Taking another stroll down memory lane led me to a decision to make crêpes for dinner tonight. When I worked at the Watergate Hotel back in the ‘70s, crêpes were a staple on the menu, served at lunch every day and brunch on the weekends. Thus it would fall to one of us hapless apprentices to replenish the supply every other week or so. We mixed up eggs and milk in a big 5-gallon bucket with an 18 inch long whisk and then added flour until the batter was the right consistency—about as thick as heavy cream, along with about a cup of our special melted butter/oil mixture and a big shake of salt.
Most crêpe recipes stress the importance of letting the batter rest for at least an hour, to hydrate the flour or something. We observed no such niceties at the Watergate and started juggling at least 4 pans at once on the hot griddle as soon as we had the batter mixed up.
Today I let the batter rest while I made the bèchamel sauce, grated cheese with my microplane, and took Calvin to take the test to get his learner’s permit for his driver’s license.
I’m not going to bother giving a recipe for the crêpe batter here; they are all virtually the same. I did use my black steel French crêpe pan to cook them in, but an omelet pan works just as well. In fact, my black steel pan was a mess from not having been used for about 12 years and had to be reseasoned, whereas a good, non-stick omelet pan would have worked beautifully. I don’t happen to have one.
I made 3 cups of thick, well-seasoned béchamel sauce and used about one cup of it to mix with sliced, sautéed mushrooms, some sautéed spinach, and the meat of one small roast chicken torn into bite-size pieces. This is what I filled the crêpes with before rolling them up and placing in a baking dish. Then I napped the rolled crêpes with the rest of the sauce, sprinkled heavily with shredded parmesan cheese, and baked in a 350º F oven until golden brown.