Sunday, August 08, 2010

Vanilla Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Yesterday, Mr. D brought over beautiful fresh peaches, cream and milk and an ice cream maker and we all made ice cream. Kiddo was so enamored of the process (but not so crazy about the peach flavoring) that he decided we should make ice cream again today, but this time with mint and chocolate. "Dark chocolate, Mom." He helped with all the steps, encouraged me to make up the recipe and write it down. Smart kid!

This makes 3 quarts.
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bar (minus a few pieces to snack on) of Escazu 70% dark chocolate with sea salt, chopped finely
  • 1 large bunch fresh mint, washed and spun dry, chopped finely
  • 1 Tbs green creme de menthe
  1. Add cream and milk to a large heavy saucepan
  2. Add the split vanilla bean and seeds
  3. Bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat, cover and set for 20 minutes
  4. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together
  5. When the milk mixture has steeped for 20 minutes, add a few ladles of the milk to the eggs and whisk, then add the eggs back into the saucepan with the milk. Remove the vanilla bean
  6. Bring the custard to a low simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 165 degrees
  7. Refrigerate the custard in a clean bowl until chilled
  8. Add the mint, chocolate and creme de menthe to the custard
  9. Follow the directions on your ice cream maker

Friday, July 23, 2010

Shrimp and Mushroom Phyllo Triangles

On July 11th, I was feeling pretty sad and missing Ms. N tremendously. So I did what I often do as therapy...I cooked. Something she would have been able to eat and would have enjoyed, something new. Bonus: I froze the triangles and will use them at a dinner party I'm having tomorrow night.

The mix for these turned out a bit too soupy, so next time I'll strain the juices from the pan or add more feta.

1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 lemon, zest and juice
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
1 lb shrimp, shelled
1/2 lb goat milk butter
Big bunch mint, chopped
1 tsp crushed red peppers
salt & pepper
1 Tbs olive oil
3 eggs
1/2 lb goat or sheep milk feta
1 lb phyllo

  1. Heat the olive oil, add the mushrooms and shallots and saute until the mushrooms start expressing their liquid
  2. Add the shrimp and lemon juice, salt, pepper and crushed red peppers. Saute until the shrimp are done
  3. Take the mixture off the heat and toss in the mint, let it cool
  4. Beat the eggs, mix in the feta. Add the shrimp and mushroom mixture
  5. Make triangles as detailed here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In Progress: Custard, Mango and Strawberry Tarts

Yesterday, Kiddo and I went to Farmer Fred's for pic-yer-own strawberries. I got a basket's worth, some a bit overripe (on purpose). There's a charity sale at work next week, and I intend to go all out on some pies.

Yesterday, I hulled and separated -- about 2 cups were very ripe or overripe, and I set those into a dish in the fridge. The rest I put in a freezer bag and froze.

Today, I used Jaime Oliver's recipe for Short Crust Sweet Pastry to make enough pastry for 4 tarts. This is a rich, eggy pastry, it should go well with the custard. I got to the point where the pastry is in the fridge resting. I'll bake the crusts blind tomorrow or the next day, then freeze them. This is definitely a multi-day project! The plan is to make a vanilla-bean custard, spread it in the baked pie shells, top with the sauce and then layer slices of mangoes and strawberries on top. Then freeze the whole thing.

Then I combined the two cups of strawberries with two tablespoons of sugar and simmered and squished them into a sauce...I suppose I might run it through a blender and strain into a coulis, but I haven't decided yet.

Oh, by the way, the custard and the pie crust both call for lots and lots of egg yolks. I'm keeping the whites and will make meringue cookies with hazelnuts and dark chocolate, they are stunning.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Pasta with Tuna, Spinach and Chickpeas

Have I mentioned how much I like being on my own? And that I love to cook for myself?

I had an extremely busy weekend, and was truly excited to have a Monday night all to myself. I didn't feel like shopping, so threw this together out of my pantry. Seriously delicious.


Bring a large pot of water to the boil, and put a large frying pan on to heat.

Chop the sage and garlic together, combine with lemon zest, fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt in a small dish.

Drain the garbanzo beans.

When the water boils, add the frozen chopped spinach. When the water boils again, add the pasta. Boil for about 5 more minutes, then drain. The rest of the steps happen whilst boiling and draining.

In the meantime, add the tuna in it's oil to the pan, breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon. Add the sage/garlic mixture and saute briefly. Add the garbanzo beans and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally.

Chop the tomatoes and juice the lemon, add them to the tuna mixture and saute -- basically you want to soften the beans a bit, warm the sauce and incorporate the flavors.

After draining the spinach and pasta, and when the "sauce" is ready (taste!) toss them together.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Kneading for Shah

I had to put my 18-year-old cat Shah to sleep today. It is gut-wrenchingly sad, more than I expected. She always loved to knead my belly, so in her honor I made a big batch of pizza dough.

50% White Whole Wheat pizza dough

Using a mixture of white whole wheat and white flour make the pizzas lighter yet with added nutritional value and texture. I like to make a big batch (which is what is described here) and freeze the extra rolled out personal pizza crusts. They can then be used easily for a weeknight meal.



Dissolve the yeast in warm (not hot) water and add the honey. Let stand for at least 5 minutes.

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.

