The April Daring Cooks Challenge was brought to us by Joanna from What’s On The List. She taught us all about Pathiri and challenged us to create our own version of this inspirational Indian dish!
Mmmm I know what you are thinking… “crespelle cake with asparagus” doesn’t sound very Indian. And it isn’t. Actually, Joanna challenged us to make a crêpe dish and use any savoury fillings we wanted, so as to add our twist to the dish. It is getting quite cold and rainy down here and with this weather, I start craving cheesey and hearty food. Even though you know how much I LOVE Indian food, this time I went for an all Italian recipe. I immediately knew that my crêpe component was going to be “crespelle” (the Italian version of crêpes). We always use béchamel sauce with crespelle, so the sauce was easily decided. As for the layering and flavours… I wanted to keep it vegetarian. I looked at what I had in my fridge and pantry and the recipe came up quite easily: asparagus for the vegetable component and Stracchino and Parmigiano Reggiano in the cheese department. The result was amazing: crunchy top, gooey oozy cheesey inside and delicious asparagus! Definitely a keeper and a recipe I will be making again in the next few weeks. Thanks for the yummy challenge Joanna!
Crespelle Cake with Asparagus
A delicious savoury Italian "cake": Crespelle Cake with Asparagus.
- 30 gms – 2 tbsp butter melted
- 165 gms – 1 1/3 cups flour
- 350 ml – 1 ½ cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 pinch salt
- 20 to 24 asparagus cleaned
- 1 tbsp onion chopped
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 60 ml – ¼ cup white wine
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 750 ml – 3 cups béchamel sauce
- 100 gms – 3.5 oz. Stracchino cheese roughly chopped
- 100 gms – 3.5 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
Put all the ingredients in an electric mixer and blend for a couple of minutes until your batter is smooth.
Let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Take a non stick frying pan and put it on the fire. When hot add ¼ tsp of butter and a ladle of batter by swirling the pan so the batter coats the base of the pan. You don’t want to make the coating too thin. About 2 mm – 0.08 inches thick will work nicely. When the surface of the crespella dries up, it is time to flip it over. Do so by using a plastic spatula to loosen its sides first and then flip it over. Cook it for a minute more, then remove it from the pan and keep it aside. Repeat this till your batter is over.
As soon as the crespelle are cool, you can assemble the cake.
Prepare the béchamel sauce following my tutorial. Keep it aside.
Steam or poach the asparagus. Make sure they are cooked through, but still firm.
Roughly slice the rest of the asparagus.
Sauté the chopped onion in a pan with the extra virgin olive oil. Add the asparagus slices and stir.
Add the white wine and increase the flame to burn off the alcohol. Season with salt and pepper to taste and put the fire off.
Now you are all set to start assembling your “cake”. Put a little béchamel and asparagus sauce to the bottom of a round oven proof dish. Put a crespella, cover it with béchamel and asparagus sauce, some asparagus tips, chopped Stracchino and finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Add another layer of crespella and repeat the layers until you run out of crespelle. Finish off with some béchamel and asparagus sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Bake the “cake” in a pre heated oven at 180°C – 355°F for 15 minutes, then grill for 5 minutes or until the top gets golden brown.
Let it set for 5 minutes before slicing it. Decorate with asparagus tips and serve warm.
Linda | Brunch with Joy says
Manu, this must be delicious! That cheese…with crunchy asparagus, definitely sounds like a winning ticket to me. Yum!
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day! Your pathiri recipe and photos look delicious! What a great accomplishment that I was very humbled and proud to be your host via the Daring Kitchen Cooks Challenge this month!
Please accept a hug from me! Well done and let’s look forward to next month’s challenge too!