Thursday, October 30, 2014

Backyard Mint Ice Cream

Back at GAW, Cheese Pusher was complaining about having too much mint and not knowing what to do with it.  I promised to post the recipe Mr. Kluges uses for mint ice cream and now I'm finally getting around to it!  This comes from a recipe book called Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, which contains a lot of unusual ice cream recipes, like Brown Butter Almond Brittle Ice Cream and Beet Ice Cream with Mascarpone, Orange Zest, and Poppy Seeds. Note: like many ice cream recipes, this is not a quick one. :)

Backyard Mint Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart

2 c. whole milk
1 Tbl. + 1 tsp [or 4 tsp, if you only want to dirty one spoon] cornstarch
1 1/2 oz. (3 Tbl.) cream cheese, softened
1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. sugar
2 Tbl. light corn syrup
A large handful of fresh mint from your backyard or farmers' marker, leaves roughly torn into small pieces

PREP: Mix about 2 Tbl. of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.  Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.  Fill a large bowl with ice and wtaer.

COOK: Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.  Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.

CHILL: Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the mint.  Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath.  Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.  Refrigerate to steep for 4 to 12 hours.

FREEZE:  Strain out the mint.  Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.  Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid.  Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms & Cream

I found this recipe on Pinterest & made it tonight.  It. Is. Awesome!  So very yummy!  In the interest of sharing it with y'all, and in having it handy, I'm going to copy-paste the recipe from where Pinterest sent me, which is  She got the recipe from the incomparable Julia Child, so don't be shocked that there's butter, wine AND cream involved! :)

***WARNING: If you make this dish, you may be tempted to lick the remaining sauce from the pan! The mushroom and cream sauce that smothers the chicken breasts in this recipe is so divine. I found this in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I. She never fails to impress me (as you can probably tell from the numerous Julia recipes I've been blogging about lately!)

Just think...cream, mushrooms and butter...Mmm....sauces don't get much better than that, folks! It's creamy, luxurious and satisfying...all at the same time.

Furthermore, the way that the chicken breasts are prepared produces incredibly tender and moist chicken. Because I used my Le Creuset dutch oven, I did not follow Julia's suggestion of covering the chicken with a piece of buttered wax paper (gasp!). I simply covered the dutch oven with the heavy lid and popped it into the oven. The results were fantastic!

I served this chicken with asparagus...perfection! Brad and I both are looking forward to having this dish again!***

Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons
(Chicken Breasts with Mushroom and Cream)
Source: Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck (Knopf, 1961)

4 supremes (boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Big pinch white pepper
5 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced shallot or green onion
1/4 pound diced or sliced fresh mushrooms
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:
1/4 cup white or brown stock or canned beef bouillon
1/4 cup port, Madeira or dry white vermouth
1 cup whipping cream
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons freshly minced parsley

Directions:Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rub the chicken breasts with drops of lemon juice and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a heavy, oven-proof casserole, about 10 inches in diameter until it is foaming. Stir in the minced shallots or green onion and saute a moment without browning. Then stir in the mushrooms and saute lightly for a minute or two without browning. Sprinkle with salt.

Quickly roll the chicken in the butter mixture and lay a piece of buttered wax paper over them, cover casserole and place in hot oven. After 6 minutes, press top of chicken with your finger. If still soft, return to oven for a moment or two. When the meat is springy to the touch it is done. (Please Note: Although Julia suggests to check the chicken after only 6 minutes, I (as well as several of my readers!) feel that this amount of time is inadequate to thoroughly cook the chicken. I cooked it for closer to 30-40 minutes. Please use a meat thermometer to ensure the correct temperature before serving!)

Remove the chicken to a warm platter (leave mushrooms in the pot) and cover while making the sauce (2 to 3 minutes).

To make sauce, pour the stock and wine in the casserole with the cooking butter and mushrooms. Boil down quickly over high heat until liquid is syrupy. Stir in the cream and boil down again over high heat until cream has thickened slightly. Off heat, taste for seasoning, and add drops of lemon juice to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Source: “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I” by Julia Child (Knopf, 1961)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce and Hot Mustard Sauce

This is one of those Chef Jeff recipes from his awesome classes. It was one of the first ones I ever took & YUM!

Egg Rolls 
(makes 14-30 depending on how full you make them)

1 lb. ground pork (or half ground pork and half chopped cooked shrimp)

3 c shredded cabbage + 1/2 c. shredded celery + 1/4 c. shredded carrot OR.... 2 - 1 lb pks Dole classic coleslaw bags

 4-5 med dried black mushrooms [or 1 pkg. dried stir fry mushrooms]

1/2 tsp soy sauce

1/4 tsp corn starch

1/4 tsp white [or black or none] pepper

2 Tbl. green onion, finely sliced

1 tsp five spice powder

1 egg, beaten [I often don't bother & just use a small bowl of water]

 14-30 egg roll skins

 2 c (or so!) vegetable oil for frying

 1. Soak dried mushrooms in very hot water until soft; drain. Squeeze out excess moisture. Remove and discard stem [if very tough]. Cut into thin strips [or small pieces] and set aside.

