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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vanilla Ice Cream-Tuesdays with Dorie

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April, a year ago when I joined Tuesdays with Dorie, I was way down the list. Jeez, does time fly. I'm sure everyone who has had the honor thought the same as I. Belonging to such a talented group of bakers has been a great experience.

Although there are still many recipes I might have picked for my turn as host of TWD, inevitably, I knew I would choose one of the ice cream recipes in "Baking From My Home to Yours". Making homemade ice cream has been my culinary joie de vivre. For a wedding present, I received a old style ice cream churn with an electric motor. It was a pain to deal with rock salt and ice so I was thrilled when the Donvier ice cream maker came along. This simple machine had a gel-filled canister that required pre-freezing for 24 hours before processing the ice cream. Easy-no electricity, ice or salt! Just turn the crank and in 15 or 20 minutes you had ice cream. My next ice cream maker was a Cuisinart, an electric version of the Donvier, but had two canisters to pre-freeze and take up space in the freezer. The machine was noisy.Also, I was becoming frustrated with trying to scrape all of the ice cream from around the paddle and sides of the canister.

One frustration led to another, so when a friend suggested that I try the original wooden bucket ice cream churn from WhiteMountain, I immediately ordered the 4 quart hand crank model. What fun I have had making ice cream! It's great for a crowd and there's always a kid who loves to turn the handle. In 20-25 minutes, you have lush, creamy ice cream that tastes like the old days. Now I have come full circle with ice cream makers.

http://www.texascooking.com/features/june2004icecreamfreezers.htm

The only ingredient I added to Dorie's recipe was a pinch of salt. Just the right amount of salt brings out the sweetness of the custard. Not too much, though, you don't want the custard to be too salty.




Vanilla Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 moist, plump vanilla bean, split and scraped,(technique) or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar

Bring milk and cream to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. If you are using a vanilla bean, put the seeds and pod into the pan, cover and set aside for 30 minutes, then bring the milk and cream back to a boil before continuing. If you are using vanilla extract, wait until later to add it.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until very well blended and just slightly thickened. Still whisking, drizzle in about one third of the hot liquid-this will temper, or warm the eggs so they won't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining liquid. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring without stopping, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon; if you run your finger down the bowl of the spoon, the custard should not run into the track. The custard should reach at least 170°F, but no more than 180°F, on an instant-read thermometer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and strain the custard into a2-quart measuring cup or clean heatproof bowl. Discard the vanilla pod or if you are using vanilla extract, stir it in now.

Refrigerate the custard until chilled before churning it into the ice cream.

Scrape the chilled custard in the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a container and freeze it for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.

Makes about 1 quart.



Serving: If the ice cream is very firm, allow it to sit on the counter for a few minutes before scooping or warm it in a microwave oven using 5-second spurts of heat.

Storing: Packed tightly in a covered container, the ice cream will keep in the freezer about 2 weeks

Playing Around

You can flavor the custard before it gets churned into ice cream and/or toss crunchies and other goodies into the ice cream a minute or so before it fully churned.

Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Before you refrigerate the custard, stir in 3/4-1-1/2 teaspoons pure mint extract or oil. Start with 3/4 teaspoon of extract(or just a few drops of oil), taste and then add more a little at a time, remembering that freezing will tone down the flavor. Just before you finish churning the ice cream, toss in up to 6 ounces of semi-or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or use up to 1 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips.

Honey-Vanilla Ice Cream

Heat 1/3 cup honey with the milk and cream, reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup.

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Reduce the vanilla to 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon extract and whisk 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon in with the yolks and sugar. Or, if you'd like to use stick cinnamon, toss 2 cinnamon sticks into the milk and cream and infuse for 30 minutes.

Crunchy Ice Cream


You can add up to 1 cup chocolate chips, caramel bits, chopped-up candy bars, chopped toasted nuts, candied nuts, buttered pecans or liqueur-flamed or steeped dried fruits. The dried fruits must be steeped in liqueur or at least plumped in some liquid or the fruits will freeze too hard.

Swirled Ice Cream

After the ice cream has been churned, you can spoon it into a big bowl, pour over swirlables-for instance, jam, chocolate syrup or dulce de leche-and marble them into the ice cream with a sturdy rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Shrimp Salad on Naan

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While in Savannah for the weekend recently, I bought some freshly caught wild Georgia shrimp. Buying shrimp when it is in season and putting it in the freezer is a great way to save money. When buying fresh shrimp, give it a good sniff; it should smell like salt water and the flesh should look translucent. Avoid any shrimp that has an ammonia smell. If you don't live where you can buy fresh shrimp, look for frozen shrimp that are in the shells as they retain their flavor and freshness. Shrimp is highly perishable and should be cooked or frozen within 24 hours of purchase.


