Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring creations

It is my sincere hope that I'll get recipes, pictures, etc., posted soon for these two new creations. It has been a while, after all. But...I'm not making any promises. In the meantime, how about some narrative descriptions?

Hawaiian Crepes
I freely admit it: I still love Jacques Pepin, and I eat crepes as often as I can manage it. Last weekend I created toasted macadamia nut crepes, topped with honey-grilled pineapple and coconut syrup. For the crepes, I ground up macadamia nuts to a coarse flour, toasted the flour lightly, and then substituted the macadamia nut "flour" for half the real flour in my crepe recipe (which you can find in the previous post). With the trusty George Foreman grill, I grilled pineapple slices brushed with a 3:1 honey and pineapple juice glaze and got charming grill marks on the fruit. I topped all of that with a coconut syrup made by sweetening a can of coconut milk with a simple syrup (1/3 cup sugar dissolved in 1/3 cup water), thickened slightly with a little cornstarch. For garnish, a little toasted coconut. It was...well, it was spectacular, if I do say so myself. It's a fairly sweet concoction, though, so to make it passable for dinner I served it with a green papaya salad (shredded green papaya, carrots, and green beans, tossed with a soy-lime-chili-garlic dressing, substituting soy sauce for the traditional fish sauce because I don't like fish sauce). Seriously, it was awesome; leftovers were nonexistent.

Spring Mac and Cheese
Tonight I was seduced by the asparagus at the store. It's so fresh and tender in the early spring. When I got home I tossed together a macaroni and cheese using whole wheat macaroni, blanched asparagus, and a garlic-parmesan cheese sauce. I made it with soy milk because that's what I had, but any kind of milk would work (with the possible exception of rice milk, which may not have enough fat). The sauce is just a basic white sauce, with garlic and parmesan stirred in at the end, then seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Pour it over the drained pasta and asparagus, sprinkle with some breadcrumbs if desired and a little more parmesan, broil for a couple of minutes until the top is a nice golden brown, and voila! Again...mmmmm.

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