As an aspiring cook, Suzanne Aiken always wanted to experience exquisite French dining first-hand. And now, it seems that her recipe for savory lemon herb crepes will be just the ticket to that dream trip.
The culinary connoisseur and longtime resident of Lynnfield was recently awarded a trip to France, courtesy of Kraft Philadelphia. The contest was open to members of the Real Women of Philadelphia, an online community of aspiring cooks who use their group to share recipes as well as personal stories with each other.
“I’ve always loved to cook and bake, since I was probably eight years old,” Aiken says. The single mother of three has cooking up recipes in her kitchen for years, hosting Sunday dinners and entertaining friends and family with her home-cooked dishes; and yet, more recently, she was looking to challenge herself in the kitchen. She entered the Kraft-sponsored contest with a video tutorial demonstrating her easy-to-make recipe for savory lemon herb crepes, which went on to win the coveted prize.
This dream trip has been a long time coming for Aiken, who hasn’t been on a vacation in over 13 years. She will spend a few days in Paris before touring the French countryside and ending her journey with visits to Nice and Monaco along the Mediterranean Sea. It was a trip that she had always hoped to make with her late husband.
“I just want to sit in a Parisian cafe and watch the scenery go by,” she says. “I want to do the cliche, fun things you do in European cities.”
This isn’t the first time Aiken has been recognized for her dishes either. Her Pilgrim Pork Chops were featured in the Philadelphia Real Women’s Season 1 Cookbook, a community-themed cookbook featuring the best recipes from the online community.
So what is she looking forward to the most when she embarks on her journey?
“The thing I really want to do is dig into the local markets,” she says. “The cheese markets, the bakeries, that’s really the visual art of Paris.”Â -Alexandra Churchill
Suzanne’s Savory Lemon Herb Crepes
10 ounces package Philadelphia Savory Lemon & Herb Cooking Creme
1 Fully cooked rotisserie chicken with meat stripped and cut into bite size pieces
1 fresh lemon zested and juiced
1 1/4 cups frozen pea and carrot blend
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1 pinch salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
For crepes: Place milk, water, eggs, butter and oil in a blender or food processor and pulse for 30 seconds to mix. Add flour, lemon pepper, salt, and a generous pinch of the lemon zest to the wet ingredients and mix for another minute until smooth.
For filling: In a medium sauce pan stir together the Philadelphia lemon herb cooking creme, the lemon juice and a healthy pinch of lemon zest and mix well. Add the frozen carrot and pea blend to the pan and then the chicken stirring everything together. Heat through on low while making the crepes.
To make crepes: Heat a nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Coat the pan with nonstick spray. Pour one quarter cup of batter into the middle of the pan and immediately tilt and whirl the pan to make a larger, thinner circle and cook completely through. Flip the crepe over as it cooks through and begins to brown. Slide on to a plate and fill with the chicken mixture down the middle of the crepe. Fold over the sides of the crepe, flip it over if you wish and garnish with lemon zest.