Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 13th Breakfast & Dinner

For breakfast we made Sticky Date Pancakes with Butterscotch Sauce from the Tasty Kitchen website.

There was a whole stick of butter in the batter, which was very thick!

The sauce was very easy to make and just leave to simmer while we cooked the pancakes. It was also Jeanette's favorite part...she kept saying she couldn't believe how much she loved it!

Because the batter was so thick (maybe it would have been more pour-able if the butter had been softer like the recipe suggests?), a little bit went a long way once it spread out.

We also found that we didn't need to melt very much butter in the pan since there was so much in the batter!

We made whipped cream out of the cream from the top of raw milk, and also had apples and strawberries to go along with the pancakes.

The pancakes with the sauce and whipped cream were sooo good - you don't feel like you want or need any maple syrup to go along with them!

Moving onto Dinner......

When we were talking about what we wanted to make, we both thought we hadn't made fish in a while, and there were a lot of sides we wanted to make that would go well with fish, so we decided to find a fish recipe to try! There was also a salad we had been wanting to try, so we started the meal with it. The "recipe" was from the April 2011 Food Network Magazine for Watercress, Avacado and Orange Salad. All the flavors went really well together, and we loved the different textures of the avocados, red onions, and nuts. The onions are soaked in water for a while after being sliced, and then sat in the dressing for some time too, which softened them just a little bit, and took a little of the harshness of raw onions away. We used romaine lettuce instead of watercress, and we liked how it held up and kept its crunch once we tossed it in the dressing and everything.

The fish we decided to make was Tilapia Milanese from the March 2011 Food Network Magazine, but we used red snapper because we couldn't find wild caught tilapia, and we didn't make the arugula to go with it as the recipe suggests. The fish came out really well - nice and crispy on the outside, and with great flavor from the lemon zest and parsley in the coating.

To go along with the fish, we made Roasted Cauliflower Risotto, also from the March 2011 Food Network Magazine, and Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter, Lemon, and Radish Tops from the April 2011 Bon Appetit. The risotto was not made in the traditional way that risotto is usually prepared--rather than add a little bit of warm broth at a time, stirring until it is nearly all absorbed, and then adding more, all the broth was added at once and brought to a boil, then covered and put in the oven to finish cooking before adding the final ingredients. However, the pan we used was SO full when all the liquid was added, that we simmered it on the stove instead of putting it in the oven. This technique actually worked quite well; the rice absorbed more liquid as it sat while we finished cooking everything, but adding a little more broth would probably have brought it back to the right consistency if we had taken time to do that. We were so ready and excited to eat that we just ate it as it was, a little more like rice than risotto!

The roasted cauliflower and almonds were kept separate, and added on top of the risotto when it was served.

Roasting radishes was something neither of us had thought of doing before seeing this recipe - we had both only eaten them raw, and they seem to have such a strong flavor when they are raw that you can't eat a lot of them at once.

After they were roasted, they had a much more mellow, almost sweet, flavor to them. They also had a browned butter sauce poured on top after they were roasted, which made them taste so good! The recipe said to chop up the greens and put some on top after the radishes were cooked. There were a lot of greens, which we were thinking might be good cooked with the radishes a little bit next time.

And now dessert!!

We made Sticky Toffee Banana Pudding from the March 2011 Bon Appetit magazine, a banana semi-freddo, and caramelized bananas to go with it. The original plan was to make banana brown sugar ice cream with the caramelized bananas, but when we were on our way back from grocery shopping Jeanette realized that the bowl for the ice cream maker was not in the freezer, so we couldn't make ice cream! So we decided to puree some of the caramelized bananas, add them to whipped cream we had left over from breakfast, and freeze it. Then we left the rest of the caramelized bananas to have with the dessert.

The "pudding" (cake) was so good! Some of the toffee sauce is poured over the cake when it is cooked through, and then it's baked for a few more minutes, so the sauce is absorbed into the cake. We used honey in the sauce instead of the dark corn syrup it called for, since we thought the flavor of the honey would pair well with banana. The semi-freddo we made with the whipped cream was actually pretty good with the cake! It was very banana-y, especially combined with the cake and the caramelized bananas. Jeanette said the dessert was like glorified banana bread, which describes it really well because it was a sweeter, richer, banana bread type cake with the added banana flavor from the semi-freddo and caramelized bananas!

We really enjoyed every part of this meal, including the semi-freddo that we made last minute! Wesley really liked the pancakes...he ate at least 2 for breakfast, and then had another one in the afternoon when we started cooking that had been left in the oven, and accidentally got re-heated for quite a while when we turned the oven on! He also had fun helping us lick all the beaters!

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