Spent pretty much the whole day cooking and baking (and cleaning up after myself)…just as I wanted to do, but I hadn’t quite wanted to do it literally all day. However, the fruits of my labor were indeed sweet and it was worth it. I made the savory crepes with a filling made with a sautée of onions, chicken, mushroom, peas and bacon folded in with a roux-based sauce (a roux is basically butter and flour whisked around in a sauce pan — you gradually add liquid to it to make a sauce with a thick consistency — those French, they have sexy words for everything!). I used this recipe as my jumping point, to give me an idea of how I was to get the whole affair together. The filling in the recipe is just bacon and mushroom, but I felt that that was a bit boring, so I decided to add the chicken, peas and mushrooms. The recipe also didn’t say to drizzle any sauce on the crepes, but I felt like crepes without a bit of sauce drizzled on are just too naked-looking.
Filling with chicken, peas, mushroom, bacon and onions blended in with the roux-based sauce.
Not very colorful, I realize, but they taste good!
For the sauce that I drizzled over the crepes, I just made another batch of the sauce used in the filling, added seasonings to it (salt, pepper) and some leftover parmesan cheese from the “Pasta Mama” project that I grated directly into the sauce, adding according to taste.
There was a lot of improv going on when cooking this dish. My mom often cooks the same way, never following the recipe directly, doing her own thing when she feels like it. I think you just have to listen to your gut when it comes to these things. Anyway, everything was coming along swimmingly, sautéeing the chicken, bacon, peas and mushrooms, putting together the roux…but of course, something has to go wrong. Things were going too right. And so the disaster happened when making the crepes. Of course.
Since I’d made crepes a long time ago, I figured this would be no sweat. But I was proven wrong, as the first 3 or 4 crepes sadly went straight to the trash because I could not for the life of me figure out how to flip them without destroying them!!! I remember reading in Julie & Julia about how Julie agonized over flipping crepes without the use of a spatula and instead using a flick of the wrist, but I wasn’t into fancy tricks. Give me a spatula any day. More straightforward and direct. I read somewhere tonight that making crepes takes a lot of patience. Well. Running out of patience and batter, I decided to salvage the later ones by very carefully trying (and somewhat succeeding) not to end up folding them in half when attempting to flip. I even (stupidly) tried using my fingers to lift the bastards myself to turn them over. Not the best idea, but when you have a guest waiting to dig in, you start being willing to sacrifice a few fingertips here and there. Anyway, I managed to come out with enough crepes to fill the pan as pictured above, with absolutely no leftover batter to spare (I knew I shouldn’t have halved the recipe!). PS, I also used a different crepe recipe from the one they use in the recipe above. Full of improv, like I said…
So the crepes gave me a bit of trouble, but overall the end result was fantastic. It was exactly how I had wanted it to taste.
I had some uberly-ripe bananas and decided to make oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookies — just a variation on the oatmeal cookies I made previously, only this time adding a cup of the mashed uberly-ripe bananas. Came out good. The smell when baking vaguely smelled of banana bread and the taste was similar to banana bread, and my friend kept eating them. They came out very soft too.
To top off the evening, I baked the cake for my co-worker after my friend left. Tomorrow is the assembly. I still haven’t decided how I’m going to decorate it, but I think the fondant ribbon is out of the question — I tried a “practice” run tonight and I wasn’t liking what I was seeing. Anyway I’m sure I’ll figure something out.
It’s about 1AM already and I’m still awake, but tired from my cooking and baking marathon. To sum up, this weekend I managed to do a version of “Pasta Mama”, made a fruit tart, savory crepes, oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookies, AND the beginnings of a birthday cake… I wonder how many calories baking and cooking burns?