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Showing posts from April, 2012

Another Fantastic NOLA Dessert!

BANANA BREAD PUDDING WITH BANANA RUM SAUCE

This wonderful dessert was invented by Chef Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen's Restaurant in New Orleans. It is a fusion of two of the most iconic desserts of the Crescent City: Bananas Foster and Bread Pudding. Thank you Gumbopages.com for sharing it with the World. Note: Instead of day-old French bread, I used day-old brioche.

BANANA BREAD PUDDING

6 cups bite-sized pieces of day-old French bread
3 cups milk
3 large eggs
2/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
2 large very ripe bananas
3/4 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup roasted pecans
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 300F. Put the French bread pieces into a 9x12x2 inch baking pan. In a blender or food processor, blend the eggs, milk, 2/3 cup of sugar, bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla until smooth. Pour this mixture over the French bread pieces. Fold in the raisins and the pecans and …

Ain't Nothing Like Shrimp

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On Friday night, Mark delighted me with one of our favorite dishes, Caesar Salad with Fried Shrimp. Since our options for store-bought Caesar dressing are pretty limited in Switzerland, Mark made it from scratch, using the following recipe. The result went beyond our expectations.

CAESAR DRESSING
3 cloves garlic 5-7 anchovies in oil (to taste) or 2 Tbsp anchovy paste 2 Tbsp lemon juice 2 tsp dijon mustard 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 1 cup mayonnaise 1/2 parmesan cheese, finely grated 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp black pepper dash of tabasco
Throw all ingredients in an electric blender and pulse until well mixed. Best enjoyed with romaine lettuce, homemade croutons and fried Gulf shrimp (as shown above).

Mousse au Chocolat

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I usually enjoy my chocolate mousse rich, dark and thick. This time I used chocolate with 55% cocoa because that's all I had in my pantry and it was too late to run the store (which explains the lighter color on the picture). I would normally use 70% cocoa for a richer, stronger flavor.

MOUSSE AU CHOCOLAT Yields 4 servings  200 g. dark chocolate (about 7 oz.) 2 Tbsp white sugar 5 large egg whites 4 egg yolks
Break down chocolate in small squares and melt in a double boiler. Separate the egg whites from the yolks (only keep 4 yolks). With an electric beater on medium speed, mix egg yolks with sugar until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture turns into a pale yellow. When chocolate is melted and shiny, remove from heat (I usually transfer it to another bowl) and add the egg yolk mixture. Stir thoroughly. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Using a spatula, incorporate egg whites into chocolate mixture in three times. Pour the mousse into 4 ramequins or servi…

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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Mark took a stroll down memory lane this week, with a recipe straight from his childhood: oatmeal raisin cookies. They came out chewy, with a slight crunch from the chopped nuts he added (he used salted cashews this time).

OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup sugar 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla 3 cups oats (not instant) 1 1/2cups raisins 1/2 chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Wh…

Sticky Buns

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Sticky Buns are one of my favorite treats. Here's the recipe I use. It makes about 15-16 buns.

DOUGH

1/4 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
1 1/4 tsp salt
4 to 4 1/4 cups flour

FILLING

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp unsalted butter

TOPPING

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans



In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar. Stir to dissolve end lit sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add milk, butter, remaining sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, salt and 3 cups flour. Mix on low speed until blended. Switch to a dough hook and slowly incorporate remaining cup of flour, on low speed. Increase speed to medium, kneading dough until smooth and slightly sticky (adding a little bit of flour if wet), 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place a large,…

Carrot Cake

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After trying different recipes for carrot cake over the last few years, I finally came upon the one worth publishing! My former attempts always came short in terms of flavor or moistness. This one has it all, it tastes gorgeously rich and moist, and the flavor combination is well balanced. The only thing I added to this recipe is raisins (gotta have them). Note: I made this carrot cake in a loaf shape because I got tired of round cakes, which I've made a lot of lately.


CARROT CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Cake 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 3 large eggs 2 cups sugar 3/4 cup vegetable oil 3/4 cup buttermilk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups grated carrot 1 (8-ounce) can of crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup raisins 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
Frosting 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese 2 tablespoons buttermilk (optional) 1 cup confectioner's sugar 1 teaspoon vani…