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.