Archive for December, 2011


Crepes

Ah, crepes. My first taste ever of French cuisine, way back when I was just a pudgy kid who thought McDonald’s was fine dining.

Believe me, my opinion on that one changed, and fast.

Been making this dish for a number of years, and I have yet to serve it to anyone who didn’t like it. That might change, though – I’m making this for the co-workers as a little Christmas-type gift, and they’re notoriously reluctant to try new things. Then again, they’re also rather fond of most of my creations, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Enjoy!

Crepes

2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup & 1 tbsp flour
1 tsp oil
salt

Beat eggs, then add milk, flour and salt. Beat all ingredients until smooth, and let sit for at least one hour before cooking.
Heat a 6 inch frying pan, grease with a few drops of oil, and pour in 2 to 2 1/2 tbsp of batter. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is lightly browned and the top is dry. Turn over and brown the other side. Add a little oil as needed to cook the rest of the batter.

Crepe sauce

2 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp flour
2 cups light cream

In saucepan, melt margarine, then blend in the flour. Cook over low heat, stirring until bubbly. Remove from heat, stir in the cream. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for one minute. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm.

Filling

1 can mushrooms, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups light cream
2 cups cooked chicken
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
Nutmeg

Cook and stir mushrooms and red pepper in butter until tender. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is bubbly. Slowly stir in chicken broth and cream. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute. Stir in chicken; heat through.
Heat oven to 350C. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture on each crepe; roll up. Place seam side down in 2 ungreased baking dishes, 11 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches. Cover with crepe sauce; top with cheese and nutmeg. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

You can also substitute 2 cups chicken broth for 1 cup chicken broth & 1 cup white wine. Gives it a nice flavor.

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Christmas cheesecake

I love cheesecake. I love the flavor, I love the texture, I love the fact that you can put pretty much anything you want into it and it will taste fantastic.

A while back, I got it into my head that I should make mini cheesecakes. Just seemed like an easier way to share my experiments with more people. I probably could have made due with muffin pans, but I saw these nifty little mini-cheesecake pans online, and decided that I needed them.

I mean, come on – they have removable bottom plates to help get the cakes out. Who WOULDN’T want to have them?

In any case, I was having some difficulty finding the bloody things. Checked all the big name stores, and found squat. At this point, where my OCD was about to set off my anger control issues, a friend suggested that I check out a local specialty kitchen store before I broke something (or someone).

Found the pans (which were damned bloody expensive!) and churned out some cheesecake. The guinea pigs loved it, I loved it, and all the effort I put into finding the pans was worth it.

http://www.norpro.com/store/products/nonstick-mini-cheesecake-pan

Flash forward to now: since the holidays are upon us, I decided to make some “Christmasy” cheesecakes to distribute to my fans. The most Christmasy ingredient I could think of was candy canes, and things just sort of snowballed from there. Enjoy!

2 8 oz blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 blocks Baker’s white chocolate, melted
6 candy canes, crushed into pieces
2 1/2 cups grahm cracker or Oreo crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees C.
In a medium bowl, combine the butter and crumbs. Lightly grease the pans, and press 2 tbsp of the mixture into each cup.
Add cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat together until light and fluffy.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler and fold into cream cheese mixture.
Fold in candy canes.
Spoon a couple of tbsp of filling into each cup, almost to the top. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before removing the cakes from the pans.

Makes 24 mini cheesecakes (if you have those pans)

You could also use muffin/cupcake tins (with paper liners), but I don’t know how many this recipe would make. You could also make a normal sized (9 inch spring form pan) cheesecake, but I would add another block of cream cheese, another egg, increase the candy canes to 1/2 cup, decrease the crumbs and butter by half, and probably throw in another block or two of the white chocolate. But hey, that’s just me.