Monday, July 29, 2013

Savory crepes with spicy shrimp and white sauce

 Okay, okay. So I might not get the consummate time-conscious, blogger extraordinaire award for the year (though it would be super impressive, I must say). But as warnings go, and I did warn you a couple typings earlier that this time of year is slow. And by that I mean vacation time and hot weather do not make for meaningful moments in front of a stove. Let me tell you though, numerous possibilities that model themselves in my head dance away and result in great distress and much regret happens on recounting all my missed opportunities. But I make up for it, carrying on and waiting for the next "next time", all the while knowing this is the only time of year I can exploit make use of certain seasonal labor. You know, when JZ sets up his grill and pretends to be Bobby Flay. Great amusement and those yellout yipeee! episodes might get lost once camera, lights and computer screen come into action. Thus, I refrain. You can commend me later.

I should  also mention that I have given birth to two peculiars (ahem), those of the less-evolved palates  and who unanimously prefer fixed (often annoyingly so) meal rotations on a weekly basis. Their mostly non-experimental minds play pony to their not-so-long- lived, yet robust South Indian tastebuds. So I save you from the nonexcitement that comes from everyday starch and protein, especially since most of that has been hyped right here on these pages.

But I have to put a stop to it, a recess once in awhile. Right? Moreover it would be a crime to keep today's unbelievable tasty mise en scène from you. And personally I believe to err on the side of fair and honest. You know, being the good friend that I am.

It is a smilingly simple 3 component dish. A crepe, shrimp filling and bechamel-ish sauce which takes you on the quintessential savory journey, and a soaring one at that. Nothing like you've ever tasted, but that which you've waited for all your life - a conundrum you strongly desire to be part of.

The crepes come together in less than a handful of ingredients. The shrimp curry happens fast and furious. Of course the sauce creams up right before your eyes. Two of the components can be done and stored in advance. Which leaves the white sauce for the day of. Perfectly thin pancakes offer a soft platform for the bed of heated shrimp. The pouring of rich creamy velvet tips the scale favorably and smacks you right in the face. You like it because it is good and absurdly so.
Officially I don't know if you can call these "crepes", since that name more often than not bears eggs as number one ingredient. But I"ve been on the side of breaking a few, and have later come to the conclusion after a certain "mishap of omission" that my eggless route led to a much crisper edged crepe. I haven't looked back since and believe those eggs here add nothing. Especially if the padding inside becomes the utter and beyond.
Crepes~
Ingredients:
  • ¼ c water
  • ¾ c milk
  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pinch sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted, unsalted butter 
  •  additional melted butted for coating the pan
Directions:
  • In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 15-20 seconds.
  • Transfer to bowl and refrigerate for an hour, or up to a day.
  • After batter has rested, heat a 9" nonstick pan or flat crepe pan. Using pastry brush, swipe on  the additional butter on entire surface of pan
  •  Ladle ¼ c batter into center of pan to one edge and swirl to spread evenly. ( If too thick add 1/2 tsp increments of milk to thin the batter).
  • Allow to cook, then flip. Cook for an additional minute or two.
  • Once done, lay crepe flat on surface or plate and cover with a clean dry kitchen cloth.
  • Repeat till all the batter has been used up.
Spicy shrimp filling~
Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 pearl onions or shallots, diced
  • 1 medium plum tomato, diced
  • 2 tsp ginger minced
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, cut small
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ lb medium shrimp, cleaned, deveined
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
Directions:
  • In a wide mouthed skillet on medium flame, heat oil.
  • Add mustard seeds. Allow to temper and pop, carefully shielding top of pan.
  • Wilt onions, then tomatoes. Cook until tender.
  • Add remaining ingredients to cayenne pepper. Allow to cook until blended, about two minutes.
  • Stir in shrimp, continue to stir and cook on medium high until moisture is absorbed and pieces are cooked through, 9-12 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Allow mixture to cool slightly.
Basic white sauce~
Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 ¼c milk(more if needed), slightly warmed
  • ¼ tsp salt or enough to flavor
  • 1 tsp black pepper
Directions:
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. 
  • Stir in flour  until mixture cooks and becomes paste like and bubbles. Do not let it brown. 
  • Pour in milk, stirring constantly as it thickens. Add more milk depending on desired consistency. (All in all, I used 1¾ c milk). All the while keep stirring.  
  • Stir in salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat.
Hot, Hot Hot! With 2 tsp of cayenne and unseeded serrano, it's how we here like it (speaking not for my youngest for whom I make a super mild alternative.)
Assembly:
  • Take a crepe and place flat. 
  • Drop in 1 to 2 tbsp of shrimp mixture down the length of  the middle. Fold over both sides. Repeat with the remaining crepes. 
  • If serving individually pour white sauce over filled crepe and serve or...
  • If serving a group, place in casserole or wide plate and line up finished crepes one after another. Pour white sauce over the assembled bunch.
~Likewise you could even pour some of the sauce into shrimp, thickening up the filling.
~You may end up with more crepes than filling. Refrigerate and save for later.
~This recipe is a brilliant blueprint for wrapping anything that you fancy. Other awesome filler options? Why not this chicken, shredded, no bones? Maybe some Kerala beef? Possibly try the sauce in some fish and vegetables?
Trust me they will, at least, be gone out twice before you even try to place a few in assembly. 

Thanks to all of you who faithfully read, those pretty follower pictures to the side and the silent readers that drop in from time to time. When vision is dulled on certain days, I go over the messages, mail and encouragement which brightens my day and makes photographing food fun again. All your feedback and connections charge me up, get my cooking engines ready, and set course for the next tête-à-tête. I'm grateful. Thank you over and again, friends.
******
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it."Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message)

12 comments:

  1. Lovely one! I'm vegetarian, so will replace shrimp with my ingredient :) But loved a simple idea of making crepes this way... Keep cooking!!!

    http://myownfoodcourt.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Shruti. I'm sure it would be perfect with a veggie middle.

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  2. Only yesterday was I thinking that its been a while since we had any blessings from your kitchen..:-) Nice to see you back Tisa and crepes look delicious. loved it!

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    1. Aww Rekha, yo are too sweet. And such an encouragement! I love to open up FB and see one of your beautiful photographs gracing my news feed :))

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  3. you had already mentioned earlier that you would be with the kids for a long vacation, so i was really not expecting u to come back so soon... :P u r lucky that you have kids who love to have fixed dinners, atleast saves u of a headache when you are not in a mood for some... and what a way to come back! i could gulp in all those lovely looking rolls there, though I've to remind myself - I'm allergic to prawns! :(

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    1. It's summer vacation and now almost over :((, so I knew I wouldn't have time to do much- you know the bigger they are, the harder it is to keep them entertained! Have to visit you and my other favorite reads since I've also been missing out on that, too. Thanks, friend.

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  4. Haha, I love the way u write gal, and I think I have mentioned that quite often.. And always we need to have some time for ourselves & of course the lil toddlers ! I am loving these crepes with that simple filling (I like to think so ;)) & I am gonna try that :)

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    1. You are too nice Chitz- mine arent' toddlers, though sometimes I wish they were :-/

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  5. crepes look crispy outside but cooked soft inside...these are what define a perfect crepe...shrimp filling is drool worthy...wraps are irresistible :-)

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  6. This post left me drool over those crepes...will try it soon

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  7. Tisa, just beautiful crepes! Cheers

    PS I've got my very first ever giveaway running over at Carole's Chatter. Hope you stop by.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!