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.
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.