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Crepes = Easy Entertaining


When having people over for dinner (or lunch or brunch, for that matter) it’s always nice to choose dishes that can be prepared ahead of time and then just heated and  served once guests arrive.  Filled crepes are a great option, as you can actually make them over the couple days prior to your party and then just pop them into the oven about 30 minutes before you want to serve them.  And, the filling options are endless so they can be made over and over again yet be different each time.  
About a month ago I attended a potluck and I made filled crepes as my offering.  The group seemed to like them, they looked good and yet were pretty easy to make, although planning ahead really is key.  I don’t have an exact recipe for what I did but here’s the general idea and if you are looking for a good source of recipes or inspiration I highly recommend Crepes: Sweet & Savory Recipes for the Home Cook.  The following actually is a combination of ideas from that book.    
A day or two before the event I make all the crepes and stack them placing wax or parchment paper between each crepe.  Then I put the stack in a plastic bag and hold them in the fridge until I’m ready for assembly. For this recipe I made garbanzo flour crepes
Also a day or two before, I roast chicken – either white or dark meat will work but dark has a little more flavor. Depending on the size of the chicken and the number of crepes you’ll need one or two breasts or two or three thighes.  Once the chicken is roasted, remove the skin and pull the meat from the bones.  Then shred the meat by pulling it into pieces with your hands or a couple of forks.  Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. 
The day before your party or event, peel a large onion, slice it in half and then cut into 1/4" slices.  Saute the onion in olive oil.  While it is sauteing, slice several crimini (or button) mushrooms into 1/4" slices.  When the onions are starting to turn golden add the mushrooms to the pan.  Continue sauteing until the mushroom are tender.  When you add the mushrooms also add an herb of your choice – thyme, sage or rosemary are good options. When the mushrooms are tender remove the pan from the heat.  
In another pan make a Mornay Sauce.  The one I make is similar to this recipe but I use chicken stock in place of some of the milk which adds a different flavor dimension. 
Once the sauce is made reserve about 1/2 cup of it and then mix the rest with the onion/mushroom mixture and the chicken.  Combine until everything is coated with the sauce. 
Lay a crepe flat and put about 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture towards the top center of the crepe.  Roll the crepe around the filling.  Place the crepe seam-side down in a buttered 9"x13" baking dish.  Repeat until the dish is filled.  You should be able to get about 12 filled crepes in the dish. 
Drizzle the reserved Mornay Sauce over the crepes and then top with about 3/4 cup of Gruyere cheese. 

At this point you can place the pan in a 350°F oven and bake for about 30 minutes or cover the dish with plastic and place in the refrigerator.  Once the sauce has been mixed with the other ingredients I wouldn’t hold them for more than a day, however you could also freeze the dish to hold for a longer period.  If you do that be sure to allow plenty of in-fridge thawing time prior to baking. 
Although there are a few steps involved, breaking them up over a couple of days makes this a pretty easy dish to prepare and serve. 

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