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Mound of French Pancakes Filled with Cream Cheese, Spinach, and Mushrooms

Updated February 23, 2016
(1 Votes)

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This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

An amusing entrée or main-course dish can be made by piling crêpes, a filling between each, in a shallow baking dish. (It looks like a many-layered cake or cylindrical mound.) Then the whole mound is covered with a good sauce and heated in the oven. Instead of the spinach, cheese, and mushrooms suggested, use any type of filling you wish, even three or four different kinds rather than one or two. You may use one or more types of sauce for the fillings, and still another to top the mound of crêpes. This type of dish may be made ready for the oven in the morning, and heated up at dinnertime.

For4 to 6 people

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Moderate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationkosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Mealbrunch, dinner, lunch

Moodfestive

Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, rich, savory

Type of Dishgratin

Ingredients

  • Batter for 24 crêpes 6½ inches in diameter
  • 5 Tb flour
  • 4 Tb butter
  • 2¾ cups boiling milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • Big pinch of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 Tb minced shallots or green onions
  • 2 Tb butter
  • 1½ cups blanched chopped spinach
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup cottage cheese or 8 ounces cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ lb. (1 cup) minced mushrooms
  • 1 Tb minced shallots or green onions
  • 1 Tb butter
  • ½ Tb oil
  • 3 Tb grated cheese
  • ½ Tb butter
  • A round baking dish about 9 inches in diameter and a 1½ inches deep1 1/2 quart saucepan

Instructions

Make the crêpes and set them aside.

For the Sauce Mornay:

Cook the flour and butter slowly together in the saucepan for 2 minutes without coloring. Off heat, beat in the boiling milk and seasonings. Boil, stirring, for 1 minute.Reduce to the simmer and stir in the cream by tablespoons. Sauce should be thick enough to coat the spoon fairly heavily. Remove from heat and correct seasoning. Stir in all but two tablespoons of the cheese. Film top of sauce with milk to prevent a skin from forming.

For the spinach filling:

Cook the shallots or onions in butter for a moment in an enameled saucepan. Add spinach and salt, and stir over moderately high heat for 2 to 3 minutes to evaporate moisture. Stir in ½ to 2/3 cup of the cheese sauce. Cover and simmer slowly for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Correct seasoning and set aside.

For the cheese and mushroom filling:

Mash the cheese in a mixing bowl with the seasonings. Beat in 1/3 to ½ cup of the cheese sauce, and the egg.

Sauté the mushrooms and shallots in butter and oil for 5 to 6 minutes in a skillet. Stir them into the cheese mixture, and correct seasoning.

Forming the mound

Butter the baking dish, and center a crêpe in the bottom. Spread it with a layer of cheese and mushroom filling. Press a crêpe on top and spread it with a layer of spinach filling. Continue with alternating layers of crêpes and filling, ending with a crêpe. Pour the remaining cheese sauce over the top and sides of the mound. Sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons of cheese and dot with 3 or 4 pea-sized bits of butter. Set aside.

Baking

About 25 to 30 minutes before serving time, place in upper third of a preheated 350-degree oven to heat through thoroughly and brown the top lightly. To serve, cut in pie-shaped wedges.

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I have made this recipe for many years and it is always enjoyed by all who taste it. It has a very light, airy texture in spite of the rich sauce. It freezes well should there be anything left. It also reheats for lunch the next day. I would not be without it! I must add that it is a little fiddly but can be done in stages starting several days before to spread out the labor...and the dishes.

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