A new year calls for resolutions and a common goal is to learn to cook better. Getting out of a meal rut can spur you to discover new dishes and new cooking techniques. This turkey crepe dish is a fantastic cooking skill builder. Not only does it taste great and look fancy, but it can also use up leftovers so it is very budget-friendly.
Turkey crepes combine the basic crepes (with a savory modification) and a classic white sauce with cheese added. Both of these recipes are foundation recipes that can be used in countless other dishes. But what melds everything together is the fun and easy turkey filling. I like the flavor mix of roasted turkey, onions, mushrooms, parsley, and the twist of black olives. But you can definitely customize the filling by swapping out ingredients. I have one child who doesn’t like mushrooms, so when I make turkey crepes for him, I leave them out and add some onion instead.
Making a Savory Crepe
Savory crepes are a great wrapper for appetizers as well as a tube to hold a variety of fillings. This is my basic crepe recipe. To make the crepes savory, don’t add the vanilla, (I still include sugar—1 teaspoon—since I think it adds to the dish.) And I add 1 teaspoon finely minced parsley to make a lovely speckled wrapper that adds a fresh taste.
The cooking process is exactly the same as for sweet crepes. Remember the first crepe is like the first pancake, just a trial crepe. The trick is figuring out the correct heat setting on your stove. You are looking for a medium heat to cook the first side but not brown it before the edges get dry. A quick flip and a few seconds more and the crepe is finished. Make sure your batter is thin enough to allow you to twist the pan and fill in the edges. And the third trick is to only grease the pan when the crepes begin to stick. With a good pan, you should be able to cook 2-3 crepes between needing to to add oil or butter. If you are having problems with crepes sticking, make sure your pan is clean and reduce the heat first before adding more oil.
For more detailed information check out the whole post on basic crepes.
What is a Béchamel Sauce?
You could have been making a bechamel sauce and not even have known it. This classic French mother sauce is simply butter, flour and milk heated to make a basic white sauce. When you add cheese to a Béchamel sauce it becomes a Mornay sauce, but the beginning process is just the same it starts with a roux.
While there are a whole range of roux ranging from a pale or white roux (which is what we are using) to a dark roux which is used in creole cooking. The difference is how long you cook the roux. The darker the roux the less thickening power it has. Recipes will tell you if you need a dark roux so don’t get hung up on the color of your roux. For Béchamel sauce you want the standard light roux.
Roux: 1 tablespoon butter cooked with 2 tablespoons flour will thicken 1 cup of liquid.
So you can do the math if you need 2 cups of sauce you will need to use 2 tablespoons of butter (or fat) and 4 tablespoons of flour to thicken 2 cups of liquid.
How to Make a Roux
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter until it is liquid.
- Whisk in the flour and stir to create a pasty-lump that has cleaned the bottom of the pan.
- Continue stirring and cooking the roux to cook out the flavor of raw flour for 1-2 minutes. The roux will transform from a pale blob to a more liquid state with bubbles forming around the edges.
How to Transform a Roux into a Béchamel Sauce
- Remove the pan with the prepared roux from the heat and immediately begin to slowly stream the liquid into the roux. Tip: It helps to combine the sauce and eliminate lumps if you heat the liquid to just barely a simmer before adding it to the roux.
- Return the pan to the heat and whisk the mixture continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
- Since we are adding cheese to the Béchamel sauce, whisk in the cheese until the sauce becomes smooth.
- If the sauce is too thin, continue cooking to reduce the liquid and thicken the sauce. The longer you cook it, the thicker it will become.
- If the sauce is too thick, whisk in liquid a tablespoon at a time, stirring to fully incorporate the liquid until the desired thickness is reached.
- Remove the pan with the Béchamel sauce from the heat and stir in salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
How to know if your Béchamel sauce is the right consistency?
Use the spoon test. Dip a spoon in the sauce remove it quickly and hold it over the pan. Orient the spoon with the back of the spoon facing up. With a clean finger, quickly trace a line in the sauce down the middle of the back of the spoon. If the sauce leaves an open space where your finger wiped a line, then it thickens correctly and it is time to season. This is what is called in cooking terms “coating the back of a spoon”. Just a sanitation note, don’t put that spoon back in the sauce once you have touched it. Get another spoon to stir in the seasonings.
- Serve immediately.
- If making sauce ahead, transfer the Béchamel sauce into a container and cover the sauce with a circle of parchment paper directly on the top of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- To reheat—the Béchamel sauce will have thickened to a solid-state in the refrigerator. Remove the parchment and transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir the sauce as it heats and becomes smooth once again. You will need to whisk in liquid (1 tablespoon at a time) to reach the desired consistency.
- Serve warm.
A fun and a practical dish of turkey crepes. Savory crepes filled with roasted turkey (leftovers or from the deli) filling and draped in a delicious cheese sauce.
- 1 recipe Easy Basic Crepes
- 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk, (2% or whole milk) warmed to a bare simmer
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 cups cooked turkey, diced into small pieces
- 1 shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 ounces white mushrooms, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped, (about 2/3 cup)
- 1/3 cup chopped black olives
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley (1/4 of a bunch)
- Make crepes according to directions.
- Remember to leave out the vanilla and add the minced parsley.
- Make the Mornay sauce by heating a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter.
- Whisk in the flour and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes until the roux begins to smell nutty and changes from a pasty-lump to a more liquid state with bubbles around the edges.
- In a separate saucepan, heat the milk to just under a simmer while the roux cooks. Do not boil.
- Remove the saucepan with the roux from the heat and slowly stream in the warm milk while whisking constantly.
- Return the pan to the heat and change from a whisk to a spoon. Stir constantly until the sauce is smooth and thick and coats the back of a spoon.
- Reduce the heat and stir in the cheese. Stir until cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Turn off heat and season the sauce with salt, white pepper, nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne pepper and taste. Adjust seasonings as desired and set sauce aside.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat add the oil and saute the minced shallot until the shallot is translucent.
- Add the diced turkey and chopped mushrooms and stir to combine. Cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and just begin to brown.
- Stir in chopped green onions and black olives and heat through.
- Add 3/4 cup of prepared Mornay sauce and stir into the turkey filling.
- Taste and add the salt and pepper as desired, then add the minced parsley and set aside.
- Assemble the crepes by spooning a 1/3 cup of filling in the center of each crepe.
- Fold in the sides and flip the crepe so the seam is on the bottom.
- Ladle a spoonful of sauce over the filled crepe.
- Garnish with grated cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of minced parsley.
You can use leftover roasted turkey. I portion and freeze leftover turkey in freezer bags and freeze to use for up to 3 months.
If you don’t have leftover turkey, try the deli. Get thick slices of roasted turkey or check around with the rotisserie chicken for packaged cooked turkey or chicken.
You can substitute cooked or smoked chicken for the turkey to use up leftovers.
Keywords: leftover friendly, poultry