Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Dinner: March 21, 2010

Jason wanted to open a restaurant called "World of Waffles" or WOW. Everything on the menu would have at least one component "waffled", which made my mind go to some strange diner with far too many objects arranged haphazardly about the room in an effort to create a 'quirky' decor. No, he said, it would be upscale, refined. Hmmm...refined waffles. Well tonight he proved that waffles and chili aren't just for diners...

A second theme of tonight's dinner was reuse and recycle. We still had leftover rib meat, smoked chicken, and I just can't do anymore BBQ. Jason knew if he has any hope of using his smoker again he had to find a creative use for the meat...thus the first two courses were born.

Course One: 
Shaved Fennel Savoy Cabbage Slaw
Smoked Chicken, Sous Vide Five Spice Carrots and Toasted Hazelnuts

Course Two (Photo above): 
Smoked Baby Back Chili with Blue Cornbread Waffles
Rancho Gordo Vaquero Beans
Anise-Cilantro Yogurt, Pickled Baby Purple Onions
Garlic Braised Collard Greens

Course Three:
Samoa Girl Scout Cookie Bread Pudding
Chocolate Cake, Coconut Custard, Caramel Sauce, Toasted Coconut


This recipe is also based on the re-use and recycle theme. I still had experimental chocolate mini cupcakes in the freezer from the Shamrock Baked Alaska.  

You can use any  chocolate cake you wish, even box mix (gasp)

 Ready for the oven

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups whole milk (you can use all coconut milk to make it dairy free)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6-7 cups chocolate cake in 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cream, heated (you can use coconut milk to make it dairy free)
  • 2 T butter (omit for dairy free)
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1-2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
  1. Toast unsweetened coconut in toaster oven or dry skillet until golden. Take care not to burn it. 
  2. Heat coconut milk and whole milk in saucepan, when hot, but not boiling. Put toasted coconut in milk mixture ensuring it is completely covered, take off heat and cover. If you have a good blender or immersion blender, it is good to blend it together to release more coconut flavor. Let steep for at least one hour. Strain, making sure you squeeze out all the liquid you can from the coconut. You will have 3 cups or so of liquid remaining. 
  3. Add eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to the infused milk mixture and blend until smooth.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  5. While the oven is preheating, place cubed cake on baking tray and bake for 5 -15 minutes  until it is dried slightly. 
  6. Prepare a 9x13 inch pan, by lining it with parchment paper.
  7. Make caramel by placing 2 cups sugar in a large dry heavy bottomed skillet. Stir sugar until it is hot then leave along until the bottom layer melts, then swirl pan or stir gently until all sugar is melted and amber brown.Pour in heated cream. It will bubble up - keep stirring until the mixture is smooth over medium low heat. Remove from heat and add butter and salt 
  8. Pour caramel into baking pan, making sure it covers all the bottom.
  9. Place cake cubes over caramel, and pour custard mixture on top. Let soak for at least 15 minutes.
  10. Bake at 325 for 40-50 minutes, or until custard is set. 
  11. Invert pan onto platter, and peel off parchment. Top with toasted sweetened coconut. Serve warm.

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