14 August 2011

Mushroom Crepe

Mushroom Crepes appear as a recovery item in the Paper Mario series.  Generally, recovery items from this series are the kind of fare you might find in a Japanese diner, albeit one which specialised in turtle and mushroom plates.  It's made from an Ultra Shroom and a Cake Mix, or a Shroom Shake and a Cake Mix in the Thousand-Year Door.  Heals 30 HP, filling and delicious.

You'll notice that these aren't really proper crêpes, but a durable and flexible pancake of my own design.  They require chickpea flour (also called gram flour or besan) , which you should be able to find in the Indian foods section of your grocers'.  You'll also need to be able to weigh flour--not for pancakes only, but for life in general.  Go and get a kitchen scale, I'll wait.

Start the mushrooms first.  When they go in the oven, make the pancake batter and start heating up the pan.   

Roasted Mushrooms
1 punnet mushrooms, halved

Salt and freshly ground pepper
2-3 Tbsp olive oil or melted butter
1 Tbsp maggi
1 Tbsp wine or vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh herbs--thyme, rosemary, sage, or tarragon.

Sour cream, to garnish

Heat the oven to gas 7. Line a baking pan with parchment. Toss the mushrooms in a large bowl with a generous amount of pepper, herbs, maggi & wine, and the butter.
Post-tossing, pre-cooking.
Roast for 10-15 minutes, then toss the mushrooms once, and return to the oven. Roast for an additional 15 minutes, or until they are darkened and slightly shrunken, and their liquid is caramelized.  Remove the mushrooms to a bowl and deglaze the pan with some vinegar to make a delicious sauce for pouring over the finished crepes.   

Gram-based Crepes
65g (2 1/3 oz) plain flour, sifted
45g (1 2/3 oz) gram flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
275ml (1 1/4 cup) milk

Whisk flours and salt together.  Now I know you're looking at the salt there and thinking "That's a lot of salt, and I'm not meant to eat much salt.  I'll cut the amount back a bit."  No.  Properly-salted, this batter tastes delicious and buttery; without enough salt, it tastes like foot-ass.

In a separate bowl with spout, whisk eggs, water, and milk together.
Slowly mix the liquid ingredients into the solid, whisking all the time.  Make sure the batter has no lumps early on--this can be a problem with gram flour. It's a lot like mixing cornstarch, actually.
It is important to whisk vigorously.
Whisk until the batter is smooth and about the consistency of thin cream.  Keep the whisk handy, you'll be whipping up the dough before each pancake.

Heat a pan over high, then turn it down to medium (this, and other invaluable pancake-cooking tips, from Delia).  Pour on maybe a teaspoon of canola oil and spread it around the pan a bit.
Pour in about 1/4-1/3 cup batter and quickly roll it around the pan.  Use oven gloves to protect your hands, particularly for the later pancakes.  Coat the whole bottom of the pan evenly with the batter.  Wait 4-5 minutes until the pancake is golden brown on the bottom, and bubbling on top.  You can check at the corners if you must.
is it done? please say it's done.
Just stick a spatula under there, lift the whole thing up, and flip it over.  If you've been assiduous about spreading the batter around the pan, it'll be thin yet durable enough to flip easily.  Cook another 2 minutes on that side, until it looks a bit like a tortilla (which is also similar to what it is).  Remove pancakes to an oven-safe dish and cover. 
If you spot Jesus, well, I'm sorry. I've eaten him.

A few pancakes in, the mushrooms are going to finish, at which point you can turn the oven down to very slow.  Fold the crepes in half, then spoon mushroom on and fold again in thirds.  Put these mushroom parcels into an oven-safe dish and pop them into the oven to keep warm as you finish the rest of the pancakes.  Serve warm, with a drizzle of the juice from the mushroom cooking pan. 

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