Originally published in The Hudson Reporter
All right, guys, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Every year it starts to create stress when you have to start contemplating what to do or get for your lady: “Is our relationship far enough along that I should be getting her a big gift? Are flowers still okay? Does she expect me to do something only though we’ve been together 1-2 months?” (The answers are yes, yes and yes.)
Why not serve up some dessert? I decided to talk to my buddy and up-and-coming chef, former Hudson county resident, Nathan Lippy. He gave me a couple of his recipes and told me who should be cooking them.
Bacon Fried Bananas with Candied Bacon and a Maple Rum Sauce
This is the guy who is masculine with a softer side. He has confidence to do the outlandish and spontaneous but with careful respect for his limitations. He is inventive and creative, with a childish sensibility. So if you don’t mind being a risk-taker and don’t mind being goofy, this is the meal for you.
2 Bananas, sliced in half lengthwise
8 strips thick cut bacon
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup dark rum
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
1. In a large sauté pan add the sugar and rum over med-high heat and reduce to about 1/4 of a cup, about 10-15 minutes (or until it gets thick like maple syrup).
2. In a large sauté pan render the bacon over medium heat (About 10 minutes). Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Once the bacon is crispy, place on a paper towel and dust with the cinnamon and sugar immediately. Reserve the bacon fat for the bananas.
3. Increase heat on the bacon pan to high, add the bananas, cut side down and sauté until they get golden brown, then flip for the same result on the other side, about 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side. (Make sure the bacon fat is wicked hot so the bananas get golden and crispy on the outside without getting too soft on the inside.)
4. As soon as the bananas are golden on both sides, place 2 pieces of the sweet bacon on the plate to form an “X” and place two pieces of banana over the top. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle the rum sauce over the top of everything and serve.
This is for the girl who loves the simple life. She is traditional but with a very modern attitude. She likes what she likes, she’s not flashy. She is trustworthy and easy to be with. She is simply fun and easy going. If this describes your lady, make this for her for dessert!
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
2 cups tiny marshmallows
4-5 large graham crackers, crushed into big crumbs
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1. In a large bowl add 2/3 of the chocolate and microwave for 30 seconds or until it’s all melted. When it’s done, add the graham cracker crumbs, 2/3 of the marshmallows and mix it all together.
2. Line a flat cookie sheet or sheet tray with wax paper. Using a small spoon, scoop bite size lumps of the choco-graham-mallow mixture onto the paper. Then place the sheet to the side so the chocolate can “set”.
3. In a small bowl, add the remaining marshmallows, butter and cream. Microwave for 45 seconds and stir until smooth. Keep this on the side for later.
4. In another small bowl, microwave the remaining chocolate for 30 seconds and stir until smooth.
5. Pull the sheet tray out of the freezer and pour the two sauces over the top. I like to use a spoon and drizzle thin strips of sauce over the tops of the clusters. Alternate between the marshmallow and chocolate sauce going in opposite directions to create a lattice pattern.
6. Place back in the freezer for 5- 10 minute and serve immediately.
For more of Chef Nathan Lippy’s recipes, go to www.nathanlippy.com.
Read more: Hudson Reporter – HUNT FOR ADVICE