Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer Berry Crepes

I got this crepe batter recipe off of Alton Brown's "Good Eats" and have loved it ever since. There are so many fun fillings and flavors you can combine with the crepes which make this recipe great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert =) I will say, "practice makes perfect". I had to ruin a few crepes before I figured out how to make them just right, so don't give up if you don't get it your first try. The more I make them, the easier it gets.
Also, I would suggest using a large saucepan so you have plenty of area around the outside of the crepe to work with. When I first starting makes crepes, I was using a small 12" saucepan with high sides, and trying the get a spatula underneath the crepe, and then attempt flipping it without tearing it, was nearly impossible unless I had the batter cooked just right. So start off with a bigger pan - you'll thank yourself in the long run.

Summer Berry Crepes

*Crepe batter - Sweet Variation (recipe below)
Butter to coat pan
1 lb. strawberries, sliced
6 oz. blueberries
3 bananas, sliced
2 cups vanilla yogurt
2 cups granola
ground cinnamon

For an even more decadent crepe add:
2 cups chopped pecans
maple syrup (drizzled over top finished crepe just before serving)

Once you've made your fresh crepes, begin layering: 3-4 Tbsp of yogurt, fresh fruit, granola & then sprinkle cinnamon in the center of each crepe. Gently fold over each side so that they overlap in the middle. Top off Crepe with more fresh fruit or drizzle lightly with more whipped yogurt and granola.

Crepes - Alton Brown

2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter


In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.

Heat a small non-stick pan (**I prefer a large one - Jamie) . Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.

*Savory Variation Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes to the egg mixture.

*Sweet Variation Add 21/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of your favorite liqueur to the egg mixture.

Friday, May 28, 2010

BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

Tonight, I have to say, this salad turned out to be the best salad I have ever made - the vote was unanimous! I originally got the idea for this salad when I had an almost identical salad at BJ's Brewhouse and it was de-lish!! I was hesitant to make it at first, afraid that it wouldn't compare, but much to my surprise, not only did this salad make the cut, but I would venture to say it was almost better!
I will say this, one small tip that will make a world of difference, is make sure everything is chopped to about the same size. May not sound like a big deal, but taking the extra few minutes to complete this step, will ensure that this salad is well balanced and that each bite has a little bit of every flavor!

Hope you enjoy this crisp, hearty, mouth watering BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad!

2 *Grilled Baja chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" pieces (recipe below)
1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, rinsed & chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears corn on the cob, steamed, salted & kernels removed
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
ranch dressing
head country BBQ sauce (or whatever your favorite is =)
1 cup *crispy tortilla strips (recipe to follow)
4 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro (optional for garnish)

BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

On two large plates, layer ingredients in this order:
1. chopped lettuce, 2. black beans, 3. fresh corn off the cob, 4. chopped red onion, 5. diced tomatoes, 6. shredded mozzarella, 7. chopped chicken breast, 8. drizzled ranch in one direction, 9. drizzled BBQ sauce in the opposite direction, 10. crispy tortilla strips

Grilled Baja Chicken Breast
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet of Grill Mates "Baja Citrus Marinade" seasoning
1/4 cup of vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place chicken, seasoning, olive oil and vinegar in a sealable ziploc bag. Seal and carefully rub marinade over chicken, being sure to coat both pieces evenly. Lay the bag of marinated chicken in a shallow dish and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. The longer the better =)
Remove from the fridge and allow it to rest for 30 minutes before placing on the grill. Place chicken on a medium heat grill for 4-5 minutes per side or until just cooked through, only flipping once. If the chicken immediately bounces back when gently pressing on the thickest part of the breast, then it's done and ready to take off the heat. Allow the chicken breast to rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting.

Crispy Tortilla Strips
2 soft flour tortillas (fajita size)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
pinch of salt
pinch of chili powder

Cut soft tortillas into long thin strips, about 1/4" thick and about 2" long. Heat vegetable oil in a small, non-stick skillet on medium heat. Place all of the strips into the hot skillet, turning constantly. (Be sure to keep these strips moving because they will brown quickly). As soon as the strips are just golden, remove them immediately from the stove top and place them on a paper towel-lined plate, spreading them out so they can dry evenly. While they're still hot, immediately season with salt and chili powder.

Serves 2 X-large salads or 4 medium salads