Friday, March 5, 2010

Crespelle with Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potato Filling

My first step into the world of exquisite Italian cuisine... Crespelle.... Italian pancakes.. with savory béchamel and garlic sauce.. mmm.. yum.. !!! 








Ingredients: 

1. Parmesan cheese - 1 cup (grated)
2. Dry basil leaves - 1 tsp

Garlic Sauce:

1. Garlic - 6 cloves
2. Milk - 1 cup (250 ml)
3. All purpose flour - 1 tbsp
4. Freshly ground black pepper - 1/4 tsp
5. Salt - to taste
6. Butter - 1 tsp

Béchamel:

1. Milk - 1 cup 
2. All purpose flour - 1tbsp
3. Salt - to taste
4. Butter - 1 tsp

Potato Filling:

1. Potatoes - 2 medium sized
2. Pepper - 1/4 tsp
3. Salt - to taste
4. Butter - 1 tsp

Spinach Filling:

1. Onion - 1 medium sized (finely chopped)
2. Spinach - 2 cups (finely chopped)
3. Freshly ground black pepper - 1/4 tsp
4. Salt - to taste

Crespelle(This batter measurement makes about 5-6, 8" pancakes ):

1. All purpose flour - 1 cup
2. Milk - 1 1/4 cup
3. Eggs - 2 
4. Salt- to taste

Preparation:

Garlic sauce: 
  1. Blanch garlic in boiling water for 2-3 min. Drain and peel.
  2. Sauté the garlic in butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on low heat till it is tender. Make sure the garlic does not brown.
  3. Add flour little by little and mix well with a wooden spatula. Make sure the flour doesn't brown and no lumps are formed.
  4. When bubbles start forming, start adding warm milk, a tbsp at a time mixing constantly. Once the milk is mixed throughly with the flour and butter, add the rest of the milk and stir slowly. Add salt and pepper. The sauce will begin to thicken after a while. 
  5. Once it reaches a creamy consistency, remove it from the stove, pureé and keep aside. 
Béchamel: 

  1. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. 
  2.  Add the flour little by little and mix well with a wooden spatula. Make sure the flour doesn't brown and no lumps are formed
  3. When bubbles start forming, start adding warm milk, a tbsp at a time mixing constantly. Once the milk is mixed throughly with the flour and butter, add the rest of the milk and stir slowly. Add salt. The sauce will begin to thicken after a while.
  4. Once it reaches a creamy consistency, remove it from the stove.
Potato filling:
  1. Peel, wash and quarter the potatoes. Put them into boiling salted water. Cook until it becomes soft. Drain away the water and keep the potatoes aside to cool for a while. 
  2. Mash the potatoes well with butter, a pinch of salt and pepper.  Keep aside
Spinach filling: 
  1. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté until tender. Do not brown. 
  2. Add the chopped spinach. Add salt and pepper. Mix well for about 3-4 minutes, remove from the stove and keep aside.
Crespelle:
  1. Pour warm milk into a batter bowl. Sift in the flour whisking continuously till all the flour has blended in well. 
  2. Add the two eggs and salt and whisk well. 
  3. Heat a heavy-bottomed non-stick pan to low-medium heat and melt a little butter in it. Pour a ladleful of batter. Rotate the pan to get thinner pancakes and better shapes.
  4. Once a side of the pancake is done with small brown spots, flip it over. 
  5. Make all the pancakes and keep aside.
Layering and baking:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Take a 9" baking tin and smear with butter. 
  3. Take the largest crespelle for the bottom. Layer with mashed potatoes and garlic sauce.
  4. Place the next crespelle on top and press lightly. Add a layer of spinach, béchamel, parmesan and basil. 
  5. Continue in the same manner with the rest of the pancakes. Pour any remaining garlic sauce, béchamel, parmesan and basil over the top and sides. 
  6. Place it in the oven on the top rack and bake for 15 min.

Enjoy!!! :)



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