Asparagus and Prosciutto Crêpes with a Creamy Lemon Dipping Sauce

makes 8 filled crepes; 32 as an hors d'oeuvre or 16 as a snack

For the Crêpes

1 cup and up to 2 Tablespoons whole milk

2 extra large eggs

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

3 Tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for the pan

For the Dipping Sauce

1 cup crème fraîche

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tablespoon minced fresh chives

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Filling

1 pound (about 32 spears) thin asparagus, trimmed

8 ounces whipped cream cheese

8 thin slices of prosciutto (about 4-ounces)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Crêpes

Add the 1 cup of milk, eggs, and salt into a blender and blend until smooth.  Add the flour and blend until smooth.  Add the butter and blend until smooth and incorporated.  Let the batter rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours (after 30 minutes, let the batter rest in the refrigerator until ready to use).  When ready to make the crêpes, test the batter consistency-- it should be as thick as heavy cream.  If it is as thick as pancake batter, add the additional 2 Tablespoons of milk.

Heat an 8-inch crepe pan or a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Using a paper towel, spread about 1/2 teaspoon of butter onto the bottom of the skillet.  The butter should sizzle upon contact, but not instantly burn. Lift the pan from the heat, pour in 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan, tilting and rotating the pan in one direction so the batter spreads evenly across the bottom of the pan in a thin circle.  If there are any holes, quickly add a few drops of the batter to fill them in.  Cook the crêpe until the edges begin to dry and lift from the sides of the pan and the bottom is nicely brown.  Gently flip the crêpe and cook until the center is firm and the second side is lightly browned.  (The first side is presentation side).  Slide the crêpe onto a large plate or cooling rack and repeat with the remaining batter.  Layer sheets of wax or parchment paper between each crêpe as they come out of the pan.  (You will have a total of 8 crêpes.)

To store, wrap the stacked crepes in plastic wrap and then place in a large plastic freezer bag.  The crêpes will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Thaw at room temperature until pliable.

For the Dipping Sauce

In a medium bowl, stir together the crème fraîche, mayonnaise, zest, juice, and chives.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (Sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance; stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.)

For the Filling

Prepare an ice bath; set aside.

Bring 1 1/2-inches of salted water to a boil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the asparagus and cook, uncovered, until tender but still green, about 3-5 minutes.  Transfer the asparagus to the ice bath to chill.  Drain well and blot dry with paper towels; set aside.

To assemble, lay the crêpes presentation side down on a clean work surface.  Spread each crepe with 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange one slice of prosciutto on each crêpe. Arrange 4 asparagus spears across the bottom third of each crêpe.  Neatly roll the crêpes into tight cylinders.  Trim the ends of each crêpe and cut each crêpe into two or four pieces that are flat on one side and angled on the other.  Transfer to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce.  (Rolled and uncut crêpes can be made up to one day in advance.)  Enjoy!

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