It has been a year since my grandmother maternal sides deceased in France, after a prolonged fight against cancer.
At that time, I and my husband were in Goa and we hadn't had the chance to leave the country.
My brother in law married at the same time too, so one can say that everything fell on our heads.
It was brutal and I still feel troubled that I couldn't be at her side in her last hours.
We had bought our first Internet connection for the purpose of staying in touch after the vicious chemotherapy and my grandmother was one of the kind who embraced technology and its advantages, so we kept on exchanging emails for a while till it was obvious that she couldn't do it anymore and our family there had to help us out.
Sadly, she fought a lot, not giving up and wanting to leave this beautiful world.
She left 11 Children, 25 grandchildren and one great granddaughter, plus her beloved husband of 57 years of marriage.
To her honor I want to share a traditional recipe from our midst.
A creamy luscious savory crêpes recipe called crêpes ficellle Picarde.
This recipe was originally developed in the 50s in Amiens (Picardie, North of France) by a cook named Marcel Lefèvre.
Till date it has been a hit in the region and it has gained popularity in France over the past decades.
Although the recipes principle is quite simple it is still very much unknown globally, I believe it should receive recognition for its velvet glamorous flavors and textures.
If you ever get to visit the Picardi, this is the first dish which needs to be tried and tasted!
To prepare the dish a crepes is cooked, stuffed with the mushroom onion mix and covered with Bechamel sauce and cheese.
The recipe is calling to finish the dish au gratin, but as you all know I am pretty much unable to do that without an oven in my house.
So I ask you all to not omit that final step because the crispy sauce cheese mix on top enhances the texture a 100 times more and because it is very much worth it!
Our family recipe involves a creamy Bechamel sauce, which (after researching online) isn't used in the original recipe, instead they used cream.
I have tried the cream version before but it wasn't satisfactory, in fact I thought it to be too heavy at the end, so I decided to stick to our family recipe.
My grandmother wouldn't have cooked it any different.... I know she would have loved to experience all that now.
By the way, that's a picture which I had taken 5 years back when I had visited my home in France, the last time.
I know I know it has been ages and I feel horrible for not being able to travel to my old country.
Believe me, if I could I would roam continuously, but thanks to the global money eating situation we are all forced to make sacrifices and to pay for those who have fooled and misused the common peoples energy and time.
En mémoire de Therese (1933-2011)
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For the Crêpes:
- 200 g white flour
- 300 ml Milk
- pinch Salt
- 1 Tbs Oil
- 1 Egg
- Butter for frying
For the Filling:
- 1 Onion - chop
- 250 g Mushrooms
- pinch Salt & Pepper
- little Oil to fry
- 5 Ham slices
For the Bechamel Sauce:
- 30 g Butter
- 3 Tbs white Flour
- 250 ml Milk
- pinch Salt & Pepper
- dash Nutmeg grated
- Emmenthal Cheese grated
- Chives chopped
- You will start by mixing all the above mentioned ingredients for the Crêpes to a smooth liquidy dough. Leave it standing in a cool place for 30 minutes.
- In the meanwhile chop the Onion and Mushrooms fine and fry the onions on slow heat first alone till translucent, throw in the Mushrooms right after that and cook it all till the water from the mushrooms dissolved and the mixture well cooked is. Season it and keep aside.
- Now you ll have to cook the bechamel Sauce by adding the butter to a pot to melt and mixing in the flour, stiring continuously.
- Quickly, pour in little by little the milk and continue whisking the whole mix on the heat till it all thickens to a smooth sauce.
- Keep it aside on a warming plate because we will need it warm later on.
- Take out your crêpes dough and heat up a frying pan with little Oil. Add to the hot pan 1 big Ladle of dough and quickly turn the pan around so that the dough evenly spreads. Cook the crêpes each side 2-5 minutes till it slightly reaches a slight golden color, take it out and keep aside. Do that with the rest of the dough and cook 4 more crêpes batches.
- To assemble the Crêpes Ficelle picarde, place the crêpes open, add a ham slice on top and top it all with the mushroom onion mix. Now roll the crêpes gently in and do that with all the other crêpes.
- The last step, to finnish the recipe, involves covering the crêpes with the hot Bechamel sauce first and garnishing with the grated cheese and chives at the end.
- You can finnish it off au gratin (optional)
- Voila la Crêpes Ficelle Picarde!