A couple of years ago, before I moved back to my hometown, I used to buy my crepes from a great West Indian chef – who’s name was actually Elvis and who was trained in England. Elvis had a booth at the local Farmers Market and made an incredibly taste crepe stuffed with chicken and a thick cream of mushroom sauce. He’d also sell his crepes individually, so every Saturday morning, I’d go visit him and buy a small stack of his savoury crepes. Depending on what other purchases I made that day at the market, I’d try to make different fillings and test them out on myself and my upstairs friends/ neighbours, the Leslies. The filling that I personally liked best was a savoury minced beef curry variation of a dish my mother made often. It worked wonderfully with the Elvis’ savoury crepes.
Ingredients and Preparation
Note: This post was written in 2005 and updated in 2017. My original minced beef curry recipe linked to from here doesn’t exist anymore, so I’m summarizing:
- 1/2 pound or more of ground beef or other meats — e.g., chicken, turkey or pork, as you prefer
- 1/4 cup or more of finely diced onion
- 1 cup of fresh spinach leaves or 1/2 cup of frozen spinach (thawed)
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce or salsa [OPTIONAL]
- 1/4 cup water
- salt, pepper, cumin, curry powder or any combo of spices you want, to create a savory minced meat filling for the crepes
- Brown the ground beef in the pan on medium heat – about 7-10 minutes.
- Add onions and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add your choice of spices (to taste), reduce heat to under medium (about 4 on an electric stove) and sautee for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the water, spinach and the tomato sauce/ salsa and simmer 4-5 minutes. (Watch pan and make sure that the mixture does not dry out but also is not runny.)
- Optional: You can use 1 level tbsp of corn starch dissolved in another 1/4 cup of water to thicken the mixture, if desired. Gently combine the starch solution into the mixture.
- Turn off heat but keep this filling warm
- Prepare crepes or use store-bought.
- Assemble by spooning filling onto crepes and rolling or folding.
Here’s a basic crepe recipe. For a bit more savoury flavour, add finely chopped chives and a sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper. For something like the minced beef stuffing, thicker crepes work better, but thin crispy ones are okay, too. What I found, however, was eating cold, thick crepes the next day, with the warm minced beef stuffing, adds yet another dimension of texture.
(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash/ CurryElvis.com