In less than 3 weeks, La Chandeleur is going to be celebrated in France. It originially was a religious event (40 days after Christmas) but nowadays, it's become a more commercial celebration). Crêpes are traditionally served on the holiday, which gives me an excuse to flip some crêpes for my family. I know that making crepes is intimidating for a lot of people, but I have prepared crêpe batter countless times and I promise it's easy to master, and with a little bit of practice you'll have no problem with it.
In general, for La Chandeleur you'll see them served as dessert, either with fruit and cream or simply sweetened with a sprinkle of sugar. Savory versions (ham and cheese is a staple), however, are not uncommon. This recipe is for a "forest"-style crepe, which means it's filled with mushrooms and it's also known as beggar's purse. I added a few roasted chestnuts and garbanzo beans for extra protein.
I hope you're inspired to make some crepes yourself. You'll be a pro in no time!
I'm giving away a copy this week and will announce the winner next Monday, January 14th, 2013. I am so grateful for all the blessings I have in my life. Thank you so much for your love and support. Here’s to making 2013 as unforgettable as 2012!
Servings: 12 purses
, omitting the sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
¼ (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup roasted chestnuts, quartered
3 cup combined mushrooms (shiitake, morels and chanterelles), sliced lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, cut into quarters
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup mushroom stock (or vegetable broth), warm
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup Gruyère cheese, shaved
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
¼ bunch parsley, with stems
Preparing the parsley stem ties:
Make sure the stems are long enough (about 10 inches).
Boil the stems in about a quart of salted water for about 30 seconds until softened. Drain and immediately transfer into a cold water bath. Pat dry on towels. Remove as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
Making the mushroom filling:
Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Add the garlic and cook until golden. Add the onions and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the onion from burning, until the color is evenly golden brown. Transfer to a platter.
Add more oil if necessary. Add the garbanzo beans first and cook for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Sauté over medium heat. Add the chestnuts and return the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well and transfer with the juice to the same platter.
For the mushroom sauce:
In the same saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Bring the heat back up to medium-high and add flour. Keep stirring manually with a whisk for approximately 2-3 minutes. Stir until well combined and add the milk in 2-3 stages. Increase the heat while constantly stirring for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Let the sauce rest until it's time to assemble the dish.
Assembly time: Place a crêpe on the working space. Place a small mound of mushrooms and garbanzo beans (about 1½ tablespoons) in the middle of the crêpe. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon béchamel and top with a few cheese shavings. Tie the crêpe into a bunch using the reserved parsley stems. Using kitchen shears, trim the excess crêpe. Place on a serving platter. Garnish with a few slices of mushrooms as a reminder of the filling.