With a flexible, light-hearted philosophy that is the very opposite of earnest, Delna Prakashan is always looking for ways to sneak greens into her favorite dishes.
“I’m always on a search for ways I can sneakily add in my greens to some of my favorite recipes like this one,” she says. “All I do is take a handful of baby spinach and blend it along with the crepes batter,” says the Dubai-born Indian author of the new cookbook Whip It!
“Not only do I have a crepe loaded with green power, but it also looks so vibrant on my plate. Healthy doesn’t have to be boring, just find conscious and fun ways of incorporating your greens, superfoods and veggies into your favourite meals. Make this a vegan version by replacing the cooking cream with cashew cream, Parmesan cheese with vegan cheese and chicken with your favourite cupful of veggies.”
Makes: 8 to 9 crepes
For the crepe
¾ cup flour
¾ cup milk
1 cup spinach
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
For the filling
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 garlic clove, minced
170-190 grams diced chicken (approx. 2 chicken breasts), or 1 cup of your vegetables of choice
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup milk
¼ cup cooking cream (or cashew all-purpose cream)
1 tablespoon Parmesan or Vegan cheese, grated (optional)
Salt and pepper for seasoning
To prepare the spinach crepe batter
- Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until a smooth consistency. Pour the batter into a bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes (alternatively, place the blender jar in the refrigerator directly).
- To make the crepes: Pre-heat a shallow frying pan or skillet on a low heat and place a knob of butter.
- Once melted, pour a ladleful of the spinach crepe batter and swirl the batter by tilting the skillet to ensure the surface is evenly spread; still maintaining low heat.
- Cook for 2 minutes or until the edges start to firm. Flip the crepe and increase to medium heat and cook until it begins to turn slightly brown. Carefully lift the crepe on to a plate; repeat with the rest of the batter.
To prepare chicken and mushroom cream filling
- In a deep-bottom saucepan, add the butter followed by garlic. Sauté for a minute and next add in the diced chicken pieces. When the chicken begins to turn white on the surface, add in the rosemary and continue to sauté for a few minutes.
- Add in the sliced mushrooms and sauté until soft.
- In a bowl, whisk the milk and cooking cream or all-purpose cashew cream till well mixed.
- Pour in the milk-cream mixture and while maintaining a low heat, reduce it to a thick creamy consistency (remember this is a filling for the crepe so you don’t want it too runny). Stir in the grated cheese, if using.
- Once the sauce is reduced, take off from heat and allow to cool down slightly.
To assemble the crepe:
- On a plate, lay out the spinach crepe (browner surface facing down).
- Add in a few spoonsful of the chicken and mushroom mixture in the centre of the crepe.
- Roll the crepe around the filling; repeat until all crepes are filled. Serve warm.
• Whip It! is available at Amazon.com and at The Dreamwork Collective Dh130