Did you forget to make brunch reservations this Mother’s Day? Don’t worry, because you’re going to learn how to make an impressive restaurant-quality brunch that will have the special mom in your life feeling like royalty. And speaking from experience, I would much rather enjoy a delicious meal from the comfort of my own home than going to a crowded restaurant on Mother’s Day. This also means I get to stay in my pajamas!
I’m going to teach you how to make homemade crêpes filled with eggs, smoked salmon and feta cheese topped with hollandaise sauce. I chose this dish, because it’s what I would like to eat on Mother’s Day (hint, hint… I hope my husband and kids are reading this) and there are a lot of opportunities for kids to help in the kitchen, which makes it a fun family activity.
Let’s break the recipe down into three parts:
Crêpes, very thin and delicate pancakes, are fun to make and extremely versatile because you can fill a crêpe with anything you like! You can keep it super simple and sprinkle the inside of a crêpe with cinnamon and sugar, or spread it with peanut butter or jelly, or Nutella and bananas. Or you can elevate the experience and fill your crêpes with sautéed apples and Chantilly cream, or prepare crêpes suzette. You can also go the savory route, and fill your crêpes with ham and cheese, Beef Bourguignon, coq au vin or ratatouille.
It's pretty simple to make crêpes, in that you whisk together flour, sugar and salt, add then whisk in milk, eggs and melted butter to create a consistency of heavy cream. If the batter is too thick, just whisk in a bit more milk. Because you want the crêpes to be delicate and tender when cooked, it’s important to let the batter rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can also make the batter a day in advance and let it rest overnight. Just know that the batter tends to thicken a bit during the resting process and you’ll most likely need to add a splash of milk to get that heavy cream consistency.
To cook the crêpes, ladle the batter into a hot and buttered nonstick sauté pan, while swirling the pan in a circular motion so it spreads into an even layer.
Let the crêpe cook, undisturbed, until the bottom is very lightly browned. Using a spatula, flip the crêpe and cook for an additional 15 seconds on the second side.
Repeat this process until you have used up all of your batter. The good news is that you can make your crêpes a day in advance, and gently rewarm them in the microwave before filling them.
Don’t be afraid of making hollandaise! This hot emulsion sauce has an unfortunate reputation of being difficult to make, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. We simplify the technique and make the sauce in one pan with whole butter rather than clarified butter in our life-changing Culinary Boot Camp course. Surprisingly enough, this simple technique is the closest to the classic original found in Escoffier’s renowned cookbook Le Guide Culinaire, because the original version was meant to showcase the unparalleled quality of whole butter from a specific region.
In order to make this classic Mother Sauce of butter, eggs and lemon juice that’s silky and smooth, measure together all of the ingredients in one pan and set it over low heat.
Constantly whisk the sauce until it just starts to thicken, and then remove the pan from the heat allowing the residual heat to finish thickening the sauce.
Season with cayenne (I like smoked paprika) salt and pepper, and voila! Keep in a warm spot until you’re ready to assemble the dish, but be prepared to rewhisk the sauce before serving.
Making the Filling
This is where you can customize the dish and be creative. I love smoked salmon, dill and feta cheese with my scrambled eggs, and it feels fancy and special for Mother’s Day, but try adding sautéed spinach and roasted peppers to your eggs. Or, maybe you’re inspired by the flavors in a Denver omelet and you decide to sauté onions and peppers before scrambling your eggs. You can also set up a build-your-own crêpe station, and put scrambled eggs and a few different fillings and cheeses in bowls and let everyone assemble their own crêpes. So much fun for kids!
Once the crêpes have been loaded with the fillings of choice, roll them up and top with a spoonful of your beautiful hollandaise sauce. Serve with roasted potatoes, hash browns and/or a fruit salad or leafy green salad. And please don’t forget the mimosas!
Smoked Salmon, Egg and Feta Crêpes with Hollandaise
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yield: 4 servings; 2 crêpes per person
Active time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour, 45 minutes (includes crêpe batter resting time)
For the crêpes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup to 1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Additional melted butter for cooking the crêpes
For the hollandaise sauce:
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons water
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 stick butter, cut into 1 tablespoon-size pieces
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
For the filling:
2 tablespoons butter
8 eggs, well beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
8 slices smoked salmon
3 tablespoons fresh dill, rough chopped plus additional for garnish
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1. To make the crêpe batter, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium-size bowl.
2. Add 3/4 cup of the milk, and whisk until the lumps break down. Add the beaten eggs, and whisk until combined. Add additional milk as needed until you have the consistency of heavy cream. Gently stir in the butter.
3. Allow the batter to rest, covered, for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
4. When ready to make the crêpes, heat a small nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and add just enough butter to coat the bottom. Tip: If batter has thickened during resting, add a splash more milk.
5. Ladle in just enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan, and swirl the pan in a circular motion evenly distributing the batter in an even layer.
6. Cook until the crêpe has set up around the edges and the bottom is light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and continue to cook an additional 15 seconds. Transfer to a plate and continue to prepare more crêpes.
7. To make the hollandaise sauce, measure together the egg yolks, water, lemon juice and butter in a slope-sided saucier pan or saucepan.
8. Place over low heat and whisk until the butter melts. Continue to whisk until the sauce just starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.
9. Remove the sauce from the heat, allowing the residual heat from the pan to finishing cooking the sauce, and whisk in the cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep in a warm, not hot, spot until ready to serve.
10. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat, and add the butter. Season the beaten eggs with salt and pepper, and scramble the eggs to your liking.
11. To assemble the dish, lay the crêpes on your worksurface and lay a piece of salmon on each crêpe, about 2 inches from the bottom.
12. Top the salmon with dill, followed by the eggs and feta cheese.
13. Roll the crêpes around the filling, and place seam down on a plate. Top the crêpes with a spoonful of the hollandaise and serve.
This recipe is just what you need to make Mother’s Day special, but we’re also running a Virtual Mother’s Day Brunch class on May 14 from 11am-1pm where the whole family can cook together with the guidance of our chef instructor.
Whether you’re going out to brunch, attending our virtual class or having a low-key meal at home, I wish all of the mothers that are here with us and those that are in our memories, a very lovely and special Mother’s Day.