How was your valentine? Hope you all had a great day. I love festivities! They always gives me the change to do something fun. And how enjoyable it is to see the people, especially those you love happy, and with a smile on their lips almost as anticipating to be surprised; truly fascinated ah?
Refreshing as it is the breeze dispersed in the air, I say. All the exchange of the day, the gifts, the roses and the arranged dinners are all very pleasant. My husband and I used to treat ourselves to a nice dinner out on that day. But once our son came alone, we now stay at home; not out of obligation to him, but rather out of devotion and likeness. We love to spend time with him and because of this our house is where we prefer to live our own romance these days, around Christopher and our family.
Normally, we all get together around the kitchen while I make preparations to cook dinner, Ben opens a bottle of wine. He likes pinot noir – me too – but I prefer a malbec, or a Riesling, a merlot, a cabernet sauvignon, or to satisfy my sweet tooth – – a moscato. “Oh well” I like them all. Then we turn to the radio for some music. I like Pandora, Ben likes Batanga, and Christopher prefers YouTube and the ABC songs…I wish you could hear him sing; my 22 month old son singing the ABC’s song, fully pronouncing many of the letters and when he cannot pronounce it he continues singing to the rhythm of the music – – “mama—-dada—mama—dada” – – truly beautiful. Of course, this is what we often end up listening to. This is the best music for our ears and soul. And home, for the same matter, has become the place where we pass our best moments and the center of our celebrations.
Now I am going to make a dessert inspired from “Nobu Miami” the party cookbook by chefs Nobu Matsuhisa and Thomas Buckley. I am a fun of Chef Nobu’s food because it inspires me. His food combines the created mind of a chef touched by two cultures, Peruvian and Japanese. He brings his human experience into the field of food to portray the elements of the two cultures that saw him grow. We can see this influence all through his recipes where Peruvian and Japanese’s ingredients and style are combined to form a synergy. I love both cuisines so no objections on my part. When I was finishing cooking school I did a trial at Nobu 57 in Manhattan and I loved what I saw there; they even paid me $50, I know it does not sound like much, but to me it was honorable. Out of all the trials I did, including three months of internship, Nobu was the only place that paid me, and they really treated me well. The creativity in the kitchen is incredible, and the food was also very good; it is an expensive restaurant for the average person, but the food is worthy of its cost.
My eyes stop while my mind was calculating the possibilities to expand out the recipe from the Nobu Miami book’s “Banana Harumaki with Sesame Ice Cream”. Three ingredients I know well; banana, dulce de leche, and passion fruit. Here is the thing though, I could not find passion fruit around my area and I did not have much time. What I did find was Guava-“bingo”.
I love guava and they were the same kind I used to eat when growing up in the Dominican Republic. They are wildly grown everywhere in the DR and there they were on my local supermarket; small, yellow, and very pretty. I found this event very strange, out of all places I never thought to find this fruit on my neighborhood. I thought to myself, nothing in life happens out of change, there is always a reason. And yet this reason ended up on my “Dulce de leche-banana Harumaki with guava Bavarian Cream”. Enjoy!
Dulce de leche-banana Harumaki with guava Bavarian Cream
For the Harumaki* or spring rolls:
16 wontons roll or spring wrappers (I used wonton)
2 -4 fresh bananas (use as many as you need) cut in quarters
4 tablespoon of dulce de leche
1 beating egg yolk or 1 tablespoon flour water mixture
For the Bavarian Cream:
1 ½ (12 oz.) Cups of guava pure
4 oz. of sugar
2 gelatin sheets (boomed or soaked previously in water)
1 ½ (12 oz.) cups of heavy cream
For the guava’s garnishing:
1 pound of fresh guavas divided (cut in quarters for grilling and in slices for garnishing)
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon organic brown sugar
For the Harumaki or spring rolls:
Place the wonton wrappers on a flat surface and brush them with a lightly wet brush. This is to avoid dryness which might occur while wrapping. Seal the rolls with the flour water paste. Place the banana on the wrapper and then fill it with dulce de leche (use a pastry bag or the tip of a spoon).
In a deep frying pot at medium heat, fry the rolls until they get golden brown. If you have an oil thermometer you can fry them at a 325 ºF or 160 ºC. When ready place them on paper towers in a flat plate to drain the oil excess.
For the Guava Bavarian cream:
Place the guava pure and sugar in a pot and heat it in the stove or the microwave. Remove the heated mixture and add the previously soaked and boomed gelatin sheets. Mix well until the gelatin is all integrated. Cool the mixture in a reverse bain marie or ice bath. Reserve some of the mixture for garnishing. At the mean time whip the heavy cream until high peak; fold the cold guava –gelatin mixture with the whipped cream. Pipe the Bavarian cream in a pastry bag and refrigerate until needed.
For the grill guava:
Season 3 to 4 small guavas with the paprika, and the brown sugar and grill in a stove top grill pot for a few minutes, until color develops. Reserve
The assembly and presentation:
In a flat plate arrange the slices of fresh guava all around the middle of the place. Arrange the grill guava on top of the fresh and pipe out a little of the Bavarian cream and the guava pure. Sprinkle with a little of colored red raw brown sugar and serve.
*Harumaki: is a spring roll in Japanese.
*Note: You can buy the dulce de leche – I used a Brazilian brand that a friend of mine brought me from Brazil- or you can make it with a can of condense milk. If you decide to go with this method just remove the label and place the can on a boiling pot of water. Lower the heat and let it simmers for about 4 to 5 hours always making sure that the can is covered with the water. Also, I just wanted to say that these little spring rolls can be made ahead and put in the refrigerator or freezer until needed; just place them in a tied container and sprinkle a little bit of corn flour just as you we do with raviolis. One last thing, make sure you seal the wontons with the egg or with the flour and water paste. To see how to wrap the wonton, check YouTube, that was what I did, it should also work for you too.