Food Flight

An aviator's culinary adventures

Crepes Again January 25, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,Dessert — flyingbubble @ 1:01 am
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My dad flew into town this weekend so he could take one of our cars back to California.  It was great to see him but sad because it will be a while before we get together again.  He landed after 11pm on Friday night, so Red, mom and I stayed up to go get him (Red was definitely grumpy being up past his bedtime).  Fully expecting to sleep in on Saturday morning, Red woke me up around 8 and coaxed me into to walking and feeding him.  Around 9 we decided to go wake up the parents with slobbery kisses (well only Red did the kissing).  My sleepy dad rolls over and inquires about what we might be having for breakfast.  Naturally, my mother volunteers me to cook and starts listing meals that I know how to make!  (Apparently I’m the designated cook in the family now… didn’t see that coming when I started this blog).  My dad said that crepes sounded good, clearly unaware of the requirement for the batter to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.  Aiming to please, I agreed to cook and went to work on the batter figuring that the refrigeration was a guideline and not a rule.  My second hurdle that morning was a lack of butter… and when cooking from Julia Child’s book, that qualifies as a disaster.

I found a partial stick in my mom’s butter serving dish so I just threw that in the batter and hoped it would be close enough to the 5 Tbs I needed.  After blending the batter and putting in the fridge, it occurred to me that my mom wanted to “fill” the crepes with butter and sugar.  The only butter we had left was laced with tarragon from a steak cook out we’d had over the holidays.  With my tail between my legs, I walked back to my parents room and announced that breakfast would be delayed because I needed to run to the store for butter.  My mom went with so I could just run in and out quickly.  While at the store, I also grabbed a couple oranges, green onions and mushrooms.  I started making the crepes (the batter probably chilled for about 45 minutes) and the process was far from smooth sailing.  I couldn’t seem to get the temperature right, or keep the pan at the same temperature.  I only adjusted the temperature knob once in the beginning but the crepes alternated between cooking super fast and super slow.  Some of them were a deep dark brown color that could possibly be construed as black, and some barely had any brown but some faint tan spots on both sides.  I’m attributing the cooking difficulties to the mystery amount of butter in the batter and the lack of time for the ingredients to “settle” in the fridge.  There’s just no way it could have been my fault!! (haha).  My mom made orange sugar for the filling by rubbing the sugar in orange peels (Julia’s recommendation) and zesting the two large oranges into the sugar.  Despite the struggles the result was delicious and most wouldn’t notice that there had been any problems in the kitchen.

Once I finished filling the crepes I tossed the sliced mushrooms into the pan and after sufficiently sauteing them, I added chopped green onions and then egg whites (with one whole egg added).  Seasoned with salt and Pepper and scrambled the eggs.  Over all it was a delicious breakfast!  Green onions and mushrooms are one of my favorite veggie combos to scramble with eggs or add to an omelette. Enjoy the pictures.

And, the funny picture of the day: I screwed up one of the crepes pretty badly and it resembled scrambled eggs.  I photographed the anomaly and dubbed it “scrambled crepe”! (My mom added butter and sugar and ate it anyway).

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Baked Couscous Chicken January 16, 2010

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — flyingbubble @ 6:45 pm
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This is another Weight Watchers recipe with a slighty spicy twist of my own (no one should be surprised at that).  I love my chili parmesan chicken that baked perfectly every time but if I want to join the ranks of culinary masters (haha, kidding) I need to expand the “poultry” section of my mental cookbook.  This recipe looked tasty and I already had all the ingredient (except the chicken of course) in the fridge.  I’d like to point out a trend in my cooking for those who haven’t noticed, I prefer to adapt the recipe or choose the recipe based on the ingredients I already have at home.  I believe the better term for that is “lazy” culinary master (haha, kidding again) uh how about… “lazy learning to cook girl”.  Sounds like a super hero right? Okay, maybe not.  My mom and I both loved this meal!  It was really great.  I added some spicy red peppers from the grocery store becuase the meal would have been boring without the spiciness.  The couscous is actually unnecessary but if you’re like me and happen to love the micro pasta balls it’s a great addition to the chicken.  Alright, here is the recipe, I cooked the chicken for less time because I had smaller pieces so be aware of your chicken size or watch the cooking carefully.

Before the Oven

INGREDIENTS:

2 teaspoons olive oil

4 (4oz) skinned, boned chicken breast halves

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup sliced green onions

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 medium tomato, chopped

1/2 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth, undiluted

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (I never measure this, I love pepper)

1 sprig fresh thyme

4 cups hot cooked couscous (I used whole wheat)

After the Oven (notice the bubbles from boiling liquid)

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Coat a 2-quart casserole dish or ovenproof Dutch oven with cooking spray and add oil; place over medium-high heat until hot.  Add chicken, and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until chicken is lightly browned.  Add garlic, and cook 1 to 2 additional minutes, stirring often.

(I didn’t have those crazy dishes so I fried the chicken in a skillet and move the chicken and garlic to a casserole dish for the oven)

2.  Stir in green onions and next 5 ingredients.  Cover and bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes or until chicken in tender.

3. Place 1 cup of couscous on each of 4 individual serving plates; spoon chicken mixture evenly over couscous. (Make sure you get the liquid it flavors the couscous nicely). Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition: (per serving) 369 calories, 46.4g carbohydrate, 4.9g fat, 3.5g fiber, 35.1g protein, 66mg cholesterol, 98mg sodium, 41mg calcium