Tag Archives: creme brulee

January snowsqualls, sleepovers, and cooking in a storm!

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Sometimes unexpected things happen. And rich and amazing surprises result.

The past two weeks when the snow falls, it appears to have come in foot high dumps. As well as a lot of shovelling, this past weekend’s snow event made Winna stay not only for Friday night’s Shrimp Creme Brulee dinner, but nestle in for a full weekend sleepover. Apart from great girlfriend time sipping steaming mugs of coffee as the trees drooped with fresh winter cloaks, we talked and cooked and ate, and shovelled a LOT of snow. We also snowshoed along the serene shores of Slocan Lake in a monochromatic impressionist landscape.

A Wintery Day and Prawn Creme Brulee

You, however,  need not shovel a cm of the white stuff in order to to serve up these wintery delights!

Shrimp Crème Brulee

Serves 8 as an appetizer; 4 as a meal

I tbsp butter ¾  cup half and half or whole milk
1 large leek, white part sliced finely or 2 green onions ¾ cup grated Gruyere, Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese
   or 2 shallots, finely chopped 1 tbsp minced fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried
2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley
12 oz prawns, peeled and cut into half inch pieces 2 tbsp minced fresh chives
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice ¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 large egg yolks ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan for topping
¾  cup whipping creams 1 cup rye or multigrain bread, cubed in ¼ inch cubes for croutons

Preheat the oven to 275 F. Lightly grease 8 – ½ cup ramekins. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat and add leeks and garlic. Stir until fragrant and then add the prawns.. Sprinkle with lemon juice.  Cook gently till they just turn pink. Remove from the heat.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolks together until pale in colour. Whisk in cream and milk and then stir in shrimp mixture, cheese, tarragon, parsley, chives, salt and pepper. Fill ramekins ¾ with this savoury mixture.

Place ramekins in a 9 x 11 baking pan, and fill with hot water half way up the sides of the ramekins in depth. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the centre of each custard jiggles slightly. Remove carefully from the pan and place on a baking sheet. To each ramekin, add a handful of croutons and a tablespoon of parmesan cheese.  Place the cookie sheet under the broiler to melt cheese or use a kitchen torch  to brown the cheese.

A fine bottle of Italian wine -- the perfect complement to Savoury Prawn Creme Brulee

Serve hot.

Perfect as a main course with a fresh carrot salad

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Greek Chicken Creme Brulee

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As fall falls and we dress up in bulky sweaters once more, warm savoury treats gain traction in our kitchens.

I love this recipe as it’s simple, fast (about 20 minutes to prep then another 30-35 to bake), and the ingredients are usually at hand. The flavours are rich and complex. Mostly we think of creme brulee as a sensational dessert. Baked in the same kind of  ramekin as its sweet cousin, the savoury brulee variety, is rather like a personal feta, spinach and chicken quiche without the pastry. But better.

Cream and cheese simultaneously ramp up the calories and the wow factor, but a small ramekin is quite filling. Team a serving with a big plate filled with fresh vegetables, and it makes for a somewhat decadent, but not entirely unhealthy meal. I love this dish for entertaining, as it can all be prepped and then the brulee put into the oven as guests are nibbling appetizers.

Greek Chicken Feta Creme Brulee                                           

Greek Chicken Creme Brulee


1 chicken breast or 1 cup chicken, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 leek, thinly sliced or 1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz fresh baby spinach, washed
3 large egg yolks
1 and 1/2 cup half and half or whipping cream
3 oz feta cheese, crumbled  (or substitute grated asiago)
1 tbsp minced fresh or 3/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fresh or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sourdough or multigrain bread cut into 1″ cubes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
24 tsp parmesan cheese for topping

Lightly oil 8 1/2 cup or 6 3/4 cup ramekins or flan dishes.Preheat oven to 300 F.

Saute garlic and leek or onion in olive oil for a few minutes. Add the chicken. If the chicken is already cooked, stir briefly; if the chicken is uncooked, saute with garlic and onion till its cooked. Add spinach for just a moment till wilted. Remove mixture from the heat.

Whisk egg yolks till pale yellow, then add cream, salt, oregano and rosemary. Combine chicken mixture with egg mixture. Toss the bread cubes with olive oil. Ladle the brulee concoction into the ramekins, top with bread cubes and finally, a couple of tsp of parmesan cheese. Add a rosemary sprig to the top of each ramekin.

Bake filled ramekins in a baking dish and pour hot water into dish till halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the custard is set, but still jiggly in the middle.

Variation: Leave out the chicken for a vegetarian version. Instead substitute 3 roma tomatoes, seeded and cut in 1 inch chunks. Add tomato to the leek and garlic, then wilt the spinach as above. Or — add the seeded Roma tomatoes to the chicken recipe.

Asparagus Grilled in Sesame Oil with Cherry Balsamic Vinegar

Honey-Glazed Rosemary Carrots