Friday, August 24, 2007

Crepes

I love crepes. I always have but I found a new appreciation for them when in Paris this past March. Patrick and I went there for our 1 year anniversary, well there and London. Since I have already been to London, I already knew what to expect culinary wise or so I thought. There were alot of trendy restaurants and bars the neighborhood that we were in so I was pleasantly surprised.
Ok back to Crepes and Paris, we stayed in the fabulous montmartre area really close to the Sacre Coeur. At the bottom of all of the steps of the Sacre Coeur there are 2 crepe / sandwich stands. The one on the left hand side of the street had the best crepes I had ever had and the best we had in Paris. We weren't totally adventurous but we found what we liked and couldn't bear to break away it was so good. We went there almost everyday after a few days of being Paris. We ate the Jambon and Fromage crepes (Ham and Cheese) and various dessert crepes, our favorite being Nutella. Being in Paris was one of the best times of my life thus far so I like to relive the experience and make crepes at home. It brings back all of the memories of how great of a vacation it was. Ok on to the crepes. I use a basic crepe recipe that works for both savory and sweet crepes.

Crepes
1 cup of milk ( I used Skim because it was what we had)
1 egg
1/2 cup + 1 Tbs AP flour
1/2 Tbs melted butter
1/2 tsp salt

Put it all in a blender and blend until combined. Refrigerate for 1- 8 hours. I normally make it in the morning before work so it sits for longer than 8 hours so it starts to separate a little but it mixes right back together.

Take some butter and grease your preheated crepe pan and for my pan I pour about 1/4 a cup of batter in the pan on an angle and swirl the pan until it coats the pan. Let it start to turn golden for 1-2 minutes then flip it over. Now my first crepe always turns out bad or mis - shapen or I get the flip not quite right. No big deal. This recipe makes about 6 crepes in my pan so I always make a double batch and I normally have extra left over.

Once it is flipped over you can put your filling on one quadrant of the crepe. We went traditional with some ham and comte cheese and then for dessert just some nutella spread in the crepe. Fold the crepe over in half and then fold in the sides and you are ready to eat.


Yes that is a Paris headband and yes Patrick has the matching wristbands. He just had to have them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Banana Bread


3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
3-4 mashed overly ripe bananas*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 1 lb. loaf pans, or use Pam with Flour.
In a large bowl beat eggs until light and frothy. Mix in the oil and sugar. Stir in the bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and mix until combined. Divide the batter between the 2 pans.
Bake for 55-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
*=If you don't know how to pick banana bread bananas they should be almost totally black on the peel if not completely black. A grocery store by my house will bag up a bunch of bananas that are past their prime or have too many bruises in a brown paper grocery bag for 79 cents. I mash them and freeze them in portions so I can make this bread when ever I want.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Portobello Mushroom Pasta


I will admit I had a former mushroom phobia. It came from a bad case of food poisoning, how ever I am proud to admit that I have been reformed. I now eat mushrooms on a regular basis. This recipe is based on a class I took on how to make homemade ravoli. Now I was over zealous and decided to try to make ravoli at home, let me tell you its alot easier with the 6 hands in class from the other people than the 2 hands I had to work with at home. So needless to say it didn't turn out as planned and I was left with chopped up mushrooms that I had to do something with so I changed the filling recipe to make a sauce.

3 Large or 4 Average size Portobello Mushrooms
1/2 cup white wine or alittle more (use what ever you want I happen to like Viognier so that is what I use)
1/2 - 3/4 of a cup of Real Parmesan cheese
2 tbs of half and half or heavy cream (I have also used ricotta or marscapone basically whatever is in the house just to make the sauce creamy)
Olive oil to coat pan
Salt and Pepper to taste

Dice the mushrooms and grate the cheese
Put enough olive oil in a skillet to generously coat the bottom of the pan and put it in on medium high heat and wait until the oil starts to smoke.
Then add in the mushrooms and cook until brown and tender maybe 5 - 7 minutes. Take the mushrooms and put them in the blender or food processor. Cover them with the wine it should almost cover the mushrooms, so depending on the volume of the mushrooms the wine amounts will change. Blend until creamy. Pour the mushroom wine mixture back in the pan and add the cheese, half and half, salt and pepper. Cook until combined.

Serve over Pasta or Chicken and Pasta.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Orange Bread


This is based off of a lemon bread that I make on a regular basis. The only problem is that Patrick does not like lemon. So I have adapted this recipe so that I can make something that he can enjoy.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbs. finely grated orange zest

For the orange syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh orange juice (I used valencia oranges)

Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 1-lb. loaf pan. Or use my best friend Pam with Flour.
In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add the flour mixture along with the milk and orange zest. Beat until blended and smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
Make the orange syrup: Take the juice and sugar and reduce by half over medium high heat. Once reduced set aside to cool.
Remove the bread from the oven, using a fork or skewer, gently poke the top in several places. Slowly drizzle syrup over the hot bread. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto the rack, top side up, and let cool completely. Makes 1 loaf.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series,Muffins & Quick Breads,by John Phillip Carroll (Time-Life Books, 1993).

Peach Raspberry Muffins


3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
2 TBSP canola oil
2 small peaches, peeled, and diced
1/2 cup of frozen raspberries

Mix almond meal, flours, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl whisk together egg, vanilla extract, brown sugar, sour cream and oil. Pour egg mixture into the dry ingredients bowl and mix just until incorporated. Fold in peaches and raspberry.
Scoop muffin mix into tins, filling them ¾ of the way full. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of muffins.
Bake 400F for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.

Makes 12 Regular size Muffins

Adapted from Peach Pecan Muffins posted by Culinary Concoctions by Peabody.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Just started


Im new to this whole blogging thing but here goes. I will start posting what I make as soon as I can figure out this posting thing.

Thanks for looking.