Jan 3, 2012

Dessert Menu Should be Presented First

I would like to know who started the concept of having dessert at the end of a meal. After eating Snicker Peanut Butter Pie at the Seneca Niagara Casino Hotel in Niagara Falls, New York, John and I agreed on three new dining-out rules. Rule One: When the waitstaff presents us with the dinner menu we will now ask, “May we please see the dessert menu first?” How can we expect to make an intelligent entrĂ©e choice without knowing what is available for dessert. There have been many times that we have finished a wonderful meal and have had to decline an awesome looking dessert because we were too full.

Luckily when we were at the Seneca Niagara Hotel we had been given a dining tip, “Make sure you try the Peanut Butter Snicker Pie at the Western Door Restaurant.” The restaurant, which is one of two Four Diamond restaurants in Western New York, honors the Seneca Nation who, as part of the Iroquois Confederation, were the Keepers of the Western Door. In other words, they protected the confederation from attacks from the west. The Seneca Niagara Casino Hotel is the best place to stay, by far, when visiting Niagara Falls, New York. Besides great gaming they have an extensive spa with a salon, a pool, big-name entertainment and great restaurants.

Knowing that dessert was in our future we went light on dinner. Luckily John ordered a small portion of Chilled Seafood Deluxe, an amazing array of lobster tails, shrimp, oysters, clams and Alaskan king crab with cocktail sauce & shallot mignonette. All seafood is flown in fresh daily. I ordered something I seldom see on a menu, stuffed peppers, but the winner in our estimation was the dessert – the Peanut Butter Snicker Pie. However, even though we had a light meal we still ended up sharing one piece but it was so good John said, “We will have one to go.” When away from home it is important to have something in the room for a late night snack. So Rule Two: Always order a dessert to go. And, Rule Three: Get the recipe. I use to be embarrassed to ask for a recipe because I thought that the chef would not want to give away the “secret” recipe. Sometimes that is the case but most often the chefs are so pleased with the request that they are willing to share.

Peanut Butter Snicker Pie
Peanut Butter Crust
2 oz butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1 egg
1 ¼ cup peanut butter
Beat butter, sugar and peanut butter until smooth. Add egg and flour. Mix well. Roll out crust, put in pie pan, bake at 275F for 10 minutes. Cool.
Peanut Butter Filling
1 pound butter
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add peanut butter and vanilla, mix well
10 ounces dark chocolate
5 oz heavy cream
Simmer heavy cream in a pot. Take off heat and add chopped chocolate. Stir constantly until smooth. If chocolate is not completely melted put back on stove on low heat stirring constantly. Add peanut butter filling layer to the cool crust. Lastly spread the ganache in a thin layer over top of pie. Let cool until ganache hardens, slice and enjoy.