Make a depression in the center of the flour, add the oil and the yeast mixture slowly, incorporating into the flour.

Flour a kneading board (preferably with a dusting of semolina flour or very fine corn meal) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes.

Let rise at least 1 1/2 hours in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with a dishcloth. I like to put it in the oven to rise as my house is pretty cold.

For 12 individual thin-crust pizzas, divide the dough 12 ways and roll out thinly, again using semolina or corn meal to prevent sticking. Before topping with whatever you want, brush with a very thin coat of olive oil. Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes, or about 2 minutes more if frozen.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sour Cream Biscuits

These are very light, high-rise biscuits with a sweet and tangy flavor. The use of three rising agents make them foolproof. Variation on Bradley Ogden's Buttermilk Biscuits...I never have buttermilk on hand, so usually just use regular milk, but today I didn't even have enough milk. The sour cream was fantastic! As was the goat milk butter, but it's probably not necessary.

Kiddo and I had these with crisp turkey bacon and scrambled eggs, and wow...what a great breakfast for a snowy NC morning. I baked half of them and put the other half of the dough in the refrigerator. I'll post if that doesn't work out.

The site finally has a recipe builder that works!!! It's nice to have nutrition facts.
  • 5 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 4 tbsp Sugar
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Goat Milk Butter
  • 2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 1 1/4 cup Skim Milk
  • 3/4 cup Light Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water, making sure the water is warm but not hot. Add a pinch of the sugar. Let stand at least 5 minutes while you go on to the next step.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Cut the shortening in with a pastry cutter or a fork. Make a well in the flour and add the yeast, the milk and the sour cream., then mix until just moistened.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board. The dough should be soft but not sticky, add more flour if it is too sticky. Pat or roll the dough out to a 3/4 inch thickness. Fold over and repeat this procedure two or three times. Cut with a 2 1/2 - 3 inch biscuit cutter. Place biscuits about 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes, turning the sheet once.

You can bake all the biscuits or save half of the dough in the refrigerator. Makes 24 biscuits.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 biscuits

Amount per Serving

Calories 184
Calories from Fat 75

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 8.1g
Saturated Fat 5.3g
Cholesterol 24.4mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.4g
Dietary Fiber 0.8g
Sugars 2.4g
Protein 4.5g

Est. Percent of Calories from:


* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calories needs.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Moroccan Crock-pot chicken

Last night I was working late, and sometimes in my work I have to start processes, wait a bit and then go back and check things, fix things, start another process, panic, write emails, etc. In one of the lulls, I saw that a friend had posted a very intriguing crock pot recipe, and since I'm flying out on Sunday, needed to empty my fridge and had most of the ingredients on hand resolved to try it.

What I had on hand wasn't quite what was called for...but collaborating, we figured it could work. What I did is below, followed by the original recipe. It was delicious, although benefiting from a bit of table salt. My friend Ms. P came over and we thoroughly enjoyed it with some Prosecco and a nice Tzaziki salad, before proceeding to dismantle my Xmas tree. (Thanks, P!) I figure my version is probably less fatty, is a little easier because no de-fatting is required and is more appropriate for a small supper for four people -- sounds like Mr. B's feeds a crowd.

3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, about 1.4 lb
1 small onion, chopped
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced or shredded
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup dried fruit, I used black cherries
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
Chicken broth to cover, about 24 oz.
1 cup whole wheat couscous

Put everything except for the couscous into a crock pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Spoon out the solids (the chicken will shred nicely into the stew) and add the couscous to the crock-pot, cook for about 5 minutes.

The chicken did not dry out at all, which was Mr. B's chief concern with using skinless/boneless breasts.

The original recipe from my friend Barry Campbell:

Here's one of Uncle Barry's favorite crock pot recipes, by request of G.S..

4 large bone-in chicken breasts
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or use a big can drained and rinsed)
Chopped onion, garlic, grated fresh ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, raisins, etc to taste
(I do not use a recipe for this, but - two big handfuls chopped onion, a good half-handful or more of fresh grated ginger, etc.)
Juice of one lemon
Vegetable or chicken stock to cover the above

Slow-cook on high for 4-5 hours. If you like the raisins to look like raisins, don't add them until the last 30 minutes or so; I like to put them in at the beginning and cook them to mush.

Pull the chicken breasts out at the end - the meat will shred nicely. Skim fat, and then use some of the reserved cooking liquid to make couscous. Add some green veg or a salad and it's a nice supper.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Biscuits and more biscuits

At church today (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh) we were having a "sharing together" breakfast at 9:30 and the kids were doing a pajama party at 11:00, so Kiddo wanted to go to both services. I made the biscuit recipe from Bradley Ogden's Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, but didn't have any buttermilk -- they are just as good with regular milk, even skim. This recipe is pretty much foolproof because it uses three rising agents: baking powder, baking soda and yeast. I doubled up the recipe and filled about half of them with ham and cheese and brought honey for the other half. They were all gone by the end of the second service, and Kiddo was upset, so I made another batch for lunch. The diet starts tomorrow! I do these with butter rather than shortening, and they are rich!

Perhaps I'll transcribe the recipe later, but I do recommend the book. I especially love the fantastic pancake recipes. Apple/cottage cheese and Banana/sour cream are amazing.