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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Butternut Squash, Mushroom, and Spinach Crepes with Cheese Sauce

Because I don't have enough on my plate right now, with school and work and church and vacation planning and blogging, to name a few, I've also started doing a little freelance work. Don't get me wrong, I love being busy and I work best when I have a lot on my plate. They didn't vote me "Most Dependable" senior year of high school for nothing! (Yes, while other students were picked Most Athletic or Best Hair, I was Most Dependable. So typical!)

I'm freelancing for the University City Patch, a local online newspaper in my town. It's been fun to do some additional writing and spark some creative thinking, still revolving around my favorite topic: food. One article series that I will be writing for the Patch revolves around our local Farmer's Market. I'll be creating or adapting recipes, primarily using fresh produce that University City residents can pick up at the market. I'm excited to show my neighbors what a great asset we have in our local market!

For my first market post, I decided to try something new and made some vegetable crepes with cheese sauce. Crepes were new to me, at least in my own kitchen, but the results were fantastic! I'm still dreaming about these savory crepes (and the banana, Nutella, whipped cream ones we made with the leftover crepes!). Feel free to switch up the vegetable combination. Next time, I would maybe omit the cheese sauce and instead fill with feta or goat cheese.

What are your favorite crepe fillings, sweet or savory? I plan to make again soon!

One Year Ago: Cranberry Almond Pancakes with Orange Zest

Butternut Squash, Mushroom, and Spinach Crepes with Cheese Sauce

for the filling-
-3-4 cups fresh spinach
-1 small butternut squash, cut in half vertically and seeds scraped out
-1 portobello mushroom cap, sliced
-10 button mushrooms, sliced
-1 red onion, sliced

for the cheese sauce-
-salt & pepper, to taste
-1 tbsp butter
-1 tbsp flour
-1 cup skim milk
-1 cup Italian shredded cheese

for the crepes-
-3 eggs
-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or can use 1 cup all-purpose and no whole wheat)
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup skim milk
-2 tbsp butter, melted
-1/2 cup club soda

1. To prepare the crepes: mix whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, eggs, milk and melted butter in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
2. Remove crepe batter from fridge and stir in club soda. Spray a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium. Pour 1/8 cup batter into the skillet, tilting the skillet to spread the batter. Bake for 30-45 seconds, until the underside is lightly browned.
3. Using a spatula, carefully lift up one corner of the crepe. Using your fingers, quickly flip the crepe and allow the second side to cook for 30-45 seconds. Use a spatula to remove the crepe and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining batter. set crepes aside until ready to fill. (Note: can be made two days ahead of time and stored covered in the fridge with sheets of wax paper in between).
4. To prepare the vegetables: cut the butternut squash in half vertically and scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Place the squash, cut-side up, in a baking pan with an inch of water in the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350F for an hour to an hour and a half, until squash is tender. Remove from oven and allow squash to cool slightly. Using a fork, gently scrape squash out from the peel into a bowl. Mash slightly with a fork, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Slice mushrooms and dice onion. in a large greased skillet over medium heat, saute vegetables until tender, 5-10 minutes. In a separate skillet (or the same one, after you remove the other vegetables), wilt 3-4 cups of spinach.
6. To make the cheese sauce: melt 1 tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, whisking together well. Slowly add milk, 1/4 cup at a time, whisking continuously. Stir in 1 cup of cheese and continue to stir until the cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper.
7. To assemble the crepes, take a single crepe and top with spinach, sauteed vegetables, and mashed squash. Fold up and drizzle with cheese sauce. Serve immediately.