Friday, October 24, 2008

Banana Pudding

Allen likes Banana Pudding for his birthday instead of cake. I've made a few different recipes over the years but I thought I'd try the Nilla Wafer Back of the Box traditional recipe, again, this year despite thinking it a royal pain in the a*#&$ last time I made it. It's a little laborious but the taste is well worth the extra effort of making the custard and whipped topping verses buying a package of vanilla pudding and Cool Whip.

Original Nilla Banana Pudding

Layers of Nilla wafers, creamy pudding and fresh banana slices are the stars of this American classic.

Prep: 30 mins - Cook: 15 mins - Cool: 15 mins

3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Dash salt
3 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
45 NILLA Wafers, divided
5 ripe bananas, sliced (about 3 1/2 cups), divided
Additional NILLA Wafers and banana slices, for garnish

1. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water, stirring constantly for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. (This step, for some reason, takes longer for me than 12 minutes...more like 25.)

2. Reserve 10 wafers for garnish. Spread small amount of custard on bottom of 1 1/2-quart casserole; cover with a layer of wafers and a layer of sliced bananas. Pour about 1/3 of custard over bananas. Continue to layer wafers, bananas and custard to make a total of 3 layers of each, ending with custard.

3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Spoon on top of pudding, spreading evenly to cover entire surface and sealing well to edges.

4. Bake at 350°F in top half of oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned. Cool slightly or refrigerate. Garnish with additional wafers and banana slices just before serving.

Makes 8 servings

Nutritional Info Per Serving:
287 calories, 6 g protein, 50 g carbohydrate, 7 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 117 mg cholesterol, 134 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wisconsin Bratwurst

Allen got a gas grill for his birthday! Yay! So, we decided to break it in with an old recipe, one we use to make in Los Angeles on the old charcoal gril. Beer Brats.

I got three bratwursts from Whole Foods and halved the rest of the ingredients. It's an easy recipe and it's great to have grilled brats and spicy mustard and not as many pots an pans to clean after dinner.

2 pounds fresh bratwurst sausages
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 cup butter
6 (12 fluid ounce) cans or bottles beer
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
10 hoagie rolls

1. Prick bratwurst with fork to prevent them from exploding as they cook. Place in a large stock pot with the onions, butter, and beer. Place pot over medium heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
3. Lightly oil grate. Cook bratwurst on preheated grill for 10 to 14 minutes, turning occasionally to brown evenly. Serve hot off the grill with onions on hoagie rolls.
Oh, I got this recipe off in '04. It's a keeper.