Friday, February 1, 2013

Crepes and Chicken Picatta for January Tapas Night

  I guess I never grew up all the way, cause I graduated from making mud pies to chicken pies and beyond.  The only difference is that my stuff is pretty much edible these days.    I made some Orange Dream Crepes and also some Chicken Piccata bites for Tapas this month.  (OK, so I know it's now February, this was a busy crazy week)   I was inspired, sorta by a picture I saw in passing of a Crepe and I got that AHA!!!!! moment and then I breathed again.  

I made Crepes, two ways, and let me tell you,  I had adventures in the kitchen, sigh.  It really wasn't my day.  But I persevered and got through it.    

For starters I had spotted a box of Gluten Free pancake mix in the store last week, and decided to use them as a base for some crepes.   I knew I had a couple of people coming who eat gluten free, and thought it would be nice to offer that to them.   The mix I found is by Maple Grove Farms, and they are delicious, but they don't lend themselves to crepes very easily.   They puff up way too much.     As I said before, I had adventures.   I was trying to mix the egg and milk together and decided to get out my little immersion blender and use the whisk attachment on it, well, the bowl was a little shallow and I ended up with a tidal wave of egg and milk all over the counter, the floor, dripping down the cabinets and also on me.  So, I ended up having to add more of both to the mix.    Got that cleaned up and then I discovered that the gluten free pancakes/crepes need to be cooked a little differently than regular pancakes.   A lower heat and longer cooking time, otherwise they just burn and stick and make a heck of a mess.    Oh well, they did taste good.    Oh and did I mention, they puffed up really well?

I also made standard crepes, the recipe is below, and they did turn out well.   I've been making crepes this way for just about forever, and never had a fail yet.   Because I don't put sugar in them, they are suitable for savoury fillings as well.    
Basic Crepes

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter

Whisk it all together and let sit for about ten minutes, then heat your pan and spray with some non stick spray.  Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into pan, and then pick up the pan and spread the batter out by tilting the pan and rotating it in a circular motion, making sure you don't tip it over.

This spreads out the very thin batter.  Let cook for about a minute or so or until the top looks dry, then flip over and cook the other side.   Remove the cooked crepe to a pan and continue until all the batter is used.   I got about a dozen crepes I think out of this.   I didn't want really big ones, cause, gee it is Tapas and it should be finger type food.

Make the crepes, and either  layer them on wax paper or just fold them into quarters right away, either way works.  The reason for the wax paper, it keeps them from sticking to each other when you finally get ready to put them together.    And Saturday, I had adventures in the kitchen. sigh. 

I first came up with this filling some years ago.   It tastes rich and decadent and wonderful, but really isn't that fattening.  And it's kinda good for you as well.
8 oz. Cream Cheese (low fat works well here
2  small containers of Orange flavoured Yoghurt, the 5 oz size
1 cup confectioners sugar (start with a half cup and then add more to taste)
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (more if you like, to taste)
10 oz. can Mandarin Oranges (drained, reserve the syrup for something else or discard)
 or two fresh mandarin oranges, sectioned and with membrane removed

Whisk it all together and then fold in one can mandarin oranges (or fresh orange sections would be awesome as well).   Reserve a couple of pieces for decorations.   Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
 Serve with a spoon so your guests can just put it together however they wish.   This is yummy.

I also made Chicken Picatta, but made it into small bite size pieces.    And there I had adventures as well.

I was being so careful, I didn't want a mess, just wanted to saute the chicken in pieces, put them aside, make the sauce and serve it.   So, I put the seasoned flour in a ziploc bag, shook the chicken breast pieces to coat them and proceeded to saute them in small batches in some butter and olive oil.   Well, wouldn't you just know it, I put the bag, the plastic bag, full of flour and a couple of chicken pieces right on top of a hot burner, and proceeded to get flour all over my newly cleaned stove, the just washed floor and myself.   Cause my first response was to jerk the bag off of the burner and of course it was TOO LATE!!!  it had melted already.    Luckily for me, I only had a couple pieces of chicken in the bag, but there was more than enough flour.   Did you know that flour seems to expand exponentially when it hits the air and stove top and floor?    By the time I got that mess sorted out, I'd managed to scorch the couple of pieces of chicken in the pan.   Which my dog was very grateful for, cause she got to eat them.   But I got the mess cleaned up, and it all worked out.
It did leave me wondering if maybe someone had set up a Candid Camera somewhere in the kitchen and then proceeded to sabotage stuff.   Oh, well, if you can't have the occasional adventure, life just gets dull.  

So there you have my latest adventures, sigh.  

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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