Chef Jim shares his flambé recipes with us

Chef Jim Mendrysa, who feeds us nearly every week, attends as many meetings as his busy catering schedule allows, and presented a luscious cooking demonstration last week, here shares two of his recipes from that demo with his fellow SRC Club members. Thanks, Jim.

WILTED SPINACH SALAD
(Serves 8 to 10)

2 bags washed baby spinach, stems removed
¾ pound lean bacon
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 to 2 ounces Cognac
2 tablespoons sugar
3 lemon halves
2 handfuls sliced mushrooms
Splash of balsamic vinegar
½ medium red onion, diced

Directions: Put spinach in a large bowl. In a sauté pan, place diced bacon and cook till brown. Strain, return bacon to pan and keep about one-third cup of the bacon grease for flavoring. Add olive oil, heat up then remove from flame. Add cognac, then flambé. Return to flame, and stir in mustard, sugar, juice of the lemon halves, vinegar, mushrooms and red onion. Cook 30 seconds and pour mixture over the spinach and toss. Fresh pepper is optional. Serve immediately.

BANANAS FLAMBÉ
(Serves 8 to 10)

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
7 bananas sliced
⅓ cup creme de banana liqueur
⅓ cup dark rum

Directions: In a large sauce pan place butter, brown sugar and cinnamon stick. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, then add the sliced bananas and stir until they are coated. Remove pan from flame, then add liqueur and rum. Immediately tilt pan forward to flambé. Return pan to flame and stir delicately. Ladle mixture over vanilla ice cream and serve immediately.


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