Jean-Christophe Novelli's perfect crêpes
Everyone’s favourite Frenchman, Jean-Christophe Novelli, is sharing his secrets to creating the perfect crepe.
And to add a little ‘je ne sais quoi’, wine expert Tom Surgey is here with his pick of French wines to accompany the dish.
FOR THE PANCAKES:
50g plain flour
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp poppy seeds
Ground nutmeg to taste
Rapeseed oil, to cook
FOR THE MUSHROOMS:
400g mixed mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (Mushrooms should be cleaned with a brush and not washed in water)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Sea salt and black pepper
Half a cup of vegetable stock or water
2 tbsp roquefort cheese, at room temperature
50ml double cream
2 tbsp chopped mixed fresh herbs such as marjoram, thyme, tarragon, parsley
Grated gruyere or cheddar cheese, optional
Start by making the pancakes; In a large bowl, mix the egg, flour, pepper, poppy seeds and nutmeg.
Slowly add the milk and mix thoroughly to make a batter.
Getting the right thickness: Heat a large frying or crepe pan over a moderate heat, then wipe it with oiled kitchen paper. Ladle some batter into the pan, tilting the pan to move the mixture around for a thin and even layer. Quickly pour any excess batter into a jug, return the pan to the heat, then leave to cook, undisturbed, for about 30 seconds.
Flip the pancake: Ease a fish slice under the pancake, then quickly lift and flip it over. Make sure the pancake is lying flat against the base of the pan with no folds, cook for another 30 seconds.
When cooked, turn it out onto a plate.
Continue with the rest of the batter, until all the pancakes are ready.
Next, make the mushroom filling: Heat a dry medium frying pan until hot. Add the mushrooms, garlic, black pepper and sugar. Cover with a lid for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add half a cup of water or stock to the pan, bring to the boil for one minute then drain the mushrooms into a sieve placed over a bowl, reserving the liquid.
Add the liquid back into the same pan. Reduce the liquid down for two minutes then remove from the heat.
Add the cheese and allow to melt in the residual heat and then add the cream and herbs - do not allow the mixture to boil or it will turn acidic.
Return the drained mushrooms to the pan.
To assemble, fill the pancakes with the mushroom mixture and roll up into a cannelloni shape. Add a little bit of the sauce over the top.
TOP TIP: You can sprinkle over a little gruyere or cheddar cheese, and then place under the grill for a minute to melt.