About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene
Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug
Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan
Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim
Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Baked Semolina Gnocchi | Main | Baked Crespelle with Bolognese Meat Sauce »

Crespelle

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My assignment is to make a simple batch of crespelle. Crespelle are very thin pancakes made from a batter. Italians use them like pasta wrappers, and in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking Marcella offers three recipes as examples of their use. They all look absolutely delicious to me.

The ingredients are few - milk, eggs, flour, & salt.

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The process is simple. Slowly sift the flour into the milk as you whip with a fork to avoid lumps; stir in the eggs one at a time; add salt. Lightly butter an eight inch skillet. Set the pan on medium heat. Pour 2 tablespooons of batter into the pan. Tilt and rotate to distribute the batter evenly. When batter sets, flip the crespelle and brown the second side. Repeat process until all batter is used up. Be sure to stir the batter each time before pouring it into the pan.

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Now we come to my dilemma for this assignment. I can't just make my crespelle and not use them in some wonderful way, can I? Yet, this project is about Marcella's recipes, not ours. Am I bending the rules by reporting on how I use my crespelle? I can't use one of the recipes that follow, because they are for Doug, Cindy, and Sandy/Jan to report. In the end, I decide to report my entire dish. *Disclaimer* - It has not been a Marcella-approved recipe.

I think about using them in some dessert type application, but that will not be crespelle, will it? Italians use crespelle for savory dishes, not dolce. They leave that to the French and their crepes.

So, I decide to create my own filling and do a layered dish - meat free for my vegetarian daughter to enjoy. She is training for the Chicago Marathon coming up in October, and is being especially vigilant about a healthy diet. I suspect that most people would include a little bechamel here, but I want something extra light, so I don't.

I sauted equal measure sliced shallot, mixed dried mushrooms, & diced red pepper in a little oil and butter. I drained the saute on paper towel to remove as much grease as possible; put it back in the pan; and simmer in the filtered soaking liquid from the mushrooms until all the moisture boils away. A little salt and pepper and my filling is ready.

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Starting with a lightly buttered glass pie pan, I lay down the first crespelle. On top I scatter a porton of the saute and sprinkle it with grated parmagiano-reggiano. I repeat the process and continue through eight layers. I finish by topping the last crespelle with a final sprinkle of cheese and four little decorative bits of the saute.

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I bake the layered dish for about 15 minutes in a 400º oven and then let it sit for a few minutes before cutting into four wedges.

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We enjoy our Layered Crespelle with Mushrooms, Shallots, & Peppers with a light fresh green salad and a glass of sparkling blood orange lemonade. A perfect summer weekend lunch.

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Comments (3)

Marcella Hazan:

The uses of crespelle in Italian cooking are limited only by your imagination -provided you have an Italian imagination. Yours appears to be in that category, and what greater compliment can one pay a cook?

Deborah responds: Thank you Marcella! Indeed there is no greater compliment! Especially for this English/Dutch/Scottish/Native American/French mutt, who has always desperately wished to be Italian. :grin:

Deborah, this looks beautiful!

I never associate crespelle with a summer lunch, I always think of having it during cold weather. The first time I ever had crespelle was on a bitterly cold November day. We had gone to Treviso for lunch and walked into a warm and welcoming restaurant. They were making crespelle right in the dining room. I had it with radicchio, it was divine.

Thanks for opening my eyes, I will have to try it during clement weather as well.

Woo Hoo! What a lovely compliment from Marcella!

My mouth is watering looking at your Crespelle photos. I am definitely going to try this dish!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 10, 2010 6:44 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Baked Semolina Gnocchi.

The next post in this blog is Baked Crespelle with Bolognese Meat Sauce.

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