Tag Archives: crepes

Crêpes Caroline

1 Mar
Crêpes Caroline

Crêpes Caroline

Last weekend I asked our foreign exchange student if she had a French recipe she would like to cook for the family, and if so, what would she like to make? Luckily the French word for crepes is the same as the English word, so I understood immediately what she was planning to make. I told her she could make them for us for breakfast the next morning. Around 9:30 am the next day, I asked her if she was ready to make the crepes for breakfast. She shook her head yes, then brought up the recipe on her cell phone — in French and metric! Thank goodness for Google  Translator and my handy dandy weight scale that converts to metric! (I discovered that 250 grams is 2 cups!)

Weighing the Flour

Weighing the Flour

When I finally got the gist of the recipe translated, I found out we had to let the batter sit for two hours. Looking at the time, I said, “I guess we are having crepes for lunch instead!” So we ate small bowls of cereal to tide us over.

Caroline told me the French eat their crepes filled with jam. I said we like to put fresh fruit in ours. I let her assemble the first one, and she filled hers with jam and folded it over like a washcloth. I then made mine (using both jam and fruit) and showed her how to roll one up enchilada style. We sprinkled them with powdered sugar. A wonderful, light lunch!

Crêpes Caroline

2 cups flour (250 g farine)
3 eggs (3 oeufs)
2 cups milk (1/2 litre de lait)
1 tablespoon sugar (1 cuillère a soupe de sucre)
1 pinch salt (1 pincée de sel)
A little oil (Un peu d’ huile)
Let stand for 2 hours (Laisser reposer pendant 2 heures) 

Cracking in the Eggs

Cracking in the Eggs

Add the flour to a bowl, then crack in the three eggs. Mix the eggs into the flour with a whisk until well combined. Slowly add the milk, whisking to combine. After watching her struggle with some lumps, I decided to pull out the electric mixer for her, as she was having trouble getting it to combine well. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, mixing on high until well combined. Let stand, uncovered, for two hours.

Whisking the Batter

Whisking the Batter

When ready to make, heat up a medium-sized skillet to medium-high and spray with olive or vegetable oil. Pour in about 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of batter, tilting the pan around so a thin layer coats the bottom. Cook each crepe for several minutes until the bottom stars to brown and the crepe is cooked through to the top. Using a spatula, flip the crepe over and heat about 30 seconds more.

Beautiful Crepe

Beautiful Crepe

Slide out of skillet and keep warm on a plate under a kitchen towel. Repeat until batter is gone. This makes about 10 crepes. Serve with jam, fresh fruit, and powdered sugar, folded or rolled any way you want!

Strawberries and Jams

Strawberries and Jams

Caroline is leaving back to France tomorrow, and we are all sad to see her go. She has been a wonderful addition to the family this past three weeks, and our entire family has really enjoyed the experience of hosting a foreign exchange student. If you are interested in hosting a student, please check out the Andeo organization. They are very well organized and I can’t be happier with the student we were paired with! Bon Voyage Caroline!

Crêpes Caroline

Crêpes Caroline

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Fried Cinnamon Apple Chimichangas

27 Feb
Fried Cinnamon Apple Chimichanga

Fried Cinnamon Apple Chimichanga

My teenage daughter asked if she could make these about a week ago. She showed it to me online, and I said that was fine, so we went and bought the ingredients. She’s discovered Pinterest, and while most of her browsing is on nail and fashion boards, she does browse the foodie boards here and again and glommed onto this recipe and pinned it. As we started making it for our Sunday dinner dessert, she said, “Mom? Can you put these on your blog?” Wow, I didn’t think she even read it or had one iota of interest in this site of mine. Now I’ve probably completely embarrassed her by saying all that, but oh well. So here you have these incredibly delicious, incredibly oil-splattering messy but oh so good dessert (or breakfast — hey they have apples!) Chimichangas. They really were not that hard to make and the process took probably an hour total if you don’t include the cooling time of the filling. It’s just that when you have an inexperienced cook/fryer who needs assisted a lot, making them does take a while longer. If you know how to roll up a burrito and fry food, then you’re good to go. Just a note, the original recipe said this will make 8 to 10 Chimichangas using small flour tortillas. We ended up with 17 of them! Either our apples were really big or our tortillas were really small, or maybe both. I’m going to try to freeze some or take some to work for my office mates, if my daughter and husband don’t polish them all off soon.

Fried Apple Chimichangas
Adapted from Juanita’s Cocina, recipe here: Apple Cinnamon Dessert Chimichangas

For the filling:
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 apples, any kind, cored and chopped bite-sized (We used 2 Fuji and 2 Granny Smiths)

Apple Filling

Apple Filling

In a large skillet or saucepan, mix the all the filling ingredients except the apples and bring to a boil. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the mixture becomes really thick. Add the chopped apples, cover, and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the apples are tender. The original recipe called for 10 minutes or so, but ours took closer to 20 minutes. I’m sure that was due to our high altitude. We also had to add an extra half cup of water to the mixture partway through to compensate for the longer cooking time. Once the apples are tender, set the mixture aside until cool. At this point dinner was ready so we let it sit through dinner and that clean up, which was about a half hour.

For the Chimichangas:
8-17 small flour tortillas (sorry for the wide range! Just get a 20-c0unt or more package)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Oil for frying

First assemble your Chimichangas by spooning  some filling in the top third half of the tortilla. I’m laughing now because that’s how I taught my daughter to do it, and the original instructions say the bottom half. I wonder if it’s easier the other way? I don’t know, that was just how I instinctively did it. Anyways, flip in the sides of the tortilla partway over the filling then start rolling top-down, making sure the sides stay tucked in. This part was one of our issues, as daughter had a hard time keeping the sides tucked in as she rolled. I do think a majority of our splatter mess was due to the filling leaking out.

