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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fresh Eggs

My neighbor across the street is an elderly man and since I'm always cooking and always have lots of food around, I often send my husband across the street with a plate of whatever I've recently cooked. His son has chickens and almost every week brings me a dozen fresh eggs. Oh my.

Lately, I've had to catch up on using the eggs so I've made Old Fashioned Egg Custard and pie, deviled eggs, egg salad, scrambled eggs on toast....you name it, I'm cooking eggs.

I think I have about three dozen left but I'll keep up, there's no way I'm turning down fresh eggs. And he's getting more chickens this year!

Tonight's dinner: Spinach Fritatta with herbed focaccia. Yum!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Banana Creme Brulee

A couple of weeks ago, I was hired by a lovely man to chef a surprise birthday dinner for his wife's birthday. We worked together to plan the menu and all the details, and when I arrived, his wife was indeed surprised.

I prepared a four-course meal, including soup, salad, entree, and dessert which was Banana Creme Brulee. I want to share the recipe because it was really unique and very good! When you see the recipe, you'll see why: cream, egg yolks, oh yea, the real thing. But it was good and you certainly don't eat this every day, so if it's your birthday or a special occasion, make it and enjoy the splurge.

It's a typical creme brulee recipe where you cook and mash the bananas, make the cream, and cook it all in a waterbath.

When you're done, let it cool, then sprinkle with sugar and torch the top till browned and you'll have that nice, mandatory crunch when you break into it. This was creamy and delicious. Let me know if any of you make it, I'd love to hear the results! Enjoy!
Here's the recipe:

Banana Creme Brulee
1 tbsp unsalted butter
3 bananas mashed
1 banana to slice on top
6 tbsp white sugar
juice of 1/4 lemon
3 tbsp brandy
3 cups heavy cream
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
12 tsp sugar for torching

Preheat oven to 300. Over medium heat in saute pan, melt butter and add 3 mashed banans. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp white sugar. Blend and cook for 5 minutes until bananas are lightly caramelized. Add lemon juice and stir. Raise heat and add brandy and boil for 1 minute, stirring. Remove, and divide among 6 shallow creme brulee dishes.

Place heavy cream in saucepan. Add vanilla and bring just to a boil, then remove from heat. Place egg yolks and 5 tbsp sugar in top of a double boiler. Whisk together, then stir over simmering water until it becomes fairly thick (about 15 minutes). Strain the reserved cream mixture into the eggs, simmering another 10 minutes.

Place creme brulee dishes in shallow baking pan. (You'll probably need to use more than one). Add creme mixture to dishes. Pour hot water up to the halfway mark on the dishes to form waterbath. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and chill.

When ready to serve, slice banana on top. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar on each. Torch! Enjoy!