Monthly Archives: March 2010

comfort food…

As spring works her way into the East Coast, our days are punctuated with rainy, blustery, dark days. I savor these last wintry days, and hope for the sunshine. These days just beg for warm sweaters, down blankets, and of course comfort food.  Simple, familiar, home-cooked food, you can dig out of your pantry without leaving your home. Nothing screams comfort like warm, creamy, velvety soft bread, with a touch of sweet and savory.  It will make your home smell divine and warm your soul.

banana bread pudding with dulce de leche

1 loaf rustic Tuscan round bread (any round white will do)

1 ½ cup milk

½ cup heavy whipping cream

3 eggs

3 tbs granulated sugar, plus 1 tsp

½ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 dash bitter almond extract (Swedish/optional)

1tbs melted butter

3 ripe bananas cut on the bias

¼ cup dulce de leche; store bought or homemade, or any caramel sauce you might have

dash of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8×10 inch pan.  Pour caramel on the bottom and a sprinkle of salt. Tear bread into ¾-1 inch cubes.  To make custard, whisk together milk, cream, granulated sugar, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Cut bananas on the bias about ½ inch thick.  Put ½ of bread cubes into buttered pan over caramel.  Wedge in bananas.    Repeat for a second layer. Pour melted butter over top layer of bread. Pour custard mixture over bread and evenly cover until pan is almost full. Let stand for 30 minutes. Sprinkle 1 tsp granulated sugar over the top. Place into oven and bake 40 minutes. Bake until nice golden brown on the top, and bread springs back when tapped lightly.

Note:

To make and easy homemade dulce de leche, take one can sweetened condensed milk, punch holes in the top of the can. Place can in a pot of water filled halfway up the can. Boil in the pot until the milk seeps out of the can and is a nice toasty, caramel brown, and thick in texture. Keep refilling the pot with water as necessary. This can take up to 2 hours. Open can and mix.  I like mine on the darker side for more depth in flavor. I also add about a 1/2 tsp kosher salt before mixing.

Cook together, toast to each other, and share!

Advertisements

food for thought…

foodfilosofi is an avenue to simply connect to other people through cooking and food, a way to bring travels and experiences to life, and give them color, texture, and sound. The visceral experiences of our lives tend to be the most vivid, and they always tend to involve food in one way or another. There is something special about cooking that brings people together. We craft food as an art, offer it as a gesture of peace, give it as gifts, use it for bribes or for seduction, or simply to bring the people we love closer.

This journey and passion for cooking all started with the lifetime quest to know how my mom made her famous Swedish pancakes (similar to crêpes). She finally confided: “some flour, some sugar, a little salt, milk, and eggs, you know when you have it right because you can feel it in the wrist when you mix it”.  Only after she passed away, did I receive a beautiful handwritten recipe for her pancakes, so I thought this first post would honor that treasure, here it is word for word. So, get ready for the best Swedish pancakes you have ever eaten, and forgive the spelling errors, English was my mother’s sixth language:

Swedish pancakes

4 dl flouer (approx)

1/2 tsp salt

8 dl milk (approx)

2 eggs

3 tbs butter

mix flour, salt in a tall glassbowl (with love it’s all in the wrist). add milk and wisk until smooth, than add eggs, melt butter lightly and add to mix. Let stand in refrigirator for 1 hr. Now it’s time to make Swedish pancakes. Oh they are so good.  Iron pan, we prefere, turn heat to high, add butter, turn down heat when butter turns golden brown, add mixture with love, pour into pan with lace edges, spread thinley flip and enjoy. Serve with lingonberry jam or suger, no syrup is aloud on Swedish pancakes.

love

elise


NOTES:

dl= deciliter; just go 2:1 ratio milk:flour, 1.5 cups flour to 3 cups milk

combine wet and dry ingredients separately, then combine wet to dry, whisking constantly. Mixture will be significantly thinner than American pancake batter, and no worries if there are lumps.

“lace edges” refer to the crispy outer portion of the pancake, make sure they are a crispy golden brown  and the pancake is bubbling, before flipping (cooking approximately 2 minutes on first side, and 1.5 minutes on the second). Make sure the pan is always adequately buttered, this creates these nice, crispy lace edges. Serve hot off the pan!

I love my Swedish pancakes plain with granulated sugar like my grandmother and mother used to serve them, but they are delicious with just about anything.

Cook together, toast to each other, and share!