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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Julia Child, Here I Come

Evening, friends!

It was another sleep in day for yours truly, and I hope all of you got your night's worth of sleep as well. I feel so bad for the people around me right now, because my nose has been glued to the copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking I got yesterday at Barnes and Noble. I attempted to make an Omelet using the incredibly in depth description (3 whole pages!) given in the egg chapter. It didn't go well.

No, I didn't take pictures. That wouldn't really make me look idiotic. But, get this, today's theme in cooking class was... FRENCH! I had a chance to redeem myself. Let's do this.

So I think you may be disappointed in me. I didn't take pictures during the class, and I didn't dig out my camera when I lightened some of the recipes for dinner when I got home. Sorry.

But I do plan on making up for it. Video, pics, and me rambling on is coming your way. (Does anyone know how to upload videos on to here? I might need some time...) 

Prepare for the following recipes I plan to lighten up for you all (this was the menu in class today): Crepes w/ strawberries and cream, Ratatouille w/ chickpeas and couscous, French onion soup, and Salmon and vegetables en papillion (in paper.)  

So after class, I went back to Bennett's. I should be more embarrassed that I've gone to the same place for fro yo three days in a row, but I'm not. It's just so creamy, perfectly sweetened, and good.

But you'd all be really proud of me. I ordered something new. (NO, it wasn't because my beloved blueberry cheesecake was switched out with something else. OK, maybe it was. OK, it was.) I think this was called creamy orange, or orange vanilla, or something among those lines.

OK, so for dinner I went home and made a healthier version of the crepes and onion soup we made in class. Or I really should say I tried.

The crepes were good, and so was the soup. But for the soup, the onions didn't caramelize right and the finished product had burned bits of onion in it. Not quite recipe worthy, but I hope to perfect and get the recipe to you all soon. So for the crepes, I only used the actual batter and filled them with ham and cheese instead of strawberries and cream. Ready?

Ham and Swiss Crepes
Serves 2 relatively hungry people
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup liquid egg whites (or about 4 actual egg whites)
dash of salt
1/2 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1/4-1/2 cup of fat free Swiss cheese (lifetime is pretty much your only decent option)
about 1-2 ounces lean ham (I wouldn't know. I didn't weigh it, but I think I used about 5 thin slices.)

Put egg whites in a blender and pulse 1-2 times. Add flour, almond milk, and salt and pulse until smooth. Cover and let batter sit at least 30 minutes (do not skip this step.)

Heat a small pan over medium-high heat. Note: I wouldn't use your best pans for this job. The use of nonstick spray may ware down that fancy pot you may have, so just to be safe, you that Target pot you got for 5.99. Don't pretend you don't have it. Spritz pan with nonstick spray and, using a small ladle or medium serving spoon, pour a few tablespoons of batter into the pan and quickly tilt the pan so a thin layer of batter goes all over the surface of the skillet.

Use a rubber or offset spatula to loosen the edges of the crepes and carefully flip. (Because of its thin-ness, the crepe will cook very quickly.) Remove from pan and repeat with remaining batter. Put them between layers of parchment paper to prevent the crepes from sticking together.

For the filling, you can do this a few ways. If you want a stuffed pancake type thing, take one of your cooked crepes, put it in the pan, sprinkle some cheese on it, rip the ham slices into bite sized pieces and put that on top, cover with another crepe, and carefully flip. When the other side is slightly more brown than it was before, you're done.

If you want a quesadilla type folded over thing; when you're cooking the crepe, when you're doing the second side after you've flipped the crepe once, sprinkle some cheese and bite sized pieces of ham and fold over. Wait a moment for cheese to melt, plate, and repeat. YUM!

Maybe I'll take better pics tomorrow. ;)


-Kelly M.

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