If you’re like most people lately, you’ve been spending a lot of time at home. Maybe you’ve taken advantage of the time to learn a new skill, like whipping up gourmet meals that you never thought you’d be able to master. If you need some more delicious meals to add to your repertoire. Here are four, with entree and dessert.
Pork Butt Stewed with Bamboo Shoots and Chinese Mushrooms and Almond Cookies
The entree calls for a pound of pork butt, ginger, scallions, eight Chinese wood ear mushrooms revitalized in hot water, bamboo shoots, and seasonings and allowed to cook for 30 to 45 minutes in a pan. You probably remember picking almond cookies up from your local Chinese take-out place or diner, but you can make them yourself. The best ones use lard mixed with sugar, vegetable and sesame oil, rice flour, chopped almonds, and almond extract.
Timballi di Melanzane and Spuma Gelata di Crema
Utterly filling and fantastically tasty, the entree is a pie made with four large eggplants, Parma ham, mozzarella cheese, and four eggs. Spuma gelata di crema is an iced mousse from Sicily made from egg yolks, sugar, lemon peel, vanilla extract, flour, warm milk, candied citron, glacé cherries, egg whites, and confectioner’s sugar. When it’s put together, you put it in the coldest part of the fridge, not the freezer, to set.
Poulet Veronique and Poire belle Hélène
Poulet Veronique is an easy meal to make, but it takes a while because you need to marinate the chicken in olive oil, white grape juice, thyme, pepper, and sweet white wine the day before. The next day, drain the chicken but strain and reserve the marinade to pour over the chicken as it cooks. Then, flame the chicken, and make a sauce of the marinade and flamed brandy with cream and white grapes. Pour the sauce over the cooked chicken. Dessert is poire belle Hélène, which is pears poached in castor sugar and water then plopped into bowls of vanilla ice cream and covered with chocolate sauce.
Pork Stew and Banana Pillows
The robust stew features cubed pork roast, chicken broth, garlic, onions, celery, carrots, zucchini and yellow squash, red and yellow bell peppers, plum tomatoes, and herbs such as thyme and parsley. After the pork is browned it’s tossed in with everything else, left to simmer for about 20 minutes then served over white rice. Banana Pillows are made of sliced ripe bananas, butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and heavy cream. It’s all baked in puff pastry then dusted with powdered sugar and chocolate shavings.
Even though these are gourmet meals, the ingredients are easy to find, and they’re easier to make than you might think. Try one or two. The results can be wondrously memorable.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys Tennis and spending time with her family.