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Shrimp Crêpes

Shrimp Crêpes

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Makes about 18.
By Dennis W. Viau; an original recipe.

Crêpes are easy and fun to make. I came up with this recipe when a friend asked me to teach him to make crêpes. Crêpes are very versatile. You can fill them with all sorts of savory or sweet stuffings and cover them with different sauces. In fact, you can do more with a crêpe than the Spanish can do with a tortilla.

Ingredients:

For the crêpe batter:
4 large eggs (mine are 1.9 to 2 ounces each, or 54 to 57g)
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (237ml) cold water
1 cup (237ml) cold milk
4 tablespoons (¼ cup/59ml) melted butter
1½ cups (8 ounces/227g) all purpose flour
For the béchamel:
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh ground is best)
4 cups (946ml) milk
For the filling:
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium to large clove garlic; minced
2 pounds (900g) fresh shrimp; shelled, de-veined, and chopped

Directions:

The crêpe batter needs to be made well in advance, at least two hours, to allow the flour particles to absorb moisture and for the air in the batter to rise and bubble out. Break the eggs into a large bowl and add the salt. Whisk until blended. Add the water and milk. Blend with the whisk. Add the melted butter while whisking. Finally, add the flour, blend well, whipping for 5 minutes to remove any lumps of flour that might be in the batter. Cover and set aside for at least two hours.

To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Cook only about 1 minute over low heat. Let cool until only warm to the touch. Add the pepper and nutmeg. Blend. Add the milk and blend over medium heat, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir constantly for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface to help prevent the béchamel from developing a skin.

Lightly butter the inside of a small 7-inch skillet and heat over medium heat. Pour ¼ cup (60ml) of the crêpe batter into the pan, tilting the pan to swirl the batter evenly around the bottom. Cook until the crêpe starts to brown around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes, and then flip over. Cook another minute and then move the crêpe from the pan to a dish. Continue until all the crêpes are cooked. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet and add the minced garlic. Cook a few seconds and add the chopped shrimp. Sauté until the shrimp changes color, about a minute or two, and remove from the heat. Allow to cool until comfortable to handle.

Stir about ½ cup (120ml) béchamel into the shrimp to coat it well. Spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons of shrimp onto the less pretty side of a crêpe, arranging the filling along one end. Roll the crêpe to enclose the filling and place in a large baking pan (large enough to hold all 18, or use two small baking pans).

Spoon some the béchamel over the crêpes, reserving about half for garnish at the table. Bake the crêpes in a 375°F (190°C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes to heat through. Heat the remaining béchamel. Place 2 or 3 heated crêpes on a plate, garnish with béchamel, and serve hot.