Banana Soufflés

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Adapted from Eric Ripert

These simple, airy soufflés are the perfect marriage of Puerto Rican ingredients and French technique to make this dessert. These banana  soufflés are also  the perfect compliment to a meal  for those who like their desserts just sweet enough, but not too sweet. Enjoy!

Serve 4

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
5 Tablespoons granulated white sugar
2 firm, ripe bananas, mashed (1 1/4 cups)
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon coconut rum
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 large egg yolk
3 large egg whites
Salt

Directions: 
Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Brush four 1-cup (8 ounces) ramekins with melted butter. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar to 1 of the ramekins and rotate it to coat with sugar. Tap the excess sugar into another ramekin and repeat until all the ramekins are coated with sugar.

In a food processor, puree the bananas with the lime juice, rum, vanilla, egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until smooth. Scrape the banana mixture into a large bowl.

In a medium stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until firm and glossy. Using a rubber spatula, beat one-fourth of the beaten whites into the banana mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Spoon the soufflé mixture into the prepared ramekins and tap them lightly on a countertop. Transfer the soufflés to a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and risen.

Serve at once.

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Scallops with Orzo, Tomatoes and Ginger

Recipe Adapted from Eric Ripert

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Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 cup orzo or other tiny pasta
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 large stalk of fresh lemongrass, tender inner core of  bottom third only, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 pounds cherry tomatoes
3 Tablespoons chopped basil
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops

Directions:
In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the orzo, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a mini processor, mince the ginger with the lemongrass. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium skillet. Add the ginger and lemongrass and cook over moderately high until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the basil and the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the scallops, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook for 1 minute longer.

Mound the orzo in shallow bowls or on plates and top with the tomatoes and scallops. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of basil and serve.