CREPE GATEAU WITH SPINACH AND MUSHROOMS
1 Master Crepe Recipe
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup Rich Vegetable Broth
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup shallots, peeled and diced, divided
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced, divided
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 pound fresh mushrooms, mixed cremini, shitake, white button
2 bunches fresh spinach, rinsed well, chopped
1/2 cup parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Mornay sauce
Crepes: Make crepes according to the Master Recipe. Set aside.
Combine the milk and broth in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet add flour and cook over low heat for 2 minutes without browning, whisking constantly. Off the heat, stir the hot liquid into the roux. Back on the heat stir until the sauce thickens and becomes smooth, about a minute. Off the heat stir in salt and white pepper to taste. Add the nutmeg and fold in all but 1/4 cup cheese. Set aside.
Wipe clean, trim and slice the mushrooms. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large hot skillet. Add half the shallots and garlic and all of the thyme leaves. Stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook over medium heat until they soften and any liquid accumulated is concentrated to a glaze. Turn the mushrooms into a bowl to cool. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in 1/2 cup Mornay sauce.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Saute remaining shallots and garlic for 1 minute. Stir in the chopped spinach allowing it to wilt and cook down. Again, continue over medium low heat until the moisture has evaporated.
Turn out into a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in 1/2 cup Mornay sauce.
Assembly and Baking:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Generously butter a oven-proof serving platter. Layer the crepes alternating between the mushroom and spinach mixtures. There should be enough filling for at least 3 layers of each. Add a top layer and spoon on the remaining Mornay sauce. Sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 cup grated cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese on top begins to brown. Serve hot, in wedges.
Yield: 8 servings.
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 1 by Julia Child