Bananas for this Banana Dessert!

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and I’m sure you have seem every chocolate recipe imaginable! But what do you do if your favorite loved one doesn’t like chocolate! I say go bananas with this double dose of banana cookery from two of my favorite chefs! I decided to double my banana game for dessert one evening by making Dominique Ansel’s banana bread. This is the perfect recipe! It is rich, delicious, moist  and easy. Seriously this recipe is perfection. The bread stays moist for days if wrapped well. Next up is the banana jam, just imagine a caramel and a banana joined together and that is what this jam is ! It’s great on toast, biscuits and yes this banana bread. If you want to kick the whole thing up an notch serve a slice of banana bread topped with a scoop of vanilla or caramel ice cream and then drizzle the top with banana jam!  It’s heaven! Each recipe stands perfectly on its own but in honor of Valentine’s Day it’s about the union . This is a union you will want to experience.

From by the bay wishing you, top banana food memories!

Maryann

Dominique Ansel’s Banana Bread

As featured on Tasting Table courtesy of Dominique Ansel

Preparation Time 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 10″ x 5″ x 3 ½” loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, nutmeg, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and combine with the mashed bananas. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix together until just combined. Stir in the melted butter until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

Biscuit Love Banana Jam

Yields 4 cups    Preparation Time 40 minutes

As featured on the Food Network Courtesy of Karl Worley of Biscuit Love Nashville

 

Directions

Mix the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a heavy-bottomed large saucepan. Heat the sugar mixture on high heat until the mixture caramelizes; the water will need to evaporate before the sugar will caramelize. Once the caramel reaches a deep brown color, turn the heat to low and carefully add the bananas. Stir with a wooden or heat-resistant spoon until the bananas begin to break down, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the salt and remove from the heat. Stir in the lime juice and vanilla.

Serve with warm biscuits. The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

 

Game On! Two Essential Super Bowl Recipes – Chicken Wings and Guacamole!

My pick for the top Super Bowl Sunday recipes are chicken wings and guacamole. These two recipes are easy to prepare and delicious to eat through out the game! I This recipe for zesty chicken wings requires no FRYING, yet is a touchdown on the big flavor. Every Super Bowl party needs guacamole, even if you are a party of one. This guacamole can be made in minutes. These party favorites are WINNERS – score and touchdown!

From by the bay wishing you winning Super Bowl food memories!

Maryann

CRISPY BAKED HOT CHICKEN WING RECIPE
Adapted from Bon Appetit Test Kitchen
INGREDIENTS
HONEY BUFFALO SAUCE
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup honey
WINGS
3 pounds chicken wings, tips removed, drumettes and flats separated
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400°. Set a non stick wire rack inside each of 1 large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Place all ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place wings on the prepared rack and spread out in a single layer. Bake wings until cooked through and skin is crispy, 45–50 minutes. Remove wings from oven place in bowl, pour sauce on top toss and place back in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes until it starts to brown. Serve immediately.
Basic Guacamole
Serves 6
3 Haas avocados, ripe
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
In a medium bowl add the lime juice and sea salt , let the salt dissolve. Cut and remove flesh from avocado and place into bowl with lime juice /salt along with scallions and mash with fork. Add ingredients listed below depending on the version you are making and mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Make it Classic:
To the base recipe add 1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, chopped.
Make it Red:
To the base recipe add 1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, chopped and 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomato
Make it Greek:
Make the base recipe but replace the cilantro with chopped mint and add 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese.
Make it Blue:
Make the base recipe but instead of cilantro add 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese.

 

Cranberry Eggnog Scones

This scone is like taking a bite of Christmas, eggnog and bourbon soaked cranberries…. the perfect start to Christmas morning or perhaps your perfect morning for these scones are New Year’s weekend , when you still have the last of the eggnog left and you are wondering how to use it. I do think this recipe is worthy buying some eggnog for your holiday but if you don’t have any eggnog, please feel free to replace the 1 cup of eggnog with 1 cup of heavy cream.

From by the bay, wishing you sweet eggnog food memories!

Maryann

Cranberry Eggnog Scones

Makes approximately 8 sconces

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup bourbon or rum or apple juice depending on preference ( I use Bourbon)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chilled eggnog, plus more for brushing
  • Demerara or raw sugar (for sprinkling)

Directions

In a small sauce pan add bourbon and dried cranberries. Bring to a simmer and stir a few times. Turn off heat and  set aside for 15 minutes. There liquid should be soaked up by the cranberries , if not strain any remaining liquid and set the cranberries aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sift flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt and whisk together. Add butter and blend with fingertips until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix in cranberries. Whisk eggnog and eggs in a small bowl and add to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined do not overwork. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat to 1 inch round. Cut out rounds using 3 inch cookie cutter. Gather dough to cut additional rounds. Transfer scones to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush dough with eggnog and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake scones for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until golden brown approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature. Scones are best eaten same day.

