Squash Blossom Crepes: Crepas de Flor de Calabaza
In the following recipe, crepes are rolled around a squash blossom filling, bathed in a poblano chile cream sauce, and baked. All three elements - crepes, sauce and filling - can be made ahead and assembled just before baking. A perfect example of pre-Hispanic ingredients combined with nouvelle Mexican cooking techniques, these crepes could be a first course, a luncheon course, or a light supper with a side dish of rice and a salad. For Valentine's Day, save some of the fresh blossoms to use as a garnish.
Makes 12 crepes (4 main course servings.)
Ingredients: For the crepes:
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a wire whip. Add the milk, cream and butter. Add the flour and salt, beating until the mixture is smooth.
Let the mixture sit for at least half an hour.
Coat an 8" crepe pan with just enough oil so that the crepes do not stick. This is best accomplished by wiping the pan with a paper towel after adding about 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan, tilting so that the batter is distributed evenly. When the edges of the crepe begin to lift away from the pan, turn and cook on the other side for 1/2- 1 minute, transfer to a platter and keep warm.
Follow this procedure until batter is used up, making sure to lightly grease the pan before making each crepe.
Crepes may be made ahead and stacked up, covered, with waxed paper between them.
Ingredients: For the sauce:
- 4 poblano chiles, washed, seeded and chopped (the chiles do not have to be roasted and peeled for this sauce)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 1/2 cups Mexican crema or heavy cream
- salt to taste
Puree the chiles in a blender with the milk until smooth.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour and brown lightly. Add the chile puree and cook, stirring, until smooth.
Add the cream, stirring constantly over low heat until it just begins to bubble. Remove from heat and add salt to taste.
This sauce may be made one day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking the crepes.
Ingredients: For the Filling:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and thinly sliced into crescents
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into strips
- 1 lb. squash blossoms, washed, stemmed and cut in half (remove and discard prickly green centers)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded manchego, Monterrey Jack or gouda cheese
- fresh squash blossoms for garnish (optional)
In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and butter, add the onion and garlic, and saute until the onion is transparent. Add the poblano chile strips and squash blossoms and cook until the liquid from the blossoms has evaporated.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Fill the crepes with the squash blossom filling and arrange them in a buttered baking dish.
Pour the poblano cream sauce over the crepes, top with shredded cheese, and bake in a preheated 350º oven until the cheese melts and the sauce is bubbly.
Serve immediately on individual plates, and garnish with fresh squash blossoms if desired.