Monday, February 19, 2007

Postre De Pina

I've posted about the Dona Tomas Cookbook before (last month in fact), but last week we decided to try out a new recipe for our dinner guests and naturally we reached for this cookbook first. We made some delicious Enchiladas De Veduras (Roasted Sweet Potato and Poblano Chile Enchiladas with Tomatillo and Jalepeno Sauce), but this Postre De Pina dessert stole the show. The rum, sugar, and vanilla sauce melds perfectly with the pineapple and puff pastry. I will definitly be adding this to my "keepers" list for the next time I have friends over.

Here's the recipe...

*Postre De Pina*


6 (1 inch-thick) round slices fresh pineapple, cored
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup fresh pineapple juice
1 (9 by 18-inch) sheet puff pastry
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup crema, for garnish

(For Rum Sauce)
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons Myer's dark rum (I mistakenly used )
1 pinch kosher salt


To prepare the sauce, combine the cream, the butter, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a fentle boil, being careful to not scorch the bottom. Place a seperate saute pan over medium-high heat. *ile the granulated sugar in the center of the pan and drizzle the edges of the pile with the water to prevent burning. As the sugar begins to heat, fold the melted edges itno the center, gently stirring to break up any large lumps and prevent syrup from sticking and burning on the sides. Melt the sugar for 7 to 10 minutes, until it thins and turns an even shade of reddish brown.

Increase the heat to high, carefully add about 1 tablespoon of the rum, and allow the mixture to flambe. Once the flames die down, carefully whisk in one-third of the cream-butter mixture. Alternate this process two more times until all the rum and cream have been added. This method will prevent the sauce from becoming too thick (and breaking) or too thin (and not emulsifying). Bring the sauce to a full boil and add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil. Sprinkle both sides of the pineapple slices liberally with the sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then drizzle the slices with the pineapple juice. Meanwhile, take the puff pastry out of the freezer to defrost. Continue to baste the juice with the juice for 10 to 20 minutes, until the pineapple is fork-tender.

When the puff pastry is defrosted but still cold, roll it out on a well-floured surface, stretching slightly both lengthwise and widthwise. Select a bowl with a 4-inch diameter to use as a template. Place the bowl upside down on the pastry, and cut and cut around the edge with a sharp knife. You should get 6 rounds of pastry. Place the dough rounds on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or a silicone baking mat; prick each dough round with a fork. Whusk the egg yolk and milk together in a small bowl. Evenly brush the egg wash on the dough rounds. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until pastry rises and is golden brown.

Place 1 piece of the puff pastry on each plate. Place a slice of warm pineapple on each and cover with the sauce. Drizzle with crema right before serving.

Purchase this cookbook here.

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Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream

My favorite political comedian and my favorite (store bought) ice cream come together at last. Last week Ben & Jerry announced a new ice cream flavor in honor of The Comedy Central comedian called Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream. It's vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and caramel. Ben & Jerry jokingly refer to it as "The sweet taste of liberty in your mouth". Colbert, who spoofs flag-waving conservatives on his show, The Colbert Report, is donating his proceeds to charity through the new Stephen Colbert Americone Dream Fund, which will distribute the money to various causes. Being the type of individual who is easily fixated on things I began looking for the new flavor at grocery stores in the Orange County area. After being unable to find it, I only wanted it more! I've since visited the Ben & Jerry's shop at The Block in Orange and a couple more grocery stores and I am still unable to locate the new flavor. Have any of you foodies out there seen it?


Bangkok Taste

This is qiuckly becoming my favorite place to eat. These days if I don't eat at Bangkok Taste at least once a week, then something seems amiss. Located in a strip mall in Santa Ana, Bangkok Taste has consistenly churned out fabulous Thai dishes such as Larb and Pad Thai.

