For Mark's 16th birthday, I planned a special dinner menu. Well, a day in advance as his birthday fell on Sunday, we were going for Chinese lunch buffet to his favourite restaurant. I had to keep in mind his likes and dislikes(he loves Italian food, dislikes Indian veggie dishes!). I also had to keep in mind the taste with no extra fat. So I prepared a 3-course dinner for him. It wasn't a surprise as he only knew what I was making for him. I prepared roasted mushroom soup, garlic breadsticks, grilled chicken with herbs with saffron sauce and warmed veggie salad. For dessert, I was thinking about making something very special for him. And I chose to make crepes - strawberry cream filled crepes. We all enjoyed the dinner so much, he couldn't stop hugging and kissing and thanking me for so many hours!
Roasted mushroom soup
1/2 lb. each Portobello, cremini and button mushrooms-coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2-3 big garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4-5 cups chicken broth
Heavy cream as required
Roast all the mushrooms, onion and garlic with olive oil in 400° F oven for about an hour. Puree them well. Keep aside.
Mix with chicken stock, salt and pepper. Add or reduce the stock to get the consistency to your liking.
Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes and serve hot with croutons(optional) on the top.
For crepes, I used plain old recipe from Alton Brown from food network. I love the man's cooking! Didn't want to change the recipe a bit. So I follow the steps religiously and as a result, got fluffy, soft crepes.
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
Butter, for coating the pan
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. 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.
For the filling, I had to use my imagination. There are so many recipes available on the web. I didn't want to use any of them. I wanted to come up with my own recipe. Finally, I thought of this and boy, the result was strawberryliciously lip smacking!!!
Strawberry crème crepe filling:
Mix 1/2 packet of strawberry Jell-o with 2 cups Hunts vanilla pudding and 1 cup Cool Whip. Place it in a plastic bag with the plain nozzle. Pipe into the crepes, fold the crepes and arrange on a serving platter. Garnish with powdered sugar, a dollop of Cool Whip and a sliced strawberry.
I tried to present it two different ways. Loved them both!
Main course was grilled chicken with saffron cream sauce, roasted potatoes and steamed beans.