Huitlacoche, Corn & Squash Blossom Crepes with Poblano Sauce

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Huitlacoche, Corn & Squash Blossom Crepes with Poblano Sauce

Funny that one of the most classic Mexico City dishes is a crepe dish. It is such a favorite for Chilango (a.k.a. people who live in Mexico City) weddings that, if my memory doesn’t fail me, one out of every two weddings I’ve been to has served this dish. It is considered special, delicate and celebratory.

Though it might sound strange at first, when you turn back the pages of Mexico’s history, you find that the love affair between Mexican kitchens and French cuisine goes way back.

Here’s how the story – the shortest version ever – goes: Napoleon III had wild world expansion ambitions. He sent Maximilian and Carlota to install a European monarchy in Mexico with the support of the Mexican conservative faction. They even built a grand castle for their residence: The Castillo de Chapultepec.

Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The experiment lasted from 1864 to 1867 with rather tragic results. “Emperor” Maximilian was captured and executed by the liberals, and his wife Carlota set off on a road that led nowhere but to her losing her mind.

Maximilian and Carlota

Source: Wikimedia Commons

There was, however, no tragedy for Mexico’s culinary legacy. A large part of the entourage that Maximilian and Carlota brought from Europe included chefs, cooks, cheese-mongers, bakers and butchers. Many of them didn’t go back to Europe. Some opened up shop, while others trained locals in their trade.

So it is no surprise that what we know as the French baguette came to be adapted in Mexico as the telera or bolillo, which is Mexico’s daily bread. Crepes have also received signature Mexican tones. When they have a sweet rendition, their most popular take bathes them in a silky cajeta sauce. Crepas con Cajeta adorn dessert sections of menus in a large number of traditional Mexican restaurants.

Now, when crepes are taken on a savory ride, the results are just as extraordinary. The most famous is the one I am sharing here. Crepes filled with ingredients considered to be deeply Mexican and true delicacies: huitlacoche and squash blossoms. That’s just the beginning, the filled crepes are then covered with an exuberant poblano chile sauce made richer by yet another French technique: roux, to thicken the sauce.

Pati and her husband at their wedding

When my husband and I got married, we served Red Pozole at the end of the night – it’s either pozole or chilaquiles that are usually served to close the party. But for the main wedding meal, we served these crepes – like they do at 50% of Mexico City weddings, I guess, if my calculations are right. At least in my time…

You know how many people say they didn’t even think about eating during their weddings? That was definitely not my case: I cleaned my plate.

Though I love the dish, I had never made it at home. The idea of them being only for celebrations, for special occasions, and well, my wedding dish, sort of stopped me. But, it was about time I made them. We loved eating them so much at home I had to put the recipe up on my blog in the hopes that you will give it a go.

I have learned, as the years go by, that one should celebrate any day. Every single day is worthy of a celebration.

Huitlacoche Crepes

Huitlacoche, Corn & Squash Blossom Crepes with Poblano Sauce
Print Recipe
8 to 10 crepes Crepas de Huitlacoche, Elote y Flor de Calabaza con Salsa Poblana
Ingredients
  • 4 poblano chiles roasted or charred, sweated, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon, all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Mexican cream Latin-style cream, crème fraîche or heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped or pressed
  • 3 cups fresh huitlacoche, shaved off the cob, thawed from frozen, or 2 7-ounce cans
  • 6 cups rinsed drained and coarsely chopped squash blossoms, or 1 1-pound jar squash blossoms, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn kernels shaved from cob, or thawed from frozen
  • 1 batch of homemade crepes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or mild feta cheese for garnish
To Prepare
  • To make the sauce: Coarsely chop the prepared poblano chiles. Place them in the blender along with the milk and purée until completely smooth.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Once bubbly, add the flour to make a roux: stir it often until the paste smells toasty, its color turns a pale golden brown, and it appears to be a bit foamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Pour the chile purée over the roux paste, reduce heat to medium low and stir well, so that it is fully combined and has no lumps. Stir in the Mexican cream, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and nutmeg. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, until it thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • To prepare the filling: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add remaining tablespoon of butter along with the oil. Once it is melted and bubbly, add the onion. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until completely wilted and the edges are barely beginning to brown. Add the garlic, stir and cook for another minute. Stir in the huitlacoche, the squash blossoms and the corn and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let it all cook, stirring often, until it is completely heated through and the squash blossoms have wilted entirely, about 3 minutes.
  • To assemble the crepes: Heat the crepes one by one over an already hot non-stick skillet set over medium-low heat, about 10 seconds per side. Place on a plate, add 3 tablespoons of filling and roll as if it were a chubby taco. Place seam side down on a platter. Continue with all remaining crepes. Pour the heated poblano sauce all over the top and sprinkle with the queso fresco. Serve while hot.
  • NOTE: You can also place the filled crepes in a buttered baking dish, cover with the sauce, and instead of queso fresco use grated melty cheese to cover. Place in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes and serve.
Ingredients
  • 4 poblano chiles roasted or charred, sweated, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon, all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Mexican cream Latin-style cream, crème fraîche or heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped or pressed
  • 3 cups fresh huitlacoche, shaved off the cob, thawed from frozen, or 2 7-ounce cans
  • 6 cups rinsed drained and coarsely chopped squash blossoms, or 1 1-pound jar squash blossoms, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn kernels shaved from cob, or thawed from frozen
  • 1 batch of homemade crepes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or mild feta cheese for garnish
To Prepare
  • To make the sauce: Coarsely chop the prepared poblano chiles. Place them in the blender along with the milk and purée until completely smooth.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Once bubbly, add the flour to make a roux: stir it often until the paste smells toasty, its color turns a pale golden brown, and it appears to be a bit foamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Pour the chile purée over the roux paste, reduce heat to medium low and stir well, so that it is fully combined and has no lumps. Stir in the Mexican cream, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and nutmeg. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, until it thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • To prepare the filling: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add remaining tablespoon of butter along with the oil. Once it is melted and bubbly, add the onion. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until completely wilted and the edges are barely beginning to brown. Add the garlic, stir and cook for another minute. Stir in the huitlacoche, the squash blossoms and the corn and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let it all cook, stirring often, until it is completely heated through and the squash blossoms have wilted entirely, about 3 minutes.
  • To assemble the crepes: Heat the crepes one by one over an already hot non-stick skillet set over medium-low heat, about 10 seconds per side. Place on a plate, add 3 tablespoons of filling and roll as if it were a chubby taco. Place seam side down on a platter. Continue with all remaining crepes. Pour the heated poblano sauce all over the top and sprinkle with the queso fresco. Serve while hot.
  • NOTE: You can also place the filled crepes in a buttered baking dish, cover with the sauce, and instead of queso fresco use grated melty cheese to cover. Place in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes and serve.