Platter of Fried Apple Cinnamon Chimichangas

Platter of Fried Apple Cinnamon Chimichangas

Once they are all assembled, now add the rest of the sugar and cinnamon to a wide bowl or plate and mix up, then set aside. Next, add about a quarter inch of oil for frying in a large heavy bottomed or deep cast iron skillet. We used plain vegetable oil. Heat it until medium-hot. (I don’t use a temperature gauge, I use the old-fashioned trick of sticking the tip of a wooden chopstick to the bottom of the pan. If it sizzles and bubbles right off the bat from the bottom, then it’s ready.)  Using tongs, lower two to four Chimichangas into the hot oil one at a time. My daughter could only handle frying two each batch as the splatters freaked her out, so that took us a bit longer too. We did use a splatter screen! Let them fry for maybe 30 seconds per side (really!) then move them off to drain on a paper towel once golden brown. Some were done more than less than others but don’t fret, it’s all good. Don’t let them sit too long or the sugar coating won’t stick! Roll each one around in the cinnmamon sugar mix while still moist, then put on another plate while you fry and coat the rest. Once done, feel free to sprinkle more cinnamon sugar over the top, and do eat them while warm! I will have to experiment on the best way to warm them up. Toaster oven? Microwave? Not sure yet as of this writing. I hope you have a chance to enjoy this dessert, as I don’t post many at all here. I’m a savory kind of gal, but one of these really hit the spot after dinner! And if you think flour tortillas would not be crispy or too floury tasting for this, well you have another think coming. I was amazed!

Chicken Tetrazzini Crepes

11 Mar
Chicken Tetrazzini Crepes

Chicken Tetrazzini Crepes

…or, How to Use as Many Pots, Pans, Bowls, and Utensils as Possible for a Single Dish. Seriously, this is a sink filler-upper. But ohhhh, the flavor is just delectable and restaurant-worthy, in my humble opinion. Actually, the first time I made this for my husband, he got so excited that he wanted to open a restaurant right then and there! Alas, that was only a pipe dream of his (thank goodness!) but that has not stopped me from cooking these tasty crepes on a periodic basis. Since the dish is so time-consuming, I would guess we have this less than once a year. But the wait is so worth it!

The original recipe comes — once again — from my trusty Better Homes and Garden book. While most of the recipes I use from it have been transformed over the years, this one has never needed many changes aside from using chicken instead of turkey. Turkey meat has such a strong taste that I’ve always opted for the lighter taste of the smaller fowl.

My sister is in town visiting from Austin, and we tackled this masterpiece together, which made the process not only much shorter, but a heck of a lot more fun! I taught her how to make the crepes (and she was a natural at it) and she taught me a trick to make a no-fail white sauce. Win-win! Another time saver was cooking half a chicken the day before to make the chicken broth and cubed meat as called for in the recipe.

Chicken Tetrazzini Crepes

6 to 12 crepes (see recipe below)
2 cups fresh mushrooms, quartered or halved
6 tablespoons butter or substitute
1/3 cup flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
3/4 cup half and half
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup sherry or white wine
2 cups cooked chicken meat, cubed
8 oz. can of sliced black olives

If you don’t already have cooked chicken on hand, it’s best to start this process the day before, or start cooking in the afternoon as this will take some time. First, begin preparing the crepes according to recipe below. I put my sister on this duty after I showed her the trick to getting them to come out perfect. Meanwhile, brown the mushrooms in 3 tablespoons of the butter or substitute in a medium saucepan. My sister wanted to use real butter for the entire recipe, but she conceded to let me use Smart Balance to sauté the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until all the liquid has released and reduced down, about 10 minutes.  When the mushrooms are done, pour them into a bowl and set aside.

Crepe, mushrooms and new owl spatula!

Crepe, mushrooms and new owl spatula!

In the same saucepan used for the mushrooms, melt the other three tablespoons of butter. Stir in the flour, and cook for about three minutes on low heat but don’t let it start to brown. My sister says cooking the flour for a few minutes will release the oil in the butter and make for a creamier sauce.  I do believe that worked! Next add the chicken broth and cream and cook on medium heat until thickened and bubbly, stirring often. Add the cheese and sherry or white wine and stir until the cheese melts. Keep on very low heat while you do the next steps, occasionally stirring.

Spray a casserole dish with vegetable oil and place in a strategic area for crepe assembly. In a medium bowl combine the chicken, olives, mushrooms and one cup of the sauce. I save some of  the olive slices for the top of the crepes.  Next, spoon some of the mixture down the center of the unbrowned side of a crepe, and roll up. Place the crepe seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat until you run out of mixture. We were able to fill seven crepes for the size we made, and had four crepes leftover. Plus we ran out of room in the dish.

Last, pour the remaining sauce evenly over the crepes, and decorate the top with the reserved olive slices. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Take out and let rest for a few minutes. We served this with steamed asparagus. My sister toasted some sliced almonds for her serving, but my husband and I preferred the dish without them. Bon Appétit!

Crepes

1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Dash of salt

Assembled and ready for sauce

Assembled and ready for sauce

In a bowl, combine the flour, milk, eggs, oil, and salt. Beat with a rotary mixer until well blended. Heat a lightly oil-sprayed skillet for a few minutes. Remove from the heat then pour about a quarter cup of batter into the center, and tilt and swirl the batter around until it’s spread evenly in the bottom. Return the skillet to the heat and brown on one side only until the edges begin to curl up a bit.  To remove the crepe, turn the skillet upside down onto a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batter, spraying the skillet lightly between crepes. Set them aside until ready to fill.

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