1st Stop: Dallas, TX. Going home after almost a year living in a different country feels amazing.
Home cooked food was the the highlight of our Dallas leg. My mom really outdid herself in preparing all the Korean food I have been missing, but also introduced her version of bo ssam that hopefully I will be able to recreate sometime in HCMC. My father on the other hand, cooked us some western favorites like eggs benny and perfectly seasoned steak.
One of the days, we invited our whole family to our place for a surf and turf grilled dinner. My parents and I were sharing the kitchen as we separately prepared our assigned dishes. After going back and forth with what dessert to prepare, I decided on little cups of vanilla pudding with alternating layers of ground Nilla wafers and thin banana slices for a simple ending to a great meal. Adapted from Paula Deen’s “Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding,” I cut back on some of the sweetness and used Nilla Wafers.
Banana Cream Pudding
1 box of Nilla Wafers
3 bananas, thinly sliced
2 cups of cold milk
1 box of instant vanilla pudding
6 oz. of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of heavy cream
7 oz. of sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using, set aside. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese, condensed milk, and vanilla extract together and mix until smooth. Use a third bowl to whip up the heavy cream until there are soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Finely grind up the 3/4 of the box of Nilla wafers (keep enough whole Nilla Wafers to decorate the top). Alternately layer the pudding, cookie crumbs, and banana slices in individual serving cups or serving dish. Decorate the top with whole Nilla wafers. Refrigerate until ready to serve. I like to refrigerate the dessert at least for a few hours so the that the crumb layers absorb the moisture from the pudding, which transforms into a cake-like texture.