22 comments on “Huitlacoche, Corn & Squash Blossom Crepes with Poblano Sauce

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  1. Hola! Pati estaba tratando de mandarle un email y me aparece como error 🙁 , tengo una pregunta

  2. Pati, I love everything I’ve made from your show and cookbooks. You are only one of three celebrity chefs (Rick Bayless and Emeril Lagasse are the other two) whose recipes have never failed when I recreate them.

    I would love to make these crepes but I just need to know: I’ve never used huitlacoche, I don’t know what it is or how to obtain it. Any suggestions?

    Finally, I just want you to know that I was very upset at the chew for the way they rushed you through your recipe for chiles poblanos and then didn’t even allow you enough time to demonstrate the sauce for the chiles. Chiles poblanos are one of my favorite dishes and I was very VERY disappointed that “The Chew” didn’t allow you sufficient time to make your recipe.

  3. Hola! I cannot begin to tell you how glad I am to find your blog! I’m a chilean guy and I’m OBSESSED with mexican food. More often than not, mexican pages ask for stuff I cannot find here, and gringo-adapted recipes just don’t sound authentic to me. FINALLY a recipe blog run by an authentic mexicana!

    I’ll try each and every one of your recipes and will definetely keep you updated on the results. Everything looks delicioso!

    Cheers from Chile!

  4. Hola! Twice I stayed at LaPosida in Laredo, Tx. I there discovered the wonder of Poblano! They have a cream of Poblano soup that was the best thing I had ever tasted. Some family of ours lives in El Paso, but still, not one person has ever produced this wonderful, creamy soup. Question #1; Have you a cream of Poblano soup recipe? Question #2; Can your Poblano Sauce be frozen? I love love LOVE the poblano. I want to eat them every day. Help me out, sister!! Thanks

  5. Hola Pati! My husband and I had huitlacoche for the first time in Puerto Vallarata. Believe me it was OUTSTANDING! Are there any other dishes made with huiitlacoche ? The hubby and I love your TV shows and love to see you on The Chew. You rock Pati.

    1. Yes, of course! You can make white rice topped with seasoned huitlacoche (cooked with a bit of onion, garlic, serrano or jalapeño chiles and a bit of epazote if you find it), you can make quesadillas with them, enchiladas and even glorious soup!

  6. Cuando fui a Oaxaa, probe por primera vez las crepas de huitlacoche, que deliciosas, nunca las olvidare. Siendo de la capital, ya conocia yo esta fabulosa verdura, en Agosto siempre iba al mercdo sobre ruedas a comprarlos y a buscar los mas hermosos y variados hongos. Lastima que el huitla no haya aqui. Yo de lata no como nada, exclusivamente todo fresco. Cuando vivia yo en Modesto CA, jugando con la manguera, regue los topes del maizal, para mi sorpresa a los cuantos dias, ya tenia yo huitlacoches!! Gracias por deleitarnos con delicias ede nuestro México

  7. I am into anything new and step out of my comfort zone. But what is Huitlacoche? What am I looking for ? Do I cook it first? You look amazing in your wedding pic ( he’s not so bad either).

    1. Hola Consuelo, Huitlacoche is a fungus, kind of like mushrooms, that grows on fresh corn in the Mexican rainy season. It sounds funny but it’s a delicacy with it’s woody, earthy, inky taste. If you can’t find it in fresh in the US, there are some excellent versions canned or frozen. More here: http://patijinich.com/2011/05/huitlacoche/

  8. Pati,
    This looks fabulous. I does remind me of when I was young, growing up here in CT and I VT. We had a large garden, including corn, and some years when it got rainy at the wrong time, we got this grey corn fungus, that our mother served in a cream sauce. We thought she was trying to poison us (she was Pennsylvania-German and an inventive and not skilled cook despite living with my paternal grandparents in Mexico for 6 years). Only later did I realize that what she was saying was true, that they were the huitlacoche. Since then I have had huitlacoche soup (maravilloso) at Topolobampo in Chicago, and in various other forms, appreciating it more and more. Anyhow, I look forward to trying your recipe. Many thanks.

  9. paty esta reseta se ve deliciosa es deliciosa una amiga de puebla me la preparo mmm deliciosa pero yo e querido prepararla y no encuentro los ingredientes aca en orange california asi que cuando tenga la oportunidad de que mi amiga me vicite y no se donde trae los ingrdientes deleitare tu reseta gracias por el tiempo que nos dedicas al enviar tus resetas saludos

  10. Chapultepec is still beautiful. It is a shame when the artistic achievements of politicians are so little appreciated. Marie Antoinette should have been retained as Minister of Beautification. If I could think of chefs as bad as politicians, I’d draw a comparison.