Okay, we’ll say up front that these are a bit more trouble than some of our recipes. But, don’t let that deter you, as much can be made in advance, leaving only cooking crêpes and assembly for the last few minutes. Plus, you’ll have an added bonus — we think it’s a bonus anyway, as it’s a super tasty bonus.
This is another of what some people might call an original recipe, but we won’t. Instead, it’s really a combination of a few standard recipes, albeit in, perhaps, a novel way. Maybe calling a 100% original Scratchin’ It combination is a good term for taking credit.
You can make the Mornay Sauce in advance; we did, as it takes us about an hour from start to finish. We recommend the recipe we link to. It’s the best, although it takes time. Then simple warm gently when you start making the Savory Crêpes. For the crêpes, you need to make the batter a few hours ahead of time, so keep that in mind when planning.
Procedure in detail:
Preheat oven to 200°F. It’s going to take about 30 minutes to make the crêpes, so you need someplace to keep them warm while you’re working. An oven at the lowest setting is perfect. Just pop out a plate when a crêpe is done, assemble, and back into the oven while you work on the next crêpe.
Season cauliflower. In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Pan-sear cauliflower. Place a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. We use a cast-iron skillet which will retain the heat nicely, promoting a good sear. Once the pan is hot, add the cauliflower and spread it into a single layer. Let it sear for several minutes — a bit of smoke will waft off the cauliflower — then stir or shake the cauliflower to flip. Continue searing like this until the cauliflower has charred spots all around and has softened. Not blackened, but just charred.
Assemble crêpes. Heat a 5-inch skillet over medium heat. For each crêpe, swirl about 3 tablespoons of batter (we use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and fill it about 3/4 full) to cover the bottom of the pan. Let cook until the edges curl slightly and the crêpe is nearly dry, about 1-2 minutes. With a spatula, carefully flip crêpe and cook an additional minute. Place crêpe on a plate and fill with about 2 tablespoons of cauliflower, folding the crêpe over to cover. Place plate in the oven to keep warm. Continue making and filling crêpes.
Add Mornay sauce. Once the crêpes are filled, pour Mornay sauce on top.
Serve. Sprinkle with a dusting of chervil or flat-leaved parsley, and serve hot.
We love crêpes, and these did not disappoint. The cauliflower tasted slightly smoky from the searing, and, how can you go wrong with a cheesy Mornay sauce on top? Plus, crêpes are so much fun to eat; they make ordinary ingredients (like cauliflower) seem special. The down-side is that it does take a while for everything. We spent about an hour, maybe a bit more, on the Mornay sauce, then an additional 30 minutes cooking the crêpes — we can’t imagine making a crêpe dish for a crowd. Because of the effort involved, we’ll give these four stars in the worth-it category.