I was invited to enter my post of a few days ago about making banana “ice cream” in a blog round-up for recipes that use home grown ingredients. This is a recipe that does not use cream, eggs or sugar — just organic bananas from our garden. If you are a blogger who used a home grown ingredient in a recipe, you can submit a post/recipe also. You can read more about this at House of Annie where my Banana “Ice Cream” recipe link is included.
Since I began this blog, I haven’t left my kitchen (just kidding!), but I did need to get out and see what else was happening in my nearby food world. So this afternoon, a friend and I visited Buddy and his Dessert, Coffee, and Martini Bar. What a great offering of desserts and drinks! If he doesn’t have what you need to lift your spirits … you need to go make a bowl of soup.
Buddy is in Bucerias, in the state of Nayarit in western Mexico. Situated upstairs above Tapas del Mundo restaurant, the bar overlooks the beautiful Bay of Banderas, a well known winter tourist destination for Americans and Canadians who would otherwise be freezing north of the border. Buddy offers sophisticated desserts that will warm any chilled soul, such as a Mango Cardamom Bread Pudding with Mango Ginger Habañero Sauce, Crème Brûlée with a Balsamic Reduction Sauce, Lemoncello Crème Brûlée, and Frozen Fudgecicle Mousse. There are also a variety of fancy coffees, and special bar drinks, like a Banana Coconut Cream Martini.
Buddy was the perfect host, offering us a generous dish of Frozen Fudgecicle Mousse (pictured above). It was presented in a puddle of crème anglaise, and garnished with an intricate chocolate decoration and the freshest, reddest strawberries, which were drizzled with a balsamic reduction sauce. And, as if that weren’t enough, he gave us the recipe for his house specialty, Molten Chocolate Souffle, of which I do not have a photo. As a dedicated blogger, this means I will have to visit again to take a photo of the souffle, maybe even get to eat one, dang it.
Fodor gave Buddy a very good review. If you are ever in our neck of the woods, and can visit Buddy’s Bar Above, you will, too.
Buddy’s Bar Above is located in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico, on the corner of Mexico and Hidaldo streets, upstairs over Tapas del Mundo, and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. (Jalisco time).
Molten Chocolate Souffle
5 oz. (150 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 (2 oz./56 grams) stick butter
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (Buddy uses Medaglia D’Oro)
1 large pinch of salt
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Generously butter 4 6-oz (3/4 cup) ramekins and arrange on a baking sheet.
- Stir chocolate and butter in a medium bowl in small saucepan of simmering water until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, yolks, sugar, vanilla, espresso powder and salt in a bowl until thick ribbons fall when beaters are lifted, about 6 minutes.
- Sift flour over batter; fold in flour. Fold in chocolate mixture.
- Divide souffle among ramekins, filling completely. Cover loosely and refrigerate 15 minutes. While chilling, pre-heat oven to 375 deg. F (190 deg. C)
- Bake until tops are puffy and dry and tester inserted into center comes out with moist batter still attached, about 15 minutes.
Cool 2 minutes. Serve hot, being aware that the ramekin is very hot. Buddy sprinkles powdered sugar on the souffle, pipes whipped cream on top, and sprinkles that with cinnamon. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is on the side with either raspberry or chocolate caramel sauce.
Update: I’m sorry to tell you that after five years of business, Buddy closed his doors in May, 2010. Thanks for the sweet treats, Buddy.
All my recent omelet making produced an abundance of fresh salsa in the fridge. A bowl of extra salsa is a culinary opportunity. This has invited thoughts about how to best enjoy this zippy, juicy, small-cut salad. If you don’t have any salsa, check yesterday’s post for the recipe.
First, I made a quick bowl of soup last night with homemade beef broth from the freezer (you could use chicken or vegetable broth), cubed tofu and about half a cup of salsa. It was extra colorful because I added 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric to the broth.
Tostadas came up for dinner. Every time I make them, I wonder why I don’t do this more often. They are so easy to prepare and always welcome. Bright, colorful, nutritious, meatless if you wish, economical, quick to prepare, minimal cooking … the list can go on.
To make them, you will need corn tostadas — those crispy corn tortillas ready to eat, warm refried black beans or pinto beans, grated or thinly sliced cheese of your choice and a ripe avocado. Plus your leftover salsa. Since I was the only one home for dinner, I kept it simple, but you can add more toppings: sliced radish, thinly sliced romaine lettuce, shredded chicken, sliced baked tofu, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro. Whatever appeals to you — there are no set rules. This is a fun and easy meal for company, because everybody can custom build their own tostadas to taste.
To assemble: spread warm refried beans on a tostada, top with sliced avocado, cheese and salsa. Enjoy!
and Fresh Salsa
No country’s cuisine is purely its own anymore. With foreign restaurants in every major city, you can find anything you want almost anywhere in the world. One breakfast dish that has traveled well is the omelet and it can be found on many menus in Mexico. I have played around with this version for a while, and finally perfected what I think is an easy recipe for a Mexican omelet with fresh salsa and refried beans.