Their curries are also excellent, their Yellow Curry with Chicken and Potatoes is still my favorite. If you manage to save a little room for dessert I'd recommend the Sticky Rice with Mango, which is one of my favorite desserts and I'm not even particularly fond of mangos. When you pop in be sure to checkout what their daily specials are, as they are usually not on the menu. Also make sure to not order your dishes extra spicy unless you're positive you can handle it, otherwise you'll be drinking water by the gallon.

Bangkok Taste is located at:
2737 N Grand Ave
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 532-2216


Sunday, February 11, 2007

La Calle

I'm not sure where to begin. I had read good things about this restaurant tucked deep into a tiny strip mall years prior, but every time I happened to be in the area the place was closed. These days however, it is now my good fortune to live a hop, skip, and a jump away from what may be the best Mexican food I've ever had.

The first thing I'd highly reccomend ordering is the Panbaso, which is a soft bollillo roll dipped in a mild red sauce, filled with chorizo and potatoes, and topped with lettuce, sour cream, and green salsa. This is quite simply delicious...and at only a few dollars a pop you can't afford not to try one. The Potato and Chorizo Tacos in a hard shell (also shown above) are also especially tasty.

I'd also recommend you try the Chicarron (deep fried pork skin) Quesadilla. The crisp homemade dough is finished with lettuce, cotija cheese, green salsa, and sour cream and is light years away from any quesadilla I've ever eaten.

The Carne Asada Tacos (shown to the left) are also great, as are the Mole Enchiladas. I'm slowly beganing to work my way through the entire menu and I have yet to try a dish I haven't thoroughly enjoyed. The place boasts a new name now (El Moctezuma #3), but the food (I'm told) is still the same muy excelente comida as always.

La Calle (or El Moctezuma #3) is located at:
1740 W. Chapman Ave. Orange, 92868
Tel: (714) 456-0800


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Better Than Sex Cake

It was our son's 12th birthday last week. So Quinn and I ordered his favorite take-out and made a variation of thee Better Than Sex Cake (opting to call it 'The Better Than Videogame Birthday Cake'). After making this cake numerous times, we enjoy playing with the recipe adding a little peanut butter and sustituting the Heath candy bar with a Skor. Here's the original recipe, tweak to your liking or stick to the original...

1 Box German Chocolate Cake Mix
7 ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
6 ounces Caramel Sauce (Jar)
8 ounces Non-Dairy Whipped Topping -- thawed
8 Heath Candy Bars -- crushed


Bake cake in 9 by 13-inch cake pan, as directed on box. Let it cool slightly and poke little holes in the top of the cake with a pencil. Dribble sweetened condensed milk and caramel sauce over cake.

Let stand for over an hour until the cake has completely cooled. Frost with whipped topping and sprinkle crushed candy bars over that. Refrigerate.

This recipe for Better Than Sex Cake serves/makes 8


Sunday, February 04, 2007


After a late night I tend to wake up craving hangover remedies like pho or pozole. The typical eggs and bacon just don't seem to cut it for me these days, but then again Jagerhaus doesn't serve your average breakfast. This past weekend I packed up the family and headed to Anaheim to partake in an authentic German breakfast.

I started off with the German Apple Pancakes, a moist fluffy apple-stuffed pancake topped with powdered sugar is eons away from the sort of pancake you'd get at ihop. The pancake is accompanied by a delicous homemade apple jam that also goes great on toast. I also sampled some of the Fresh Corned Beef Hash and Eggs with Tomatoes plate and the Farmers Breakfast (Ham, Bacon, Onion, Potato, and Eggs). It's worth noting just how good and different from the norm the bacon (not greasy in the least) and the corned beef hash are.

The last time I was here for breakfast I ordered the German Omelette (with Polish Sausage or Brautwurst) with Sauerkraut and Onions and it was as good as I imagined it would be. The Crailsheimer Potato Pancakes with Applesauce are also especially delicious. I can never manage to save room for dessert and if you're hoping to I'd suggest you bring your appitite. Visit Jagerhaus' site for directions and info.

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