Crespelle with Porcini and Gorgonzola

By • September 23, 2016 2 Comments

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Author Notes: Crespelle is the name for Tuscan crêpes (some will argue the predecessor of crêpes), and they're often used like pasta—rolled like cannoli, filled with ravioli filling, then baked.

Porcini mushrooms tend to practically melt in the pan, so you're left with a naturally creamy mushroom sauce. If using regular button mushrooms or other mushrooms, you can blend a third of the mixture for a creamier result.

If you wanted, you could add some sausages—pork and fennel would be perfect, skin removed, crumbled in a pan, and browned before adding to the mushroom filling. Or, in the same vein, add some crisp, browned slices of guanciale or pancetta. But if we're talking fresh porcini, my preference is to keep it simple, so the porcini sing. Sausage, while delicious, tends to disguise the flavor—but it is a good one to add to button mushrooms.
This is a good dish to make for guests because the different elements can be prepared a day, or even two, in advance: The mushrooms can be prepared well ahead of time and the batter or the cooked crespelle can be made the night before. In fact, everything, even assembling the crespelle in the pan, can be done in advance. Then, when your guests are ready, all you need to do is pass the pan of crespelle through the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Emiko

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Serves 4

For the crespelle:

  • 1 1/4 cups (150 grams) plain/all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 ounces (450 ml) whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) melted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and about a quarter cup of the milk, whisk until well combined. Add the rest of the milk and the melted butter and salt and whisk until smooth. The batter should be fluid (it should run off a spoon like oil) and without lumps. Set aside to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes before using (you can also prepare this the night before and leave to rest overnight).
  2. To cook the crespelle, lightly grease a frying pan with butter and set over a medium heat. (Note: If using a large pan, this will make about 8 crepes. If using a non-stick pan, you can skip the greasing).
  3. Pour about a quarter cup of the batter into the center of the pan, swirling to form a thin crêpe. When the top begins to look dry, gently flip with a silicon spatula and allow to cook for 10 seconds or so more. They don't need to brown much; they should remain soft. Set them aside until all the crepes are cooked. These can also be made a day in advance and kept stacked on a plate, covered in plastic wrap, until needed.

For the filling and assembly:

  • 1 pound (450 grams) fresh porcini mushrooms (or any other mushroom)
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 splash dry white wine (or water)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons (about 50 grams) butter
  • 1 handful fresh oregano leaves (or calamint is ideal if you have it)
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 handful (about 40 grams) grated Parmesan
  1. Clean the mushrooms. If you are using wild mushrooms and they have quite a bit of dirt on them, cut off the ends that have been in contact with the dirt and rinse quickly under running water, then pat dry, wiping as you go, with paper towel. Alternatively, if they are not too dirty, you can wipe them with a damp paper towel to clean them. Slice finely, then chop into small pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet over low-medium heat. Add the garlic and let infuse gently for about 5 to 10 minutes (do not let the garlic brown). Add the mushrooms along with a pinch of salt, turn heat up slightly to medium and toss gently with the oil until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add a splash of white wine (or water) and continue cooking a further 5 minutes or until they are soft and juicy. Add half of the butter and the herbs and cook 1 more minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  4. Place a heaped teaspoon of gorgonzola and a heaped tablespoon of mushrooms on a crêpe, fold in half, then fold into quarters and place the crêpes, slightly overlapping, in an ovenproof dish greased with a little butter (alternatively you can layer them like lasagne sheets with the filling in between each layer, or you can roll up the crêpe with its filling like a cigar).
  5. Dot the tops of the crêpes with the rest of the butter and sprinkle over the Parmesan. Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted, and the crêpes are slightly crisp.

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Topics: Italian Cooking, Pasta, Vegetarian Cooking, Cheese