Peppermint Shortbread

Well, with Christmas fast approaching, perhaps you are looking for that perfect Christmas cookie for your platter or maybe you are looking for something new to add to try for the holiday. Well, search no more this is soon to be your favorite cookie. Consider a cookie that combines the taste of shortbread, candy canes and chocolate……….what????

Yes, your Christmas dreams should have visions of peppermint shortbread dancing in your head! If you don’t care for chocolate and yes there are some who don’t , this cookie is delicious without chocolate too. I only dip half of my cookies and both versions are eaten quickly!

From by the bay, wishing you sweet peppermint shortbread food memories!

Maryann

Peppermint Shortbread

Adapted from Ina Garten Shortbread recipe 2008 as published for the Food Network

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup red and green peppermint candy crunch ( crushed into small pieces)
  • 6 to 7 ounces good quality dark chocolate

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Add the candy crunch and mix through. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 2″ round cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. (Don’t trust your microwave timer; time it with your watch.) Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it’s completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

Drizzle 1/3 to 1/2  of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it. Place on a rack so chocolate can set. Place in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Pear Cranberry Bread Pudding

Add this delicious recipe to your holiday line up! This recipe for Pear Cranberry Bread Pudding is quick to assemble making  for a perfect ending to a holiday meal serve warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream, an excellent addition to your holiday buffet along side a baked ham or use in place of french toast for breakfast or brunch with powdered sugar on top and a little warm maple syrup served on the side along with sausage or bacon! The cranberries give it a festive note. This bread pudding uses brioche bread that is toasted , it can be fresh or stale bread. No need to wait hours or overnight for soaking the bread pudding in the milk and eggs, just 5 to 10 minutes, so it can be assembled last minute. Try and enjoy this holiday season!

From by the bay wishing you yummy bread pudding food memories!

Maryann

Pear Cranberry Bread Pudding

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound broiche, cut into 1 inch cubes, with crust ( 1 loaf of broiche from 14 to 16 ounces )
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large pears ( such as Bosc) peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brandy such as Calvados
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 large eggs beaten
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the bread cubes evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden and dry, approximately 15 minutes. In the meantime, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saute pan, then add the pears and 1/4 cup sugar. Continue to cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the pears become soft and caramelized, approximately 15 minutes. Stir in cinnamon. Remove from heat, then add the brandy and cranberries. Stir well. The mixture should be syrupy and thick, if not place back on a low heat until it’s syrupy. Set aside. In a large bowl beat together the milk, eggs, 3/4 cup of sugar and vanilla extract. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Brush a  8″ by 11″ baking dish with about 1/3 of the melted butter. Add the bread cubes and then the custard mixture, stir well coating the bread cubes. Next add the pear and cranberry mixture to the bread and custard, mix again well. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes so the bread will soak some of the custard. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes until golden brown and the custard is set. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. To serve sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and then serve with whipped cream or ice cream if serving for dessert.

Note: If not serving immediately, cover with foil to keep warm . Serve within the hour.

 

Maple Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

I love making my own cranberry sauce. It’s the perfect quick dish to give your personal flavor touch. I have made many combinations of sauce of the years but some I like to make again and again and this recipe is one that I am always being asked to make. What more to say than it’s not only got maple syrup, it’s got bourbon too! Need I say more?!!!

From by the bay, wishing you berry maple bourbon food memories!

Maryann

Maple Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces  fresh whole cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer approximately 10 minutes until the cranberries start to burst. Cool completely and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken. Serve chilled.

Dry Brine Roasted Herb Turkey

If you ask what brine I recommend for this Thanksgiving, it’s a resounding yes to dry brine. You might ask why brine a turkey at all. The answer to that question would be just remember the last time you had dry turkey at Thanksgiving. Using a brine definitely enhances the flavor of a bird with juicy results. Dry brine is a great way to go. What is dry brine? Dry brine is essentially pre-salting a bird. There is no water or liquid involved so there is no mess! The results are a flavorful bird that is moist with crispy skin. The best part is this is super simple to prepare besides being so delicious.

From by the bay, wishing you delicious dry brine food memories!