 2. In mixing bowl, combine pork with cornstarch, soy sauce, and white pepper; mix well and refrigerate for 20 min.

 3. Fill a [very] large sauce pan/pot with water and bring to a boil. Add cabbage/celery/carrots (OR both bags coleslaw mix). Bring to second boil for about 30 seconds, then drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again, squeezing mixture thoroughly to remove any excess water.

 4. Heat wok [or large pan] over high heat; add 1 Tbl. oil, then tilt to coat sides.

 5. Add pork and stir fry 2 [to 5] min until no longer pink. Add mushrooms and stir fry 1 min. Stir in cabbage mixture along with shrimp [if using], green onions, five spice powder, and salt. Mix well; remove from heat and refrigerate. [If you don't want to deal with a huge pan, you can cook the pork & etc. then mix into the cabbage mixture in a large bowl.]

 6. Lay out the egg roll skins and separate mixture evenly amongst them. [Or do one at a time and deal with it if you end up with extra egg roll skins.].  Roll the egg rolls according to package instructions, substituting beaten egg [or just water] for paste to seal. Cover egg rolls with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.

7. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a wok [or large, deep pan] to 350F.

8. Carefully place up to 4 egg rolls in the oil at a time and fry, turning 2-3 times until golden brown; remove them from the oil and place on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

 9. Serve immediately with hot mustard and/or sweet and sour sauce if desired.

 Sweet and Sour Sauce

One 6-oz. can pineapple juice
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbl. brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsp. cornstarch

In a small saucepan, combine 2 Tbl. pineapple juice with cornstarch and mix until smooth.
Add remaining pineapple juice, brown sugar, and red wine vinegar. Bring to boil and allow to simmer for 30 seconds or so; remove from heat, cover and set aside.

 Hot Mustard Sauce

1/4 c. Dijon mustard
2 Tbl. honey
1/4 tsp. dry mustard

 Combine all and mix well.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rumchatta Hot Chocolate

I think I've mentioned my favorite FestFoods guy before, right?  Well, this week he had this not-for-the-kiddies hot chocolate recipe for me that he said was amazingly rich and wonderful. Looking at the recipe, I think I might have to have some folks over just to have an excuse to make it!

1 bottle Rumchatta
2 bags Andes baking chips
4 c. milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 can condensed milk

Combine all ingredients in crockpot and heat on high for 1 1/2 hours.  Stir it very well to combine the ingredients after that hour and a half.  He didn't say if you should turn it down after that, but I'd expect you might want to.  If anybody makes this, let us know how it turns out!

(Yes, I did buy the booze for this, but it was on sale this week! *grin*)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

I was reading Amalah the other day, and she mentioned one of her kids chowing down on the Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps they sometimes make... and usually gave to their kids on noodles or rice. I thought they sounded great, so I made 'em.  Now, we don't do spicy*, so I was the only one who ate the meat stuff as written, but Mr. Kluges enjoyed his plain cooked turkey wraps with a sprinkle of rice vinegar and some Chinese 5 Spice Powder, and declared them yum.  I added carrot ribbons (peel your carrot as usual, then just keep attacking it with the peeler - viola! Carrot ribbons!) to the mix both for color and the additional vegetable and would totally do so every time.  My girls decided that carrot ribbons wrapped around fresh mint leaves were da bomb, so you know, whatever.  We had these with a side of soba noodles, too. Also, these are really a hot weather food, so plan for them on a summer day, not this rainy, cold crap we're having here today.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
(via Epicurious via Amalah)
Serves 4

1 Tbl. peanut oil [I just used olive oil.]
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/4 lb. lean ground turkey
1/2 c. purchased Asian peanut sauce
1 Tbl. hoisin sauce
1 Tbl. soy sauce, plus additional for dipping
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped (about 1 1/4 c.)
1/3 c. coarsely chopped fresh mint plus 1/3 c. small mint sprigs
[optional, but yummy - 2-3 carrots turned into carrot ribbons]
12 large butter lettuce leaves [or any large lettuce leaf - maybe even cabbage???]

