Herbed Crepes with Cheese, Rice, Spinach and Mushrooms

These delicious vegetarian crepes are perfect for a weeknight meal or weekend brunch. Easy to make and easier to devour, these rice, spinach and mushroom filled crepes are likely to become a favourite recipe.

4 eggs 4
1 1/2 cups milk 375 mL
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 325 mL
1/4 cup butter, melted 60 mL
1/4 tsp salt 1 mL
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives 60 mL
1/4 cup butter, melted 60 mL
8 cups sliced cremini or white mushrooms 2 L
1 large onion, thinly sliced 1
2 cloves garlic, minced 2
1 tsp salt 5 mL
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper 2 mL
8 cups fresh trimmed spinach leaves 2 L
1 3/4 cups cooked U.S. brown or white rice 425 mL
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 60 mL
1/2 cup dry sherry, dry white wine, or vegetable broth 125 mL
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth 375 mL
1 1/4 cups milk 300 mL
1 3/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese 425 mL
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 1 mL



Herbed Crepes:  In blender, blend eggs, milk, flour, 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the butter and the salt until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.

Heat 8-inch (20 cm) crepe pan or stick-resistant skillet over medium heat; brush lightly with some of the remaining butter. Stir half of the chives into batter. For each crepe, pour about 1/3 cup (75 mL) batter into centre of pan, swirling to coat; cook, turning once, until set and light golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to plate; repeat with remaining batter to make 12 crepes.

Filling: In large, wide saucepan, melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the butter over medium-high heat; sauté mushrooms, onion, garlic, half of the salt, and the pepper until golden brown and liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. In 2 or 3 batches, add spinach, letting each batch wilt before adding the next, and stirring often. Once all is wilted, continue to cook until almost no liquid remains, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in rice.

In saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat; whisk in flour and cook, whisking often, until pale golden, about 2 minutes. Whisk in sherry, cooking for 1 minute. Whisk in broth until smooth, then whisk in milk; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking often, until smooth and thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup (250 mL) of the cheese, the remaining salt and the nutmeg until smooth.

Stir 1 cup (250 mL) of the sauce into mushroom mixture. Spread 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the sauce in greased 13- x 9-inch (3 L) glass baking dish.

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). With one crepe at a time, spoon about 1/3 cup (75 mL) filling in line along centre of each crepe. Roll up and arrange snuggly, seam side down and in single layer, in prepared dish. Drizzle sauce evenly overtop. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and chives.

Bake, uncovered in oven until golden and bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes.

Makes: 12 crepes, or 6 servings

PER SERVING (2 crepes): 637 calories, 29 g fat, 17 g saturated fat, 196 mg cholesterol, 922 mg sodium, 64 g carbohydrates, 5 g fibre, 29 g protein. % RDI: 47% calcium, 31% iron, 48% vitamin A, 29% vitamin C.

SOURCE: USA Rice Federation, www.riceinfo.com.