Maryann

 

Dry Brine Roasted Herb Turkey

Ingredients
1 12- to 16-pound fresh turkey, preferably organic
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 springs fresh rosemary
1 onion, halved
1 orange quartered
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2  to 3 cups chicken stock

Directions
The morning before serving rinse turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Rub turkey all over with coarse salt including into the cavities. Place the turkey in a large plastic brine bag and move into the refrigerator.  Before cooking, remove turkey from bag and pat dry. (There is no need to rinse it first.) Place in roasting pan and allow to come to room temperature.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Sprinkle half the pepper into main cavity of turkey; add thyme, rosemary, onions and orange quarters. Rub butter all over the turkey including under breast skin by gently lifting the skin.  Sprinkle turkey with remaining pepper. Roast for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Add chicken broth to bottom of roasting pan and roast bird for another two hours, depending on size. Baste turkey with chicken broth every half hour. Add additional broth if needed. If turkey is browning too quickly cover breast and wing tips. Remove foil for last 1/2 hour of cooking time. After turkey has roasted for 2 hours, begin to test for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer (digital is best) into two places in thigh, making sure not to touch bone. It should be at about 160 degrees. When roasting is done, tip turkey so interior juices run back into pan. Remove turkey to a separate baking sheet or serving platter. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. The fat and drippings can be used to make a gravy.

 

Note: Figure cooking time approximately 12 minutes per pound for an unstuffed turkey

Cauliflower and Arugula Soup

Here is a soup that is perfect for this time of year, The evenings are cooler , the variety of local produce  is not quite so robust, but there are beautiful heads of cauliflower. Gorgeous to look at and delicious to eat. It’s just a few simple steps to having a warming bowl of cauliflower soup, balance with peppery arugula. This is definitely a recipe you will want to make over and over again during the cold season.

From by the bay, wishing you warm white soup memories!

Maryann

Cauliflower and Arugula Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cauliflower ( 1 medium head) florets broken off and stalk chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large potato , peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup scallions chopped, white part only
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup arugula leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Place all ingredients ( except arugula, salt and pepper) in a large pot over high heat and bring to a  boil. Turn down heat and bring to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until cauliflower starts to soften. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add arugula and mix and serve. Or place in the container and refrigerate until ready to use. Heat and serve.

Pumpkin Spice Applesauce

 

What’s the perfect fall combination, well apples and pumpkin spice! Now before you dismiss this idea because you see everything with pumpkin spice this time of year , let me make my case for this delicious recipe. Nothing beats home made apple sauce, especially this time of year when we have so many apples available. I always flavor my apple sauce with cinnamon, using my homemade pumpkin spice , it’s amped up flavor, with nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice. The resulting taste is so good, you will only want pumpkin spice applesauce from now on ! Honest!!!

From by the bay , wishing you pumpkin spice food memories!

Maryann

Pumpkin Spice Applesauce

Ingredients

  • 6 large red apples – peeled, cored and sliced, approximately 2 lbs. ( like Macoun or Macintosh)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix ( recipe below)

Directions

Place all the ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until apples are soft. Remove from heat and cool. Mash the apples together with a potato masher. Place in an air tight container and refrigerate until ready to use. It will keep in a refrigerator for about 1 week.

Pumpkin Spice Mix

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Directions

Mix all spices together well and store in a closed air tight container.

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw

Here is a delicious, quick and oh yes, healthy meal – Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw. It’s great to serve family style for ease. It also makes a great meal for guests since it can be prepared quickly and most of it in advance. This is one of my favorite go to summer dishes, because it’s light , easy and cool but of course it’s great all year round !

From by the bay, wishing you spicy taco food memories!

Maryann

 

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw

Serves 4

Red Cabbage Slaw

  • 1 pound shredded red cabbage slaw, approx. 4 cups
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • fine sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Avocado Sauce

  • 1 Haas avocado, flesh scooped out
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 lime juiced
  • fine sea salt, to taste

Spicy Shrimp Taco

  • 1 pound shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile
  • 8 soft corn tortillas
  • 8 lime wedges
  • optional: to garnish cilantro leaves and jalepeno chili sliced in very thin sliced rounds

Directions

To make the Red Cabbage Slaw

In a medium bowl add the lime juice, orange juice, olive oil and sugar. Whisk together until sugar is dissolved. Add the red cabbage to the bowl and mix until cabbage is coated with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit in the refrigerator covered for approximately 4 hours before serving.

To make the Avocado Sauce

In a small food processor or blender add the avocado, lime juice, sour cream and salt. Blend until smooth. Place in a covered container and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the Spicy Shrimp Taco

Heat a grill pan until hot, add the shrimp and grill approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side or until the shrimp turn opaque. Warm soft tortillas in the microwave for a minute. To serve, place the shrimp, slaw, avocado sauce along with garnishes of lime, cilantro and jalapeno on platters and allow guests to make their own tacos.