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.  Add turkey and saute until brown [but not very brown, 'cuz burnt ground turkey is dry and crunchy and yucky] and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 7 minutes.  Add peanut sauce, hoisin sauce and 1 Tbl. soy sauce; heat through. (Can be made 8 hours ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.  Reheat in microwave or skillet, adding water by tablespoonfuls to moisten if necessary, before continuing.) Stir in cucumber and chopped mint (I skipped adding this mint.). Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer turkey mixture to medium bowl.  Place mint sprigs and lettuce leaves on platter. To make wraps, spoon turkey mixture onto lettuce leaf, add a few mint sprigs (I preferred mine w/o the mint), [add optional carrot ribbons, too], fold in sides over filling, and roll up.  Pass additional soy sauce alongside wraps for dipping.

 *and by "don't do spicy," I mean I adventurously mix some medium salsa in with my mild, so you know, YOU might want to spice yours up a bit!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Italian-Style Monchong Fish

I've got a favorite guy at my local Festival Foods.  He used to be at the deli counter, but got a promotion to the meats/fish counter (maybe even asst manger?).  Anyway, I trust him.  He's recommended enough stuff to me that I like that I'm willing to take a risk on him.  (Except the pumpkin pie bread pudding, but that's a texture thing for me.)  He says it's good; I'll give it a try. Not that it's all one-sided - I've given him both the Chicken Saltimboca recipe (for which he said his wife both thanked and cursed me :) ) and the rib/beer can chicken rub

So, when I was in this week, I asked him if he had any new good recipes for me.  Here's what he gave me... along w 12 oz. of monchong when I said I wanted to give it a go.  You guys - it's SO good!  Penguin was all, it's ok, but not my favorite, but the other 3 of us were NOMNOMNOM! My guy gave me our approximately 12 oz as one slab, but I chopped into 4 pieces without issue.

Monchong Italian-Style
Recipe by: DefenseEngineer
Monchong, which is generally sold pre-cut into thinnish fillets, lends itself to quick cooking, pan-frying in less than 5 minutes. The flesh remains moist and has a mild flavor acceptable even to those who don't love fish.
  Ready in 20 mins


Serves: 4
  • 4 (3-ounce) fillets Monchong
  • Flour, salt and pepper for dredging fish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons capers (optional)- my vote - NECESSARY! Yay for saltiness!
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise - we had oven-dried, frozen-in-oil cherry tomatoes & they were yum in this, but in the summer I would try fresh.
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil - I had a bit of leftover fresh basil from Mr. Kluges's supper last Sunday, augmented by some frozen-in-oil from our garden last year.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (Have I mentioned our fav balsamic/oil place lately?)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (Because THEY ARE AWESOME!)

Preparation method

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 10 mins

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thymely Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes

Again, these were requested over at Musing & Mutterings, but if I don't keep any & all recipes here, they're totally going to be non-findable for me later.

Thymely Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes

Peel two giant-sized, 3 regular, or 4 smallish sweet potatoes. Cut into 1/4" to 1/2" dice.  This should  be about enough to cover a 9x13"pan at pretty much a single layer.  Pour on some olive oil and sprinkle on some (fresh, preferably, but dried is fine) thyme & some (preferably coarse-grained/kosher) salt.  Bake at 350F (very adaptable to more/less heat), stirring occasionally but not too often, until sweet potatoes are soft & have acquired at least one roasted/caramelized/not-quite-burnt-but-really-brown side.

Vanilla-Brown Sugar Squash

This was requested over at Musings & Mutterings, but if I don't also post it here, I'll completely lose track of it.  Fancy name notwithstanding, I totally made up this recipe, so adapt at will!

Vanilla-Brown Sugar Squash

Cook a butternut squash.  For me, that means halve a butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. Put both halves cut-side down in a 9x13" pan with about 1/2 inch of water and cook for an hour, or until soft.  Scoop the flesh out of the skin and discard the skin.  (You can totally do this ahead of time or, as in the case of this Turkey Day feast, use leftover squash.)  Mash/mix the squash with butter.  LOTS of butter, and a fair amount of brown sugar and a decent splash of vanilla.  Mash until you deem the texture suitable, adding more butter as needed. (Julia Child note: more butter is good!). I made ours early with leftover squash & kept it warm in a minicrockpot, which worked very well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Roasted Radishes

Yes, seriously. Roasted radishes. I know, it sounds bizarre, but they're really actually tasty. We've gotten radishes the last several weeks in our CSA box, and they've kind of built up 'cuz who has  big ol' BUNCH of radishes for a snack?! They'd mentioned roasting radishes in their newsletter so I figured, hey, why not? Good way to use up these not-so-crisp-anymore radishes filling up my fridge.

I didn't want to search through the newsletters so I just did a quick online search, which gave me what I was basically planning anyway.  This is really so very simple that it's only a mental recipe, but roasted radishes are unusual enough I wanted to share the idea.

