Crab, Avocado, and Citrus Crêpes

Crab, Avocado, and Citrus Crêpes
James Baigrie
Provided by:
total prep
This zesty crêpe, filled with lots of bright flavor, is the creation of my talented recipe tester Caroline Ford, who is also a wonderful food stylist. It takes a bit of prep work, but once the individual elements are ready, it comes together in a snap. I love serving this as a first course for a dinner party--it definitely sets a special mood.

Recipe courtesy of Crêpes: 50 Savory and Sweet Recipes by Martha Holmberg/Chronicle Books, 2012.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE RADISHES:
  • 2 large radishes, stemmed and sliced very thinly
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 small lime
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • FOR THE GUACAMOLE:
  • 2 medium rice avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 small lime, plus more juice as needed
  • 8 Versatile Crêpes (see recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 cups /170 g very thinly shredded red cabbage
  • 12 oz/340 g good-quality fresh lump crabmeat (don’t use the stuff in a can), picked over
  • 2 medium blood oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 2 small navel oranges, peeled and segmented
  • FOR THE VERSATILE CREPES:
  • 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cups/420 to 540 ml whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups/190g all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp/85g unsalted butter, melted (preferably brown butter), plus regular unsalted butter for the pan

Directions

  • MAKE THE VERSATILE CREPES (Makes fifteen to eighteen 8in/20-cm crêpes):
  • Put 1 3/4 cups/420 ml of the milk, the eggs, and salt into a blender. Whiz for a few seconds to blend everything together. Remove the lid and add the flour. Cover and blend until very smooth, about 20 seconds. Remove the lid, pour in the melted butter, cover, and whiz until combined, 10 seconds more.
  • Transfer the batter to a large glass measuring cup with a spout (or a bowl that’s large enough to easily dip a 1/4 cup/60 ml measuring cup into). Let the batter rest for at least 5 minutes and up to 24 hours. (If resting for more than 30 minutes, store in the fridge.) When you’re ready to make the crêpes, test the batter’s consistency; it should be as thick as heavy cream but not as thick as pancake batter. If it feels too thick, whisk in up to 1/2 cup/120 ml more of the remaining milk.
  • Heat an 8-in/20-cm crêpe pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it’s hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle upon contact. Using a folded paper towel, spread about 1/2 tsp of butter around the interior of the pan. The butter should sizzle upon contact, but not instantly turn brown. You don’t want the pan to be so hot that the butter burns.
  • Pour about 1/4 cup/60 ml of the batter into the center of the pan, and at the same time lift the pan from the heat, tilting and turning it in all directions so the batter spreads evenly across the bottom of the pan in a thin circle. If the crêpe has any holes in it, quickly add a few drops of batter to fill them in. Or, if you have too much batter and the crêpe looks too thick, immediately pour the excess back into the measuring cup or bowl of batter. You can always trim off the "tail" that’s left behind later.
  • Cook the crêpe until the edges begin to dry and lift from the sides of the pan, and the bottom is nicely browned, about 1 minute. To check for color, use a table knife, slim off-set spatula, or your fingers to lift up an edge of the crêpe and look underneath. When the first side is ready, use the knife, spatula, or your fingers to lift the crêpe and quickly flip it over. Smooth out any folded edges or pleats and then cook until the center is firm and the second side is browned, too, about 20 seconds more. The first side is almost always much prettier and more evenly browned (in these recipes, we’ll call it the presentation side), while the second side tends to be more spotty.
  • Slide the crêpe from the pan onto a large plate or cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter, adjusting the heat and wiping the pan with more butter as you cook. You can stack the crêpes on the plate as they’re done. If you’re going to store them in the freezer, lay pieces of waxed or parchment paper between them so they don’t stick together. To keep in the fridge, just stack them neatly; no need for the paper separators. (Keep the stacks small if you usually cook for a few people, or make the stack larger if you find yourself cooking for a crowd most nights.) The crêpes will soften as they cool.
  • To store, wrap the stack in plastic wrap, and then slide it into a large zip-top freezer bag. The crêpes will keep in the fridge like this for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. To thaw, let the stack sit at room temperature until the crêpes are pliable, about an hour, and then peel them apart and proceed with your recipe.

  • PREPARE THE RADISHES: In a small bowl, toss the radishes with the lime zest and juice and the salt. Chill until ready to use.

  • MAKE THE GUACAMOLE: In a medium bowl, use a fork to mash together the avocados, garlic, onion, a pinch of cayenne, ½ tsp salt, and the lime zest and juice. Taste the guacamole, add more lime juice if you like, and then adjust the salt and cayenne to your preference. (If you’re not going to use the guacamole right away, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto its surface and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.)
  • Lay the crêpes presentation-side down on a clean work surface. Spread a scant 2 tbsp of the guacamole over the surface of each crêpe. Divide the shredded cabbage and crabmeat in a thick horizontal line across the center of each crêpe. To fold, pull the bottom edge of each crêpe up and over the cabbage and crab filling and roll it up a half turn. Use another dab of guacamole to seal if necessary. Tuck in each side, and finish rolling up from the bottom. Slice each crêpe in half on the bias. Place two halves on each of eight plates, with one crêpe half resting on top of the other. Garnish each crêpe with several orange segments and a few marinated radishes. Serve right away.

  • Notes: To do ahead, marinate the radishes and segment the oranges up to a day ahead. Make the guacamole up to 4 hours ahead of serving. Assemble the crêpes right before serving.