I am an avid cook. I got most of my early cooking skills at my father's knee. He's a great cook and a grill master. However in recent years I have increased my culinary chops by watching the cooking shows that are so prevalent every where.
They have effected every part of my menu, from the lowliest grilled cheese to the fanciest dessert. I have watched as several of these chefs made something called poached pears. I have always been intimidated by this dish.
For some reason I have had the impression that this elegant dish was way beyond my skills. Still . . . I tried it last night. So good! The brother loved it. That is my litmus test. If the brother likes it I'm home free.
Poached Pears for 2
2 Bartlet pears
1 1/2 cups white wine, I used pinot grigio
3/4 cup sugar or splenda
1 tsp vanilla extract
Halve and core the pears. Cut slices into the pear about 3/4 of the way through. ( When cooked it will open and resemble a fan)
In a heavy pan combine wine and sweetener. Stir until dissolved. Add pears and turn heat to medium low. Poach pears until just tender. A knife should slip into the flesh without resistance. Less than 10 minutes.
Do not walk away. The pears will over cook very quickly. No one likes mushy pears!
Remove cooked pears to the serving dish.
Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce the remaining wine and juice to a syrup. As it reduces the bubbles will get larger. Once the bubbles have doubled in size your syrup should be just right. Remember the syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.
This will come together quickly as well. Take the syrup OFF the heat and add the vanilla. Stir well and pour over pears.
SO GOOD. You have to try it.