Served on Indian naan, a leavened flatbread, this shrimp salad has cilantro, green onions,and a kick of cayenne pepper in a mayonnaise-yogurt dressing. The sandwich is topped with shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers. A perfect summer lunch dish. Adapted from this recipe. Serves 2.

Shrimp Salad on Naan

1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 pound small shrimp, cooked or large shrimp, cooked and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon low-fat yogurt
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
pinch of salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 large naan or 2 small naan
4 very thin cucumber slices
Chopped romaine

Combine carrot and vinegar in a small bowl, set aside. In a medium bowl, ombine cilantro, green onion, mayonnaise, yogurt,lime juice, salt, cayenne. Add shrimp and mix to combine.
Wrap naan in aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350°F oven to warm for 8-10 minutes.

To assemble-Place large naan on plate, lay chopped romaine on lower half of naan, mound with shrimp salad, top with shredded carrot and cucumber. Garnish with cilantro sprig.
Fold top half over filling and secure with a wooden pick.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Succotash

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Fresh butter beans, plump juicy kernels of sweet corn, slivers of country ham and a very small amount of heavy cream make this classic version of succotash a perfect side dish for a summer meal. This recipe comes from Scott Peacock, co-owner and chef of WatershedRestaurant in Decatur, Georgia. Peacock's mentor was the late Edna Lewis, the granddaughter of an emancipated slave, and a cookbook author who returned elegant Southern cooking to its glory.

The word Succotash comes from the Narragansett word, msickquatash,
meaning boiled corn kernels. Corn seems to the one consistent ingredient in succotash. Lima beans are traditionally used, but any shell bean can be substituted. Tomatoes, green and red peppers are other ingredients that complement and add color to the succotash . The addition of bacon or country ham and gives rich smoked flavor to the dish. Heavy cream is optional, but in my opinion, brings the dish to perfection.

Succotash

Best with fresh produce, but frozen beans and corn work just as well out of season. Original recipe here. Makes 8 (1/2 cup) servings.

2 cups fresh, shelled butter or baby lima beans
3 large ears of corn, about 2 cups
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup minced country ham

1. Place butter beans in large saucepan. Cover with water; add about 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring to boiling. Skim surface until clear. Reduce heat to medium;cook partially covered, 30-40 minutes, until tender. Strain beans in a sieve. Set aside.

2. Shuck corn. Remove silks. Scott suggests you use a clean terry kitchen cloth gently rubbing corn to do this. Using a sharp knife, cut corn kernels from cobs.

3. In a large skillet, heat unsalted butter over medium-high heat until melted and foaming. Add corn. Lightly season with salt and freshly ground pepper, stirring to coat corn in butter. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add beans. Adjust seasonings. Cook 1 minute more, taking care not to overcook the corn and beans.

4. Add heavy cream and country ham. Cook just until heated through and slightly reduced. Season to taste.

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Other versions of Succotash
Houndstoothgourmet End of Summer Succotash.

Savour-fare-Laurie Colwins Succotash.

Indianfoodrocks Mohegan Succotash.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blueberry Blanc-Manger

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"Middle English blankmanger, a dish made with almond milk, from Old French blanc mangier : blanc, white (of Germanic origin; see bhel-1 in Indo-European roots) + mangier, to eat, food (from Latin manducāre; see manger)." Source

On first glance, the raspberry blanc-manger looked intimidating, but two words, "panna cotta" and "foolproof" in Dorie's headnote allowed me to see this recipe in a new light. Panna cotta, I could make foolproof!

According to several sources, Thomas Jefferson, our President foodie, added blancmange to his dessert repertoire at Monticello after experiencing it in Paris while Minister to France. My introduction to blancmange came from a Monty Python skit about an alien race of blancmange who turned everyone in England into Scotsman so they could win in tennis at Wimbledon. Sounds bizarre, but that's Monty Python!

I had two pints of blueberries, enough to add to the blanc-manger and to make a blueberry coulis. Rather than using one mold, I chose to serve the dessert in individual glasses. Thanks to Susan of stickygooeycreamychewy for this weeks dessert from "Baking From My Home to Yours". You can find the recipe on her blog. Stay tuned next week-I'm up with Vanilla Ice Cream on pages 428-429.

Blueberry Coulis

A colorful berry sauce to top ice cream and other desserts. Adapted from this recipe. Makes 2-1/2 cups.

