C M Y K C2 DAILY COMMERCIAL Wednesday, February 27, 2013 A genuine, one-and-only banana pudding recipe ne of the advantages of cooking at home is that it allows you to give full rein to your prejudices. And I freely admit to being hideously prejudiced when it comes to banana pudding. So, if you’re content with banana pudding made from a pudding mix, or without vanilla wafers, or if you can enjoy a serving of the stuff topped with mere whipped topping — or even not topped at all — please stop reading right now and go do something more useful or amusing. And for those of you still hanging in there, yes, I know I’ve said more than once that if more time is required to prepare a dish than to eat it, your only excuse for making it is that it’s a labor of love. O HELPFUL HINTS K If your kitchen equipment doesn’t include a double boiler, it’s easy enough to improvise using two saucepans, one smaller than the other. Of course, you can get away without going the cook-over-water route, but it’s going to mean standing right there and stirring constantly. No — absolutely no — time outs to check on your favorite soap opera or answer the phone. K When you stir a pudding, keep the burner at a moderate heat and forget about stirring in circles. Instead, use a figure-eight motion, which covers more of the bottom area and therefore does a better job at keeping your pudding from sticking and scorching. Mary Ryder PRACTICAL POTWATCHER Mary Ryder of Mascotte can be reached at [email protected], or by regular mail at P.O. Box 460, Mascotte, FL 34753. When I make banana pudding, it’s definitely a labor by today’s standards. My banana pudding is made with vanilla wafers. My banana pudding involves pudding made from scratch. And my banana pudding is gloriously crowned with airy, gold-touched meringue. You’ll find it well worth the labor required because the resulting confection isn’t just a dessert, it’s an indulgence. You’ll love it. The first time it’s a rather tedious and complex project but practice makes all things easy, even scratch pudding and French-style meringue. And you can’t imagine how smug you’ll feel when friends ask what brand of mix you used, and you admit that you cobbled up this little gem the primitive way, no mixes allowed. So, here it is, perhaps not my mother’s recipe but it tastes like the banana puddings she made. OLD-FASHIONED BANANA PUDDING INGREDIENTS FOR PUDDING: K 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar K 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg K 1⁄3 cup regular flour K Dash of salt K 3 egg yolks K 2 cups milk K 3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract K 1 box vanilla wafers, 12-ounce size K 3 or 4 medium-sized ripe bananas, sliced INGREDIENTS FOR MERINGUE: K 3 egg whites 1 K ⁄4 cup granulated sugar DIRECTIONS: 1) Separate three eggs, putting yolks in small bowl, and whites in mixing bowl. Do this half an hour before you begin work on your pudding so the whites have time to come to room temperature and expand into a voluminous meringue. 2) Bring water to boil in bottom of double boiler. Meanwhile, in top of double boiler, mix half cup of sugar, nutmeg, flour and salt. Blend in egg yolks and milk. Cook, uncovered and stirring constantly, over boiling water until thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes. 3) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. 4) While oven preheats to 350 degrees, butter a one and a half quart baking dish, and arrange vanilla wafers around the perimeter. Next, spread a little custard in the bottom of your baking dish. Add a layer of vanilla wafers, a layer of banana slices, and a third of the remaining custard. Continue with layers, ending with the last of the custard. (A deep-dish pie plate is a good baking dish for this.) 5) Work quickly making the meringue; you want to spread it over the surface of the pudding while the pudding is still hot. 6) In mixing bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add quarter cup of sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread evenly over custard, covering entire surface and sealing edges well. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until meringue is lightly browned. 7) If pudding is refrigerated, little drops of moisture may form on the meringue. Use a bit of paper towel to absorb the moisture before serving. Don’t have time to eat breakfast? Drink it CANDICE CHOI AP Food Industry Writer BOCA RATON — If you don’t have time to sit down for a bowl of cereal in the morning, companies are hoping you’ll want to drink your breakfast. As companies struggle to grow cereal sales in the U.S., Kellogg and General Mills are preparing to roll HOT CONTINUED FROM C1 than heat level, is one dried chili that different from another once it is ground or pureed into a sauce? The Helpful Place We Sell & Service Equipment* out breakfast drinks. At an industry conference Wednesday, Kellogg CEO John Bryant said one way the company will redefine cereal is with its “Breakfast To Go” milkbased drink, which will be rolled out nationally this year. A day before, General Mills said it’s testing a breakfast dairy-based shake called “BFast” that has whole grains and the nutrition of a bowl of cereal and milk, including fiber, protein, vitamins and whole grains. The drink is currently being tested in the Northeast. In separate remarks, both companies noted that a similar drink called “Up & Go” by Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Co. is performing strongly in Australia, with about 10 percent to 20 percent of the cereal business. The broader idea of turning meals into drinks is getting more attention as people look for convenient ways to eat on the go. Even though it doesn’t take Only one way to find out. We tasted seven mild to medium-hot dried chilies easily available. We stemmed and seeded the pods and removed as much of the interior veins as possible, then soaked seven grams of the chili pieces in a half cup of hot water for one hour, then 1 pureed them with ⁄4 teaspoon salt. After tasting them this way, we made a simple batch of enchilada sauce with browned flour and oil, chicken stock, cinnamon, honey, lemon juice and cocoa, and combined sauce with the chili purees, each in equal parts. chilies with the hot water; set a small plate over the chilies to keep them submerged. Let soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Strain and reserve the soaking liquid. Stem, seed and coarsely chop the chilies. 2) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped chilies and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomato, oregano, a pinch of salt and the strained-chili soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Cover the soup and simmer gently over low heat for 20 minutes. 3) Meanwhile, in a cake pan, toss the diced baguette with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spread in an even layer. Bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. 4) Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender (or use an immersion blender). Return the soup to the saucepan, bring to a simmer and season with salt. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with the creme fraiche, avocado, cilantro leaves and croutons and serve. K 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 K 1 ⁄2 tablespoons honey K Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 K ⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves GARLIC AND PASILLA CHILI SOUP *At select stores only. 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Let sit for 30 minutes, then remove the stems and seeds and coarsely chop. Reserve the soaking liquid. 2) Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, peppers and ancho chilies and cook until the tomatoes soften and break down and the liquid thickens, 20 to 30 minutes. 3) Let cool and carefully transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Add the vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, to taste, add cilantro and pulse a few times just to combine. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use. CHILIED PEANUTS AND PUMPKIN SEEDS Makes 3 cups INGREDIENTS: K 2 cups roasted peanuts (preferably without salt) K 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice K 2 teaspoons ancho (or guajillo) chili powder (available at Hispanic markets), plus a little arbol chili powder if you like it spicy K Salt K 1 cup hulled pumpkin (pepita) seeds DIRECTIONS: 1) Turn on the oven to 250 degrees and position a rack in the middle. In a medium bowl, toss the peanuts with the lime juice until all have been moistened. Sprinkle evenly with chili, then toss until the chili evenly coats the nuts. Spread the nuts into a shallow layer on a baking sheet. Slide into the oven and bake 20 to 30 minutes, until the chili has formed a light crust on the nuts. Remove from the oven and sprinkle generously with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. 2) In a large skillet over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds: spread the seeds into the skillet and, when the first one pops, stir constantly until all have popped from flat to round, about 5 minutes. Scoop on top of the peanuts, toss the two together, then scoop the mixture into a serving bowl.
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