Basic crepes

  • For the batter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 60ml melted unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 240g plain flour
  • Salt
  • 500ml full-fat milk
  • For the bechamel sauce
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml full-fat milk
  • Salt
  • 125g Gruyere cheese, grated
  • For the filling
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 375g cooked chicken
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 5g chopped basil, plus more leaves for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the crepes:
1) Whisk the eggs together in a medium mixing bowl. Slowly add the melted butter and whisk until combined. Sift in the flour and salt and stir until combined. Slowly add the milk; the batter should be runny. Sieve the batter and let it rest, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour.

2) When you are ready to cook, put a little melted butter into a nonstick pan and place over a medium heat. Ladle the crepe batter into the pan, tilting the pan while adding the batter to completely and evenly coat the bottom of the pan. This will take a little practice; usually the first crepe gets scrapped.

3) Once the edge of the crepe begins to pull away from the pan, after about 1 to 2 minutes, use a spatula to get under the crepe and use your fingers to turn it over. The crepe should be golden brown. Cook for 1 minute on the other side, remove it from the pan, and put it onto a plate. Repeat, making and stacking the crepes and adding more butter to the pan as needed, until all of the batter has been used.

For the bechamel sauce:
1) In a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to cook out the raw flour flavour, but do not let it brown.

2) Pour in the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Season with salt, lower the heat to medium, and cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Keep warm.

For the filling:
1) Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and blanch for about 1 minute, just enough time to set the colour but not overcook it. Immediately plunge the asparagus into a bowl of salted, iced water to stop it cooking. When the asparagus is cool, drain and cut it into 3cm pieces, keeping the tips aside.

2) Heat a medium frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the butter and shallots and cook until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and let it reduce by half.

3) Add the chicken, tomatoes and chopped basil, and cook until they are warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and 250ml of the reserved bechamel sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

To serve :
1) Lay a crepe on your work surface. Spoon a couple of tbsp of the chicken mixture down the centre and then roll up the crepe like a cigar. Repeat with remaining crepes and filling.

2) Alternatively, spoon the filling mixture over one half of the crepe, fold the crepe in half, then in half again to form a triangle. 3) Put two crepes onto each serving plate. Spoon some of the bechamel sauce over the top and garnish with the reserved asparagus tips and some basil leaves. Serve immediately.

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