This started out as a Mexican budin, a casserole so dense with tortillas, sour cream, and cheese that in the end it was simply too rich, even for me. But as I love the flavors of the various elements, I put them into these lighter corn crêpes and, if supper is very informal, I let each person fill his or her own. Otherwise, I fill them and heat them in a skillet or the oven. For a vegan version, use corn tortillas in place of the crêpes and nondairy cheeses.
Serve these crêpes with black beans, a dollop of sour cream, and something fresh, such as slivered jícama and cucumbers with lime and chile. An unoaked wine such as Domaine Chandon's sparkling wine or a slightly chilled Beaujolais would make a refreshing, informal match for these crêpes.
Note: Make the crêpe batter first so that it can rest while you cook the chard, heat the beans, and make the salsa. Then cook the crêpes and fill them.
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup masa harina, roasted corn flour, or fine cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons melted butter or oil
The Chard Filling
1 1/2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 large white onion, finely diced
1 or 2 jalapeno chiles, finely diced, seeds removed if you don't want their heat
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping cup cilantro, chopped
2 or even 3 big bunches of chard, any color, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
1/3 cup sour cream, plus extra for serving
1 cup grated cheese, such as Oaxacan string cheese, queso blanco, Jack, or Muenster
Put all the ingredients for the crêpes in a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice as needed. Pour into a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onions, chiles, and oregano and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cilantro and cook for a few minutes more, then add the chard and cook, turning the leaves occasionally until wilted. Season with salt to taste, and cook until the chard is tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream.
Cook the crêpes in an 8-inch skillet, stacking them up on a plate as you go so that they hold their heat. You should end up with about 10 crêpes. With the prettier side facing down, spread half the crêpe with the chard, add a little cheese, then fold them in half and again into quarters.
To reheat in a skillet, film it lightly with oil over medium-high heat and add the crêpes. Cook on both sides, the pan covered, until heated through, then serve.
Excerpted from Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen by Deborah Madison (Broadway Books, New York, 2005). © 2005 by Deborah Madison. All rights reserved.
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