Creme Brulee

Creme brulee is one of my favorite desserts!  For my birthday two years ago, Mr. Pea got me a pastry torch and a creme brulee set, I was so excited to test it out that I ran right to the store to buy all the ingredients. The first time I made it (needless to say) it didn’t turn out, but the second time, after I figured out a few techniques, it was perfect and  I was in heaven!

So this past weekend  we had Mr. Pea’s mom over for  a mexican fiesta to celebrate her birthday.  So I thought  about what we were going to have  and we decided on chips and homemade salsa (a Tomatillo Salsa and a  Spicy Chipolte salsa-recipes to follow, promise!) as an appetizer, Skirt Steak tacos with a Chimichurri sauce  and Tilapia tacos with a Blood Orange Salsa (again recipes to follow I promise), Green Rice and Black Beans. I couldn’t think of something to make for a dessert. Then Mr. Pea told me that he remembered that  she loves creme brulee. I got so excited, let’s just say I was as excited to make it as much as the first day  Mr. Pea gave me my beloved pastry torch.

My favorite way to eat creme brulee, is  to make a vanilla bean creme brulee with fresh raspberries on the side. A lot of people like to flavor their creme brulee with lots of different ingredients,  but I think that  the vanilla bean is a  beautiful flavor and pairs very well  with fresh berries.

Let’s just say Mr Pea’s mom  had a wonderful celebration and she deserves it!

Check out my Creme Brulee recipe!

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Creme Brulee:
1 Cup heavy cream
1 Cup milk
1/4 vanilla bean
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 Cup sugar
Brown Sugar
Cup of Fruit of Berries

Combine heavy cream, milk and vanilla bean. Heat to boil. Remove from heat and steep 10 minutes with vanilla bean. Scrape bean seeds into milk mixture.

With electric mixture, combine eggs and sugar. Add the milk mixture in a steady stream through a fine strainer. Skim foam.

Divide into 4 small ramekins set in baking dish and pour hot water around ramekins to come 1/2 way up the sides. Place in 325 º oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, until just set (trembles slightly).

Cover with saran wrap and  place in fridge until  you are ready to eat   when ready cover top with brown sugar and caramelize with torch.

Enjoy!


French Onion Soup

This next  post is probably one of my favorite things to eat-French Onion Soup! I love french onion soup, I never did as a kid though, I hated onions I would just eat the melted cheese and leave the rest. Now, that is just simply CRAZY to not enjoy the rest of the soup!

I never realized how many onions it takes to make french onion soup, I was crying for days! Not really, I am actually pretty good about chopping onions  without shedding a tear,  but not this many onions! It was delicious! Almost as good as my favorite french onion soup at the Jackson Grill in Milwaukee.

Let me just say if  you have never been to The Jackson Grill in Milwaukee, this place it is hands down my favorite restaurant! My mouth is watering just thinking about it, even though  Mr. Pea and I were just there for Valentine’s Day.The Jackson Grill is our special place  for Valentine’s Day every year. It is located 3736 West Mitchell Street  Milwaukee, WI 53215 it only has  like 10 tables or so, so MAKE A RESERVATION!!!

They have the best french onion soup I have ever had, but  I can never decide  between the french onion or the just as amazing lobster bisque, you choose either  you are in for a treat! They have amazing Valentine’s Day specials including seafood, but since we travel to the east coast each year the seafood just does not compare  and this  restaurant is a steakhouse,  so get a steak!  I usually get the Black Angus Filet Mignon a la Portabella with natural au jus 6 oz.  with garlic mashed potatoes (must get the garlic mashed potatoes, I repeat get the garlic mashed potatoes!)  Mr. Pea usually gets Black Angus New York Strip a la Portabella with natural au jus 16 oz. with garlic mashed potatoes (smart man!) which is just as good, it just depends on the cut of meat you like.

I can not stress enough that you MUST save room for dessert!  It is our Valentine’s Day tradition to share a dessert, and my favorite is their  Napoleon with Fresh Strawberries, it is to die for!  I dream about this dessert all year long, it is that good! It is made of a flaky puff pastry, layered with fresh strawberries, a silky pastry cream and a fluffy whipped cream. This meal at the Jackson Grill is my perfect meal, you must try it!

Anyways getting back to the French Onion Soup that I made, I adapted it from the book The Joy of Cooking. This book is the best, Mr. Pea and I got it for Christmas  some years ago and it has transformed our cooking skills  and the food we create in our kitchen forever.  If  you don’t know how to cook or  you are just learning, it will give you the basics you need  to cook just about anything.

Check it out the book  Joy of Cooking and this adapted French Onion Soup recipe!

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French Onion Soup
(Adapted from the Joy of Cooking)

Heat in a soup pot over medium-low heat until butter is melted:
2 Tablespoons of butter
2 Tablespoons of olive oil

Add and stir to coat:
5 medium onions, thinly sliced
Pinch of dried Thyme
Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally and keeping an eye on the onions so they do not scorch. As soon as  they start to brown, about 15 minutes, reduce the heat to medium -low and continue to cook, covered, stirring, until they are a rich brown , about  40 minutes.

Stir in:
1/4 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar
Increase heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until the Vinegar has evaporated and Balsamic is thicker.

Stir in:
3 1/2 Cups Beef Stock
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Season with:
1 teaspoon of salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place oven safe soup bowls on a baking sheet. Ladle the hot soup into the bowls  top with chopped toasted breadcrumbs and 3 Tablespoons Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese.

Enjoy!