By now you may have read my posts, or Rachel’s, about our visit to Daisy Martinez’s home. I am so glad that Rachel shared the recipes for Old-School Stuffed Mussels and Mushroom-Plantain-Stuffed Chicken Breast with Mango-Bacon Gravy, and Fenneled-Up Brussels Sprouts. These recipes were simple to make, and delicious to eat. Daisy really breaks down the steps to make things easy. I enjoyed everything we tried. I have to admit, just like at most meals, probably my favorite part of the meal was dessert, the Banana and Dulce de Leche Strudel. This strudel was intimidating at first, with the phyllo dough so delicate that it seemed magical. Don’t be scared though, because the dough is not expensive.
The collage is created from photos taken by Joseph of the Everyday People Project, Mimi (one of the other bloggers), and Carolina, Daisy’s assistant. If you look carefully, you see in the bottom left what looks suspiciously like a family. It was an experience I won’t soon forget
Banana and Dulce de Leche Strudel
Makes 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
6 ripe bananas
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
16 sheets of phyllo dough
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup finely crumbled dry-textured almond cookies (such as Stella d’Oro), amaretti cookies or anise toast
- Slice the bananas lengthwise into quarters, then cut them crosswise into half-inch (or so) pieces. Toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice and set aside.
- Using the sugar and 1/4 cup water, make a caramel (like in the beginning of Daisy’s Guava Flan recipe). As soon as the caramel is done, remove the pan from the heat and (carefully!) pour the cream into the pan. It will bubble up, then die down. As soon as it is safe, whisk the caramel until smooth and creamy. Return the skillet to low heat and whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk in the cinnamon and set aside to cool briefly.
- Add the caramel and pecans to the bananas, stir well but gently and set aside. Heat the oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay the phyllo sheets out on the work surface and cover them with a damp (clean) kitchen towel. Remove 2 sheets from under the towel, set them on a dry clean towel and brush the top sheet with butter. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the crumbled cookies over the butter. Repeat 3 more times to make 4 layers of phyllo, butter and cookies. Spoon half of the banana mixture over the center of the phyllo, leaving at least 1 inch on both of the short ends and about 2 inches along the long ends. Using the towel, fold the long sides of the phyllo over the filling, then pinch the ends together to seal. Tuck the ends under the log. Flip finished log onto prepared baking sheet. Brush top with melted butter.
- Repeat process to make second strudel log.
- Bake until golden and crispy on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
At Daisy’s house we had extra caramel, which was served over the strudel. When we sat to eat, there was maybe a minute of talking while everyone admired the beautiful food. As soon as we took our first bites, there was silence. The crystal chandelier glittered, the wind blew trees up against the house, and inside the only noise was forks against dishes.
I want to leave you with two quotes from Daisy:
- “contrary to what your mom said growing up, it’s okay to play with your food.” But more importantly
- “never let anybody tell you what you can or can’t do – grab on to that dream and ride it till the wheels fall off”.
So if you want to make a feast, get in the kitchen, roll up your sleeves and give it your all!
Remember, every Saturday is Sabroso Saturday – check MsLatina’s website for recipes from bloggers all around the world, and all corners of the internet.