Monday, July 22, 2013

Strawberry Lemon Ice Cream

It's the best time of year to make homemade ice cream, and with such amazing produce this time of year, fresh strawberries make some of the best ice cream there is.  With a hint of lemon, this ice cream was super creamy and delicious, perfect for summer!

Strawberry Lemon Ice Cream by FWMP

Strawberry Lemon Ice Cream
adapted from Epicurious

1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 (3- by 1-inch) strips fresh lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 lb strawberries (3 cups), trimmed and quartered
1 tsp grated fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

Combine cream, zest strips, and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring just to a light simmer. Remove from heat and discard zest.

Whisk eggs with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking. Pour back into the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened and a candy thermometer registers 170°F (do not let boil or you will have creamy scrambled eggs!).

Immediately pour custard through a fine sieve into a metal bowl, scraping along the inside of the sieve to strain all the liquid.  Discard any solids that remain. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, at least until cold, about 2 hours, and up to 1 day.  (I did this step the day before)

While custard is chilling, chop the strawberries and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over in a bowl, stirring occasionally so the strawberries release some juice.  When you're ready to make the ice cream and the cream mixture has fully chilled, purée strawberries with sugar syrup with grated lemon zest and fresh lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Stir purée into custard.

Freeze in ice-cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, about 3-4 hours.


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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cool Salad on a Hot Day

I don't know about your summer, but here in Chicago it's been downright steamy and sticky the past few days.  You know, the kind of steamy where you step outside and your glasses fog up.  When I get home at night after work and peel off my work clothes, the last thing I want to do is use heat of any kind to cook my dinner.  Lately we've been enjoying the beautiful produce and just making quick and delicious salads, and I must say that I'm becoming obsessed with them!

Shaved Brussels sprout salad FWMP

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
serves 2
12-15 large Brussels sprouts
3 radishes
1/8 cup of dried currants
Cheese of choice - I recommend a hard, nutty sheep's milk cheese or a more common hard cheese like Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh ground pepper

With such a simple salad, the key is the freshness and quality of ingredients.  You want to shave the Brussels sprouts on a mandoline so they are reduced to pretty ribbons of sprout leaves, and julienne the radishes.  Also make sure to use a good high quality balsamic vinegar (usually a little thicker than some of the watery versions we see today).  If you only have a thin balsamic, quickly reduce it in a pan on the stove to intensify the flavor and thicken in slightly.

Toss all the ingredients together, and enjoy the cool salad on a hot day!