Monday, July 25, 2005

Cookin No. 7 - Viva La Brownie

This Saturday was a blast, a culinary blast, to be precise. My parents hosted a engagement picnic for my brother, who will be marrying my soon to be sister-in-law in October. I’m really happy for him, and Kim, (his bride to be), and I got to meet her family for the first time on Saturday. Like Kim, they are down to earth people, from Long Island. Kim’s mother, Rene is a fun loving person, her father, Jeff is a real riot, and her sister, Tara is really nice and easy going. The rest of the family was full of nice people too.

The menu:

Cold shrimp
BBQ Ribs with a dry rub
Sweet corn salad with cilantro, red onion and jalapeño pepper
Roasted peppers
Roasted halves of baby eggplants, also known as shoes
Tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella salad
Deviled eggs
Roasted rosemary potatoes with fresh orange

We feasted. Three long tables were set up outside to house us, and we just ate, and drank sangria. My father, the culinary genius behind the picnic had started to prepare for the day at 5:45 in the morning. Crazy man. But I know that he loves it, nothing would have made him happier than to cook all that food for everyone. And nothing made us happier than to eat and enjoy it.

In true Italian fashion, after dinner we sat back, refilled our glasses of sangria and lit some cigarettes, rubbing our bursting stomachs. The weather had calmed down from blistering hot, to a nice cool breeze. A conversation on politics started up among the long island people, and I just smiled at my father and told him that everything was perfect.

Personally I don’t think that politics should be discussed at the dinner table. Why ruin the nice relaxed feeling you get after a good meal, with arguing over who is ruining the country, and who could make it better? Maybe I’m a eating purist, I’ve been called worse.

After a few hours of digestion, it was time for desert. This is where I came in. a few years ago, my friend Chris and I formed a recipe for brownies, after eating them for the first time, we deiced that their proper name should be, Damn Good Brownies. Since that evening in the kitchen, after the food fight was subdued, the recipe has evolved into a monster. My parents requested these brownies to be made for the picnic. Until this occasion, Chris and I were happy to divulge the secret of our recipe, however with the popular demand, we have decided that it will now be classified information. More on that later. For now… the brownies:

Damn Good Brownies
Sweet cream ice cream from the purple cow creamery in Easton
Sautéed berries with triple sec and brandy.

Now normally I would use turkey hill ice cream, but this being a special occasion, I called in an order to a creamery near by. The purple cow makes their own delicious ice cream, and they have a fabulous selection. I was thinking, that instead of vanilla ice cream, which sometimes can be a little over powering to the other flavors of a dish, I would try out their sweet cream flavor. Sweet cream is ice cream before any flavors are added, so its just cream and sugar. It tastes a bit like whipped cream flavored ice cream. Makes sense right. So I thought that the nice subtle flavor of the sweet cream would go well with the brownie and fruit. It did.

The berries:

½ cup of sugar
Splash of triple sec
Splash of brandy

Cut the cherries in half and pit them, then slice the strawberries into ½ inch thick slices. Add all the berries to a pan on the stove at medium heat. Add the triple sec and brandy and let them cook for a while. After a minute, add the sugar and stir. Keep them on the stove until the raspberries are mush, and the cherries are a deep color. Let cool for a moment and then spoon over the brownie and ice cream.

Eat and be Merry

Nothing special about this dish, but people loved it. They raved about the brownies. And I have decided to bring the brownies back. For too long the brownie has been over looked. If someone tries to make the brownie gourmet, it comes out like some mound of colossal chocolate. Almost too much chocolate (that statement coming from a confirmed chocola-holic). The brownie turns into some peasant that was gussied up for a ball, and the outfit is all wrong. Other times the brownie is ignored, just something to hold onto at a family function, just another plane desert that someone threw together at the last minute. It never gets raved about.

So I want to bring the brownie back, it will be a brownie revolution, an appreciated desert, something that can stand proudly next to the crème Brule and be admired. This is why I’m keeping the recipe secret, because Chris and I have decided to undergo the adventure of revitalizing the brownie, and so there is much testing to do. Don’t worry dear friends, we’ll be sure to keep you posted. It is not my usual practice to keep recipes from the world, I always maintain that they are free to be shared, because they wouldn't grow if you kept them to your self, and that is still true here. DGB won't grow just yet, but after a few months of testing, we will set it free.

Bon Appetite


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, Viva La Brownie!!
Perhaps we should branch out, using the Damn Good Brownies as a base and discovering new but non-pretentious ways to serve them. The originals were simply served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, and now we have them with berries and sweet cream... the possibilities are endless!

7:05 PM  

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