Friday, May 30, 2008

Fried Brains in Bloody Syrup

This is one of my favorite desserts in the book and it's so fun and easy to make. It was inspired by a make up effects artist who made brains out of bananas for a Sci-Fi/Horror film.

It's also great if you have children as they like to make the sauce and fry the bananas. What kid can't resist bananas?



6 bananas, split lengthwise
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 cup of whipped cream or ice cream

Bloody Syrup

1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup of fresh raspberries, plus some for garnish
3/4 cup of fresh blackberries


Add berries to a small saucepan and add the maple syrup. Cook over low heat until the berries have been reduced by half. Strain to remove seeds and set aside.

Add the brown sugar and the rest of the maple syrup to a clean pan and stir until it begins to caramelize. Add the heavy cream and the butter and stir until well blended.

To serve, place two banana halves with the caramel on a plate and cover with the berry sauce. Top with whipped cream and fresh raspberries for garnish and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Removing Bones from a Northern Pike

I've never been able to do it up until now but Greg Laden has an amazing video on slicing up a Northern Pike. It's enough to make me cry I tell ya. Great job Greg! That PhD thingy really does come in handy, up there in Minnesota.

When in doubt, go fresh.

Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Pear, Goat Cheese Brie and Portobello Mushroom

Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Pear, Goat Cheese Brie and Portobello Mushrooms

This is a great dish I love to prepare for guests. You can make this ahead of time as you can always roll up the tenderloin in cling film and store in the oven before cooking once the filling is complete.


2 tbsp (45 ml) butter
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/3 cup Portobello mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup minced baby spinach
1/4 cup of red wine
1/2 cup goat cheese brie, cubed
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1/2 Pear, cubed
5-8 leaves of baby spinach for coating.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pork tenderloin, about 3/4 pound
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven 475 degrees.
2. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat.
3. Add chopped onion and mushrooms and stir until onions are soft and mushrooms have lost most of their water.
4. Add the chopped garlic and stir for another minute.
5. Add the spinach and the wine and stir until heated through.
6. Remove from heat and add the wine, brie cheese and the thyme. Stir until the mixture is heated through and the cheese has melted evenly.
7. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the chopped pear.
8. Slice the pork tenderloin down the middle being careful not to slice all the way through. Leave about half an inch at the bottom.
9. Place a few leaves of baby spinach over the tenderloin to coat fully.
10. Place the onion, mushroom and cheese mixture over the leaves in the exact center and fold up the tenderloin.
11. Tie up at every two inches with twine.
12. Heat olive oil in a pan and sear until brown.
13. Place tenderloin in oven proof pan and bake until done for 20 minutes.
14. Remove from oven and let sit for about five to ten minutes.

If you have trouble tying up the tenderloin, you can see a good demonstration here.

You can always use the drippings from the tenderloin as a sauce if you want to. Just add a couple tablespoons of the wine and stir until evenly mixed.

Slice the tenderloins about an inch two two inches apart. Pour sauce over top of the tenderloins and serve with fresh chopped baby spinach leaves on top.

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Alien Egg" Quiche

This is from my book but I made it a bit differently. I found these really neat ramekins at the dollar store and they only cost me a dollar each. They don't look like I paid only a dollar for them which makes them more worthwhile. I've even fooled a few people. The key is the complete lack of tackiness and the so-simple-it's-elegant angle.

I envisioned this recipe as a way to incorporate the movie Alien (directed by Ridley Scott) and take advantage of the 'egg' idea. The quiche is supposed to look like an open egg with the four edges sticking up. Of course it doesn't always look that way but I like to give myself points for trying.

So here is my quiche...

alien Breakfast Quiche


2 sheets of puff pastry
4 shallots
1 ¼ cup Gruyere cheese, grated
¾ cup Swiss cheese, grated
8 stalks of asparagus, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
6 strips of roasted red pepper, chopped fine
½ cup of prosciutto, shredded
6 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and white pepper


Place a sheet of pastry in a 9-inch spring form pan and press down firmly at sides and bottom.

In this instance, I took a single sheet of puff pastry and evenly divided it up into four pieces. I then used two squares for each ramekin instead of a single sheet for a spring form or baking dish.

Place the second sheet on a 90 degree angle to the first and press pastry against sides of the pan. The corners of the pastry will stick up.

Saute the asparagus on medium heat until soft, remove from pan and set aside. Add the shallots, and red pepper and saute until soft.

Add half the cheese to the bottom of the pastry lined spring form.

Sprinkle the vegetables and prosciutto over the cheese and add the rest of the cheese on top.
Beat the eggs, cream, salt and pepper, and pour over top. Place strips of aluminum foil around edges of pastry to prevent burning.

Bake in 350ºF for 80 to 90 minutes or until top is firm.

Serve with cappuccino.
Serves: 4