Dinner & Dessert: Chicken and Broccoli Crepes with Marsala Sauce and Hot Fudge Crepes

Dinner & Dessert: Chicken and Broccoli Crepes with Marsala Sauce and Hot Fudge Crepes

Chicken and Broccoli Crepes

 

The other day was National Pancake Day and since crepes are pretty much thin pancakes and it was already well past breakfast, dinner crepes it was.   I have tried making crepes once or twice before but wasn’t really that great at it so I was going to just buy the pre-made ones at the market.  Of course, they didn’t have any so I decided to suck it up and just try again.  The batter is simple and they tasted great.  I can’t say that they were perfectly formed, but once you wrap them up you can’t really tell anyway so give them a try (or not if you can find them in the market and you’re in a hurry).   I used boneless, skinless thigh meat this time because Husband prefers dark meat but in the future I would cut the pieces smaller and use breast meat.  Chicken Marsala often includes mushrooms, but I left them out in my version (adapted from a recipe at World of Crepes).  

Ingredients for Chicken and Broccoli Crepes with Marsala Sauce

 

Ingredients:  

  • 2 pounds of boneless chicken breast cut into about 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 2 tablespoons herbs de provence)
  • 1½ cups Marsala wine
  • 1½ cups chicken broth (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of black pepper
  • 8 basic crepes

Making the crepes:  

Crepe Batter

 

Follow the recipe for basic crepes  

Making it in the blender mixes it well and makes it easy to pour the batter into the pan.  Placing the cooked crepes between layers of wax paper keeps them from sticking, and makes it easier to roll them up after you fill them.  

Crepes ready to fill

 

Making the Filling:  

Melt olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté chicken until golden brown (about 5 minutes on each side). Remove chicken from pan and set aside. In the same pan, sauté mushrooms (if used) and shallots until the mushrooms are caramelized and shallots are translucent. Add garlic and herbs and cook for an additional minute. Add salt and black pepper.  

Deglaze the pan with the wine and one cup of chicken broth. Combine the remaining ½ cup of broth with the cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce thickens, about two minutes. Add chicken back to pan and mix, then layer broccoli on top of the mixture so it will steam and cover. Cook for 15 minutes longer. Just before serving, if you made your crepes ahead of time reheat for 15 seconds in the microwave or until warmed. 

Ready to Roll

 

Assemble crepes: Separate the first crêpe, leaving it on the wax paper on the counter. Put a layer of the chicken and broccoli inside the crêpe along the lower part of the crêpe – I filled them quite full and made only 4 large crepes but, you could use less. (I used the rest of the crepes for dessert).  Roll up by folding the bottom of the crêpe up, then using the wax paper, roll it the rest of the way, placing two on the serving plate with the seam sides down.   Add additional mixture over the top of both crepes and serve immediately. 

 Yield: 8 servings (1 crêpe roll each) or 4 servings (2 crêpe rolls each).  

I decided to put more filling in the crepes and use the remaining ones for dessert or you could double the crêpe recipe.  Dessert is even quicker.  Warm the crepes and some hot fudge sauce (or Nutella), fold each crêpe in fourths, put it on a plate, drizzle with hot fudge and add whipped cream and cherries! 

  

Hot Fudge (or Nutella) Crepe

Pictures of Prociutto and Onion Frittata from LA Times Recipe

Pictures of Prociutto and Onion Frittata from LA Times Recipe

LA Times Recipe for Prosciutto and Onion Frittata

 

I’m very excited!  My pictures from my recent post on one of their recipes made it to the LA Times food website for the Prosciutto and Onion Frittata – you have to go all the way down to the bottom of the page in the food photos box but hey it’s the LA Times!
http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-recipeindexarchive2008,0,5938840.storygallery

The Daring Cook’s Challenge Apple Butter

The Daring Cook’s Challenge Apple Butter

Apples for Apple Butter Recipe

 

Apple Butter Pancake

The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.  

I grew up with canning.  My grandparents had an apple orchard and a huge garden, which filled the little room in the basement with jars floor to ceiling every year.  We lived near lots of farms, wild berries all around and pretty much everyone had at least a small garden – not to mention it was right next to Traverse City – the self-proclaimed Cherry Capital so there was no lack of possibilities.   I also have done it many times over the years while living in California where there is also an abundance of seasonal items and as I’ve mentioned before, I generally can hot fudge sauce every year.  I decided to go with the apple butter which definitely reminded me of my childhood picking and peeling apples with my grandmother and aunt singing and having contests to see who could get the longest strip of apple without breaking it while peeling.  

