Crepas de hongos is a traditional Mexican dish with – as you can see – a heavy French influence. It’s a wonderful blend of mushrooms (any type) and a specialty sauce that I’ve adapted by adding pureed corn and roasted poblanos.
Many of us tend to think of Mexican food as rustic and comfortable. However, there are so many authentic dishes that reflect European flavors, including those from Spain, Arabia (by way of Spain), and France. While the brief occupation by Maximilian certainly brought a fresh demand for all things French, it wasn’t the beginning. Historical cooking references reflect an earlier injection of France’s foods, notably covered in El Cocinero Mexicano, a 1931 cookbook. During those decades following independence from Spain, the nation’s elite were enjoying elegant multi-course feasts comprised of French cuisine.
As years passed, a fusion of Mexican-French tastes continued to evolve, among them the very wonderful crepas de hongos. Don’t be afraid of making crepes. They can be a bit touchy, but they can also be made ahead of time, out of the spotlight. For this recipe, you can also use store-bought versions. They hold up well for baking, filled with mushrooms, poblanos and onions.
My crepas sauce is a little different as I’ve pureed in the corn and poblano, rather than using them as toppings. It’s a bit decadent with cream and asadero, but fat-free half-and-half helps soothe the guilt. When the sauce is finished, add a little inside the crepes if you wish and re-heat for plating as well.
The process is basically four steps: make the crepes, saute the filling, cook the sauce, then combine for baking. Make the sauce ahead of time, too, and you’ll have an impressive brunch, lunch or dinner presentation for any occasion.
Crepas de Hongos
For 10 crepes
Feel free to add your own amounts of salt and pepper to taste as well as garlic quantities.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups milk + 1/2 cup to add after batter sits
2 Tablespoons butter, unsalted
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat eggs, melt butter and combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Use an electric mixer to create a medium batter.
Cover and let rest for 1-2 hours. (This allows time for bubbles to dissipate, which makes crepes much easier to prepare.)
Heat a skillet to medium high and coat with oil or cooking spray.
Pour in about 1/2 cup batter and swirl to cover the skillet bottom.
Let it sit briefly until it slides around.
Flip over and cook for another minute.
Remove and let cool.
Add a quick spray of oil and repeat.
At this point, these can be stacked and refrigerated or frozen between wax paper layers for later use.
Crepas de Hongos Filling
for 10 crepes
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, blistered, skin removed, seeded, and chopped (a second charred poblano will go into the sauce)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 large package button mushrooms, thinly sliced and lightly chopped (add criminis/shitakes for a gourmet touch)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Heat olive oil in a pot and add chopped onion; saute until translucent.
Add chopped poblano and stir for another 2-3 minutes..
Add mushroom and cook down until most of the juice has dissipated.
Spread out on paper towels to drain.
3 cups (prepared)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 3/4 cups milk
3/4 cups cream
1 poblano pepper, charred, skinned, seeded, and diced
1 ear of corn, kernels removed and steamed (or 1 cup canned)
Salt and pepper to taste
6-8 slices asadero cheese
Create a roux with melted butter and flour.
Slowly add the milk and continue stirring.
Add cream, salt, and pepper.
Stir until thickened and let cool.
In a blender or food processor add the sauce, poblanos and corn to puree.
Set aside for crepe filling and topping.
Add about 2 tablespoons of mushroom filling on crepes, a touch of sauce, and gently roll.
Top with remaining sauce, add strips of asadero cheese on top.
Coat a baking dish with cooking spray; add crepes.
Bake for about 10-15 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven.
Microwave remaining sauce and pour over each plated crepe(s).
Top with diced tomatoes and julienned jalapenos.