Saturday, 10 March 2012

Mustard Chicken Crepes with Caramelized Onions and Spinach

I was digging through my personal-notes cookbook today to find out what I wanted to make for my birthday dinner, when I found this recipe.  I first made it in 2008, and I've only made it a couple of times since then - I'm not sure why.  These crepes are amazing.  The strong flavors mix really well together - from the mustard sauce on the chicken to the deep caramelized onions and flavorful Gruyere.  I love them so much.  They are a little bit of work to make, but not really hard.  Just a few different dishes that you keep warm until the end when you throw it all together.  

Here they are for all to enjoy!

Mustard Chicken Crepes with 
Caramelized Onions and Spinach

Other Ingredients not listed in the recipes:
  • Gruyere Cheese
  • Fresh or frozen spinach to saute

Whole Wheat Dinner Crepes
  • 3/4C whole wheat flour (buckwheat is traditional)
  • 1/4C white flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1C milk
  • 1C water
  1. Beat the egg in a medium mixing bowl.  Add the flours, then the liquids, whisking to remove all the lumps (a blender is awesome here).  Refrigerate at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.
  2.  To Cook - Have all your fillings hot and ready.  Whisk crepe batter before using.
  3. Heat a 12" skillet over medium heat.  Rub the end of a stick of butter over the skillet, then wipe with a paper towel.  Pour enough batter into the skillet, while swirling, to coat the bottom.
  4. Cook the first side until golden, then carefully flip.  When both sides are done, slide onto a plate, fill, fold and enjoy!
 Mustard Chicken
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2C butter
  • 1 shallot, chopped (or 1 onion)
  • 1/2C chardonnay (or vermouth)
  • 1/2C chicken broth
  • 2T dijon mustard
  • 2T stone ground mustard (I usually end up doubling both the mustards)
  • 1/4C lemon juice
  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and saute the chicken until browned.  Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Stir the shallot into remaining butter and saute until tender.  Mix in chardonnay, chicken broth and mustards.
  3. Return chicken to skillet, stir well, cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.  Mix in lemon juice just before serving.  Keep hot.
  • I usually make this in my crepe skillet a couple of hours early, then transfer to another pot to re-heat just before serving.
Caramelized Onions
  • 3 onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 2T butter
  • chardonnay
  1.  Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add onions and saute until they begin to stick and burn - about 10-15 minutes.  
  2. Deglaze with some chardonnay and continue to saute until they are wilted and browned - about 20-25 minutes total.  Keep warm.
Sautee fresh or frozen spinach until hot (about 1/3C per person)

To Serve
  1. Have all ingredients prepared and hot.  Prepare crepes.  As each one is completed, place on a warm plate.  
  2. Place about 1/2C chicken down the center of the crepe.  Spread spinach along the chicken, sprinkle with a good amount of shredded Gruyere, then fold the 2 sides up over the middle - press briefly to melt the cheese and make the sides stick.  
  3. Place a line of caramelized onions cross-wise on top, and serve.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce With Canning Directions

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce 
With Canning Directions

Hi All!  This year, I will be "putting up" lots of vegetables, most of them being tomatoes.  So before my kitchen starts overflowing with fruit, I'm spending some time finding recipes I really like.  Today I'm trying Spaghetti Sauce.

The original recipe is from the USDA.  I altered it a bit and did the forbidden - I increased the amount of bell peppers and onions!  GASP!  I'm sure we will all die now.  I did chop them finely in the food processor so they can cook themselves to death and get rid of all those pesky germies.  Also, since I'm doing this in winter, and don't have 30lbs of tomatoes, I'm using 4 pints of tomatoes I canned a while back - the recipe below is for a 1/2 batch.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce, without meat - for Pressure Canning

Olive Oil Spray (or 1Tablespoon oil - I used spray)
4 pints of crushed or diced tomatoes (I weighed the tomatoes and it was 8lbs - original recipe called for
           7.5lbs fresh - i might have too many tomatoes for the rest of the ingredients...)
1/4C chopped onion (I used 1 whole onion)
1/4C bell peppers, diced (I used 1 whole pepper)
1 clove garlic, minced
2Tablespoons chopped fresh basil (I added this ingredient)
1Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1.5 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
.5 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf (I added this one too)
1Tablespoon brown sugar (optional, if necessary)

Spray large pot with EVOO spray or add oil.  Saute onions and peppers until tender.  I whirred mine in the food processor to make them as small as my crushed tomatoes.  When tender, add the remaining ingredients, except sugar.

Simmer, stirring frequently, until "serving thickness", which should be reduced about 1/2.  Neat trick for this - use a dry erase marker (or even permanent) to make a mark on the outside of your pot at about the level of your sauce.  Then you know when it's reduced by half!  It washes right off - even a sharpie.

Ladle into well washed, hot jars.  Wipe rims, fix lids, place in pressure canner with 2-3" of simmering water.  Lock lid onto canner, increase heat to high, and time 10 minutes after steam pours out of the vent.  Place the weight onto canner and process as per below.  When the time is elapsed, turn off heat and allow to cool naturally until pressure is zero.  Remove jars to a towel or cooling rack and do not disturb for at least 12 hours.  Check to see that lids are sealed, wipe jars off with a wet cloth, label and store.

Pints - 20min @ 10lbs (15lbs for above 1,000ft)
Quarts - 25min @ 10lbs (15lbs for above 1,000ft)