Tag Archives: Lacey at A Sweet Pea Chef

A Recipe Review: A Sweet Pea Chef’s Easy Crème Brulée

Food bloggers amaze me. Their dedication to cooking, staging and documenting recipes knocks me out. How do they do it day after day after day? My fellow blogger Lacey at A Sweet Pea Chef is one of those amazing people. Browsing her recipes and photos is like browsing through food porn. It is a glorious, guilty pleasure. But my favorite thing about Lacey’s blog is that her recipes are not just pretty. They are easy to understand, easy to prepare, and unbelievably tasty. She’s the real deal. She loves to cook and she happily shares that love with her readers. It’s just one of the many reasons I love her beautiful blog.

Every once in a while, Lacey will post a food poll, letting her readers choose recipes or topics that will be covered at a future date. One such poll featured possible dessert recipes. Choices included crème brulée, carrot cake cheesecake, lemon bars, oatmeal raisin cookies and cranberry sorbet. I was intrigued by the carrot cake cheesecake, but I voted for crème brulée. Several times {wink}. Why? Because I love simple foods with tremendous flavor, and crème brulée is one of those foods. Four ingredients. Full of flavor. Out of this world texture. I’m in.

The recipe says “easy” and by golly, she wasn’t kidding. You combine 4 ingredients, pour them into ramekins and bake them in a water bath. The cast of characters include 5 egg yolks, 2 cups of heavy cream, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. For this recipe, I broke out the good stuff – the pure vanilla bean paste. If you’ve never tried this stuff, you have to. This recipe is perfect for it. If I were making a chocolate cake, I would most definitely use the regular vanilla extract. But for this dish, the good stuff really shines.

Once your little pots of creme are baked and cooled, it’s decision time. You can stop here and just enjoy this as an incredible custard, or you can pour some sugar on it and brulée those puppies. I’m going whole hog. Conveniently, TCP just happens to have one of those baby blow torches. “Break out the blow torch, honey! I’m gonna’ burn some sugar, Sugar!” Fingers crossed that I don’t burn the house down. Oven mitt? Check. Fire extinguisher? Check. Let’s roll!

The verdict: this stuff is almost too good to be true. It’s so easy and inexpensive to make, it makes me a little angry at all those hoity-toity restaurants that charge $12.50 a serving for it. Shame on them. Deep, money-grubbing shame. Thanks to Lacey, I can now make fabulous crème brulée at home. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. Good because this recipe is really fantastic. Bad because I really shouldn’t have the power to make this all the time. I’m having a vision of “Good Nana” and “Bad Nana” sitting on each shoulder screaming at each other. (Secretly, I’m rooting for Bad Nana. Go, Bad Nana! You go with your bad self!)

To see this recipe with all of the glorious step-by-step photos, visit Lacey’s blog at: http://www.asweetpeachef.com/sweets/easy-creme-brulee/

PS – A very special thank you to Katie at Lucky Girl Sweets ‘n Stuff. She selected my name for her first giveaway last week, which happened to be those super cute red ramekins. They look just like miniature Le Crueset Dutch ovens. They are too stinkin’ cute, and perfect for crème brulée. Thanks, Katie! I love them. You should click on the link above and drop in on her. She’s a feisty Texan like me. And tell her I said “howdy!”

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Recipe Review: Panko-Crusted Tilapia from Lacey at “A Sweet Pea Chef”

My compliments to the chef...the Sweet Pea Chef. Her fish rocks!

Fish does not appear regularly on my dinner table. It’s because I have a real distaste for anything that smells or tastes fishy. I’m not a picky eater, but I am really picky about fish. But then I found this recipe on the A Sweet Pea Chef blog, and I knew I was going to try it. This one intrigued me. Here’s the breakdown: tilapia fillets dipped in a combination of melted butter, garlic powder and fresh-squeezed lemon juice, then dredged in panko bread crumbs seasoned with dry mustard, nutmeg, ginger, pepper, garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika and browned in olive oil in a skillet with sliced lemons, and finished in a hot oven. Trust me, this fish does not smell fishy. It smells like heaven. The combination of lemon, olive oil, ginger, panko and spices creates magic in a pan. And the best part is that it tastes as amazing as it smells.

Here’s what I loved about this recipe:
1. It is really easy to make
2. I had most of the ingredients in my pantry
3. It doesn’t take long to make; from start to finish was 30 minutes
4. I loved the combination of spices in the panko mix – things like dry mustard, nutmeg, ginger, red pepper flakes and more. I was expecting this to be flavorful, but it was more than that. It was extraordinary. There is so much flavor in this dish, it jumps off the plate. And the roasted lemons knocked my socks off.

The Complete Package is not one to dance around a food critique. He does a great job of giving me his honest opinion when I try something new. When he tried this dish, he immediately said, “Wow. Everything about this is perfect.” I didn’t even have to ask my standard new recipe question – would you eat this again? The answer is a definite, enthusiastic YES! Everything about this dish is perfect. And we will be making it again and again. Thanks, Lacey. This one is a keeper. No, a treasure. You can find the recipe and Lacey’s beautiful photos at http://www.asweetpeachef.com/entrees/panko-crusted-tilapia.

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