Summer Vegetable Crêpes

Crêpes

Today I decided to try my hand at crêpes. What I like most about these delicious French pancakes is that you could probably eat them at every time of day: breakfast, dessert, snack, even lunch and dinner! Today’s recipe is crêpes with a ricotta and vegetable filling.

Crêpes

In the past, I have never had much luck with pancakes; either the heat is too low or too high, the batter too lumpy, etc. I was cautious about trying to make crêpes because of this but the other day I had some lovely crêpes at a friend’s house and decided to give it a try. This recipe in particular looked interesting because the filling was something other than strawberries and chocolate or ham and cheese, the two most popular crêpes I know of.

Crêpes

I made my crêpes and although they were not the best I have ever seen, they had a nice taste to them and a light golden color to them.  I think next time I make them, I will try a smaller pan so that I can make smaller crêpes. After the crêpes were made, I assembled the sauce and filling.

Crêpes

The recipe called for a sauce of sour cream, milk, lemon juice and chives. Mine turned out quite runny so I recommend a little less milk. Making the filling was rather easy; all I had to do was combine ricotta cheese with lemon zest and Parmesan cheese. The original recipe called for ricotta cheese and Monterrey Jack cheese but I decided to change it up a bit.

Crêpes

Sauteing the vegetables went smoothly; in no time they were cooked through and ready for the addition of the ricotta mixture. I chose to use peas instead of green beans if only because I prefer the former but they actually gave a nice taste to the filling. Once the filling was done, I added some to each crêpe and rolled them up. The reviews were unanimous: this was a darn good crêpe recipe! The corn added such a sweetness and the zucchini gave them a little crunch. The addition of the lemon zest to the riccotta combined the flavors nicely and gave it a freshness. Give it a try, if you have any comments on the recipe, leave them below. Bon Appetit! Continue reading

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Quiche aux Champignons

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What’s a better way to start a meal than with egg, cheese, and mushrooms bundled in a pastry shell? For our second recipe, we head west to France in search of quiche.

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Julia Child has always been one of my biggest idols. Last year, I was given her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her explanations aren’t super wordy or difficult to understand and every page has pictures so you know exactly what you are doing.

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When I started on the crust this morning, I was concerned. It didn’t have difficult ingredients, but the directions called for quick speed because otherwise the butter would melt. After the dough had been perfected and placed in the freezer for an hour and been rolled out, it was ready to bake and the tough part was over.

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Then the real fun could begin: the filling. After mincing the shallots and lightly browning them, the mushrooms and lemon were added.Then the mixture was incorporated with the cream and eggs. I did it slowly, adding a spoonful at a time. With a little bake time, only the enjoying would remain.

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This quiche browned nicely in the oven and left the kitchen smelling like heaven. One bite and it felt like I was floating on a cloud; the eggs were so fluffy! I didn’t think the lemon would add much but it really lightened the flavor and emphasized the mushrooms. Next time, I might try making mini quiches, they might be more appetizer friendly. Bon Appetit! Continue reading

Tomato Bruschetta

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I’m one quarter Italiano and have grown up savoring a variety of Italian dishes. I first tried bruschetta when I was nine or ten and it has remained one of the few dishes that includes tomatoes that I really love. I chose this dish as my first recipe because I’ve seen it made before and it seemed like a good jumping off point.

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After exploring my family’s vast cupboard of cookbooks, I decided to go back to basics with William Sonoma’s Essentials of Italian cookbook. Of all the recipes I found, this seemed the most authentic. It was very straightforward; requiring only six ingredients. As I got everything I needed out and prepared, I thought this recipe would be too easy.

Image The recipe called for the tomatoes to be cored and seeded, both of which I had never attempted before. With some research, I found an easy way to accomplish this; first cut your tomato into four pieces and then take a 1/4 teaspoon and scoop out the seeds. I then tore the basil and added the salt; my tomato mixture was ready to go.

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The recipe also called for the bread to be grilled but I chose to use the broiler feature in my oven instead. On my first try, my oven was too hot and the pan was too close to the top of the oven. My bread was badly burned and I started again. My second time, the bread turned a crispy golden brown, perfect to keep the bread from getting soggy later on. I rubbed the bread with garlic and was ready to plate!

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Overall, I enjoyed the simplicity of this recipe. The flavors were fresh and I liked that the garlic was spread over the bread instead being minced with the tomato and basil. The touch of olive oil over the top was just the right amount. Instead of using large tomatoes, I used campari tomatoes which are slightly smaller and sweeter. With past recipes, the tomatoes have carried too much liquid and have softened the bread too much. By removing the seeds and crisping up the bread, this was avoided.

ImageMy reviewer gave this recipe a 7/10 and suggested adding a little more salt and trying a smaller bread. A lot of recipes today do call for baguette-sized pieces of bread and next time I might try that. Although I used 1/4 teaspoon of salt, next time I might make it a 1/2 teaspoon instead, for flavor. This recipe taught me knife skills, oven skills, and how to plate a dish. Give it a try, if you have any comments on the recipe, leave them below. Bon Appetit! Continue reading