  • A lot of radishes (Recipe says 1 lb.; I used 3 or 4 bunches, some rather not-so-crisp) Wash 'em, cut off their tips and tails, and quarter.
  • Toss with olive oil and large grain (kosher-type) salt. I did this right in the pan I was going to use anyway 'cuz hey, less dishes.
  • Roast in oven until done.  Done may mean more or less caramelized for you, but give them time to mellow and roast - maybe 30 minutes? I had them in at 325F 'cuz that's what I wanted for my roast, but you've got a lot of leeway here as long as you're keeping an eye on them periodically so they don't burn.
That's it. I know - not really a recipe, but I never would've thought to try roasting radishes without our CSA's suggestion in the newsletter.  Mr. Kluges and I found them tasty, but the girls weren't so keen. Also, beware the radish burps later. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Basic Beer-Can Chicken with All-Purpose Barbecue Rub and mental grill-roasted beets

Ok, twice now I've looked here on Recipeeps for this recipe, thinking I'd already posted it, and twice I've been disappointed.  So, here it is finally!  This is another recipe by Steven Raichlen, but this one's found in his Beer-Can Chicken [and 74 Other Offbeat Recipes for the Grill] cookbook. Occasionally I've paraphrased or added to the instructions. I often grab some beets from the garden, wash 'em, lop off their tips and tails, wrap 'em in foil, and let them roast on the side of the grill with the chicken since the grill's on so long anyway.  Pull them off shortly before the chicken, let cool briefly, and slip/easily peel the skins off while staining but not burning your fingers.

***  NOTE: If using a gas grill, make sure you've got plenty of propane before starting, hey? ***

Serves 2-4.

1 can (12 oz.) beer (You can sub fruit juice or soda, but you need to use a can anyway)
1 chicken (3 1/2-4 lbs)
2 Tbl. All-Purpose Barbecue Rub* or your own favorite rub
2 tsp. vegetable oil

He also calls for wood chips soaked in water or beer, but I never bother.  So if you want those directions added in, let me know & I'll add them.

1. Pop the tab of  the beer can and pour off half [or consume! DFFs forever!]. If cooking the chicken on the can [rather than a fancy holder with a built-in liquid holder], make two additional holes in its top. Set aside. [Edited to add - if I remember, I spray the can &/or holder with cooking spray to try to make it just a little bit easier to get them apart at the end!]

2.  Remove [and discard or keep for another use] any giblets; remove and discard extra fat just inside the body and neck cavities.  Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water, then drain and blog dry with paper towels.  [Note: you'll now be using portions of the rub. BE CAREFUL to not contaminate your big container with chicken germs 'cuz the recipe below makes a lot more than you need.] Sprinkle 1 tsp. rub inside the body cavity and 1/2 tsp. inside the neck cavity.  Drizzle oil over the outside of the bird and rub it all over the skin.  Sprinkle the outside of the bird with 1 Tbl. rub and rub it all over the skin.  Spoon the remaining 1 1/2 tsp. of rub into the beer can.  Don't worry if it foams up.

3.  If cooking on a can: Hold the bird upright, with the opening of the body cavity at the bottom, and lower it [you might need to coax it a bit] onto the beer can so the can fits into the cavity.  Pull the chicken legs forward to form a sort of tripod, so the bird stands upright.  The rear leg of the tripod is the beer can.  If cooking on a roaster, fill it with the beer mixture and position the chicken on top, following manufacturer's instructions.

4.  Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken's back. [I often end up securing them with a little cooking twine.]

5.  Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium.  [Wood chip stuff here, if interested.]

6.  When ready to cook, stand the chicken up in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat.  Cover the grill and cook the chicken until the skin is dark golden brown and very crisp [totally the best part! Converted my daughter back away from vegetarianism!] and the meat is cooked through, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.  If using a charcoal grill, you'll need to add 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour. If the chicken skin starts to brown too much, loosely tent the bird with aluminum foil.

7.  If cooking on a can, using tongs,hold the bird by the can and carefully transfer it in an upright position to a platter.  If cooking on a roaster, use oven mitts or pot holder to remove the gird from the grill while it's still on the vertical roaster.

8. Present the bird to your guests. [Ooooh!  Aaaaah! Can we eat it yet?] Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then carefully lift it off its support. [Not always as easy as it sounds, but be careful & persistent.] Take care not to spill the hot beer or otherwise burn yourself.  Halve, quarter, or carve the chicken and serve!

*All-Purpose Barbecue Rub
1/4 c. coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. sweet paprika
2 Tbl. freshly ground black pepper
Mix together. Store in airtight jar away from heat and light.