently and I wanted a recipe that wasn't too fussy or time-consuming to make but still company-worthy.
I'd prepared some crêpe batter the day before we found out we were getting guests, and was planning to make crêpes filled with peaches and whipped cream. (Crêpe batter keeps for a day or two; just give it a good stir before using.) Now, surveying the contents of my fridge and cupboards, hoping for inspiration for my lunch menu, I suddenly thought of the "crêpe cake" recipe below. It always gets great reviews for its taste and appearance, and it makes up quickly once the crêpes and sauce are made.
The crêpe batter in my fridge was made from the Dutch Pancakes recipe on Egg Farmers of Ontario's web site. The recipe is courtesy of Diana and William Schenk, egg farmers in Wyoming, Ontario. If you want to serve the Dutch Pancakes or crêpes with a savoury filling like the one in this recipe, just leave out the 1/4 cup sugar called for in the recipe. The evening before the guests arrived, I cooked the crêpes, covered them well with plastic wrap, and refrigerated them. The next morning, I prepared the chicken and mushroom filling, then assembled the crêpes in a stack with filling in between. (The leftover crêpes went back into the fridge; they were great the next day with peaches and whipped cream!) Had I been so inclined, I could have made the crêpes and filling the night before, layered the crêpes with the filling, and refrigerated the "cake" overnight. Served with a salad, the crêpe cake was a hit! For dessert, we enjoyed warm Cheesecake -Stuffed Peaches (recipe follows). Chicken and Mushroom Crêpe Cake (Makes 6 servings) Eight 6 or 7-inch crêpes Mornay Sauce: 2 tbsp butter 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1-1/2 cups milk 3/4 cup chicken broth Salt and pepper 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese 2 tbsp butter 2 shallots or green onions (white part only), chopped 1-1/2 cups sliced white mushrooms 4-1/2 cups (1-1/4 lb) diced cooked chicken or turkey 3 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley 1/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese Prepare crêpes. Set aside. To make Mornay Sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add flour (mixture will clump together). Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in milk until mixture is smooth. Add broth, salt and pepper to taste, and nutmeg. Whisk until sauce thickens and comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup Gruyère. Remove pan from heat and set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter; sauté shallots until translucent, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and sauté until soft, 3 or 4 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the Mornay Sauce. Add mushrooms, chicken and parsley into the remaining sauce. In a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate or quiche pan, place one crêpe. Cover it with about 2/3 cup of the filling. Cover with a second crêpe and repeat filling. Stack and layer the crêpes in a similar way, leaving the top crêpe unfilled. Spread the reserved Mornay Sauce over the top crêpe. Sprinkle 1/4 cup Gruyère over the Mornay Sauce. (At this point, the crêpe cake can be covered carefully and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Allow to come to room temperature before baking.) Bake in a preheated 375°F oven until heated through, 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve. Recipe Source: Crêpes: Sweet & Savory Recipes for the Home Cook by Lou Siebert Pappas, Chronicle Books
If desired, just before serving, drizzle peaches with maple syrup or caramel syrup, or sprinkle with granola or chopped nuts. (Makes 6 or 12 servings) 6 peaches, halved and pitted 2 tbsp melted butter 3 tbsp cinnamon-sugar* 1/2 of an 8 oz (250 g) pkg cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup sugar 1 egg yolk 1-1/2 tsp vanilla Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan with parchment or baking paper; set aside. If necessary, trim a very thin slice from the round side of each peach half so they halves will stand flat on the baking pan. Arrange peach halves, cut side up, in the prepared pan. Brush cut side of peaches with melted butter. Sprinkle cut sides with cinnamon-sugar. In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. Beat until combined. Spoon cream cheese mixture into peach centres. Bake, uncovered, until lightly browned and softened, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. * Use a purchased cinnamon-sugar mixture or combine 3 tbsp granulated sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Recipe Source: Contributed to Better Homes and Gardens magazine, August 2011, by Dee Guelcher of Acworth, GA