Plantains floster

There are some times when you make something and it’s so damn good that you can’t help but believe all is right with the world. This cooks up in about five minutes, and it’s much nicer than using bananas. The plantains have a bit more starch to them, and it tempers the sweetness. Not to mention the plantains are firmer, so they stay together more. Traditional Bananas Foster always seems too sweet, and the bananas fall apart.

To make it: 
  • 1 Plantain, very ripe (yellow, with some brown spots - you can do all brown, but it’s really good when it’s still yellow)
  • 2-3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 pinches of Hawaiian Red Sea Salt (I found it at Trader Joes - do NOT try to use regular salt!)
  • 1/4 cup Captain Morgan
  • 1/4 cup Honey Liqueur
  • 1/2 pint Dulce de Leche or Vanilla ice cream (Haagen-Daaz makes a good one)

Heat the oil to very hot. Cut the plantains in quarters lengthwise, then in about 1″ long strips. Put the plantain bits one at a time and keep them moving in the hot oil until all sides are browned pretty well. Pour in the rum and honey liqueur and let cook on high heat, stirring the plantains around, until the liquid reduces by about half. Take off heat, and serve over ice cream. Vanilla Bean or Dulce de Leche is best.

Simple pistachio/fig dessert with almond milk

So, recently I got into this mode where I can no longer eat dessert in any traditional fashion - be it cookie, cake, ice cream or marshmallows, any form of dessert (alas!) makes me incredibly tired about ten minutes later. But I still have a sweet tooth - go fig.

This recipe, only slightly modified from one I got in a Yoga Journal e-newsletter I still get, is the perfect answer to my sweet tooth. The figs and candied ginger give it a nice sweetness, while the pistachios and almond milk give it a nice, crunchy, hint-of-vanilla flavor that was completely perfect, but didn’t make me pass out. I highly recommend it - plus, you don’t need a ton of it. Just a small helping of the fruit/nut combo with about 1/2 a cup of almond milk was the perfect serving. This recipe will serve 3.

To make it: 

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls of raw pistachios (unsalted)
  • 4 dried Calmyra figs, stems removed and halves
  • 3 small pieces of candied ginger
  • 1 handful of raisins
  • 1 cup almond milk, plain or vanilla

Combine pistachios, figs and ginger in a small chopper or food processor and pulse until chopped roughly. Divide mixture into 3 small bowls. Top each with a few raisins and some almond milk to cover. Serve immediately. I think you could also let this sit for a while, but the almond milk will most likely rehydrate the fruit, which I don’t particularly like.

Grand Marnier poached peaches

This was an impromptu addition to a dinner hosted by a couple of good friends, using what they had on hand. Oh my goodness with the tasty. It’s surprisingly simple once you get all the stuff in the pot, and amazing over vanilla bean ice cream or coconut sorbet.

 

To make it: 
  • 2 large peaches, sliced rather thick
  • 3 tbsp butter (you can also use coconut oil if you want to make it vegan; just add a pinch of kosher salt if you do)
  • 1/3 cup grand marnier
  • 1 shot of good single-malt scotch (I used Balvenie Double-Wood)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary, crushed with your fingers
  • a good blast of fresh-ground pepper (the 5-peppercorn blend is best)

melt butter in a large saucepan and add peaches. Cook over low-medium heat until the butter goes just a bit brown. Take off the heat, add Grand Marnier, scotch and vanilla and return to heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue cooking on low-medium heat for about 10 minutes until fumes start to disappear. Your house should be smelling REALLY GOOD by now. Take off heat and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before serving over vanilla ice cream or coconut sorbet.