Really, what more can one say?
Really, what more can one say?
Here’s some more food porn to make up for the food politics post.
One of my favorite quests in regard to food is discovering unique flavors of ice cream. Although I’m likely to avoid flavors such as chicken wing, I have had black pepper, guiness stout and earl grey ice creams at various points in my life.
I think that herbs is an underused ingredient involved in making the summer time treat. So imagine how thrilled I was when I came across a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens that includes basil. I tried it almost immediately.
It worked out very well, with the basil adding a sweet, grassy flavor to the ice cream, giving the impression that the entire straberry, from stem to fruit, was used.
It may not be as exotic of a flavor as fried eggplant, but it’s still worth trying.
In a bowl, combine the milk and the heavy cream. Pour 1/2 of the milk mixture into a medium saucepan. Add sugar, egg yolks and basil. Crush the basil against the side of the pan using a spoon.
Place the pan over medium heat and allow to cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the rest of the milk. Place lid on saucepan and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
In a food processor or blender, puree the strawberries until very smooth. Remove the basil from the milk mixture, and stir in the strawberries. Place back in the refirgerator and allow to cool for 2-3 hours.
Freeze the ice cream as per your ice cream makers instructions.
Whilst we debate the virtues of both vegetarianism as omnivorianism, let me take us to a place where all of us can confer equally – at a plate of strawberry shortcake. Sure, the vegans may be put off by the use of butter and milk, but that’s their loss. “More for us” I say!
This is one of the better recipes for the summer. Currently, Tara and I live only two blocks from a farmer’s market, which is where I was able to pick up a lovely bunch of strawberries, which really is the key for a great shortcake. Well, that and a good cake…and whipped cream Freshly made whipped cream is also important.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a glass bowl, place the sliced strawberries and mix with lemon juice. Top with the sugar, and set aside for an hour.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add in the butter, and combine with the flour until the dough becomes the consistency of a coarse meal. Add the almond extract and cream and mixing by hand for until the dry and wet ingredients are just combined. Be careful not to over mix. Place on a floured countertop and roll until 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick. Cut or tear into circular pieces, about 2″ in diameter. Brush each piece with milk and top/garnish with a sprinkle of raw sugar. Place on a buttered baking and place in oven for 18-20 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In yet another bowl, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla. Whip with a hand mixer, making a nice whipped cream.
Take a shortcake and remove the top. Place a dollop of whipped cream on the bottom layer and a spoonful of strawberries. Place the top of the shortcake back on, and top with another dollop of whipped cream and spoonful of strawberries. Serve.
Serves 8 – 12
This recipe was inspired by a dessert that Tara and I shared at Osteria La Spiga. It would not surprise me if their recipe was inspired by Thomas Keller’s recipe that was going around the internet a few months back.
My major change to the recipe was to infuse a bit of strawberry into the simple syrup, and add about a half dozen sliced strawberries to the mascarpone itself. The result? A sorbet that reminds me of strawberry cheesecake. How can you go wrong with that?
Place the water in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in sugar. Float in 5-6 whole strawberries. Bring water to a boil, stirring to ensure that the sugar has melted into the water. Allow the syrup to reduce by about 1/4 to a third of its initial measurement. The Strawberries should have left the syrup with a bit of color. Take syrup off heat and allow to cool in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Slice the remaining strawberries. In a mixing bowl, combine the mascarpone with the strawberries . Remove the syrup from the refrigerator, discarding the whole strawberries. Whisk into mascarpone, being careful not to smash the sliced strawberries. Add the orange juice and mix in as well. Pour into an ice cream maker and follow it’s instructions (for me, by about minute 45 the sorbet had fully solidified). Place in a freezer safe bowl with lid, and store for about 2-3 hours before scooping and serving.