28 July 2009

Jamie's Beautiful Courgette Carbonara

The other night, or early morning, sometime after midnight, I was searching my TIVO when I ran across Jamie At Home. Jamie Oliver, whom I have loved since he was much younger and naked, had a show on the BBC called Jamie At Home which consisted of 12 shows. In the US, the Food Network has been showing the summer season, over and over and over.

In the show, Jamie runs about his garden (carefully taken care of by a gardener.) Jamie gathers food he (read: his gardener) has grown and then he makes quick and easy dishes in a few minutes right before your eyes. As always happens with TV chefs, the show was the perfect platform for a really large and pricey cookbook entitled, Jamie At Home, which, of course, I own.

The show I re-watched (it was after 2 am and there was not a Law & Order on any channel, which is a really rare experience) was on courgettes. In the US of A we call courgettes “squash” of any of the zucchini, crook neck, summer yellow, pattypan variety. On the "squash" show he made a carbonara and it looked so good, I decided to make it.

Here’s what Jamie did….

Boil a package of pasta of the penne variety.

Cut up some bacon, then cut up 2 or 3 squash in slices or small sections the size of the penne.

Throw the bacon in the skillet and cook till dark and crispy.

While it’s getting crispy, mix a couple of egg yolks, a cup of cream or half–and-half and some Parmesan and set aside.

When the bacon is crispy, add the squash and fry it until it a bit soft, and by the time the squash is soft the pasta should be done.

Save a bit of the cooking water, then add the pasta to the skillet and remove from heat to cool down just a bit.

Mix in the egg mixture quickly, add some of the cooking water and serve immediately.

Jamie’s recipe takes longer to read than to actually make the carbonara. (Not quite as long but still…)

Here is the official recipe.

Beautiful Courgette Carbonara

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 medium green and yellow courgettes
500g penne
4 large free-range or organic egg yolks
100ml double cream
2 good handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
olive oil
12 thick slices of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon cut into chunky lardoons
a small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped, flowers reserved (if you can get a hold of flowering thyme)
optional: few courgette flowers

Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Halve and then quarter any larger courgettes lengthways. Cut out and discard any fluffy middle bits, and slice the courgettes at an angle into pieces roughly the same size and shape as the penne. Smaller courgettes can simply be sliced finely. Your water will now be boiling, so add the penne to the pan and cook according to the packet instructions.

To make your creamy carbonara sauce, put the egg yolks into a bowl, add the cream and half the Parmesan, and mix together with a fork. Season lightly and put to one side.

Heat a very large frying pan (a 35 cm one is a good start – every house should have one!), add a good splash of olive oil and fry the pancetta or bacon until dark brown and crisp. Add the courgette slices and 2 big pinches of black pepper, not just to season but to give it a bit of a kick. Sprinkle in the thyme leaves, give everything a stir, so the courgettes become coated whit all the lovely bacon-flavored oil, and fry until they start to turn lightly golden and have softened slightly.

It is very important to get this next bit right or your carbonara could end up ruined. You need to work quickly. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water. Immediately, toss the pasta in the pan with the courgettes, bacon and lovely flavors, then remove from heat and add a ladleful of the reserves cooking water and your creamy sauce. Stir together quickly. (No more cooking now, otherwise you’ll scramble the eggs.)
Get everyone around the table, ready to eat straight away. While you’re tossing the pasta and sauce, sprinkle in the rest of the Parmesan and a little more of the cooking water if needed, to give you a silky and shiny sauce. Taste quickly for seasoning. If you’ve managed to get any courgette flowers tear them over the top, then serve and eat immediately, as the sauce can become thick and stogy if left too long.

Jamie At Home, the cookbook, features another of my favorite recipes, Venison Stroganoff , that we featured on the Cookbook of the Day blog.

27 July 2009

Merce Cunningham 1919 - 2009

“What interests me is movement.
Not movement that necessarily refers to
something else,
but is just what it is.Like
when you see somebody or an
animal move,
you don’t have to know what it’s doing.”

