Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let's do dessert!

A couple of days ago I was texting w/ a Marine who mentioned he likes to cook and then asked me if I knew how to make crème brûlée.  That simple question set off a craving, and you don't have to lead me into temptation b/c I can find the way myself!  I knew I had the ingredients to make it, but the question was, could I resist making it.  You can guess by now that since I'm blogging, that I didn't resist and I made some crème brûlée!

Now my method w/ making Crème brûlée is NOT the traditional method, and that's fine b/c it still turns out silky smooth, and it's ready faster than the oven method. 

You'll need:

3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 pint (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Superfine sugar


Beat egg yolks in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed, 5 minutes or until thick and light yellow. Gradually beat in sugar.

In a double boiler heat cream over medium heat until just hot to the touch. Stir half of the warmed cream into the egg mixture a little at a time, so the eggs do not curdle.

Stir the egg yolk and cream mixture into the remaining cream in the double boiler. Cook, stirring continuously, over medium heat, 8-10 minutes, until mixture thickens; do NOT boil. Pour custard into 4 small ramekins refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.

Before serving, sprinkle each crème brûlée with superfine sugar and place under preheated oven broiler, or use a kitchen torch to melt sugar. Dessert is served!
So now that dessert has been served onto the main course!  I'm a firm believer in good food FAST -especially if I'm busy!  Naturally I live in Florida, and have access to fresh seafood and thus I eat a lot of fish.
I can't say that these measurments are accurate (I cook by sight/ know the mindset that a great chef is a great taster philosophy!) but they're pretty close.
Pecan crusted trout:
2 fish fillets
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, divided
1/3 cup pecans
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp McCormick montreal steak seasoning
1/4 cup butter, melted.
Place 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, and the pecans in a blender**.  Blend on high until pecans are finally ground. Remove mixture to a small bowl, add remaining panko bread crumbs and the seasonings.  Brush the fish fillets liberally w/ the melted butter.  Take the pecan breading mixture, and sprinkle over the fish fillets.
Bake at 400° for about 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily w/ a fork. Garnish fish w/ a few pieces of pecans.
**I use a vitamix blender which is restaurant/industrial quality - you can try a food processor if you don't have a blender.
Last but not least...homemade biscuits!

I love homemade biscuits.  They're extremely versatile.  You can make biscuits and gravy, you can top the biscuits w/ a cooked sausage patty, scrambled egg and cheese, you can use the biscuits as a chicken pot pie topping, you can add a little bit of garlic powder, parsley and cheese to the dough and recreate those biscuits from an overly priced seafood restaurant, you can even sweeten the dough a litle bit for an old fashioned strawberry shortcake...the ideas are only limited by your imagination. 

Some recipes call for shortening, some call for butter, some combine the two.  The best I can suggest is don't handle the dough too much b/c if you do, you'll have tough biscuits instead of tender flaky biscuits.

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons (1 Tbsp + 1 tsp) baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup butter flavoured shortening
1 egg
2/3 cup milk


In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening & butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat egg with milk; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Turn onto a well-floured surface; knead 8 times. Roll to 3/4-in. thickness; cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. biscuit cutter. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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