August 22, 2008

Bananas & Chocolate....Chocolate & Bananas

I grew up on Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. While other kids had slices of plain banana bread sometimes flecked with nuts, mine was studded with gooey pockets of melting chocolate and sweet tart bits of maraschino cherries.

The bananas in my kitchen are developing brown spots, this is Nature's reminder to get to baking. So I began thumbing through some of my cookbooks and landed upon Dorie Greenspan's Cocoa-Nana Bread from Baking From My Home to Yours.....WARNING...the batter is terribly tempting, luscious notes of dark chocolate mingle with sweet hints of banana....and better yet the scent perfumes the entire house!

August 8, 2008

Koo Koo for Coconuts

I've realized as of late that I'm a bit Koo Koo for Coconuts! So of course, I thought I should share my craze of this lovely fruity nut or rather nutty fruit.

I've recently stumbled upon a heavenly coconut ice-cream created by Luna & Larry of Coconut Bliss. Their Dark Chocolate cozies up well with coconut milk and coconut water.

It's perfect for T. although he doesn't really like coconuts (which I've never really understood, because he LOVES Thai Green Curry, which sings of Coconut milk). Anyhow it's great for everyone that has a dairy and soy intolerance.

I love it simply because it's made of coconut.

Coconut has all sorts of health benefits. It's high in Antioxidants, Lauric & Caprylic Acid & Manganese. It's also a good source of Essential Amino Acids and Copper. Of course there's no cholesterol (so a superb substitute for butter..although I do love butter!)

Blushing Shrimp

This recipe for Coconut Poached Shrimp is so versatile. Dunk in sauces. Roll with herbs in rice paper. Slather with Thai green curry. Toss with greens. Spoon with broth for soup. Swirl with noodles.

1 liter coconut water, I prefer O.N.E. 2 t sea salt
4 peppercorns
2 shallots, quartered
1 large green onion, green top only
1" nub of ginger, sliced
1 lemongrass stalk, cut in half and smashed
1 lime, 1/2 juiced and 1/2 sliced into rounds
1 handful fresh cilantro sprigs
1 & 1/2 lbs medium shrimp, unpeeled

Fill a large bowl with ice water. Place a smaller bowl inside of the ice bowl. Set aside.

Fill a large pot with the coconut water, salt, peppercorns, shallots, green onion, ginger, lemongrass, lime juice and slices, and cilantro sprigs. To infuse the coconut water, bring this mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and add shrimp. Simmer, uncovered, for 3-5 minutes, once the shrimp blush pink and the tails begin to curl.

Remove the shrimp from the poaching liquid using a slotted spoon or drain using a colander. Place shrimp inside of the smaller bowl set over ice water to chill. Once cooled completely, peel and eat or use as an ingredient. My favorite use is for Spring Rolls!