Saturday, July 28, 2012

I love citrus with fish, with chocolate, with berries, with drinks . . . basically, with everything. This past weekend I went on another ice cream making binge and made two different citrus ice creams: a creamsicle ice cream and a lemony ice cream. The creaminess of the ice cream is so good with the tartness of the oranges and lemons. The only change I would make next time is maybe candying the peel before making the ice cream (or even just boiling it for a few minutes to take out a tiny bit of the bitterness). The process is essentially the same for both of these, so I figured I would combine them into just one post.

Both of the recipes are from The Perfect Scoop with very slight modifications.

Orange Creamsicle
1 cup sugar
Zest from 5 oranges
2 cups of orange juice (I used all 5 oranges and had a little over 2 cups)
1.5 cups sour cream
1 cup half-and-half
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon booze (David Levobitz recommends grand marnier or orange liquor, I only had brandy)

Super Lemon
1 cup sugar
Zest from 4 lemons
.75 cups lemon juice (again, used all 4 lemons)
4 cups half and half
Pinch of salt
Dash of brandy

Obviously, you need to start with some nice oranges and lemons. You want to be sure to scrub them really well under running water (no soap).

Zest all your citrus. You want to get as little of the bitter white part as possible (ideally, none of it).

Put the zest in your food processor (a blender would probably work too).

You want the zest to be really fine.

Process the zest with the sugar until you have a homogeneous mixture.

Juice your citrus.

For the creamsicle, I added the dairy and juice at the same time before blending it. For the lemon I blended the juice with the sugar/zest mixture and added the cream after.

This is what they look like once they're all mixed. I left them in the fridge overnight before turning them in the ice cream machine.

Turn on your ice cream machine (make sure it is well chilled if it is the same type as mine) and pour in the ice cream mixture.

You can see the deliciousness begin to happen.

Waiting is the worst part.

That looks like ice cream to me.

Get it ready for the freezer.



Sunday, July 22, 2012

My parents bought some really nice shrimp and invited some aunts and uncles over for dinner a few weeks ago. My mom wanted me to make a poblano pepper rice that she loves with the shrimp (the recipes and pictures for those will be coming in future posts). However, it was also ridiculously hot that day so I wanted to make something refreshing to have an option in case people didn't want to have the heavier rice. I was flipping through Marcela Valladolid's cookbook, Mexico Fresco, and she has this beautiful looking recipe for a cold avocado soup. I was sold.

(as always, these are approximations. Do what works for you.)

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 6 ripe avocados
  • Juice from 5 lemons
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water (amount varies depending on the consistency you want)
  • Mexican crema for serving (you can substitute sour cream)

Start off by chopping the onion, peppers, garlic, and take the cilantro off the stems.

Then you want to saute the onions for a few minutes. Once they are translucent, add the chopped peppers and garlic. Remember, you should be seasoning with salt and pepper every step of the way. Saute for a few more minutes, until everything is soft and fragrant. Set aside.

The next step involves something that I know a few people are nervous about: pitting an avocado. What I like to do is use a knife to go around the avocado until it comes apart in two pieces; once piece will have the pit. Being really careful, slam the knife into the pit so that it sticks into the pit. Then turn the knife and the pit should slide right out (stuck to your knife).

Once you have your avocados pitted, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Add the flesh to a blender with the lime juice and puree. Then add the sauteed veggie mixture and the cilantro. Blend until smooth and thin out with water as you go. I strained the soup once it was completely blended because I wanted it silky and smooth, but this step is unnecessary. Stick the soup in the fridge for at least a few hours before serving.

To accompany the soup, we sliced up a nice crusty baguette, toasted it, and rubbed it with a garlic clove.

To serve, top the soup with a spoonful of mexican crema and it's ready to go. I honestly think this soup would be perfect for a summer lunch just by itself and the bread. But, we went all out and had shrimp skewers and creamy poblano rice. It was a great summer-Sunday dinner.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I've been falling a little behind on updating this thing, even though I have been getting to cook a lot. A few weeks ago my little sister wanted to make cupcakes for our cousin's birthday.

My sister is in love with red velvet and thought Smitten Kitchen's recipe was perfect the last time we made it. So, we decided to use that recipe but make cupcakes with it. Plus, I am still messing around with my ice cream maker so we made a strawberry sorbet and swirled it with some cream cheese ice cream.

The pictures are sort of lacking because we were rushed and I just kept forgetting. We actually don't have any pictures of the ice cream being made, which makes me sad because the ice cream turned out unbelievably good.

I used half the food coloring recommended in the recipe and thought it was plenty.

Whisk all the dry ingredients together.

The wet ingredients all get blended together. Then you add the dry ingredients and buttermilk (1/3 dry ingredients, then 1/2 buttermilk, etc). Be careful because the red food coloring will stain anything it splashes onto.

Then you portion it out and bake it. The batter is going to be really loose, but that's how you want it. I filled my liners 3/4 full and think they rose and puffed up the perfect amount.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Decided to go traditional for the 4th with some grilling. Asian-marinated steak, baked potatoes, corn souffle casserole, spinach, and some mango limeade.

As you can see, my brother and I like our steak rarer than the rest of the family.

The steaks were beautiful, courtesy of my uncle and the farm he gets them from. I'm actually not sure what cut exactly. They were labeled as rib steaks. As close as I can figure out through google, they might be steaks cut from a rib roast.

For the marina I just blended ginger, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, apple-cider vinegar, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Put it in plastic bag and stuck it in the fridge for about an hour. Then they were ready for the grill.

The baked potato method I used was from the crazy mind of Alton Brown. I've tried foil wrapped before, have tried different temperatures, coating them in butter. This is probably the easiest but easily the best. Scrub your potatoes really well, poke holes ALL over them with a fork, coat in olive oil and nice salt, and stick them in a 350 oven for an hour.

Even though it pains me to say this, I kind of failed on the corn souffle. It was beautiful corn, but my proportion of something were off and it developed this weird awful skin on the outside and bottom. The inside tasted good, but it was almost inedible overall. My dad thinks it was too much baking soda, so I need to try this again and get it right. The basic idea is to mix some fresh corn with a little flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder, fold in some beaten egg whites, and bake until it's light and fluffy. I've made a similar casserole that turned out great, so I just have to try again.

The spinach was simple. Brown some garlic in oil, throw in a ton of spinach, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Finally, some refreshing limeade. Blend a ripe mango with a lot of lime juice and sugar. Mix with some ice cold water and enjoy the sunshine.



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Welcome to my blog, where you can join me as I revel in my love of food. Eating it, cooking it, baking it, watching it on TV and even learning about it. If it has to do with food, I am probably interested.

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