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Ham and Cheese Crepes

Many years ago my sister and I took a trip to Europe, we were in our early 20′s and on a tight budget. Our last stop was Paris and we stayed on Rue Cler a Parisian walking street with every type culinary of shop one could ask for cheese, wine, bread, pastry, crepes, etc.  It was fate for our wallets and our palettes. This street was where I discovered my first crepe, a ham and cheese, which was so divine I couldn’t get enough. Every day I ate at least one ham and cheese crepe followed by a sweet apple crepe for dessert. As soon as I returned home I tried to recreate the ham and cheese crepe and after lots of trial and error, I finally figured out the recipe. It’s so rich and creamy and absolutely delicious that I tried to give the leftovers to our neighbors, but my husband stopped me at the door! Get the how to after the jump…

Stirring the Bechamel Sauce.             Expert crepe flipping.

Ham and Cheese Crepe Recipe

Crepes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 egge, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups milk

pinch of sea salt

Place the flour and salt into a bowl and form a well, pour in the egg and half the milk. Whisk the egg and milk and gradually incorporate the flour. Add more milk, continue to whisk with the flour until a smooth batter is formed. Spray a crepe pan or pancake pan and turn onto medium low heat. Fill a small ladle with the batter and pour onto the pan, use the bottom of the ladle to for a large circle or tilt the pan to form a circle. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until bottom is light golden brown, flip and cook for an additional 30 second to 1 minute. Continue until all the batter is gone. Makes between 10 and 12 crepes.

Bechamel sauce

1 cup milk

2 bay leaves

1 small onion roughly chopped

2 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoon all purpose flour

¾ cup grated gruyere

½ cup grated white cheddar

fresh ground pepper

Pour the milk, onion and bay leaves into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once it boils turn off the heat and let it sit for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes strain the milk and discard the onion and bay leaves. In a sauce pan melt the butter, then add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Slowly add the infused milk back to the pot and whisk to combine and get rid of all lumps. Turn the heat back onto low and add the cheeses, stir until melted and a sauce has formed. Set aside to cool slightly.

Assembing the crepes

1 package of no added nitrates/nitrites black forest ham (Trader Joe’s makes a great one)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray the bottom and side of a 9 x 9 baking pan. Place a slice of ham on each crepe (doesn’t have to match in size perfectly, but if you crepes are much larger, then use more than one slice) and stack them up. Get a spoon for your cheese sauce. Place a crepe with ham slice in one hand and spoon a small amount of cheese into the center. Roll it up and place in the baking pan. Repeat until all crepes are rolled. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the crepes and bake for 15 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

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