Merce Cunningham

Merce (detail) by Herb Ritts

Merce Cunningham died in his sleep last night. He danced every performance with his company until he was 70 years old. Mercier Philip Cunningham did not follow the family tradition and practice law. As fate would have it, a neighbor had been a vaudeville performer and he took classes from her. Later, studying at Seattle's Cornish School, he met Martha Graham and joined her company where he remained for six years before striking out on his own.

In 1953, Cunningham founded his own company while teaching at Black Mountain College, an influential educational haven where the study of art was paramount. Cunningham taught with the likes of Walter Gropius, Robert Creely, Franz Klein, Josef and Anni Albers, Jacob Lawrence, Aaron Siskind, Charles Olson, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Lou Harrison, Buckminster Fuller, and John Cage.

John Cage and Merce Cunningham

Cunningham and Cage met at Seattle's Cornish School in 1942. Their association lasted fifty years, until Cage's death in 1992. During that time, both collectively and individually, they left an indelible impact on art in the Twentieth Century. After Cage's death Cunningham remarked, " “On the one hand, I come home at the end of the day and John’s not there. On the other hand, I come home and John’s not there.”

In 2005, Cunningham showed a little known talent, drawing. Aperture, published Other Animals, collecting many of the dancer's quirky and delightful images.

Tiger 5/3/97 -- Drawing by Merce Cunningham

Listen to a fragment from Sixty-Two Mesostics re Merce Cunningham for unaccompanied voice with mic, by John Cage.

Eliot Caplan did a lovely documentary on the collaboration of Cage and Cunningham, which is widely available, entitled: Cage Cunningham - A Film by Elliot Caplan.

Read the extensive New York Times obituary.

26 July 2009

Frog More-or-Less Stew

Yesterday I made a kind of planned-over low-country stew. I had some corn, a couple of potatoes, a bag of frozen lima beans, and part of an onion sitting in the fridge. My little grocery store often carries really small chickens, the kind of young chicken under two pounds that you would pay a premium for in markets in D.C. if you could even find them. I always pick up one when I go shopping because they are quick to cook and I adore chicken. Last week in the "on sale" category were Red Carolina Smoked Sausage. I know they are bad for you, full of god knows what, aside from the fat and nitrates, but they were on sale and they looked so lonely...

Late in the afternoon I tuned the oven on to 450F and pulled out my chicken without any thought. (Check out the post at Cookbook of the Day on the The Splendid Table's How To Eat Supper for their "hot oven" advice.)
Since I had no real clear ideas, I just added some salt and pepper, a cup of water and dropped the chicken into my big cast-iron pot, put the lid on and slid it into the oven.

Then I thought of the Carolina Red's and the rest is history. Traditionally, a Frogmore Stew has shrimp, but being landlocked, I have to plan way ahead and not simply "over" to ensure seafood. While the chicken cooked I peeled potatoes, cut off corn, and grabbed the frozen lima beans. I didn't really need to season it much as the spice in the smoked sausage added plenty to the dish. Here is my "recipe" for Frog More-or-Less Stew . Remember it is a "planned-over" recipe or a basically an "un- planned-over" leftover recipe so use your judgment and imagination.

Frog More-or-Less Stew

1 small chicken (or chicken pieces or leftover chicken)
1 or 2 Red Carolina Smoked Sausages (or hot dogs, half-smokes, andouille)
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes (or scrubbed new potatoes)
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off (or ears of corn broken into small pieces or some frozen corn)
1/2 bag frozen lima beans ( or the whole bag if you are so inclined)
1 small onion ( or the other half of the onion you sliced for hamburgers)
some salt and pepper to taste (and some red pepper if you like it hot)

In a rather large cast-iron pan (like Le Creuset ) add the chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper, the onion, and a cup of water. Let the chicken cook about 20 minutes. (If you use cooked chicken, simply add everything to the pot and cook about 40 minutes.)

