Christmas Morning Crepes
Gateau of Crepes
Crepes for a very special Christmas breakfast
This dish is some what time consuming, but Christmas only comes once a year and if you want to make something that will get a lot of ooohs and aaahs and is very delicious as well, this is it.
One thing about most bed and breakfasts, they go out of their way to make fabulous breakfasts, giving "Gourmet" more than just a try! French toast, pancakes & waffles are good ole standbys, as well as omelets, scrambled eggs and quiches. But most innkeepers, tired themselves of making the same dishes over and over and wanting to impress and delight their guests, are eagar to try something different from the usual fare. Like my friend Devona, who frequently makes blueberry Aebleskivers...or Leah, who presents her guests with Lemon Curd French Toast Butterflies, or even myself. Are you up for Croissants au Gratin?
And, you may ask, what about crepes? Few innkeepers make crepes on a regular basis. Although delicious and adaptable to both savory and sweet breakfast entrees, they are quite time consuming, delicate to handle, and not the easiest to make well. However, I came across someone today who made them with ease, while carrying on a continuous conversation with another person. And I watched her very closely to see if I could pick up some of her magic.
Yes, I'm referring to Martha Stewart. She often has a celebrity on during the food segment of her TV show to help her cook up some amazing dish. Today, it was Paul Bettany, the gorgeous British actor (think: the DiVinci Code or A Knight's Tale). He came on to talk about his new movie "Inkheart" and to help her make a wonderful Gateau of Spinach-Gruyere Crepes.
I am definitely going to make it this week-end at my bed and breakfast and thought you too might like to try it too.......So, here's the recipe.
FOR THE BECHAMEL
1/2 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for sheet
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
FOR THE ASSEMBLY
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)
5 ounces baby spinach (about 6 cups)
Pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lemon, for squeezing
12 small Basic Crepes
Make the Bechamel: Place onion and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook until onion is translucent and softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk in a slow, steady stream. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup Gruyere, and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat, add nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper.
Assemble: Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add spinach, and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add red-pepper flakes, and season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. Let cool slightly. Squeeze out any excess liquid, and coarsely chop.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Reserve 2 tablespoons bechamel. Mix remaining bechamel and spinach in a medium bowl. Butter a rimmed baking sheet. Place 1 crepe on center of sheet, and top with 3 tablespoons spinach mixture. Repeat with remaining crepes and spinach mixture, ending with a crepe. Spread reserved bechamel on top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until cheese melts and turns golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer gateau de crepes to a platter. Cut into wedges, and serve warm.
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