Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

A Graduation Dinner Featuring Seafood Crepes in Mornay Sauce

36 Comments

Eleven people for a sit down dinner. To some, that might seem like a lot, but for our family, who meets every Sunday at my parents’ house, it’s just “Sunday Dinner”.  My mom can carry off this dinner like a pro. She usually goes crazy each and every Sunday with homemade brioche or focaccia, roasted meats, fresh from the garden lettuces and vegetables and always a drool-worthy dessert.

This last Sunday was my turn to host. It was to be a graduation celebration for my daughter, Zoie, and my niece, Lindsey. In true celebratory fashion around here, they got to choose the dinner and dessert. They chose seafood crepes. Can you tell they are both avid foodies? They fit right in with my family of crazed foodie lunatics.

The thought of trying to replicate my mother’s famous seafood crepes was more than a bit daunting, but luckily she was just a phone call (or ten) away and thus I dug right in and, if I do say so myself, I totally pulled it off. They were rich and creamy, stuffed with garlic-y bites of scallops, shrimp and crab, and they were a perfect way to congratulate the graduates.

The nice thing about a dish like this is that it can be made ahead of time and just popped in the oven 30 minutes before serving. So, although I was toiling for a couple of hours that morning (I would be a liar if I told you it was a snap to make) flipping crepes, making mornay sauce, shelling and cleaning shrimp, sauteing fish and finally filling the crepes, I was totally relaxed come dinner time. I could almost put my feet up and sip lemonade or something….well…almost.

I served it with a summer salad filled with English peas, barely steamed crispy green beans, toasted pine nuts, arrugula and a lemon vinaigrette. I will post that next because it was such a fresh pairing with the rich crepes. If you have a special occasion dinner coming up, these crepes might be just the thing.

Make sure to plan about an hour and a half of prep time though either the morning of your event or the night before so you don’t cuss me out later. I would really prefer to avoid that.

Seafood Crepes with Mornay Sauce

Basic Savory Crepes
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
Makes 12 medium-sized crepes
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
2 c. milk, 2% or full fat, not nonfat or low-fat
3 eggs
1 1/2 T. Canola oil. + additional oil for pan
wax paper

To Make the Crepes:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a large liquid measuring cup, measure the milk and crack your three eggs into the milk. Beat with a whisk. Add the Canola oil to the milk mixture and beat.  SLOWLY, adding only about 1/4 c. of liquid at a time, pour your milk mixture into your flour, whisking thoroughly so there are no lumps. Continue adding 1/4 c. of the milk mixture until all of it is beaten into the batter. See how your batter should look?

Now get your wax paper and cut 12 squares large enough to place in between each crepe as you make them. In a medium saute  pan or a crepe pan, lightly oil your pan with Canola oil.  I like to rub the oil all around with either a rubber spatula or paper towel and then soak up any excess with the paper towel.  

Place your batter bowl very close to the stove. Heat your pan on medium heat until hot and then  using a 1/3 c. measuring cup, scoop out 1/3 c. of the batter and  lift your pan off the burner and up to the batter bowl and pour in the crepe batter, swirl it around the pan with your wrist so the batter amply covers the bottom (only) of the pan. Place the pan back on the burner and cook for about a minute or a little less. You can peek underneath the crepe with a spatula and if it is slightly golden, you can take it off. Let it cool while you make your next crepe and while the next crepe is cooking for a minute cover your last crepe with a sheet of the wax paper.

Mornay Sauce (creamy cheese sauce)
Recipe from my mom, Sandy
Makes enough sauce for 12-14 crepes
6  T. unsalted butter (1/4 c. + 2 T.)
1/4 c. + 2 T. all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper(or white pepper)
3 c. whole milk (or 2% is fine, but non nonfat, ew)
3 c. grated cheddar or a combination of jack and gruyere if you want to go that direction

To make the Mornay Sauce: Cut your butter into table spoons and drop into a large sauce pan or small stock pot over medium heat. Stir butter until melted. Whisk in your flour a little at a time until smooth, with no lumps. Add your salt and pepper. Heat the milk in a liquid measuring cup in the microwave for about a minute. This assures that the sauce will stay smooth and no bits of butter will clump up with cold milk being added.

Pour the milk into the pot and whisk until smooth. Bring to a gentle boil. If you need to turn the heat up to medium-high that is fine, but watch it and stir frequently (so it doesn’t burn) with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan now and then.

Add the grated cheese 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until smooth and creamy. Turn off the burner and let sit while you make the seafood filling.

Seafood Filling for Crepes
Makes enough for 12-14 seafood crepes
1.5 lbs raw large scallops
1.5 pounds either raw medium shrimp, large shrimp or prawns
1 8 0z can of crab meat (this is pricey so it’s fine to use 1/2 lb. of lump imitation crab meat…Costco sells the canned crab meat in their refrigerated packaged seafood aisle where you find smoked salmon etc)
4 cloves of garlic
2 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
2 T. lemon juice

To prepare the scallops: Trim off the tough muscle (small side) of each scallop and rinse thoroughly then pat dry. The scallops absolutely must be totally dry to get a nice sear on them so dry them well.  Salt and pepper your scallops. Heat a large skillet with about 1 T.  of olive oil and 1 T. of butter on medium heat. Mince two cloves of garlic,  and saute it in the pan. Turn pan up to medium high, moving the garlic to the outside edges of the pan so it doesn’t burn OR you can take just the garlic bits out and put them aside while you sear the scallops. You don’t want the garlic to burn because it tastes terribly bitter when burnt.

Make sure your pan is good and hot now on about a medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of your scallops (enough to cover the bottom of your pan but do not crowd the pan and squish them in) and cook about 1 – 1 1/2  minute(s) on each side  getting a nice golden sear. The middle of the scallop should remain translucent when you cut it in half. Cook all of your scallops. Keep your scallops cooling in a large bowl and add the garlic back in if you took it out.

