Posts tagged ‘summer’

September 4, 2011

Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream

by Lauren

I purchased an ice cream maker in April when I was eagerly waiting for summer.  Since Labor Day weekend is the unofficial “the end of summer,” I figured it was an appropriate time to post an ice cream recipe.  I tried my hand at salted caramel, vanilla bean, and strawberry throughout the summer, but with a dark chocolate lover visiting there was no better time to get over my fear of a chocolate based ice cream.  This recipe comes from  Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  It is rich, seriously rich.  I haven’t even completely let it harden into it’s true form, but a few spoonfuls of the base (pre-hardened liquid or more like mousse in this case) and straight from the ice cream maker (shown below) indicate that this will be an intense chocolately explosion in your mouth.

 

So finally, the recipe:

Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream, by Dorie Greenspan, Baking From My Home to Yours (page 430)

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used one bar of 70% Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate and one bar of 85% Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate)
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar (It called for 1/3, but we added a bit because the store only had one bar of 70% chocolate and we were going to use 2 bars of it)
  • You will also want a thermometer
Instructions:

Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Bring ¾ cup of the cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit a minute, then using a rubber spatula, stir the cream into the chocolate in larger and larger circles. When the ganache is smooth, set it aside.  Try not to eat the ganache, I repeat, try not to eat the ganache.

Bring the milk and the remaining ¾ cup cream to a boil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until well blended and just slightly thickened. Keep whisking and drizzle in about one third of the hot liquid—this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won’t curdle (and become scrambled sugar eggs). Always keep whisking and slowly pour in the remaining liquid. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, while stirring, 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 degrees F, but no more than 180 degrees F. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and slowly and stir the custard into the ganache.

Refrigerate the custard until chilled (I let it refrigerate overnight because my ice cream maker had to cool in the freezer overnight) before churning it into ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the ice cream into the container and freeze it for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop. Makes about 1 quart.

Happy last weekend of summer!

June 22, 2011

Pasta Salad with Artichokes, Lemon, and Mint

by Alexa

I was feeling inspired by attending the Greek Festival in Central Square last weekend, so I came up with this vaguely Mediterranean pasta salad, full of artichokes, lemon, mint and feta.  I think it came out pretty well–it tasted very fresh and summery.

Ingredients I used:

  • approx. 6 oz pasta, cooked al dente (I used tricolor “Vegetable Radiatore” from Trader Joes)
  • 1 lb (I think…I threw the package away) sugar snap peas, strings removed
  • 1/2 lb green peas (I used frozen)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (14 oz)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (15 oz)
  • approx. 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • dried oregano
  • few tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • tablespoon or so of honey
  • salt
  • balsamic vinegar

What I Did:

  • My first step was to quickly blanch the snap peas–I tossed the pods in a pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes, then scooped them out with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl of ice water to cool off. I cooked the green peas the same way.
  • Next, I cooked the pasta right in the same water.  More vitamins that way, right?
  • I heated a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, and sauteed the garlic until it was fragrant.  I threw in maybe 2 tablespoons of dried oregano, and sauteed a minute or so longer.  Then I removed the pan from the heat, and added the lemon juice.
  • When it was ready, I drained the pasta and tossed it with the lemon/garlic dressing, as well as the crumbled feta.
  • I added the mint, snap peas, chickpeas, and artichoke hearts and tossed some more.

I had intended to end the recipe there, but when I tasted it, I decided I wanted something a little creamier and tangier.  So I combined about 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, about 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, maybe a tablespoon of honey, and a bit of salt and whisked it into a little extra dressing.  I think it was a nice touch.

I think this was a good basic method for a pasta salad, and I am sure all the vegetables could be easily substituted for others.  If I made it again, I would consider adding more mint and more lemon.  I also think that capers could be nice, or even some canned tuna, if you felt like taking it in that direction…

June 11, 2011

“Green” Gazpacho

by Jen

When it was so hot on Thursday, I went to the store to buy a watermelon and ingredients for this, though it was ultimately so hot that I was too lazy to make it that day.  However, since I dropped the watermelon on top of the ingredients, I needed to make it soon, so I pulled it together on Friday morning.

This is one of my favorite foods of all time, though I have never followed the recipe perfectly — in particular, I’ve never used exclusively green ingredients, so my version usually turns out to be a combination of red and green (i.e., brown).  I skip the avocado (mostly because we never bought avocados in Ohio) and sometimes replace it with carrot.  Also, these days I use five or six cloves of garlic and then begin by frying cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic together, because I prefer this to using the single clove of fresh garlic that the recipe calls for.

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