In homemade how-to number 5, I showed you how to sauté mushrooms without a big pile of liquid at the end. Asparagus mushroom crepes are a delicious, light (depending on how many you eat) entrée to put your new skill to work!
Like many recipes on this site, asparagus mushroom crepes are inspired by a frequent family dinner from childhood; in this case, creamy chicken crepes. My mom would whip out a stack of delicate French pancakes as if she was a seasoned professional chef (she wasn’t), and we filled them with a sauce of those infamous cream soups mixed with shredded chicken. Leftovers were a hot commodity for as long as they lasted.
Over the last few years, I’ve been paying a little too much for equally delicious buckwheat crepes with slightly fancier fillings, and the hit on my wallet, along with poorly timed cravings, finally prompted me to request Mom’s crepe recipe. It never even occurred to me to wonder before just how a fancy French pancake made its way into the dinner rotation on our Midwest table. Tacos, mac ‘n’ cheese, pork chops, tuna hot dish, and…crepes? Why had I not questioned this before?
I shouldn’t have been surprised when I got the recipe screenshot, straight out of the Better Homes and Gardens classic cookbook.
Go, BH&G for giving us crepes in the middle of America in the ’90’s! The ingredient list and batter were short and simple enough, respectively, but I prepared myself for a couple rounds before I got the pancake thickness and timing perfect, without any burnt or oddly shaped crepes. Turns out that I inherited Leslie’s expert crepe skills in my genes, though, because after two batches there still wasn’t a burnt or blob-shaped crepe in sight, and Clarence and I were on our way to a crepe coma.
To celebrate, I filled the few remaining crepes with lemon and herb tinged cream sauce (no canned soup involved) and a somewhat seasonal combo of asparagus and mushrooms. I tried something new to my crepe world, filling them in advance, and thanks to the eggy batter they held up remarkably, without getting soggy or leaking filling out the ends, thanks to a thick sauce.
The prep time for the full dish is a tad long, but you’re rewarded with a future amazing dinner or a few days of the best leftovers if you can get to them first.
More Throwback Dinners
As I discovered, the crepes themselves are surprisingly easy. I’ve included all the instruction you need within the recipe, which has much more detail than the one I was given. I’ve made a few adaptations to the method and ingredients, so don’t follow the recipe from the picture above! Using butter instead of oil adds noticeable color and flavor to the crepes, and I found more salt and some pepper brought them into proper seasoning zone for a savory crepe. Once you get the hang of it, don’t blame me if you find yourself indulging once a week.
Scroll past the recipe for a few how-to photos!
- Kosher salt
- White and/or black pepper (preferably white)
- 1½ C whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1 T sugar
- 1 T melted butter
- Canola, vegetable, or olive oil for the pan
- 4 T butter, divided
- 2 T oil
- 10 oz. thick sliced baby Bella or white button mushrooms
- 1 bunch asparagus (about a pound), tough ends removed, cut into 1" lengths, including tops (you can reserve a couple stalks to peel into ribbons for garnish
- 1 C whole milk
- ½ C vegetable stock
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 C very finely chopped yellow onion (half an onion)
- 2 T all-purpose flour
- 1 t dijon mustard
- Zest of ½ lemon
- ¼ t truffle oil (or a pinch of truffle salt), optional
- 4 t chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives, or whatever's in season)
- Combine crepe ingredients (except butter and oil), plus ½ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper, in the blender and blend at increasing speed until smooth. With blender running on low, drizzle in the melted butter, then empty into a bowl or liquid measuring cup. Heat a 6 to 8 inch nonstick skillet at just hotter than medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- To make each crepe, brush pan with a small amount of oil. Hold pan in one hand and scoop ¼ cup batter (for a 7" pan) into a measuring cup in the other. Tilt the pan so the side farthest from you is angled up, pour the batter near the highest point of the pan, and swirl/tilt the pan to coat it with the batter.
- Cook undisturbed about 45 seconds, until golden brown and visible side is nearly dry. Use a metal spatula (an offset spatula if you have one) to gently flip crepe over, cooking about 20 seconds on the other side, until very light golden in just a few places. With an upside-down “U” motion, lift pan then invert crepe onto a paper towel lined plate (don't just rotate the pan from the handle, or the crepe may wrinkle or tear). Repeat process to make remaining crepes (about 10), letting pan heat around 15 seconds between crepes.
- Stack the crepes as they're finished. If not serving immediately, cool the stack, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to a couple days.
- In a 2 to 3 quart skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon each butter and oil over medium high until butter is melted and foaming. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, browned, and no liquid remains in pan (here's the full tutorial to sauté mushrooms). Turn off heat and set aside in a mixing bowl. Heat another tablespoon each butter and oil in the same skillet over medium high. Add asparagus and cook until seared and tender, but not mushy, then add to the mushrooms. Season the veg mix to taste.
- In a small saucepan, scald (heat gradually until small bubbles form at the edge of the pan) the milk, stock, and garlic. Turn off heat, cover, and reserve. In a medium saucepan or the skillet from the vegetables, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium. Add onion and cook gently until tender but not caramelized. Sprinkle flour over the onions, reduce heat slightly, and stir constantly for 3 minutes.
- Remove garlic from reserved liquid and discard, pour liquid into the onion pan while whisking, then raise heat to bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring almost constantly, for 7 to 10 minutes, until thickened. Stir in mustard, lemon zest, truffle oil, fresh herbs, and plenty of salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until serving.
- To serve, warm crepes. Spoon a scoop of sauce into the middle of each crepe and top with a scoop of mushrooms and asparagus. Roll loosely then serve two to a plate, or place seam side down in an ungreased baking dish and keep warm in a low oven. Garnish with extra sauce, herbs, asparagus ribbons, and lemon zest.
My pan and stove are both good quality, so as the pan got hotter over time I reduced the heat. Using too low heat is better than using too high heat, as the crepe will still cook, it will just take a little longer, and perhaps some heat adjustment.
Both filling and crepes do well made ahead. I reheated crepes on a paper towel lined dinner plate, covered with a piece of saran wrap.
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