Lazy Vanilla Creme Anglais

Similar to my apple croustades, I made these mincemeat pockets with the leftover phyllo. I didn’t bother with the layers of butter and sugar between the sheets of pastry and although I would still recommend doing it, they were tasty nonetheless.

2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 4 tbsp cold milk
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brandy (I would quadruple this ūüôā )

Place milk, vanilla seeds and sugar into saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in starch mixture and keep stirring until thickened. Stir in butter and brandy.

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Orange Sesame Szechuan Stirfry

This is an update from my previous dish. I like to evolve dishes over time so they don’t become stale. Especially when I find new ways to make them even better. I don’t think I ever make one thing the same way twice. Even the family granola recipe that we have made for my entire lifetime was transformed when I bought large flake oats instead of the normal rolled oats. I’m looking forward to using my new ribbon cut coconut next time.

My first thought when I tasted this dish – my dad would hate this. It’s spicy. It has tofu. And it has these weird, slippery asian noodles. But you know, I wouldn’t put it on here if it wasn’t delicious so try it and let me know what you think.

This time, I put together a Szechuan sauce that was a bit piquante but rich with flavour:

1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or 2 tbsp sherry)
1 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp crushed pepper
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
juice of 1/2 orange

Combine the above ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer. Separately, combine 1/2 cup broth with 2 tsp cornstarch and add to other ingredients. Cook until thickened. (modified from: http://www.food.com/recipe/szechuan-sauce-147645)

Stirfry: shiitake mushrooms, green onion, bok choy, basil, udon noodles, smoked tofu, and  toasted sesame seeds. Slices of sectioned orange for garnish.

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