Peaches Flambéed

There’s just something about dessert and booze?

Am I right? Am I right?

I think I am.

When I was younger if ever there was a dessert that thought had liquor in it I would savor each bite, convincing myself that the boozy flavor was in fact getting me tipsy. Much as I tried though, I never started to feel the telltale symptoms of being drunk. Poor little Kristina, I was just tryin’ to have a good time.

Despite my cravings for said boozy desserts the one after dinner treat I never tried was Bananas Flambéed I can’t for the life of me figure out why since I am all about sticky sweet bananas cooked in brown sugar, butter, and let set aflame with the help of rum or brandy. I mean, I totally get why people are obsessed with them. So why the hell haven’t I ever tried them?!

It’s a real mystery.

For those of you who don’t know, Matt doesn’t like desserts too much. He’s a fan of ice cream but not much else. He’s just not a sweets kinda guy, when I make cookies, I purposely put less sugar and try to add nuts and raisins so that they are more his style. Which is fine – more for me – but I thought to myself, maybe, just maybe, he would indulge in a little dessert that included booze. Plus, he’s sick right now, so I wanted to do something to make him feel better, cause that’s what doting girlfriends do when their boyfriend, who-only-gets-sick-once-a-year gets sick.

So I made him Bananas Flambéed and wouldn’t you know it folks, he loved it! Like big ol’ smile on his face fighting me for the plate of it love it. Oh man, I was tickled.

The trick to getting your non-sweet loving boyfriend to like flambéed fruit is to make it as non-sweet as possible, but putting it over some crusty crispy sourdough bread for instance and by adding some not to sweet vanilla ice cream. The bread ended up being the best addition ever, it soaked up some of the sauce but still provided the texture and flavor contrast necessary to keep a sweet dessert from becoming cloyingly sweet. (Even I don’t like desserts like that).

Well, we still had extra rum from my first attempt and I was craving peaches, so I started thinking, what if I made Peaches Flambéed? I was willing to bet it would be just as tasty, if not tastier. So I ran to the corner market and grabbed a couple yellow and white peaches, for variety, and scooted back home to make it and take pictures before it got too dark.

*On that note – the above photo was taken at night, so you can really see the flames, however the other photos I have of the peaches were taken during the day so the flames don’t look quite as brilliant, I apologize my friends.

What you’ll need:

2 Peaches, one white, one yellow (or two of the same)

1/2 stick butter, plus enough to smear on the bread

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup rum, preferably dark

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 slice of sourdough bread

Vanilla ice cream

What to do with it:

Slice peaches into medium sized strips – not too thick, cause that will be awkward to eat, but not too thin cause they will get mushy after being cooked too long

Heat pan on medium and add butter, allowing to brown EVER so slightly

Add brown sugar, let simmer

DON’T turn your back for a second to go check on your sick boyfriend, your sugar will burn and look like this. It’s a proven fact

Add peaches and cinnamon, to your not burned bubbly buttery sugar sauce, let them simmer for just a few minutes

While they are simmering though, lightly butter both sides of the bread and crisp up in another pan

Cut the crispy bread in 2 pieces and arrange at the bottom of a shallow bowl

Now its time for the real fun…

Remove the simmering pan from the burner that’s on – THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP

Once its off that burner, pour the rum into the pan and THEN put it back on the flaming burner, tilting the pan slightly so that the flame may jump to the liquor. Watch it ignite!

It will flame for a minute or so, during which you can leave the pan alone, when it’s done flaming you can start plating, which should look a little something like this

 

What’s my verdict? Bananas are amazing, dense, and hold up to the butter rum sauce deliciously. But peaches, well peaches work with the sauce, taking it in and becoming something so damn delightful I just wanted to squeal like a little girl.

I did prefer the yellow peaches to the white in this recipe, though most of the time I am partial to white. So, you try both and figure out which one you prefer!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I still have a few more peaches around here somewhere

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Chile Pies (& Ice Cream)

Since last May I have been living 3 houses down from Chile Pies (& Ice Cream). When I first moved in I just kept thinking to myself, “Crap, I’m gonna get fat. Great.” With at least 10 varieties of freshly baked pie on any given day AND late night access (they are open ’til 10p.m.), I knew it would take some serious will power to not become their best customer.

