Dear SOS: I went with my family to watch the whales at Newport Beach and had lunch at the Harborside Restaurant. Although we were stuffed, we decided to try the buñuelos, and, boy, were they delicious! We live an hour away from the restaurant but would take the trip just to eat them again. Is it possible for you to get this recipe?
Dear Lilliana: Have you ever had a dish so good you almost felt wrong eating it in public? This, for me, is one of those dishes. Thin flour tortillas stuffed with rich cream cheese and bananas, then deep-fried, coated with cinnamon sugar and served with whipped cream and ice cream under a drizzle of warm caramel. Harborside Restaurant was happy to share, so now you can enjoy these buñuelos in the privacy of your own home.
Banana cream cheese bunuelos
1 hour. Serves 6
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1. In a deep, heavy saucepan, bring the sugar, water and lime juice to a boil and continue cooking until the sugar darkens to a light brown color.
2. In a separate saucepan, bring the cream and butter to a simmer. Remove from heat and keep in a warm place until the sugar is ready.
3. Very carefully whisk the cream and butter mixture into the sugar (the cream will steam and bubble as it is added). Continue whisking until the caramel sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and hold in a warm place. The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until needed; rewarm before using. This makes about 1 1/2 cups sauce.
CREAM CHEESE FILLING
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Beat the cream cheese until softened, then add the sugar and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined. This makes about 3 cups filling. Chill until needed
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Beat the cream, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy no more than 30 minutes before using. Chill until needed.
6 (10-inch) thin flour tortillas
Cream cheese filling
3 (6-inch) ripe firm bananas, halved crosswise and split lengthwise (12 pieces)
Egg flour "glue" (1 egg beaten with a scant 1/2 cup flour)
Oil for frying
1 cup sugar
Scant 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Fresh strawberries, for garnishing
Powdered sugar, for sprinkling
1. Heat the tortillas to soften. In the center of each tortilla, scoop one-half cup filling and top with 2 banana pieces. Fold the tortilla sides in toward the edges of the banana, then roll the tortilla to wrap, pressing the filling to look like a roll. Seal the tortilla with the egg flour glue. Repeat to form 6 rolls.
2. Fill a pot with enough oil to deep-fry the rolls and heat to 350 degrees. Fry the buñuelos until golden brown, about 3 minutes (this will need to be done in batches). Remove and drain on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
3. In a shallow baking dish, combine the sugar with the cinnamon. While the buñuelos are still hot, roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.
4. To serve, drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons caramel sauce over a plate. Cut the buñuelos on the bias and place on the plate, standing one half slightly over the other. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and garnish with whipped cream, a fresh strawberry, a little powdered sugar and drizzle over more caramel sauce. Repeat with the remaining buñuelos and serve immediately.
EACH OF 6 SERVINGS
Protein 19 grams
Carbohydrates 187 grams
Fiber 4 grams
Fat 110 grams
Saturated fat 57 grams
Cholesterol 341 mg
Sugar 134 grams
Sodium 942 mg
NOTE: Adapted from Harborside Restaurant, 400 Main St., Newport Beach, (949) 673-4633.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times