Please don’t roll your eyes. I know most of us don’t think of fancy schmancy crepes as a kitchen sink anything. But that’s where you’re wrong my friends. Crepes are actually easy peasy. If you can make pancakes, then you can make crepes, and they actually require MUCH fewer ingredients. And bonus points–crepes are the perfect vehicle for whatever’s in your fridge at the moment!
In my case, I had extra cooked chicken from my salad for lunch, and I was desperate to make the chicken blend into something delicious, unique and unrecognizable as “salad chicken”. I had fresh figs, arugula and feta, and some pantry and fridge staples and knew that a balsamic reduced fig sauce would be a luscious way to cloak my chicken.
I’m telling you that I was really on to something delish. It hit my craving on the nose, and I was happy happy as I ate it. At first bite, the soft and somewhat creamy crepe balanced the tangy balsamic fig sauce, and the chicken just happily soaked it all up, dancing in ecstasy with the dreamy sauce. Then, add the salty feta, slightly crunchy and peppery arugula and you have the perfect balance of flavors and textures. I’m certain I would not have been “chopped” for this dish.
The beauty of a crepe is it can store anything delicious and make it even more delicious from savory to sweet items. It’s also made very easily gluten-free and or dairy free.
Here are some of my favorite crepe combos: 1) Mushrooms, bechamel sauce, thyme and either chicken or spinach (or both!), 2)Prosciutto, a smearing of fig jam, crumbled goat cheese, and fresh thinly sliced plums and a tad of thinly sliced red onion, 3) Seafood Mornay Crepes (one of my most popular posts) 4) Deli lunch crepes…any deli slices (ham or turkey are my faves), fresh spinach a little Dijon and or mayo schmear and your favorite cheese pairing 5) Ice cream and chocolate sauce with fresh berries 6) Bruleed bananas, rum, and vanilla ice cream. You have an endless array of choices to fit your taste buds and whatever you have stored away in the fridge.
Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite crepe filling that I didn’t mention!
Balsamic Fig & Chicken Stuffed Crepes
Makes enough filling for 4 well-stuffed crepes
About 15 minutes prep time and 20-30 minutes cooking time.
2 cups of cooked chicken breast (skinless) cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups quartered fresh figs (stems and bottom of figs trimmed off)
2-3 tsp raspberry or fig jam depending on preferred sweetness (blackberry would be nice too)
2 tablespoons butter, or dairy-free alternative spread (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
one cup of arugula
4 tablespoons Feta or Goat Cheese
optional: chopped shelled and toasted pistachios for some added crunch
To make the balsamic sauce: In a small sauce pan, heat balsamic vinegar on medium heat. Add figs (reserve a couple of fresh ones for topping crepes), stir and very gently simmer on medium-low or low until reduced in half. This takes about 15+ minutes. Whisk in jam, butter, cornstarch and cinnamon (if you don’t use a whisk, the cornstarch can clump rather than blend in) . Simmer on low until a little thickened (3-4 minutes). Stir chopped cooked chicken into the pot until the chicken is heated through. Fill heated or freshly-made crepes with Balsamic chicken filling, fold up and drizzle the top with some of the sauce. Sprinkle arugula, cheese and a few freshly chopped figs atop the crepe.
Makes 4 Crepes
About 15 minutes prep and cooking time combined.
1/2 cup all purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend (with no added Xanthan gum)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk or milk alternative (I used unsweetened almond milk)
2 tablespoons butter or butter alternative melted
nonstick cooking spray for the pan
To make the crepes: Whisk the flour and salt together in a small mixing bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, beat together 1/2 cup of milk and two eggs.
Whisk a small portion (about 1/4 cup) of the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture until smooth, beating vigorously. Add the remainder of the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk. Stir in the melted butter until combined.
Spray nonstick cooking spray into a 10″ or similar pan. Over medium heat, pour in (I use a 1/4 measuring scoop) approximately 1/4 cup of the batter. Swirl the pan to cover it with the batter. About 15-20 seconds later (until it gets formed and not runny), flip the crepe, and in about 10 seconds remove from the pan. Crepes cook very fast. After you’ve added the batter and swirled, it will firm up very quickly. That is when you flip it. It barely needs to cook on the other side; In fact some recipes suggest not to flip the crepe at all. I prefer to flip it and let it barely cook on the second side. Stack them up on a plate as they cool. If they seem to be sticking, use parchment or wax paper between crepes. I fold mine in fourths and fill up my serving plate with them.
You can store pre-made crepes in the fridge in an air-tight container or a ziploc bag for two days. You can store the batter for two days as well, but it needs to be stored in something you can shake it up in (I use left over Talenti jars). Sometimes the stored batter will separate and thus you need to give it a good shake (or a vigorous whisk) before you use the batter.