Eggplant and Feta Crepes

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2 medium eggplants (total about 2 pounds) or white eggplants
salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoon olive oil, approximately
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
½ cup ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cups finely crumbled feta cheese (about 3 3/4 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled (optional)
6 tablespoons minced green onions
12 crepes or whole wheat crepes (recipe follows) at room temperature
1 to 2 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk, or a little more if needed
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Peel eggplant and cut in 3/8-inch-thick slices. Salt the eggplant. Pat slices dry with several changes of paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 425. if planning to serve crepes as soon as they are ready.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large, heavy skillet. Quickly add enough eggplant slices to make 1 layer. (If slices are added too slowly, first ones soak up all of oil.) Saute until tender when pierced with a fork, about 2 1/2 minutes on each side. remove to a plate. Add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet, heat oil, and sauté second batch of eggplant in same way. Repeat with remaining eggplant, adding oil as needed.

Add 2 teaspoons oil to skillet and reduce heat to low. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 seconds. Immediately pour garlic mixture into a small bowl.

Chop the eggplant with a knife and transfer to a large bowl. Add ricotta cheese, feta cheese, garlic, oregano, green onions, and pepper and mix very well. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Oil a large, shallow baking dish or 2 medium baking dishes. Spoon 3 tablespoons filling onto the less attractive side of each crepe, across the lower third. Roll up in cigar shape, beginning at edge with filling. Arrange crepes seam side down in one layer in the buttered dish or dishes. Brush crepes with melted butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. (Crepes can be kept, covered, 1 day in refrigerator. Bring crepes to room temperature and preheat oven before continuing.)

Bake crepes until filling is hot and cheese melts and browns very lightly, about 10 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Makes 6 main course servings.

For Crepes:
Combine eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, flour and salt in food processor and mix using several on/off turns; batter will be lumpy. Scrape down sides and bottom of processor container. With machine running, pour 1 cup milk through feed tube and process batter about 15 seconds.

Strain batter if it is lumpy. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour. (Batter can be refrigerated, covered, up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before continuing.)

Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Gradually whisk 2 tablespoons melted butter into crepe batter. Pour remaining butter into a small cup. Skim off foam to clarify. Batter should have consistency of heavy cream. If it is too thick, gradually whisk in more milk, about 1 teaspoon at a time.

Heat crepe pan or skillet with 6 to 6 1/2 – inch base over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with few drops of water, If water immediately sizzles, pan is hot enough. Brush pan lightly with some of the clarified butter. (If using nonstick pan, no butter is needed.) Remove pan from heat and hold it near bowl of batter. Working quickly, fill a quarter-cup measure half-full of batter (to easily measure 2 tablespoons) and add batter to one edge of pan, tilting and swirling pan until its base is covered with thin layer of batter. Immediately pour any excess batter back into bowl.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Loosen edges of crepe with metal spatula, discarding any pieces of crepe clinging to sides of pan. Cook crepe until its bottom browns lightly. Turn crepe carefully over by sliding spatula under it. Cook until second side brown lightly in spots. Slide crepe out onto plate. Reheat pan a few seconds. Make crepes with remaining batter, stirring it occasionally with whisk. Adjust heat and add more clarified butter to pan if necessary. If batter thickens, gradually whisk in a little more milk, about 1 teaspoon at a time. Pile crepes on plate as they are done. (Crepes can be kept, wrapped tightly, up to 3 days in refrigerator; or they can be frozen. Bring them to room temperature before using, to avoid tearing them.)

Makes about 20 crepes

Whole Wheat Crepes: Replace all-purpose flour with 1/2 cup whole wheat flour sifted with 1/4 cup all-purpose flour.

From Faye Levy’s wonderful book International Vegetable Cookbook

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