Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bananas Foster

A few weeks ago we ate at the fabulous Del Mar Bar and Bistro in Chatham. We went there to try their off-season $18 fixed price menu that included an appetizer, entree and dessert. Honestly, we were blown away by how good the food was. Local folks who want to read my review of the entire meal can do so here.

The whole dinner was wonderful, but the surprise of the night was the bananas foster. It's not something I would usually order (and sadly I didn't order it, the Kitchen Genius did). Of course he let me try a bite so I could write about it for the review. One side of the bowl was filled with sliced bananas in a warm sauce made with Myers's rum, brown sugar and butter and the other side had premium vanilla ice cream.

When the ice cream and sauce met on a spoon, the sauce hardened slightly to form a creamy caramel-like texture that was heavenly. My spoon kept sneaking over to his bowl for another bite...and another...and another. It was so good that KG made it again at home the following night.

This is a quick and easy dessert that can be made in about 15 minutes, so it would also be perfect for company. First he peeled and sliced the bananas. We like our bananas cut in bigger chunks so their flavor isn't overpowered by the sauce.

Next he melted butter, mixed in brown sugar and cooked it over medium heat until caramelized.

If that wasn't yummy enough, he added some dark rum and whisked vigorously. He cooked the mixture until alcohol burned off and the sauce thickened again, about 5 minutes.

Finally he added the bananas and cooked them for three or four more minutes, until warmed through, stirring gently and spooning the caramel sauce over them.

Total YUM!

Bananas Foster
Serves 4

4 bananas, peeled and sliced on the diagonal in 2 inch chunks
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum

Melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat until caramelized, about five minutes. Add rum and whisk until incorporated. Cook until alcohol burns off and the sauce thickens again, about 5 minutes. Add sliced bananas and cook until they are warmed through, stirring gently and spooning sauce over them to coat. Serve over premium vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Frittatas

We're in egg overload. Our chicken ladies are laying 5 to 7 eggs a day and at this point, they are taking over one whole shelf in the fridge. Dying two dozen for Easter didn't even dent the abundance. So tonight for dinner I made egg frittatas just to bring things a bit back under control. Notice I say "a bit," because this recipe used 18 eggs and I still have four dozen left...and there will be about six more tomorrow...

The beauty of a frittata is you can personalize it to your own favorite flavors. I actually made two different choices. The grown up version had diced ham, onions, mushrooms, asparagus and fresh thyme and parsley. For the kids, I kept it simple with just bacon and sautéed onions.

This not only tasted great, but the heavenly scent of butter and cheese filled the whole house. The kids weren't thrilled with the idea of eggs for dinner, but they loved the taste of this dish - light and fluffy, but also incredibly rich and cheesy.

The Recipe:

Spring Frittatas
Serves 8

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced onions
3/4 cup sliced asparagus
1 cup diced ham
18 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup flour
16 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 large pie plates. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the onions, mushrooms and asparagus until tender, about 5 - 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the ham, stir and turn off heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sour cream. Add the flour, salt, pepper, thyme and parsley and beat until smooth. Add the sauteed mixture and cheese. Stir until well blended. Divide the mixture between the two pie plates.

Bake 40 minutes or until set and browned.

Note: You can substitute your favorite combination of sautéed veggies and/or meat for this dish.