Cook’s Corner

Sugarcane chef has a sweet-sour way with brussels sprouts

 

Sleuth’s Corner

Q. Does anyone know of a bakery in South Florida that makes éclairs like the ones Ebinger’s in New York used to make? Or is there a recipe? Sometimes they were filled with lemon and sometimes with cream.

Sheila

Perhaps readers will be able to help. We received quite a few responses for Blackout Cake as made by Ebinger’s. For the uninitiated, Ebinger’s was an iconic Brooklyn bakery that operated for nearly a century before going out of business in 1972.


Sauce

Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 cup beef broth

1/2 cup (half of an 8-ounce tub) cream cheese spread (reduced-fat OK)

2 tablespoons green peppercorns

Whisk cornstarch and sugar in medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in broth. Cook on medium heat 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in cream cheese spread and peppercorns. Cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes or until cream cheese is melted and sauce is well blended. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 113 calories (79 percent from fat), 10 g fat (6 g saturated, 3 g monounsaturated), 32 mg cholesterol, 3.5 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 246 mg sodium.


Side Dish

Sugarcane’s Brussels Sprouts With Sweet Soy

6 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) brussels sprouts

1 cup olive oil

6 peeled orange segments, sliced in half

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt

1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

Thoroughly wash brussels sprouts and cut into quarters. Allow to dry. Heat oil in a small frying pan until shimmering. Deep-fry sprouts until golden brown. Remove from pan with slotted spoon, and place on paper towels to drain.

In a bowl, mix sprouts with orange pieces, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Combine sugar and soy sauce, and drizzle on top. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 295 calories (80 percent from fat), 27 g fat (4 g saturated, 20 g monounsaturated), 0 cholesterol, 3 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 108 mg sodium.


Main Dish

Bacon Herb Chicken

5 slices applewood-smoked bacon

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or thyme

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3/4 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp. Meanwhile, place the flour, salt and peppers in a large zip-top bag. Add the chicken pieces one at a time and shake to coat.

Place the cooked bacon on paper towels to drain, and add the butter to the skillet. When melted, add the chicken and fry for about 6 minutes on each side or until no pink remains. Meanwhile, crumble the bacon and set aside. Remove the chicken and keep warm.

Add the garlic, parsley and crushed red pepper to the skillet and cook 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium-high, and add the stock, lemon juice and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until the liquid is reduced by half. Return the chicken to the skillet and heat for an addition minute. Top with bacon pieces and serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 390 calories (21 percent from fat), 9 g fat (4 g saturated, 3 g monounsaturated), 163 mg cholesterol, 64 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 1,254 mg sodium.


LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com

Q. The brussels sprouts in sweet soy at Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill are wonderful. Everything we had for lunch there was marvelous, including the pistachio sorbet with pink peppercorns, but the sprouts seemed like something I could make at home. Any chance you can get the recipe?

Teresa , South Miami

Executive Chef Timon Balloo kindly shared the recipe for this wonderful take on the much-maligned brussels sprout. I have always been fond of this “baby cabbage,” but only recently discovered how versatile it can be. It is great shredded in slaw, added to a stir-fry or quickly sautéed. In the Sugarcane version, a whisper of saltiness perfectly complements a wonderful sweet-sour balance with the sprouts and orange segments.

Peppercorn Sauce

I’m sharing a quick recipe for a creamy peppercorn sauce will deliver a punch to anything you’re grilling for the Fourth of July. I particularly like it on grilled vegetables (use a good vegetable stock instead of beef if you’re serving to vegetarians), but it is bold enough to work with sliced steak. The recipe is from Kraft Kitchens, which provided some commonsense tips for better grilling:

• Heat the grill for 10 to15 minutes before using.

• Oil the hot grill rack with a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel (hold with tongs and rub over the rack) or with a barbeque brush. Do not use cooking spray as it can flare.

• Marinate before you grill to tenderize and flavor meat and encourage a good char. When marinating tougher steak cuts, a good rule of thumb is to allow 24 hours, and for other meats and poultry, six to eight hours. For fish, stick to 30 minutes.

Cookbook corner

Southern cooking can require a lot of time and effort. It’s worthwhile when you pull out a pan of your Gran’s fresh corn pudding or serve perfectly seasoned collards that have simmered for hours with bits of precious country ham, but for most of us, that means weekend or special-occasion cooking only.

So I was fascinated by a new cookbook, In a Snap: Tasty Southern Recipes You Can Make in 5, 10, 15 or 30 Minutes (Nelson, $24.99). Tammy Algood, a Nashville food personality, includes a lot of appealing Southern flavors in this cookbook, with recipes categorized by how long they take to make. A plus is that ingredients are all easy to find and affordable. The Bacon Herb Chicken recipe here is a perfect example.

Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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