Monthly Archives: February 2012

Pasta Parcels

Pasta Parcels

Pasta Parcels

Okay I have a confession to make – I love cookware and am constantly buying kitchen wares – well constantly is relative. Bloomingdale’s is closing their Perimeter store and I just had to go check out the bargains. I came away with the Le Creuset croquettes in my favorite color. They were 20% off. I will have to say this about Bloomies, they are smart they have a sale going on in their other stores where a lot of the stuff is much cheaper but here they only have it off the original price so check their website before you buy here – that is if you are in Atlanta at the Perimeter store :-). Yes I am a bargain hunter!.

So this recipe is tried with a few things all obtainable from the Farmers market on Buford highway just outside the perimeter. The store is amazing, they have items from all over the world. Their fresh veggie and fruit section is vast. I got a Thai white eggplant and was going to try an Indian dish with it but decided to become a little creative. This is what I came up with.

Recipe

Makes 2 le creuset croquettes

  • 1 medium thai white eggplant sliced
  • 2 cups rotini
  • 4 tbsp sun dried tomatoes heaping
  • 2 tbsp Rocoto Red hot pepper paste
  • 2 cups grated cheese
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt

Method

Wash and dry the eggplant. Slice off the top of the eggplant to remove the stem. Then make thin slices of the eggplant. Brush both sides of the sliced eggplant with olive oil and then grill them till you get the nice charred grill marks on them. I used the indoor Cuisinart to do my grilling.

Meanwhile, heat 2 quarts of water in a saucepan. Once hot put in the pasta and let it cook. Once its cooked, drain the water from the pasta and pour in a tablespoon of olive oil and toss. Add the cheese and the rocoto pepper paste and toss again.

Turn on your oven to 350F.

Line your little le creuset croquettes with the grilled eggplant, going round the sides and letting the slices drape over the sides. Fill the croquettes with pasta and then top off with the sun dried tomatoes. Fold the hanging pieces of the eggplant over the top of the pasta. Put the croquettes in the oven and bake them for 20 minutes. Take them out let them cool a little and serve.

I must say they were yummy!

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Banana Bread Muffins

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

One of my favorite actors is John Barrowman (of Torchwood fame) and he published his Banana Bread recipe which I had saved off a long time ago. Well I finally got around to trying it out and decided to convert them into muffins. The recipe is really good and the muffins come out very nice and moist. A few were devoured right out of the oven with little oohs and ahhs!.

These are really simple to make and so quick to turn out for an early morning breakfast and they last a while too – well that is if you can stop yourself from eating more than one!.

Recipe

Makes 12 muffins or 24 mini-muffins

  •     10oz plain flour
  •     1 tsp baking soda
  •     ½ tsp salt
  •     4oz butter room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  •     8oz caster sugar
  •     2 large eggs
  •     4 ripe bananas, mashed
  •     85ml buttermilk
  •     1 tsp vanilla extract
  •     1 tbsp rum

 

Method

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until well incorporated.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt together. Fold into batter gently. Add butter milk and vanilla and mashed bananas and rum and fold until incorporated.

Divide among the muffin cups and bake at 350F for about 30 – 35 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

 


Banana Parfait

Banana Parfait

Banana Parfait

Here is a simple dessert especially when you have bananas. They are very simple to make. I used rum in the dessert as it pairs so well with bananas. You want to use firm bananas for this recipe as ripe or over ripe bananas will just collapse and become mush.

Recipe

Makes 12 small glasses

Layer 1

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3oz cream cheese
  • 5 tbsp yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Layer 2

  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into slices
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp banana liqueur
  • 1 tbsp dark rum

Layer 3

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, beans scraped out (or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)

To Decorate
6 graham cracker cookies split in half

Method

Layer 1

Beat the cream cheese, yoghurt, heavy whipping cream and sugar together until well blended. Divide equally among the 12 cups. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until set.

Layer 2

Melt butter in a saucepan. Put in the bananas and saute for just about a minute. Pour liqueurs over sauteed bananas and set aflame. Let it cool and then put on top of layer 1.

Layer 3

Combine cream, 4 tablespoons sugar in a saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Simmer, stirring constantly until mixture starts to thicken. Take it off the so stove and stir every so often until it cools so you do not get a skin.  Pour liquid into bowl; chill until cold. Then put on top of layer 2.

Take it out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before you are ready to serve and top with a graham cracker.