Mushroom Crêpe Cake
From Smitten Kitchen and adapted from Alton Brown
Serves 6, or 8 if you’re putting out a spread
1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound fresh cremini, button or shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk
1/2 cup mild white cheese, mozzarella, gouda or provolone, shredded
Savory crêpes, recipe follows
2 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, melt one tablespoon of butter and begin to cook the onion so that it sweats but does not gain color. Turn the heat to medium-high, add all of the mushrooms and remaining two tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté until mushrooms are soft. Stir in the flour, then drizzle in the milk while you stir. Reduce the liquid in the pan by half. Add the shredded cheese and let it melt. Immediately take filling off the heat.
Layer two crêpes on a buttered sheet pan (Alton Brown says that this allows you to still save your cake if the bottom one sticks — smart!). Spread a thin layer of the filling onto the crêpe, then a few chives. Top with another crêpe and spread more filling. Repeat this process until you are out of filling.
Top with a final crêpe and sprinkle one final layer of shredded cheese, run this under the broiler until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
The original recipe suggested one include herbs, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes in the crepe batter. I used herbs and honestly felt it added nothing; I vote for you to skip this. If you want to add those flavors, do it where they will be more effective, in the filling. I was able to eke out 6 crêpes in an 8 1/2-inch skillet. I would have had extras were the first couple not duds.
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
Butter, for coating the pan
In a blender combine all of the ingredients (excepting the butter for coating the pan) and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for one hour, or up to 48 hours.
Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour a couple tablespoons of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and throw the crepe in the garbage; seriously, the first one is always cursed (Don’t you love Deb’s commentary??). Sometimes the second is messed up, too. By the time you get to the third one, go ahead and keep all that you make, even if they’re not perfect. Lay each crêpe flat on a large cutting board to the cutting board to cool; continue cooking until all of the batter is gone.
Do ahead: Crêpe batter can be made up to two days in advance, stored in the fridge. Cooked, cooled and well-wrapped, crêpes can be stored for several days in the fridge or up to two months in the freezer. Frozen crêpes can be thawed on a rack; gently peel them as you need. Filling can be made a day in advance; reheat slowly, over a low flame.