Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Meet Nancy!

Hi, my name is Nancy Follwell, a transplanted Canadian living in Hawaii. My love of international cooking has developed over the years, through travelling and living all over the world: Canada, Germany, Israel, Texas, and Hawaii, as we have moved around with the Canadian Armed Forces.

I have had the pleasure of being a member of several gourmet clubs, both with my husband and by myself, and have met many cooks eager to share their love of food and friendship. I currently belong to a cooking club where we create a theme, make dishes to fit the theme and then, of course (everyone’s favorite part), we eat what we have made. It’s always interesting as we try something new, using local or native ingredients, and it’s almost always something we have never made before. Through entertaining and hosting large gatherings of military spouses and friends, I have collected a wide array of diverse recipes. However, I always try to find something new or add some new ingredient to create unique tastes.

I chose this appetizer as a reflection of my love of macadamia nuts and my time here. How better to adapt a recipe to Hawaii than use the local nuts and frankly, I find that it tastes even better this way. Whenever I make this recipe I always get requests, especially for the custard sauce. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to sharing more.

Fried Banana Ravioli with Vanilla Custard Sauce
by Nancy

1 cup finely chopped, peeled ripe banana
¼ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts
2 Tablespoons chopped pecans
30 wonton wrappers
vegetable oil for frying
Vanilla Custard Sauce (recipe below)

Gently mix together the bananas, brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and nuts in a bowl. Do not mash the bananas. Lay 2 wontons on a work surface and brush all edges with water. Add 2 level Tablespoons of the banana mixture in the centre of each wonton. Fold over diagonally and press to seal, making sure all air is out. Add a little water again to the corners and fold over so the wonton looks like an envelope. Add enough oil to a heavy skillet and heat to 350°F. Work in batches and cook until golden. Serve with Vanilla Custard Sauce.

Vanilla Custard Sauce
by Nancy

2 cups whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 large egg yolks
6 Tablespoons sugar

Place whipping cream in a heavy saucepan, along with the scraped vanilla bean seeds and pod. Bring cream to a simmer. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a glass bowl. Gradually whisk hot cream into the yolk and sugar mixture and return mixture to your saucepan. Stir over low heat until custard thickens, about 4 minutes (do not boil). Strain. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours. Can be prepared 1 day ahead.

I tend to make wontons ahead of time, and just lightly fry. When having a party, I put the ravioli on a baking tray and place into the oven to warm through so I don’t have the smell of oil lingering in the house.

I have also made them without nuts, as my daughter is allergic.  Just add an additional ¼ cup of graham wafer crumbs.

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