Thursday, February 2, 2012

Super Bowl–Crème Brulee

I have been told that I host a very different Super Bowl party. At least they say that until I invite them. The game is the game, I don’t do anything special to that. No where I differ is in the food I prepare. Most people to hot wings and pizza. Me, I do prime rib, a hand made smoked chicken roll, cracked wheat rolls, green beans with almonds and cranberries, sweet potatoes with applesauce and for desert, crème brulee and cheese cake. Of course I make it all myself. I love to cook and so does my wife. However, the normal holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc), she considers to be her time to cook (she kicks me out of the kitchen). My only recourse was to make a holiday for myself that would be mine to cook and I can kick her out of the kitchen. The super bowl is that holiday. I have done this for several years now and it always goes over well. Now I realize that the menu I server is anything but health, but I try to be good all year (even Thanksgiving and Christmas), so once a year isn’t that bad. Plus it does support the Rodney Dangerfield diet (If you want to look skinny, you have to hang around fatter people).

OK, enough background, lets talk about the food. Since the super bowl is 4 days away, I started my cooking today. On the menu: crème brulee, or as I am fond of calling it “burnt creamy puddin’”. I am not sure where I got this recipe from (probably a betty crocker cookbook), but it is a good one and always comes out well. My plan is to cook the crème brulees up, cover with plastic wrap until Sunday and then add the burnt sugar on top. A little tip on browning the sugar, don’t try to use those wimpy little torches that cooking stores sell. Instead, go to Home Depot or Lowes and for about $10, get a little propane torch. It has a big bottle attached to it so you won’t run out, it gets hotter than those cheap little ones and has a much bigger surface are so browns faster. Of course, if you don’t have a torch, the you can follow the recipe and just use the broiler on your oven.

Here is the recipe:

Recipe: Creme Brulee

3/4 cup milk
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 vanilla beans -- cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
10 fresh egg yolks
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 flue flan or quiche dishes -- 5 inches by 1 inch deep

Preheat oven to 300F.

Place milk, cream, vanilla bean, sugar and salt in a saucepan and whisk until well combined. Heat until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat; remove vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the cream mixture. Let cool and infuse 1/2 hour. Add egg yolks while whisking, until well combined.

Place flan dishes on a 1 inch deep baking sheet. Fill the flan dishes 3/4 full with the creme brulee mixture. Place in oven and fill baking sheet 3/4 full with hot water. Bake 1 hour or until the cream is set. Remove the dishes from the hot water bath and set aside to cool.

To serve: Sprinkle the top of each serving evenly with brown sugar. Caramelize with a torch or red hot salamander until the sugar browns.

Notes: Creme brulee is best if caramelized with a torch or salamander, but not all home cooks are so well equipped. If not available, place the cooled creme brulee in the refrigerator until chilled. When ready to serve, place the sugar coated creme brulee in a preheated broiler, 6 inches form the flame, being careful not to burn the sugar.
For the party, I use smaller little round ramekins, this lets the recipe go a little further (I get twice the servings). 

Cooling off and waiting to go into the fridge.

I will be sure to post how the final product turns out.

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