2 pints fresh blueberries, washed and drained
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
lime zest for garnishing dessert

Process on a food processor one pint of the blueberries, sugar and lime juice. Press through a sieve to extract juice. Adjust flavors by adding more sugar or lime juice, as desired. Refrigerate. Just before serving, fold in the remaining pint of blueberries. Sauce is best served at room temperature.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Herb Blogging #192-The Roundup

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The one entry I didn't get in my inbox was from none other than Kalyn. My apologies, Kalyn!

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds and Dill

Kalyn serves a spinach dill salad topped with fresh strawberries and dressed with a vinaigrette with just a hint of sweetness. Toasted almonds add a nice crunch. To have a constant supply of dill in your garden, Kalyn suggests you trim if often to keep the plant from going to seed.

This is my first time hosting Weekend Herb Blogging created by Kalyn of Kalyns Kitchen in the Fall of 2005. Serendipitously begun when Kalyn remarked to a friend that she had no dog or cat photos to post as many of her blogging friends had done; maybe she should post a photo of one of her plants. Which she did! Now, nearly four years later, WHB has grown to be a first rate event with bloggers all over the world submitting recipes and photos of herbs, vegetables, flowers and tasty tidbits of information.

Over this past week, I have received some scrumptious recipes and photos from food bloggers around the globe. Thanks to everyone for submitting. I will begin the roundup in no particular order. If I have missed anyone, please let me know?

Asian Cabbage Salad with Cilantro and Toasted Almonds

Winnie from healthygreenkitchen grows her favorite herb, cilantro near tomato plants to shade them from the heat of the summer sun. This delicious version of coleslaw has toasted almonds to give some extra crunch to this delicious coleslaw variation.

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Sage

Haalo briefly cooks her brussels sprouts in a pancetta sage saute to preserve the color and flavor of the sprouts. If you can't find pancetta, bacon can be used instead. Served alone or with Haalo's favorite side-mashed potatoes, this dish is a sure winner.

Yogurt and Basil Cream with Red Sauce

Traditionally used in pesto, Cinzia adds a layer of sweetened basil cream to her yogurt based Bavarian cream. This lovely dessert set in a pool of strawberry coulis and garnished with fresh strawberries is definitely a keeper.

Crustless Cherry Cinnamon Pie

Stories told to us as children sometimes to make a point of integrity sometimes aren't true as Susan relates the famous, but untrue story of our founding father, George Washington confessing that he did indeed cut down a cherry tree. Cherries are the star in this lovely dense cross between a clafoutis and a bread pudding. Indeed the truth!

Mushroom and Rice Stuffed Collard Greens

Inspired by a stuffed cabbage roll recipe, Katie uses collard greens from her CSA box as a substitute for the traditional cabbage leaves. Stuffed with a mushroom-brown rice mixture and topped with a chunky tomato sauce, this would make a great meatless entree.

Chimichurri

Loaded with fresh herbs, the piquant sauce from Soma at eCurry was named for an Irishman named Jimmy McCurry who first prepared the sauce in the 19th century for marching troops sympathetic to Argentine independence. Apparently, his name was a difficult one for the natives to pronounce, so Jimmy McCurry's sauce became chimichurri. Soma serves this on grilled meats and empanadas.

Herbed Radish Butter

Radishes are great on their own, but Elizabeth uses them in a buttery spread chock full of mint, parsley,and chives. Although there are several different herbs in the mix, the focus is on the mint family. Mint has many culinary and medicinal uses.

Scrambled Eggs

Sudeshna serves us an Indian style scrambled egg dish redolent with green chilies, Tumeric, cilantro, and garlic as well as tomato and onion. An easy, yet delicious breakfast dish to serve with
brown bread spread with herbed cheese.

Trinidad Perfume with Chervil Sauce

Trinidad perfume is a milder variety of the Habenero chile, one of the hottest peppers known to man. Graziana grows these peppers and serves them with a simple sauce of cottage cheese and the delicate herb, Chervil. Such a romantic name for a lovely pepper.

Five Herb Ice Milk

Pam makes this lemon balm, basil, tarragon, mint and lavender herb ice milk from her flourishing herb garden. I'm envious of such a bounty. A lovely sherbet like concoction with a mild flavor in which no one herb flavor is dominant.

Pilacca

Bri makes this relish with small green peppers and celery. The process takes several days, but from the looks of this sweet, yet tart relish, it's well worth the effort. Bri serves this relish with a plate of bread, eggs and caprino cheese.

My entry as host of WHB #192 is Watermelon and Raspberry Popsicles. Watermelons are plentiful and so versatile. You can read a few facts on watermelons here on the original WHB #192 announcement.


Watermelon and Raspberry Popsicles
You can buy popsicle sticks and molds online. For a non alcoholic version, just omit the raspberry liqueur. Original recipe on Epicurious. Makes 10 large popsicles.

