Bananas Foster French Toast

bananasfoster

I noticed this morning that I had a lot of bananas in the house. Probably more than I could eat before they went bad. So, what else could I do but sauté them in butter and brown sugar with a little rum!? Obviously this was my only choice. Or at least the only choice that made sense!

bananas

So let’s get started by melting 1 stick of butter with the brown sugar. Stir around until all the sugar is melted and the mixture is nice an bubbly. Set aside while you prepare the french toast.

Beat eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon together, and pour over sliced bread. Allow the bread to absorb as much of the mixture as possible, turning to help the process. Melt one tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat in a fry pan and add the slices of egg soaked bread. Cook for about 3-4 minutes before flipping. DON’T BURN IT!

 

After you flip the french toast, lets get back to the sauce while the bread finishes cooking. Return the butter sauce back to the heat.  Allow to simmer while you slice the bananas. Add bananas and a splash of rum. Stir around a bit and then plate your toast and top with banana sauce!

 

 

 

 

 

 

bananasfoster2

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter, plus add’l 1 Tbs
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs rum
  • 2 bananas
  • 4 Slices of bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 c coconut milk (you can use regular milk or cream as well)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Dash of cinnamon
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Week 7: Guilty Pleasures – Cheesesteak

Another week, where I had some difficulty arriving at my recipe decision! I love food, and there isn’t much I feel “guilty” about eating. Then, yesterday, Shawn and I were watching “Man v Food”, and it was the cheesesteak episode, where Adam tried to eat 5lbs of cheesesteak at my favorite place, Tony Luke’s! I immediately realized what I had to do! And so off I went to the butcher & the bakery! It was difficult to find the right bread, here on Long Island, so I did the best I could, selecting a long submarine sandwich roll. It was softer than I would have liked, but it absorbed the juices from the meat and onions very nicely. Overall I would say the sandwich was very successful, certainly exceeding my own expectations of a Long Island homemade cheesesteak. For all you purists out there, look away, for I did use *gasp* American Cheese.

cheesesteak2

 

First I chopped up one vidalia onion and sautéed it with butter in the skillet.  This will take quite some if you plan on caramelizing the onion like I did. I know in Philly, many places use just barely cooked onions, so that will be much faster, if that is how you like them. Caramelizing will take about 35-45 minutes, if done properly. If you keep the heat too high, the onions will just burn, there is no real way to “speed up” caramelization. The shot below, is probably a little more than halfway through the process

caramelizedonions

 

Then you can add your steak to the grill. You want to use either rib-eye or top round. I chose rib-eye. It’s pretty much impossible to cut it thin enough at home, unless you own a deli slicer. Your best bet is to call your local butcher and ask them to prepare the sliced steak for you. Calling ahead of time is necessary, since they will need to freeze the meat first, in order to slice it thin enough. Most good butchers will be happy to do this for you. Cook the meat through. I left the onions in the skillet while the meat cooked. One side runs hotter, so I moved the onions on the cooler side.

steakcooking

 

After the meat is cooked, you can add your cheese, allowing it to melt. Don’t worry about it melting completely while on the grill, since it will melt once the sandwich is closed, anyway.

meltingcheese

Then place the meat onto your already sliced bread. Top with onions if you’re using them, and enjoy!

cheesesteak

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 hero roll
  • 1.5lbs of very thin sliced rib-eye or top round
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1/4lb or sliced cheese of your choice (Provolone, american, cheddar, or of course you can use cheese wiz!)

 

 

Week 6: Spicy – Cajun Chicken Sliders

Ok, I’ll admit it. Due to the Super Bowl festivities, I did not make the recipe that I probably would have, had I not been making tons of football friendly snacks. So I’m showcasing a recipe that fits the bill for spicy, and was also served at our party!

I give you, Cajun Chicken Sliders! They are adorable, tasty little snacks. I loved the way they looked, and they tasted even better! I would highly recommend these, based on the speed with which they disappeared on Sunday.

Very basic and easy to put together!

chickensliders

Take 3 chicken breasts, and slice them as if you were going to butterfly them, but cut all the way through. Then cut the thinner breasts in half, so you have 4 small chicken “patties.” Season all the chicken with salt, pepper and cajun spice. It’s ok to be very heavy handed with the cajun spice. Grill all the chicken and then top with bacon and cheddar. When cheddar is melted, place on buns and add toppings of your choice. Try some lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 pounds of chicken breasts
  • 12 dinner rolls
  • cajun seasoning
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • bacon
  • cheddar (sliced)

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Week 5: Legumes – Red Lentil Burgers

I love lentils. Lentil soup is my favorite. But I wanted to try something a little different with them, so I thought this recipe would be perfect! I had read it a while back in an issue of Cooking Light, and I found it easily on their website. The aioli is delicious and garlicky! I also thought some onion rings would be just the right thing to finish these off.

lentilburger

 

First, combine water, lentils, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes. Drain; set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and 3 garlic cloves; sauté for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, mushrooms, marjoram, and pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates.

mushroommix

 

Place onion mixture in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add the lentils, breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and egg whites. Cover and chill 30 minutes (to help firm up the mixture).

Divide the lentil mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each portion into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat the vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add lentil patties, and cook for 5 minutes on each side.

grillingburger

 

Line the bottom half of each hamburger bun with an arugula or lettuce leaf, and top each bun half with a burger, 2 teaspoons aioli,  1 onion ring, and the top half of the bun.

