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Basic Cheese Crepes and wine pairings

Ronnie Campbell and Kathleen Thomas are sisters who have worked in the food and wine industry for over 15 years and often collaborate on specialty food and wine pairing articles.

Crepes & wine

Savory or sweet, crepes stuffed with delicious creamy cheeses, meat, seafood, vegetables or fruit are a special treat for most us, even worthy of their own party! Offering guests a range of tasty fillings allows for fun, creative collaboration … surely the most finicky friend will find a combination that satisfies.

Crepes with cheese and berriesMaking your own crepes

Some supermarkets and specialty stores carry packaged crepes, usually found in either the produce section or stocked by the refrigerated tortillas, but scratch crepes are easy enough to make and simply the best. While setting up the fillings, store the crepes in a tortilla warmer, or keep in the oven, at about 225 degrees F., with waxed or aluminum paper in between each so they don't stick together.

Here's a basic cheese crepe recipe, blending creamy zesty Boursin with tangy fresh goat cheese and mellow-nutty Jarlsberg. We've paired suggested fillings with an accessible, affordable white and red wine to get you started.

Basic Cheese Crepes

Ingredients for crepes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Ingredients for cheese filling:
1 (4-ounce) log soft, unripened goat cheese (we like ultra-fresh Woolwich Dairy), room temperature
1 (5.2-ounce) package Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs or Pepper variety, room temperature
1/4 cup cream
2 cups shredded Jarlsberg cheese, shredded
Fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Additional ingredients (see below)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter and beat until smooth.

3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4-cup for each crepe.

4. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Keep warm in the oven until ready to fill.

5. Increase oven heat to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, blend goat cheese, Boursin, and cream. Add Jarlsberg, nutmeg and basil, stirring to combine.

6. Spoon 1/4-cup cheese filling down the center of each crepe and add about 1/4-cup of additional ingredients (see below).

7. For each crepe, fold one side over the other and arrange on a foil-lined baking dish. Brush the tops of the crepes with olive oil and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve at once.

Additional ingredients to add to your crepes:

  • sauteed mushrooms or onions
  • cooked baby shrimp
  • chopped prosciutto or other ham
  • cooked peas
  • chopped asparagus
  • bits of smoked salmon
  • chopped cherry tomatoes
  • cooked crumbled sausage or thin sliced kielbasa
  • chopped cooked beef
  • assortment of chopped fresh herbs

Wines to pair with Basic Cheese Crepes

These two wines are perfect pairings for Basic Cheese Crepes.

75 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, California 2007
This white wine has intense aromatics of grapefruit and pineapple. On the palate, it exudes melon, pineapple and grapefruit, then ends with a grassy, crisp finish.

King's Ridge, Pinot Noir, Oregon 2007
Delicate strawberry and cherry notes with a hint of currant characterize this red wine. Soft herbs and spice follow through the finish.

Pairing especially for the crepe fillings

Prosciutto, Asparagus, Shrimp and Chive: These flavors come alive with Sauvignon Blanc, further enhancing this particular white's crisp freshness.

Beef, Mushroom, Onion and Parsley: Pinot Noir with its soft strawberry and cherry notes, hints of currants, and spice and herbs on its finish, bring out the earthy, savory flavors of beef and mushroom.

Ham, Onion, Peas and Parsley: Both Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are fine choices here, but the white is especially fruity with just the right "zip" for this combination, taking on some sweetness from the ham and creamy cheeses.

Smoked Salmon, Onion and Dill: Red or white are appropriate here, since both wines have good structure and bright acidity to break through the fattiness of this crepe filling.

Sausage, Onion, Tomato and Chives: This crepe wants to be a calzone! Pinot Noir (or a nice medium-bodied Italian red with a little fruit) stands up well to the pronounced flavors of sausage, cheese and chives, developing nicely on the palate, bringing out the soft fruit of the wine.

More crave-worthy crepe recipes

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