Making and canning the apple butter is really simple, much more than you would think.  You basically cook down the apples, add some sweetener and spices, put in the jars and boil.  Here’s the official recipe right from the source Eat4Fun.  I did use brown sugar in place of the sweetener, as other than me, my family doesn’t go for that.  In addition to the recipe, he has posted some fantastic background on canning and food preservation in general.  

Apples cooking

 

Steaming Apple Butter almost done

 

  

Since the apple butter alone wasn’t that photogenic, I decided to make a quick very thin pancake (use your favorite recipe with a little cinnamon added) rolled around some warmed apple butter with a few nuts and a dollop more of apple butter on top.  It was a really great breakfast although Husband still made some unflattering remarks about all the brown colors!  

Apple Butter Pancake Wrap

 

More Apples

LA Times Prosciutto and Onion Frittata

LA Times Prosciutto and Onion Frittata

Prosciutto and Onion Frittata

I was busy all day and had seen this recipe for Prosciutto and Onion Frittata from the LA Times so I gave it a try.  It’s basically an omlette, but better and you can have it immediately hot or save it for later and serve room temperature.  The recipe sounded simple and it was.  I did use a cast iron skillet and probably would use a non-stick pan next time, although it still came out without much problem.  I like my eggs well done, so for some it might be considered a little overdone but I thought it was excellent, quick and I have enough left for breakfast.  I would definitely make it again.

Prosciutto and Onion Frittata

New Orleans style Beignets

New Orleans style Beignets

Beignets

 

Beignets

 

I first made these when husband was recovering from surgery and they were such a hit, the next day and pretty much every day after that for a while, he requested “tea time” beignets (of course he was on medication and we’ve never had “tea time” anything before but it was quite amusing).   Eventually they were relegated to an occasional treat.  A big warning though, this makes a lot!  The dough is easy to work with, lasts up to a week in the refrigerator (well wrapped in plastic) and can be frozen or you can halve the recipe.  For the frying, I used either a cast iron skillet (my preference) or a large pot which was fine too, just didn’t hold the heat quite as well.  

Beignets  

  • 1/2 cup tepid water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 7 1/2 cups flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions  

  1. Place water in a small bowl and sprinkle on the yeast allowing it to stand while you do the next step.
  2. Combine the shortening, sugar, and salt in a large food processor bowl. Pour in the boiling water, pulse gently then add the evaporated milk. Cool to lukewarm then add the yeast and water and eggs.
  3. Mix in the flour in small batches, pulsing between, until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be a little on the soft side, in a dry climate probably 7 cups is enough.  
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate  30-60 minutes.
  5. Roll out the dough 1/8-inch thick using a portion about the size of an orange. Cut the dough into strips 2 to 3-inches wide, then again to make square or diamond shapes (a pizza cutter works great).
  6. Beignet Dough

     

  7. Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 360 degree F (180 degrees C).
  8. Place the dough in the oil carefully and fry until they puff up and are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes turning half way through. If they don’t rise to the surface quickly, the oil isn’t hot enough. Carefully remove to a rack with paper towels underneath and allow to cool until you can handle them. Place in a clean paper bag with confectioners’ sugar and shake gently until covered generously or, use a sifter to dust the beignets with powdered sugar.

Beignets

It’s National Chocolate Chip Day – Chocolate Chip Cherry Pecan Muffins

It’s National Chocolate Chip Day – Chocolate Chip Cherry Pecan Muffins

Fresh Cherries

 

Chocolate Chip Cherry Pecan Muffins

In honor of chocolate chip day, today’s breakfast was Chocolate Chip Cherry Pecan Muffins.  Both kids are home this week and muffins are always a favorite, easy to grab and go (since even thought they are technically home, they really aren’t here much).  In the texture continuum, these are more cookie than cake like and quite hearty, a little on the order of granola but really good. 

Ingredients

 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats (not instant)  whole grain steel-cut or old-fashioned rolled work best
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1  cups coarsely chopped cherries, about 8 ounces
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients.  Whisk together the eggs, butter and almond extract and add with the buttermilk to the dry ingredients.  When those are thoroughly mixed, add the cherries, nuts and chocolate chips.  Fill muffin cups almost to the top and sprinkle with brown sugar.  I find that larger muffin tins work the best for this recipe; the mini size is too small for the cherries and chips.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until browned and a toothpick comes out clean (except for any melted chocolate).  Cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then pop out onto a rack to finish cooling.  If you try to take them out of the pan immediately, they may fall apart.