The premiere omelet instructor is Julia Child. Her video on omelet making is very instructive and entertaining. If you don’t feel like you have yet mastered the omelet, view this video half a dozen times, make several omelets, and you will soon find yourself able to whip up an omelet in a few minutes. It may take a bit of practice to make an attractive omelet, but no matter how yours turns out, it is easy to form into a neat shape with a spatula once it is on the plate. Even Julia does this in her video.
An omelet comes together in a matter of minutes, so have your filling ingredients ready and next to the stove. Slice or grate cheese of your choice — I recommend manchega or Oaxaca string cheese, but any cheese you have on hand will do. Heat the re-fried beans, thinning with water if needed so that the beans can be spread easily with a spatula when spooned over the omelet. I’m partial to black beans, but you can also use re-fried pinto beans. Grated or thinly sliced cheese will melt more quickly. Pre-heated re-fry beans will also help melt the cheese.
If you wish, you can use bottled salsa, but it only takes about 10 minutes to make it from scratch. Like all things fresh, it is so superior to commercial salsa that the two can not be compared.
fresh salsa *see recipe below
2 eggs per person, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup of refried beans per omelet, canned or home-made
2 tablespoons thinly sliced or grated cheese per omelet
Put 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil in a skillet that measures 6″ to 8″ across the bottom. Heat pan over medium high heat. When the butter has stopped sizzling, or the oil is hot, add the eggs. Swirl the pan to distribute the eggs. With the back of a fork, stir lightly, not touching the bottom of the pan, to mix cooked egg with uncooked. If you have a pool of liquid egg, you can use a spatula to lift a side of the omelet as you tip the pan so that the liquid egg flows under the cooked egg.
When the egg is mostly firm, lower heat, and add beans, cheese and 2 tablepoons of salsa to one side of the omelet.
Fold the opposite side over the filling, and, turning off the heat, let the omelet sit in the pan for 30 seconds to melt the cheese. Tipping the pan, use a spatula to gently remove the omelet to a plate. Top with remaining two tablespoons of salsa and finely chopped cilantro if you wish. Serve with warm corn tortillas. Buen provecho!
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 minced garlic cloves
minced jalapeño (or serrano) to taste — one half to one whole jalapeño, depending on its heat level
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, leaves and stems
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice
sea salt to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon
Chop tomatoes, onion and cilantro. Use the cilantro stems, also, if they are tender. They are as tasty as the leaves and add an element of crunch. Mince garlic and jalapeño. The easiest way to handle a jalapeño is to cut off the tip, hold it by the stem and stand it on end on a cutting board. Slice “cheeks” off the chile, leaving the seeds intact in the center. You may want to use kitchen gloves if you have sensitive skin. And don’t rub your eyes after handling chiles!
Mix all together and salt to taste. Once you become comfortable making fresh salsa, you will find that the measurements are not important. Use your eye to measure quantity and to combine color. Use your sense of taste to adjust amounts of garlic, lime, chile and salt. This way, each batch of salsa is unique.
Faced with a small mountain of organic, home-grown bananas, I’m trying to think of different ways to put them on the table. Years ago, I had a recipe for banana ice cream made with frozen bananas, raw cashews, dates and carob powder. The recipe is long lost, but I think I can duplicate it, more or less. This undertaking results in something so creamy and smooth, almost silken. And you can feel good eating it because it is so good for you — no sugar, eggs, or anything dairy. Just one ingredient: banana. Or just banana with nuts and dates added, or with toppings. You don’t even need an ice cream maker.
One Ingredient Banana “Ice Cream“
Puree 3 sliced, frozen bananas in food processor until creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Scrape down work bowl if banana builds up on the sides. Once creamy, process an additional minute for a mousse-like consistency. That’s it. Dish up and eat. The little specks in the photo look like vanilla seeds, but they aren’t — they are banana seeds.
If you want to get fancy, here are some easy toppings:
Blend one and one half tablespoons of agave syrup or honey with one tablespoon of cocoa powder. Spoon sauce over ice cream and top with chopped walnuts. Now it’s starting to look decadent.
Or, for a breakfast treat or snack, spoon granola over banana ice cream. Whoops — no photo for this one. I got too enthusiastic and ate it before I took a photo. A food blogger’s occupational hazard, I guess.
Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
- 3 frozen bananas, sliced or chopped
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Blend everything in food processor until smooth and creamy. Serve right away while its cold, but it won’t melt if you wait a while.
Deluxe Banana Ice Cream
- 3 frozen bananas, sliced
- 1/2 cup soft dates, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup raw cashews or walnuts
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend banana for one minute. Add remaining ingredients and blend 3-5 minutes until smooth. Or you can leave it a little chunky.
- Just look at this one-ingredient banana “ice cream” (boingboing.net)