Monday, December 12, 2016

Vegetarian Crepe Bundles with Creamy Radicchio Filling

Start your dinner party with this irresistible appetizer
Your guests will absolutely love these savory bundles filled with creamy radicchio
This post is sponsored by Cavit Wines in collaboration with Honest Cooking. Thank you for your support!

Want to outshine every other appetizer this year at your holiday party? Now you can, with this beautiful and scrumptious vegetarian dish. It will surely get the deserved attention at the table.
These bundles are made with small, savory crepes. Soft, delicate and slightly crispy at the edges. Stuffed with a tasty radicchio and creamy cheese filling. And tied with chives in fancy and irresistible little packages of goodness. 

You might think these are too pretty to be eaten. Well, think again. The aroma will make your mouth water and your taste buds scream in delight. 


When you start your dinner with something so intriguing and delicious, you know it will be a good one. Especially when your food is paired with a refreshing glass of this fruity and elegant Cavit Pinot Grigio. 
Do you know where the grapes to make this wine come from?! The Northern Italian regions of Trentino, Fruili and Veneto. Pretty much where I spent the first twenty years of my life. 
These locations are not just recognized for the spectacular natural beauty, but are absolutely ideal for vineyard cultivation due to their exceptional soil and climatic conditions.

Its balanced character, bright straw gold color, and appealing aroma make Cavit Pinot Grigio the perfect addition to your holiday table. And why not, you can really make any dinner special with this wine.

Thank you Cavit for the amazing wines!


Now, let's talk about my recipe for a minute.
If you are not familiar with radicchio, it's a leafy vegetable, with white-veined read leaves. It has a spicy and slightly bitter taste. It can be used raw in a salad or cooked in many different recipes. There are two varieties that can be found around here. One is round and about the size of a grapefruit. The other is called Treviso and  has a more elongated shape, similar to the Belgian endive. Both can be used in this recipe. But I used the Treviso, given that it's coming from the same region as my wine!
For the cheese you can use your favorite soft cheese. From a buttery brie to a spicy gorgonzola (or other blue cheese). Or a simple fontina for a milder taste. Have fun with it and explore the many shades of flavors that come with cheese.
You can make the crepes and the stuffing and serve immediately. Or you can prepare this appetizer ahead of time, and warm up in the over right before serving, with a few pieces of butter and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top. You will end up with crispier edges and melty filling. So delicious!




YIELD
Makes about 18 bundles

INGREDIENTS:

For the crepes:


  • 1  cup (150 gr) of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 10 oz (300 ml) of whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons (45 gr) of butter, divided 

FOR
 the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • 1 large head of radicchio Treviso, or two small ones (about 10 oz, 285 gr)
  • half onion
  • two tablespoons of white wine
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) of milk
  • 6 oz (170 gr) of soft cheese like brie, taleggio, gorgonzola, or fontina
  • 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • chives to tie the bundles

PREPARATION:

1. To make the crepes. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour and salt with about one cup of milk. Whisk until completely smooth - you want the mixture to be quite thick, so that all the flour lumps go away when mixing. 
When smooth, whisk in the eggs until smooth again.
Gradually add the rest of the milk, or enough milk to obtain the right consistency batter.

2: Heat a 6 in (15 cm) bottom - frying pan, lightly greased with butter, over medium-high heat. Scoop some batter (about 1/3 of a cup with my size pan), just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, tilting it to cover the bottom evenly. 

Cook the crepes about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until slightly golden. Help yourself with a fork or a spatula to flip the crepe.... after the first few you will master this technique!
The crepes need to be thin enough that can be made into bundles. Try with the first one, and see. If too thick, see if you can pour less batter next time. Or make the mixture more liquid by adding a tablespoon or two of milk. Make about 18 crepes, or until you run out of mixture. And set aside.



3. For the filling, saute' the chopped onion in a pan with two tablespoons of olive oil. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. 

Add the radicchio, washed and cut in one inch strips. Salt to taste.
Saute' for a couple of minutes. Drizzle with some white wine, cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook uncovered until ready. 
4. In a separate pan bring the milk to a slow boil. Add the cheese cut in pieces, and mix until all melted.

Add to the radicchio, together with the Parmesan cheese. Mix.

Add one spoonful of radicchio/cheese mixture onto each crepe. Divide evenly.
Close the top of each crepe making little bundles.
Hold the bundle tight with your fingers, and gently tie the chive. Make sure not to pull too hard or the chive will snap. 

Serve warm. 
You can also prepare ahead of time. Make sure to store in the refrigerator, if preparing a few hours before. 
Warm up in the oven, sprinkling the top with little slivers of butter  and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Serve hot!.

You can make extra cheese fondue, or maybe besciamella sauce and serve on the side.  




    

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