It has taken quite a bit of self worth to walk (quickly might I add) past it every day, but here we are a year later and I still wear the same pant size. The times I have gone in though, I have been extremely impressed with the variety and creativity of the pie flavors.

Apple with Golden Raisins and Chai spices? Yes!

Strawberry Rhubarb? Ummm, if it tastes like my Grandma’s – then get me 2 slices.

Cheesecake?! Sadly, they only have it on weekends.

The best part? Chile Pies gives more than just pie to the community. When I saw down with manager Kali Nickless she filled me in on how the shop uses almost all organic, local, and fresh ingredients.Save for a few items like vanilla which they acquire through fair trade and their namesake chilies they have imported straight from New Mexico. I ain’t mad at ’em for that though.

Their philosophy behind the whole project is to bring a great product to a community, to help them in this goal they have enlisted Straus Family Creamery as their main dairy supplier because of their ethical practices, quality dairy, and as Kali says because they are bringing back the vintage glass bottles for their milk.

On the ice cream end of the spectrum Chile Pies was contemplating using Straus as well, until the stumbled upon Three Twins the organic ice cream producers who have been quite the hit in S.F. as far as I can tell. Chile Pies thought so too. Kali explained how they were really drawn to Three Twins because they experiment with unique flavors (my personal favorite, Dad’s Cardamom). I am still itching to try Strawberry Je Ne Sais Quoi – strawberry ice cream with a splash of balsamic vinegar. YUM.

Don’t take just my word for it though, after learning a little more about the shop I decided that a photo slide show was the best way to highlight perfection in a crust.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention, Chile Pies will be opening a new location in the coming months in the Castro in an effort to make more people come together and feel good (and full) by way of pie.

Coachella – The Food

Well hello,

It’s been a while. Why? Because I was at Coachella. The modern day version of Woodstock. Only its held in Indio, California. Three glorious days of music surrounded by a horrendous 9 hour drive – there and back. This is my second year going and I loved just about every second of it. The moments I didn’t love were the ones when I was in the 102 degree heat with no shade and water that was hotter than I was. These moments were frequent, but I’m a champ and got through it.

I did however discover a trick last year that helped quench my thirst if my water supply was low – lollipops. Not only are the delicious but sucking on them wets your whistle AND gives you a little sugar boost. Like other music festivals, outside food and beverage wasn’t allowed but I was able to sweet talk security into letting me take a few suckers in. I asked really nicely and smiled a lot.

Now, as a food lover it pained me to limit myself to one full meal a day, but by the time we woke up at 9 a.m. it was already too hot to eat. Yes, I grew up in SoCal, but I have acclimated to S.F. weather therefore 80 degrees is already a little too hot for a full meal. I usually waited until about 8 p.m. before chowing down at the festival. This year, I was pleasantly surprised at the abundance of good. And fantastic looking food at that.

Last year I did the one meal a day thing and got hooked on a vegetarian wrap (meaning I got it all three days). This year, I was not about to do that again – so I tried something different every day. Also, the food court area looked a lot larger this year than last year as well. Maybe I’m wrong, but for arguments sake, let’s say it was bigger this year. I mean check out the list of vendors.

AVOCADO HOUSE (Breakfast place from Encino?)
BELLA LUNA COFFEE
BEN & JERRY’S
BOMBAY STATION (Vegan)
BORDER GRILL FOOD TRUCK (Mexican)
CA POP CULTURE
CLIFFHOUSE
COOLHAUS TRUCK (Ice Cream Sandwiches)
CREATIVE BLEND
DOUGH DOUGH’S (Malasadas aka Hawaiian Sugar Doughnuts)