For the Shrimp: Remove the tail, peel and devein (make a slit down the back of your shrimp with a sharp small knife and remove black portion rinsing out crevice), rinse and then pat dry. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, put in a tablespoon of olive oil and two chopped cloves of garlic. Saute the garlic for a few seconds and then add half of your shrimp. Cook about 1-1.5 minutes on each side of the shrimp. Cook in two batches.

Once the scallops and shrimp are cool enough to touch, chop in large chunks (about 1/2 inch each, see photo in post). Mix the shrimp, scallops and canned crab together in a large bowl to comprise the crepe filling. Squeeze a couple tablespoons of lemon juice over the mixture and stir.

Optional addition: Sauteed spinach! I just sauteed one bag of baby spinach in a trace of olive oil with some garlic to add to some of the crepes. It cuts down on the richness a bit and added a healthful bonus.

When filling the crepes, spread about two large tablespoons of mornay sauce onto the crepe in the center and spread it vertically in a straight line. If the sauce is too thick, simply heat it up over a low burner and stir until it is smooth again so you can work with it easily. Layer on the spinach vertically (if you are using spinach) over the sauce and scoop the seafood over the sauce as well.  Roll it up like a….well…just roll it up. You don’t need to fold in the ends.  Place in a rectangular glass casserole dish that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray.

*These can be baked up to one day later but not more since you are dealing with shellfish and shellfish has a very short shelf-life. Google food safety and shellfish if you have any specific questions.

Ladle two more tablespoons of the sauce over each crepe once you have the casserole dish  filled. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 30-40 minutes or until sauce looks hot and melted. Serve hot. Enjoy!

 

36 thoughts on “A Graduation Dinner Featuring Seafood Crepes in Mornay Sauce

  1. Congratulations to her and Good Luck for her new life. The recipe seems amazing and should be delicious too, dear Geni, fascinated me. Thank you, with my love, nia

  2. Congratulations to her my friend! How exciting :D
    You delivered in true sweet n crumby style with this fabulous dish :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  3. You’re such an amazing host! Will you host my next dinner party? :)

  4. You are certainly back – and with a vengeance, I say! These look so tasty – and I love savory crepe recipes. Fun to learn about your family tradition, and it sounds like you came to your food love naturally. :)

  5. Congratulations..your graduates have fine taste in food..no wonder because they get to hang around someone as talented as you Geni :)

  6. Congratulations on the graduation! That dish certainly is celebration worthy, it looks fantastic!

  7. OMGosh!!! That looks so good!!!

  8. Looks delicious! And congratulations to your daughter on her graduation.

  9. Um, YUM! Looks amazing. My only issue with serving this to 11 people would be not having leftovers. Or not being able to eat it all myself!

  10. This sounds FANTASTIC, Geni! I would never make this for a crowd though. I’d be all in favor of saving the leftovers just for me. My seafood craving just doubled.

  11. Congrats to the grads! Woo hoo! And this is on my menu SOON Geni. This is fabulous. I’m so happy the young foodies opted for this meal. I need it in my life. :)

  12. What a wonderful entree for a celebration! Your crepes look perfectly cooked, done but not at all browned. Congratulations to the grads, to be sure, but you, too, deserve applause for this dinner. Well done, Geni!
    I’m pinning this so that I don’t lose track of it. I will make this!

  13. Congratulations to the graduates! I can hardly cook a meal for 2, never mind 11! The thought of a dinner party is making me faint… But you pulled it off well. These look excellent!

  14. Congratulations to Zoie and Lindsey. The dish looks deliciously beautiful.

  15. Congratulations to the girls. Wishing them bright, happy & peaceful life’s ahead. I have some prawns in the freezer calling to me right now. Delicious !

  16. Congrats to the graduates! What a great milestone and what a way to celebrate with these creamy dreamy seafood crepes. These look seriously delicious.

  17. I love crepes, but savory ones are my fav! These seafood ones look simply wonderful.

  18. Congratulations, Zoie, Lindsey!
    Love your seafood crepes..they are so tasty.

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  20. Wow, what an incredibly decadent dinner! How awesome for Zoie and Lindsey! Congratulations to them both!! And to mom, of course!
    So wonderful, too when you make something that earns mom’s seal of approval!
    They look delicious!

  21. How elegant! Congrats to them!

  22. Congrats to your daughter and niece for graduating! Always a fun celebration :) These crepes look amazing! I’ve always been intimidated to make my own crepes, but yours look fantastic, as does the filling! Beautifully done!

  23. These sound so good – and they use the only kinds of seafood that I actually like. :)
    Congrats to your daughter and niece! Graduation is so exciting.

  24. Geni, how exciting! Congrats to your daughter and niece and well done on your part for sure!! What an elegant entre for a graduation party – these girls sure know their food and they know you will do it up great! This is a fabulous recipe, Geni. I’m amazed you pulled it off in one cooking day. I’d be making crepes a week ahead and freezing them! The salad sounds really good too, a nice pairing. I will definitely have to make this, hopefully soon :)

  25. I don’t think I would have even known what seafood crepes were when I was your daughter’s age! Quite the foodie is right, :) She made a great choice!

  26. This might be the best crepe that I had ever seen, bring it on seafood!

  27. What an elegant and beautiful dish. Perfect fit for a celebration dinner. Thanks for sharing Geni. Have a great week!

  28. that shot of the shrimp is breathtaking. exactly what shrimp should look like. I am drooling over this! unbelievable!

  29. Hope you’re having a wonderful Tuesday!

  30. I could eat a whole dish of these crepes! They look absolutely delicious and the mornay sauce – YUM!

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