5 cups seeded and diced watermelon
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur

Combine all ingredients in a blender;puree until smooth. Strain into a large bowl or measuring cup pressing on solids with a spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. Pour puree into desired molds, dividing equally. Freeze overnight. Can be prepared one week ahead. Keep frozen. When ready to serve, run some warm water over the molds to release pops.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Asian Chicken Salad-America's Most Wanted Recipes-Delicious Recipes From Your Family's Favorite Restaurants

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Americans love to eat out, but with the recent economic decline, most families are tightening their belts and either giving up going out to eat or drastically cutting back on dining out at their favorite restaurants. But you don't have to give up the meals you love, you can easily recreate your favorite restaurant meals at home with a new cookbook out by Ron Douglas who spent 5 years researching and testing recipes from America's most famous restaurants, such as this Asian Chicken Salad from Panera Bread. I was amazed that the it tastes exactly like the original, but my salad was at least half the price or less than what I would have paid at the restaurant.

Outback Steakhouse's famous marinated steak, Macaroni Grill's reese's peanut butter cake, and California Pizza Kitchen's bbq chicken pizza are some of my favorite recipes, but there are over 200 more mouthwatering recipes from famous restaurants all over the United States. Forget having to stand in line, have more money in your pocket and entertain your friends at home with delicious meals. Included in the book are cooking tips, techniques, guidelines for buying fresh fruits and vegetables, plus helpful symbols such as time-saving tips, restaurant history and healthy choice substitutions.
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America's Most Wanted Recipes-Favorite Restaurant Recipes published by simonandshuster can be bought in bookstores or online at Amazon.

To whet your appetite-

Asian Chicken Salad-Panera Bread

2 wonton wrappers
Canola oil, for frying
2 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds

Asian Sesame Dressing
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

Salad
4 cups loosely packed bite-size pieces romaine lettuce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
3 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and sliced thin
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cut wonton wrappers into 1/4-inch strips
3. Heat about 2 inches of canola oil to 365°F in a heavy skillet.
4. Fry the wonton strips in the oil until they are crisp, about 30 seconds.
5. Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet. Toast them in the oven for 5 minutes, toss them around, and then toast for 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool.
6. To make the dressing, in a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except the canola oil. Use a wire whisk to blend well and then slowly drizzle in the oil to create an emulsion.
7. To assemble the salad, in a large bowl, toss the romaine lettuce, cilantro, fried wonton strips, grilled chicken and dressing.
8. Transfer to plates and top with the sesame seeds and almonds.

Serves 4.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Brioche Plum Tart-Tuesdays with Dorie

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As I write this, I am happily munching on a piece of this lovely fine textured brioche topped with red and purple plums and sprinkled with sugar coated walnuts. A perfect companion to my morning cup of coffee. Thanks to Denise of chezus for choosing this easy version of the more time-consuming traditional brioche.

There's an easy way and a hard way to make most yeast breads, especially the classic brioche dough. Because this version of brioche was classified by Dorie as "skinny or poor", meaning it didn't have the luxuriance of eggs and butter, I chose the easy way-the bread machine! All the ingredients went into the bread machine at the same time and was processed on the dough cycle. Essentially, it did the work for me, including the raising or proofing of the dough.

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Plums are plentiful and there was enough to make this easy jam to spread on the dough before placing the halved and pitted plums atop the tart.

The brioche recipe is on Denise's blog, chezus, but also visit TWD to see all the different versions of Dorie's Brioche Plum Tart

BTW, thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers for my granddaughter. She's doing very well after her heart surgery. Little babies are tougher than we think.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Watermelon and Weekend Herb Blogging #192

Print Friendly and PDF "It is the chief of this world's luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took; we know it because she repented."
Pudd'nHead Wilson

Watermelon-Lomo
Watermelon, the quintessential summer fruit and king of the melon family, conjures up many childhood memories of family get-togethers where juicy slices of ice cold watermelon were served outside on a newspaper lined picnic table. Salt was there for those who swore that when sprinkled on the melon actually enhanced its natural sweetness. Nearly every occasion ended in a watermelon seed spitting contest.

The watermelon is cited to be among the world's healthiest foods. It is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and the powerful antioxidant, lycopene, a cancer preventing property. Not only is the watermelon healthy, but very tasty, too. Choose a watermelon which is firm and has a creamy to yellow underside.



I'm excited to be hosting WHB #192 created by Kalyn and now managed by Haalo. The rules are here. I'm looking forward to all your entries. Just remember to get them in by the specified time on July 19th, 2009. I'll be posting a watermelon recipe and facts about the melon in the recap on Monday.
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