You remember when the “fancy” way to have broccoli was with a cheese sauce? We do, too, and even though it might have fallen out of favor, we still like it. After all, broccoli and cheese seem to go together, right?
Well, we gussied up our broccoli to eleven: not only a cheese sauce, but mushrooms and onions, plus wrapped up in crêpes to boot. Don’t even think it’s difficult. After all, you’re making what are essentially pancakes. We’ll show you how to scratch this up in no time.
This recipe is a scratchin’ original, and, as implied above, it’s a straightforward take on broccoli and cheese sauce. We just added the crêpes, and, as part of our goal to eat more whole grains, we used the whole-wheat crêpes we showed you how to make yesterday.
Well, let’s see. Feel free to substitute on the scallions. It’s just that we had some green onion tops from our CSA share, so they went in. Otherwise, it would have been minced onion. For the cheeses, we went with a mix of one of cheeses of the month, baskeriu, and Colby-Jack. Both seemed as if they’d melt easily, which is what you want for a cheese sauce.
Procedure in detail:
Cook filling. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low. Add onions, broccoli, and mushrooms, and cook until everything is tender and most the liquid released from the mushrooms has cooked off, about 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cook crêpe. Scoop up about 1/8 cup of batter and pour it into the skillet. Lift and tilt the skillet so that batter covers the bottom of the skillet, then let it cook until the top is dry, about 90 to 120 seconds. The edges will start to curl up just a bit, signaling that it’s time to flip.
Flip. Carefully flip over the crêpe — don’t worry if you have trouble at first, it gets easier — and cook about 30 to 60 seconds on the other side.
Roll. Place the crêpe on a plate and spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling into the center. Roll the crêpe around the filling and set it seam side down to hold it closed. Place in the warm oven while you make and fill the remaining crêpes. You should get about 10 filled crêpes in total, but will probably have extra batter. The extra crêpes can be dusted with powdered sugar and eaten as a pre-dinner treat.
Make roux. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring nearly continuously, until the flour is a golden brown, about 10 minutes. Ten minutes is the magic time needed for flour to lose its floury taste while cooking, so between this step and the low boiling in the next step, make sure you’ve done a full 10 minutes of cooking.
Add milk. Add the milk in three additions, stirring, or even whisking, until smooth before adding more milk. The first addition should be a small amount, the next larger, then the final the largest amount of all. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a bubbly, low boil and cook until thickened and you’ve hit that magic 10 minute mark. As an aside, this is a simple bechamel sauce.
Add cheese. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in the cheese until melted and smooth. Technically, you’ve just converted the bechamel sauce to a mornay sauce, but we just think of it as cheese sauce; that completes your sauce trivia for the day.
Sauce and garnish. Remove the crêpes from the oven and pour or spoon the cheese sauce on top. Then dust them with a bit of chervil or parsley for garnish. Serve immediately, warning everyone about the hot plates.
We loved this! We’re not sure if it was because of the crêpes, or the cheese sauce, but it just seemed like a perfect dinner. The broccoli and mushrooms were perfectly tender (as were the crêpes), and the cheese sauce had a stronger flavor than we’d expected after tasting the baskeriu cheese on its own. The heating and melting must have brought out a lot of flavor, because it surely didn’t come from the Colby-Jack cheese, which is very mild. A real five star dish.