Saturday, March 27, 2010

Food For Friday: Chicken & Asparagus Crepes

Ever since the summer in college that I spent in Greece, I've loved crepes.  Savory crepes, dessert crepes, any crepes.  When we got married, I registered for a crepe pan and I'm so glad I did.  Having the right tools in the kitchen makes a big difference in the ease of cooking from scratch, and a crepe pan makes homemade crepes easy.  These chicken and asparagus crepes are creamy and flavorful, and the savory crepes are just the right consistency, not stiff, but not chewy. 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Savory Crepes:

3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a small bowl, combine flour and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg, egg yolk, and butter.  Gradually add flour mixture to milk mixture, whisking until smooth.

Heat a crepe pan or 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon 2 1/2 tablespoons of batter into skillet; cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until lightly browned.  Loosen crepe with a spatula, and carefully flip over.  Cook for 30 to 45 seconds; transfer to plate.  Repeat with remaining batter, stacking crepes on a plate.


2 tablespoons butter
1 can cream of chicken soup (can also substitute cream of mushroom soup)
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon white cooking wine
1/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
1 cup chopped cooked chicken
8 asparagus spears, steamed until crisp-tender
Savory Crepes, recipe follows
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (I used diced slices because I had cheese left from another recipe)

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and tender.  Stir in the cream of chicken soup, white wine, fontina cheese and chicken.  Cook until cheese is melted.

Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture down the center of each crepe. Place 2 asparagus spears over chicken mixture. Fold edges of crepe over filling, and place, seam side up, in prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup Swiss cheese over crepes. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crepes are hot.

(Adapted from a Food Network Recipe)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fun in the Big Apple

What we've been up to.....

More photos coming soon!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Food For Friday: Peanut Butter Fudge Cake from Bakerella

When I first saw this recipe on Bakerella, I just knew I had to try it.  I love peanut butter cups and chocolate, so the rich chocolate and peanut butter of this dessert sounded delicious.  It did not disappoint!  The only change I made to the recipe was in adding the icing.  Rather than spreading the ganache icing on the sides of the cake, I allowed it to drip over the sides for a different look.


1 box Duncan Hine's devil's food cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2  cup vegetable oil
2 cups chopped Reese's peanut butter cups (about 8 ounces), plus more to garnish
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.  Trace the pan on wax paper and cut out a round to fit into the bottom of each pan.  Lay wax paper circle in the bottom and coat paper with another layer of nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high; beat for 2 minutes, scraping down side of the bowl after 1 minute. Fold in 2 cups of the chopped peanut butter cups.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 34 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let layers cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto wire racks, peel off the wax paper, and cool completely.

Place chopped dark chocolate in a medium-size bowl. Bring cream just to a boil and pour over chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts. Add peanut butter and whisk until smooth.

Put 1 cake layer on the serving dish or cake plate. Pour 1 cup frosting on top; spread evenly with a spatula. Top with remaining cake layer.  If your cakes are really rounded on top, you may need to trim top off with a serrated knife to flatten.  Pour remaining frosting over the top, allowing it to spill over the sides. Smooth top and with a spatula, allowing extra to run down the sides.  Refrigerate 1 hour to set. Garnish with chopped candy, if desired.

*Note, the 1 hour refrigeration step is important to keep the top layer from sliding off the bottom layer, especially if you are going to travel with the cake!
You can also use 2 six inch pans, and make 8 cupcakes, with the batter.  Use 2 cups of batter in each 6 inch pan, and fill 8 cupcake liners 3/4 full.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Food For Friday: Sesame Chicken & Noodles

I saw this recipe in a magazine and ripped out the page to try it.  I am always on the lookout for new dishes with Asian flavors.  For the noodles, you can use Nobu noodles or whole wheat spaghetti, but I would definitely recommend using the Nobu noodles, even if it means finding your local Asian market.  They have a great flavor and texture and add a lot to this dish.  I would recommend these noodles if you are in the mood to make a Chinese take-out style dinner at home.  It has a good nutty sesame flavor, but don't expect the sauce to be like Chinese take-out sesame chicken.

 (This recipe was adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.) 

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. Asian garlic chili sauce (This adds quite a spicy kick!  If you don't like it spicy, or are going to serve it to kids, I would definitely recommend trying 1 tsp. and adding more to your taste.)
3 large cooked chicken breasts, chopped into bite size strips
12 oz. dried udon noodles or whole wheat spaghetti (*see note)
3 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
2 medium sweet red or yellow peppers
1 cup broccoli, chopped 
fresh cilantro
sprinkling of sesame seeds

Chop 3 large chicken breasts into bite size strips.  Saute until cooked through and lightly browned.

In a medium bowl, stir together rice vinegar, green onions, honey, soy sauce, ginger & garlic-chili sauce.  Add cooked chicken & stir to coat.  Set aside to allow flavors to meld.  Steam broccoli.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water about 8 minutes until just tender.  Drain noodles well & return to pan.  Drizzle with the toasted sesame oil and toss well to coat.  Add the chicken mixture & broccoli and toss to combine.  Heat through.

Put into serving bowls.  Top with pepper strips and fresh cilantro & sprinkle with sesame seeds.

*Note:  We purchased Japanese Udon Noodles from our local Asian market.  I have not found them in any of our chain grocery stores.  This package came with pre-bundled noodles.  I used 3 bundles for this recipe.  There is also a Chinese version of Udon Noodles, but I have not tried them, so I can't tell you how similar they are.