Hello from my annual "boot camp" week at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. That's our group at 7 am this morning on a misty 7-mile mountain hike. I'll be sending notes and recipes from one of my favorite places in the world. No Côtes du Rhône, but plenty else! Here's a recipe inspired by the delicious, wholesome food at the Ranch, and one that's included in my upcoming book Salad As A Meal, to be published next spring.
EGG CREPE WITH MUSHROOMS AND SPINACH
These ultra-thin egg crepes make a perfect lunch, accompanied by a simple green salad. The egg is simply a light envelope for whatever you want to put inside: Here I suggest mushrooms and spinach, but one could also dig into the pantry or refrigerator for all manner of herbs, vegetables, and cheese on hand.
Equipment: A 10-inch nonstick crepe pan.
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 large mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced
Fine sea salt
8 ounces fresh spinach
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 large, ultra-fresh eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons chopped mixed herbs (fresh parsley and thyme or dried oregano)
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, crumbled
Freshly grated pepper
Several handfuls of greens, tossed with dressing of choice
1. In a 10-inch nonstick skillet heat 1 teaspoon of oil over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms, season lightly with salt, and cook just until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a platter to drain. Add the spinach to the skillet with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the spinach, chop, and season with salt and freshly grated nutmeg.
2. Crack each egg into a small bowl. The egg should be lightly beaten with a fork (not a whisk) just enough to combine the yolk and the white well without incorporating air bubbles that might make the crepe dry out. Add 1 tablespoon of water to each bowl.
3. Warm the crepe pan for a few seconds over high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of oil and swirl to evenly coat the pan. Add the egg, tilting the pan from side to side to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Cook just until the egg is evenly set but still slightly liquid on top, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Quickly spoon half the spinach, then half the mushrooms, herbs and cheese in the center of the egg crepe to form a strip parallel to the pan. With a fork, carefully fold the crepe over the filling from each side. Tip the pan up against the edge of a warmed plate so that the crepe rolls out browned side up. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining egg crepe. Serve immediately.
Variations: Wilted Swiss chard and feta; wilted lamb’s lettuce and ricotta; salsa, cubed avocado and grated cheese; morels in truffle cream with chives.
Wine suggestion: Our winemaker Yves Gras makes one of the “best drying whites of the Southern Rhône,” or so says wine expert Robert Parker. We agree, for his Sablet Blanc Le Fournas is crisp, chalky, elegant and made for everyday drinking. Perfect with this simple but sublime egg crepe.