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One of my favorite parts of snuggling up to the latest issue of any given food magazine is catching up on restaurant news in cities across America. New York. Boston. San Francisco. Chicago. Lexington.
"Wait, Lexington...What state is that even in?" I can hear you asking.
It's in Kentucky, which admittedly doesn't pop up in the pages of glossy food mags very often. When it does, expect it in conjunction with one of our officially sanctioned State Foods: the Hot Brown (bacon and Mornay!), grits (still not polenta!), or bourbon (barrels of fun!). But this month you can find my hometown in the pages of Food & Wine without a single mention of any of those culinary troupes.
So what does Food & Wine have to say about Lex Vegas? That it's home to Table 310 (the restaurant where I work) and the most super-fun desserts in the world! (You know, the desserts that I make....sometimes even the desserts that show up in this column!)
Okay, full disclosure, they didn't say anything even remotely like that. The article was all like, "blahblahblah not about Stella." They didn't mention me. But that's cool, cos even though the article is actually a profile of my employers, the biggest photo on the page is of one of my desserts. Seriously. It's like five times bigger than their portrait.
Putting aside the fact that it's actually a lovely write up of Krim and Andrea, let's go back to the make believe world where it's all about my dessert and you're just dying for the recipe. I know you want a peanut butter pot de crème with a shot of red wine suicide and kinako shortbread. How do I know this? Because who doesn't want a peanut butter and jelly themed dessert replete with slice-of-bread shaped cookies and booze?
It's fun to eat; you can dose out the red wine reduction a little (or a lot) at a time, and spread peanut butter custard across the "bread" or even make a little sammy if you like. And while the flavors may have been upscaled, it still tastes like something straight out of your Ninja Turtle lunchbox.
I like this dessert because it plays by the rules of dessert 101: elements of creamy & crunchy, fatty and lean, sweet and savory. But at the same time, it literally commits dessert suicide. Yeah, just like you used to make at the soda fountain when you were a kid, but way more expensive. I took a shot of every red wine on the list at Table 310 and simmered them together into a syrup. A little reckless, but unexpectedly delicious. You're probably filled with doubt, but trust me, when you let their powers combine, it turns out very Captain Planet.
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About the Author: Stella Parks suffers from an unhealthy obsession with recreating the mass produced snacks of her childhood, but ironically is employed by a Frenchman to make the high brow desserts of his childhood. She blogs that dichotomy at bravetart.com and can be followed on Twitter at @thebravetart.