The burgers will be difficult to flip, they remain fairly soft, even after cooking, so just handle them with care. Once they are on the bun, they are great!

 

Aioli:

  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Burgers:

  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup dried red lentils
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Madeira (optional)
  • 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Remaining ingredients:

  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 6 lettuce leaves
  • 6 onion rings

Adapted from Cooking Light

Week 4: Music Inspired – Firecracker Shrimp

I love listening to music while I cook, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I was a little iffy about this weeks theme, only because I could not immediately think of a song I really enjoyed, that I could translate into something edible. All the songs I like are about love, heartbreak or murder (if you’re a Coheed fan, you understand.) Not exactly “food”  related. But then iTunes started playing “Firecracker” by Ryan Adams, and I thought, hmm, something spicy, something explosive! I found this deliciously adorable recipe for “Firecracker Shrimp.” If you ask me, they even look like little firecrackers, the way the crispy tails stick out the end, it’s like a fuse waiting to be lit!

These were really tasty, and very simple to make. Don’t let the egg roll wrappers scare you. They are very easy to work with.

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After you clean the shrimp, you’ll need to make a few cuts along the bottom, so that they aren’t curling up. We want them to lay straight.

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Now place the shrimp in a medium bowl with the sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and ginger and allow to marinate in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Next we can start wrapping them up! You really can do this anyway you like, but I’ll show you how I did it. Place one wrapper on your work station and fold one corner in towards the center. Now place your shrimp on the wrapper towards the upper third of the wrap, with the tail sticking out past the straight edge you made with your fold. Now fold the opposite corner in towards the center over the head of the shrimp (or where the head would be if it still had one.) Now just roll up like a burrito, and seal the edge with your cornstarch/water mixture.

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Now they are ready for the fryer! (try not to drop them in and splash oil like the picture below)

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After they are browned ona ll sides, drain on paper towel and serve with sweet chili sauce for dipping.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled with tails on and deviened
  • 1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp garlic, grated
  • 2 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 12 egg roll wrappers, cut in half into 2 triangles
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • oil for frying
  • Sweet chili sauce for dipping

Adapted from Closet Cooking

BONUS! Week 3: Korean – Sweet Chili Shrimp

I decided to have another go at Korean food, since asian flavors are among my favorite. For dinner I made Sweet Chili Shrimp and served it with some Soba noodles. If you have not tried soba noodles, I suggest you do so. They are delicious! Soba is buckwheat pasta. Traditionally soba is served chilled or in a hot broth, but I usually serve it in the same manner that Americans enjoy regular pasta, hot with seasoning or just butter. This time I seasoned it with a mixture of olive & sesame oils, vinegar, soy sauce and some sesame seeds, and served warm.

shrimpandsoba

Place cleaned, peeled & deveined shrimp in a bowl. Season with salt & pepper, and add 2 tablespoons of sake. Stir to make sure the shrimp are seasoned evenly, and set aside for about 10 minutes.

Rawshrimp

Heat a frying pan with butter (or oil) and grill shrimp until cooked thru. You may need to do this in several batches, depending on the size of your pan.

cookingshrimp

When all the shrimp are cooked, set them aside and prepare the sauce.

Cookedshrimp

In medium bowl, combine sweet chili sauce, ketchup, chili garlic sauce, sugar, rice wine, vinegar, water. Mix together cornstarch and water, and add that in too. Stir until completely combined and smooth. Then in a large pan heat sauce to a boil.

Sweetchilisauce

Add shrimp to sauce and stir until sauce is thickened. Serve and enjoy!

Shrimpinthesauce

Ingredients
  • 1-2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp sake
  • 4 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 3 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sake
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp water

adapted from Heart, Mind & Seoul

Week 3: Korean – Korean Fried Chicken Wings

Koreanhotwings

 

Here’s another first for me! I have never eaten or prepared a Korean dish before now! I was a not sure how this was going to go when I first googled “korean recipes.” I saw a few things that piqued my interest, but then finally settled on “Korean Fried Chicken Wings,” cause you know I love me some wings! And, Asian Zing is my favorite sauce at Buffalo Wing Wings, so I was hoping these might have a similar flavor. They were delicious! Shawn ate 3 or 4 before I could even put them on a plate. You know a recipe came out good, when you are both standing in the kitchen and eating over the sink, instead of acting like civilized humans. These were that kind of good. So lets get to it!

Clean your chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt & pepper, the coat with Wondra flour.

chickenwingsraw

 

Heat oil in a deep skillet or fryer to about 375˚, and fry wings for 5 minutes. They will still be very light in color and not cooked through, but don’t worry, we’ll cook them more!

firstfry

 

Now, set the half cooked wings aside and prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan combined water, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, chile and sugar, bring to a boil. Add honey, and allow sauce to reduce to about half. It will become thicker, like syrup. Place the sauce to the side, while you finish frying the chicken.

gingersauce

 

Place the wings back in the fryer, this time with the oil at about 400˚ and cook for another 8 minutes or so, until they become nice and browned. Remove from oil and allow to drain on paper towels.

cookedwings

 

Now drizzle the sauce over the wings and get out of the way! You don’t want to get knocked over by the rush for wings!

drizzlewings

 

Ingredients

 

  • 2-3 lbs chicken wings
  • 1 cup of Wondra flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup thinly sliced ginger
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1-2 Tbsp garlic chile

Recipe adapted from The Ravenous Couple

 

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