Sunday, August 26, 2012

Banana Nut Bars - nom nom nom

Mmmmmmm are the sounds I heard from my family as we sat around the dining room and ended our Sunday meal with this little dessert.   Is it really a dessert - well no, because I think you can eat this for breakfast, lunch AND dinner as well.   Fairly simple and basic banana nut bread recipe with chocolate chips in a baking sheet with a brown butter glaze.   Simply amazing!

Banana Nut Bars

  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 1/2 C butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C mashed ripe bananas *see note
  • 1 T vanilla bean paste
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 C walnuts, chopped
  • 1 C chocolate chips
Directions:   Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease/flour a baking sheet.   In a large bowl, mix sugar, sour cream, butter and eggs until combined.   Add banana's and vanilla bean paste, mixing well.   Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix well then gently fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.   Pour into prepared pan and bake for 28 - 30 minutes until done.

Brown Butter Glaze

  • 1/2 C butter
  • 4 C confectioners sugar
  • 1 T vanilla bean paste
  •  1/4 C whole milk
Heat butter in a non reactive fry pan until boiling.  Watch this very closely, as you want to remove it as soon as it browns.   There is a fine line between brown butter and burnt butter.   Whisk the brown butter together with the confectioners sugar and vanilla bean paste.  Slowly incorporate the milk until you get a glaze which is thinner than frosting.  

Spread the glaze on the warm bars, cool then cut into servings.   Keep any leftovers {if any} in a covered container.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New York Strip with sauteed mushrooms and Beurre Blanc

Was in the mood for a sexy sauce... you know the kind you lick off your fingers?   This Beurre Blanc really compliments the simplicity of a salt and peppered grilled steak along with some sauteed mushrooms.   I paired it with a simple salad and this was our amazing dinner tonight.

This Beurre Blanc is really delicious and would be the perfect sauce to many things... so experiment!

Grilled New York Strip with Sauteed Mushrooms and Beurre Blanc

  • Your choice steaks, room temp and seasoned with salt and pepper only
  • 1 lb sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 T olive oil
Preheat your grill.  In a medium sautee pan, add olive oil and sautee mushrooms on medium heat until dark and caramelized. Remove from heat and hold.

Grill your steaks the way you like them, then remove from heat and let them rest, covered with foil, for 10 minutes.

Beurre Blanc Ingredients:
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 8 oz white wine
  • 3 T heavy cream
  • 12 T cold butter, cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a saute pan, reduce the shallots and wine until about 2 T remain.   Add the heavy cream and cook until it bubbles, then remove from heat.  Slowly whisk in the nobs of butter, a few at a time, until incorporated.  As you whisk a few in, the sauce gets thicker and thicker.   Once all the butter in whisked in, season to taste with salt and pepper.
 Sauteeing the mushrooms

 Making the wine and shallot reduction

 Added the heavy cream and bubbling

To serve, top your steak with mushroom and then the Beurre Blanc.  I added some minced chive for a tiny bit of taste and color.