EARTHLY DELIGHTS
PINKS HOT DOGS
FISHERMANS MARKET
FREEBIRDS (Burritos)
FULL OF LIFE FLATBREAD
GET SHAVED TRUCK (Hawaiian Shaved Ice)
GISELLE’S CATERING TRUCK (Burgers & Mexican Food)
GOURMET FAIRE (Corn dogs, gyros and the famous crab fries!)
GREASY WIENER FOOD TRUCK
GREEN TRUCK (Organic/Vegan Friendly)
HARRY’S SMOKEHOUSE (Oklahoma Style BBQ)
ICE OF PARADISE (Hawaiian Shaved Ice)
COYOTE CORNER / JAVAGOGO
JOHNNY MCGUIRE’S (Deli Sandwiches)
KOGI BBQ FOOD TRUCK
LAMRON BBQ
LAS CASUELAS (Mexican Food)
LEM N MAN (Lemonade)
LENO’S RICO TACO
LONGSHOT COFFEE
MR. CECILS (Ribs)
PENNYS CREATIVE CONCESSIONS
PEPPERS THAI
PIE FOR THE PEOPLE! (Pizza)
RUTH’S CHRIS (Steak)
S&R THAI
SHRIMP PIMP FOOD TRUCK
SPENCER MACKENZIE (Fish N Chips)
SPICY PIE (Pizza)
SWEET LEAF CAFÉ
TANTES (Falafel, Knish, Etc)
TEXIFORNIA TAMALES
THAI BBQ
THE EGGROLL PEOPLE
THE ORIGINAL BERRIE KABOB
TWO GUYS
WAFFLEMAN
WIKI WIKI KAU KAU

Such options!

Coachellians are very hungry people who don’t want to waste time interpreting what type of cuisine is being offered by some ambiguous restaurant name. The event planners of Coachella understand this. Which is why the nice big signs above each vendor looked like this

And this

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Cappuccino Cupcakes

Now I know my last post was on Somoa cupcakes, but I found a recipe for cupcakes on another food blog that involved chocolate and coffee flavored ice cream. As I am the first to admit that I have a coffee consumption problem I just had to try these out. Plus the crust is made out of milks favorite cookie, Oreos. Hot damn.

Obviously the only partner for this job is my trusty baker, Sohini. So we devised a plan to make these and some other treats for our ritualistic bake-offs.

What you want you want to start with is removing the cream center from 15 Oreos. The recipe called for “chocolate sandwich cookies” but in the pictures there was no trace of the cream. So bye-bye cream.

Place cookies in plastic bag and let out your frustration on those little things. Really beat them, they feel no pain.

Melt some butter, just 2 tablespoons

Mmmmmmmmm

Take those crushed cookie bits, toss ’em in a bowl and pour that wonderful, hot butter all over them

MIX MIX MIX

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You Won’t Hate These Apple Peels

I had this family friend who was like a grandma to me, Estelle, who made the best applesauce I have ever tasted. Seriously, if she had ever decided to turn it into a shelf stable product she would have Mott’s out of business in a week. I will make it soon and show you how to as well! I have made it a few times but I always felt bad throwing out the apple peels they contain loads of nutritional benefits such as Vitamin C and antioxidants and according to Rui Hai Liu, the Cornell associate professor of food science, apple peels help combat cancer! Definitely not throwing that away.

I was playing around in the kitchen with them for a bit and came up with this tasty recipe. I don’t have definitive measurements I base it all on personal preference.

Start with an apple, doesn’t matter what kind. A word of advice though, I have had the best experience with green apple varieties such as Pippin and Granny Smith because the tartness compliments the sugar you will add quite nicely. I used Granny Smith this time. Start by peeling your apple using a regular carrot peeler works quite nicely. For those comfortable enough, try using a paring knife because you can get a closer peel. However, leaving a little extra meat on the peel is quite tasty as well! Again, this is all based on your own taste.

In a medium sized skillet put a LIGHT drizzle of Canola oil – just enough to coat the bottom. Swirl it around in your pan. Turn on the heat to medium.

After you peel your apples, pop em in the pan.

It doesn’t matter what size your peels are, I do a variety of small and large pieces.

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