Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Outer Banks has fresh local fish

As I am always trying to be more green I try not to eat a lot of seafood when I'm in Ohio because it's not local to this area and it's really expensive. But when in Rome.....
This past weekend I went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, which was fabulous. The motel I stayed in had a kitchenette, which included surprisingly a cast iron skillet - one of my favorites. I went to a fish market and picked up a feast to prepare for about 7 people I believe. I seasoned everything with salt, pepper, old bay and a garlic herb grinder. I also cut up some really large shallots and a couple cloves of garlic into the cook process. The feast included : Shrimps...Domestic Mahi Mahi....Scallops
Then I cooked more onions and garlic in the skillet to make them all golden brown and then deglazed the pan with about a cup of white wine and let it simmer for about 6 minutes. Then I added a ajr of store bought marinara, roasted tomato and basil I believe is what I grabbed from Erin's kitchen. Let that simmer for a bit so the flavors could get happy. Tossed it with an even mixture of angel hair and spaghettini. Then served with the fish on top.

If I had a well stocked kitchen I would have sprinkled the dish with parmesan cheese, and maybe some chopped fresh basil.

It was delicious though......

Julian's First

I have to post this photo of the birthday cake I made for my nephew Julian. His special day was 2 Sundays ago on September 20....and he recently just look his first steps!! *presh*

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Creme Brulee

Let's see.....creme brulee is one of my least favorite things to make because of the water bath and the chilling time. But I always seem to make it on mother's day or on September beautiful mother's birthday. Sometimes I want to make it fancy with dried lavender flowers or lemon zest and raspberries. This time I did a simple vanilla. In the past I've had access to free vanilla beans, but alas, one bean was $13.99 at the store so I just used vanilla extract.
I based this recipe off of Alton Brown's. He used vanilla bean and vanilla sugar. I made this less fancy.

Basic Creme Brulee
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons high quality vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 quarts hot water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla extract into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

I also made homemade whipped cream, added a tablespoon of cane sugar, sprinkle of cinnamon, and a tiny splash of vanilla extract.
I served that along side of it with some fresh organic raspberries.

I put a candle in the whipped cream and sang happy birthday.
Thanks Antonio for helping me torch the sugar! XOXO

sorry no picture