From My Wok to Yours - Taking the Mystery Out of Everyday Dining and Meals!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kremm Broo-lay

"Excuse me, Sir, but my baked potato is cold."

"Oh. I am sorry.  Do you want another one?"

Gee, I wonder... No, I didn't want another one, I wanted the one I ordered to be hot when it was brought out, instead of the token, rather insincere apology.

As a stickler for the whole "Hot food hot, cold food cold" mantra, it was rather disappointing to go out to dinner, to a restaurant with locations around the nation,  that has been a family favorite for years, and, after waiting an interminably long time, receiving with my filet mignon and asparagus a cold baked potato.  To me, it was an indication that the potato had been loaded and put up in the "window" long before the steak, which was ordered medium rare, was ready.  Years in the business have taught me not to make a scene, or ask for a second portion of whatever was not right.  (Anyone seen the movie "Waiting?")

I was never one to plate a steak that had hit the floor, or spit in someone's food (although I can't say that I was never tempted to do so...) or do anything else foul to someone's food, because I am also a firm believer in Karma.  Hence no asking for a "re-cook."  Yup.  In the business, it all comes right back to you.  That is why, even at home, I don't toss a dropped vegetable back in the pot.  Don't want the kids learning that.

Luckily the restaurant had my favorite dessert: Creme Brulee.  There have been instances when we have visited this restaurant and for some reason, they have not had an appetizer or dessert that I wanted, but the General Manager, Joe,  would always make an effort to make sure that my family and I were well taken care of.  Last night?  Not so much.  Too bad for us, because Joe isn't there any more. 

Sadly, a good creme brulee requires an hour to cook correctly, then 2 hours to chill, and that kind of time is not something everyone is willing to spend on custard.  But mmm... the satiny taste, with vanilla coming over the top... to me, definitely worth the wait. 

Thankfully, creme brulee requires very little in terms of ingredients to make well.  So, guess what we are going to make for dessert sometime this week?  I will let you know how it tastes.

Until then, Good Eating, Friends...

Creme Brulee


9 egg yolks

3/4 cup superfine white sugar plus 6 tablespoons

1 quart heavy cream

1 vanilla bean


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream together egg yolks and sugar with a whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick.
Pour cream into a medium saucepan over low heat. Using a paring knife, split the vanilla bean down the middle, scrape out the seeds and add them to saucepan. Bring cream to a brief simmer, do not boil or it will overflow. Remove from heat and temper the yolks by gradually whisking the hot vanilla cream into yolk and sugar mixture. Do not add hot cream too quickly or the eggs will cook.
Divide custard into 6 (6-ounce) ramekins, about 3/4 full. Place ramekins in a roasting pan and fill pan with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until barely set around the edges, about 40 minutes. You may want to cover loosely with foil to prevent browning. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Transfer the ramekins to the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of each chilled custard. Hold a kitchen torch 2 inches above surface to brown the sugar and form a crust. Garnish with cookies and fresh fruit. Serve at once.
Variation: Before dividing into ramekins: add 3 ounces of shaved dark chocolate for chocolate creme brulee; add 4 slices of crystallized ginger for ginger creme brulee; add 3 slices of orange peel for orange creme brulee. Let steep 20 minutes to infuse the flavor. Strain out the ginger and orange peel before baking.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm a stickler for hot food--there's no excuse for serving lukewarm fare. I've had a few cooled baked potatoes, as well as meat, served to me.
    I haven't had creme brulee in a long time--looks delicious.
    Thanks for the recipe!