Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Savory Crepes with Creamy Chicken, Ham and Mushroom Filling

This is a fabulously rich dish and with a slight hint of tarragon the sauce is creamy and flavorful.  Topping with Parmesan cheese adds a nice light crust.  Instead of making homemade crepes I made it easier on myself and used already made that I found in the produce department by the berries.  This recipe would be great for a dinner party because you can prepare and stuff the crepes ahead of time and place covered in the frig until you are ready to cook.  Also, you can substitute the ham with spinach to put a spin on the dish.

12 crepes, recipe follows
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock, hot
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon milk
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Essence, recipe follows
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
8 ounces mushrooms (such as button and shiitake), stems trimmed, wiped clean, and roughly chopped
1/4 pound baked ham, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 cup grated Gruyere
3/4 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a glass 9 by 13-inch baking dish and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened into a pale blond roux, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot stock in a steady stream, whisking to incorporate. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently with a heavy wooden spoon until thick. Add 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper, and stir to incorporate. Slowly whisk in the cream and simmer, stirring, until well incorporated and thickened. Remove from the heat and very lightly film the top with the milk to prevent a skin from forming.

In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the diced chicken, season lightly with Essence, and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. To the fat and juices in the pan add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring, until they have given off their water and are starting to color, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ham and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the sherry and bring to a boil, stirring to deglaze the pan. Add the tarragon and green onions, and return the chicken to the pan. Stir well to blend and cook until the sherry has evaporated. Reduce the heat to low and stir in enough of the cream sauce to bind and thicken, 1 to 1 1/2 cups. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Place the crepes on a work surface. One at a time, spoon the filling along the bottom third of each crepe, about 3 tablespoons per crepe, and roll into a cylinder to enclose the filling. Place, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining crepes.

To the remaining cream sauce, add the Gruyere and stir to incorporate. Spoon the sauce evenly over the crepes. (NOTE: The crepes can be tightly covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 1 day or frozen for 3 days at this point. Bring to room temperature before baking.)

Bake until warmed through and the top starts to become bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the Parmesan. Bake until the cheese is melted and the topping is golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and place in a chafing dish holder or on trivets. Serve hot, 1 to 2 crepes per person.

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