Gourmet Galley: Christmas crepes are not as complicated as you think _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Have Chicken and Spinach Crepes ready ahead of time when expecting company for the holidays.


Chicken and Spinach Crepes

Makes 12 crepes. I don’t know the origin of this recipe. I found the recipe, which appeared to have been cut from a magazine, in my mother’s recipe box.

1 (14-oz.) bag fresh baby spinach, stems removed

1 (8-ounce) package sliced white mushrooms

8 tablespoons butter, divided

1/2 cup flour

Salt to taste

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 cups milk

1 cup chicken broth

11/2 cups Swiss, Monterrey Jack, provolone or white cheddar cheese, divided

1?3 cup roasted red pepper, cut into thin strips

1/2 cup onion, chopped

3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

Cooked chicken (about 31/2 cups), cut bite size

Pinch of black or cayenne pepper

Nonstick vegetable coating

Prepared crepes (see recipe)

1. Rinse spinach and drain. Pinch off long stems. Cook spinach in 1-inch salted water in 4-quart saucepan. Cook just until tender (about 3 minutes). Drain, then coarsely chop and set aside.

2. Sauté mushrooms in a skillet with 2 tablespoons butter OR cook mushrooms in butter in microwave until tender. Set aside.

3. Cheese Sauce: In medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter then stir in flour. Add scant teaspoon salt or to taste and pinch of cayenne pepper.

4. Gradually stir in milk and chicken broth. Continue stirring, over medium heat, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil.

5. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 cup of the cheese; stir until it’s melted.

6. Add sautéed mushrooms and roasted red pepper strips to cheese sauce and set aside.

7. Filling: Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to large skillet and sauté onion until tender. (This could also be done in microwave). Remove from heat and stir in toasted almonds, chicken and spinach. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese sauce.

8. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if necessary.

9. Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly grease or spray 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick coating.

10. Fill crepes: Spoon about 1?3 cup chicken filling in center of unbrowned side of crepe. Fold crepe over filling and continue rolling up. Place in prepared baking dish with seam-side down.

11. Spread remaining cheese sauce over crepes and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.

12. Bake in preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Note: If preparing in advance and freezing, do not bake. Cover prepared dish securely with foil and freeze. Try to use quickly. I don’t leave these in the freezer for long, no more than a couple of weeks. Thaw before baking. If not completely defrosted, increase the baking time.


This recipe makes about 18 crepes. You might have 4 crepes left over. Wrap extras with waxed paper between them and put in freezer. Serve for breakfast with an omelet in them or for dessert with berries or other fruit. Anything is good in a crepe.

1 cup flour

11/2 cups milk

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil ( Wesson or Canola)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In medium mixing bowl, add flour and whisk in milk, eggs, oil and salt. Whisk until smooth and well blended.

2. Very lightly brush a nonstick, 6-inch skillet, with vegetable oil and heat. When hot, remove from heat and swirl about 2 tablespoons batter around skillet to just cover bottom, quickly tilting skillet as needed to spread it. Return to heat and cook until bottom is a nice golden brown. Lift an edge of the crepe to see if it’s golden brown. You will only cook the crepe on one side.

3. When ready, invert pan on a plate covered with paper towels. Continue with remaining batter. (It may be necessary to lightly brush the skillet once or twice more during the cooking.