Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Apologies to Ricky Bobby


(This is a post intended to be funny.  It's about a fictional character from the movie "Talladega Nights."

Let me start out by saying I am Patriotic.  I love my country and my great State of Texas.  I love football, Nascar, barbecues and fireworks.  I love country music.  I love the song "God Bless the USA."  But...I may have offended someone, and that someone is Ricky Bobby.

Ricky Bobby was the Number 1 Nascar driver.  He was so beloved by Nascar fans all around.  He had a happy life with his wife, kids, and his best friend, Carl.  Everything was going great for Ricky Bobby, until a French Formula One driver named Jean Girard came along and spoiled Ricky Bobby's American dream.  Their feud was hostile.  So hostile, in fact, that Jean Girard broke Ricky Bobby's arm trying to force him to say, "I love crepes."  And there, my friends, is where I owe him the apology.  

I have only eaten crepes once in my life...until now.  I saw some crepes somewhere or other on line, and I wanted to try them.  I made a delicious filling of chicken, broccoli, and mushrooms.  I made a decadent cheese sauce to top the crepes.  And then I made said offensive crepes.  They were really easy to make.  They were quick.  They tasted oh so yummy.  And, at the moment when I tasted the crepes, I said, "oh, how I love crepes."  I know you are all in shock and awe of this revelation.  How could I have said such a thing!  Would Ricky Bobby be angry with me?  Would I be shamed by Carl? Would he tell me, "We're American because you're in America?"  All thoughts I have pondered since I made these said crepes.  

But, in the end, Ricky Bobby did hint at liking crepes.  He just wouldn't admit to loving them.  Maybe he'll come around. Until then, my apologies, Ricky Bobby.

CHICKEN & BROCCOLI CREPES
FOR THE CREPES:
1 C flour
2 eggs
1 C milk
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 T butter, melted
1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs, your choice
Additional cold butter, for the pan

FOR THE FILLING:
Olive oil
2 T butter
2 C cooked, shredded chicken
1 1/2 C broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C white wine
1 C water

FOR THE SAUCE:
1/4 C flour
1/4 C butter
2 C half & half
1 to 1 1/2 C shredded white cheese (I used Monterey Jack)
Pinch nutmeg
Salt & pepper, to taste

Make the cheese sauce first by melting the butter in a small pot and whisking in the flour until smooth.  Whisk in the half and half and let it start to bubble, whisking continuously. When it starts thickening up, turn the heat off.  Whisk in the cheese in small handfuls until smooth after each addition. Add in enough cheese to your desired consistency.  Season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper, if desired.  Set aside.

For the crepes, I used a nonstick wok-like pan with high sides.  Whisk together all of the crepe ingredients.  Rub the cold butter on the sides and bottom of the pan. Heat the pan over medium low heat.  Pour 1/4 C of the crepe batter into the pan, then turn and tilt the pan to spread the filling out thin. Using a thin rubber spatula or scraper, run the spatula around under the edges of the crepe.  After about a minute, you should be able to pick the crepe up and flip it over.  Cook for about another minute.  Butter the sides and bottom of the pan and repeat with remaining crepes.  Place the cooked crepes on a sheet pan lined with wax paper, being careful not to overlap them.  You can spread a second layer of wax paper over the crepes and continue stacking them that way.

For the chicken filling, melt the butter in a large skillet and drizzle in some olive oil.  Cook the mushrooms and onions until tender.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine.  Add in the chicken, garlic, and the broccoli.  Cook for a few minutes or until the broccoli is desired tenderness.  Add in the water and about 3/4 C of the cheese sauce.  Stir to combine and remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spread about 2 T of the chicken filling down the center of each crepe.  Roll them up and put them seam side down in a 9 x 13 casserole pan. Spread the remaining cheese sauce over the tops of the crepes and bake for about 10 minutes to heat through.

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