Add peeled potatoes, corn, lima beans, and sausage.

Cook another 40 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pot, allowing it to cool a bit. Remove the meat and return the meat to the pot.

Season with some extra hot sauce if it's too mild for your taste.

24 July 2009

Famous Food Friday --Gerard Depardieu

Today’s Famous Foodie is the French actor, Gerard Depardieu. The boy loves to eat so he learned to cook. The role that, as they say, put him on the map was his portrayal of a doomed, hunchbacked farmer in the film, Jean de Florette. He went on to win awards for his dramatic roles and when there was a need for some old French guy he acted in a few American productions, I'm thinking of Green Card.

After becoming a famous actor… he followed the famous actor path:

1. Buying his own vineyard
2. Opening a restaurant
3. Dating and impregnating supermodels

Don’t hate him! If you had bags of money you, too, would buy and vineyard and open a restaurant. OK, you would do the supermodel thing, too.

Depardieu took it a step further, writing his own cookbook, cleverly entitled, My Cookbook. As one might guess, the food is a very rustic French. The Revolution changed the course of French cooking. The bourgeoisie, the common man, made French cooking what it is today. The aristocracy had employed chefs, who now made food for the masses. Food became inexorable with French culture. As a child, Depardieu’s father made stews for the family. A favorite was cooked when a passing hunter would give his father a rabbit. Here is a rabbit much like his father made for him.

Rabbit with Rosemary

6 shallots
4 pink garlic cloves
4 rosemary sprigs
50 g (2 oz) butter
1 good fat rabbit, cut into pieces
1 glass of dry white wine
1 glass of water
salt and freshly ground pepper

Peel the shallots and garlic, leaving them whole. Strip the leaves fro the rosemary.

Melt the butter in a large, cast-iron casserole. Add the pieces of rabbit and leave them to brown on all sides. When they are colored all over, add the white wine and water. Season with salt and pepper, add the rosemary, the shallots and garlic, then cover and coo for 1 hour, turning the pieces once or twice during cooking.

Serve the rabbit straight from the casserole.
There is nothing better than rabbit straight from the casserole! Now uncork some wine and settle in with a DVD of Green Card, or perhaps Bogus. In Last Holiday he plays a chef and you get Queen Latifah, so hush up and eat your rabbit.

P.S. Once again, those rascally rabbits over at Cookbook Of The Day, stole our cookbook.

23 July 2009

Kitten Redux -- Name That Kitten

Well, the kitten has survived the week. Last night she followed the chickens to their house when night fell, but it is too little to get into the chicken house and too skittish to pick up.

It is still munching down on the old zucchini, and no doubt thinking, "Surely there is something better for us chickens to eat."

I managed to pick it up yesterday, but held it a bit too long and it chomped my finger.

It is so small I cannot tell its sex yet. But we are up for taking names.

It was a year before Kitty Carlisle got her name and that took the death of, well, Kitty Carlisle.

So, send us you name ideas....

22 July 2009

Etiquette Wednesday -- Ethelind Fearon

Today’s etiquette tips come from the most reluctant hostess, Ethelind Fearon, whose book, The Reluctant Hostess, makes entertaining a breeze or perhaps a bracing wind! Have you ever wondered why we entertain? Fearon gives us the historical perspective on this practice.

In the Stone age people lived in their own caves, stalked their own food – a fair contest between man and beast with no holds barred—and ate it themselves, habits with much to recommend them. Entertaining began – like a lot of other customs – in the East.

There was a law –in a time so far back that they only make important ones and people could therefore remember them – that if you had eaten bread and salt with your neighbor you couldn’t poison him during the current year. Or he couldn’t poison you, I forget which. Probably a bit of both.

So people with good sense took care to dine out pretty often even if they had better food at home, because it wasn’t so much a meal as an insurance policy.
That makes such good sense! Now for most parties you need drinks and snacks or "cocktail snippets" as Fearon calls them.

Anything mangled up and sitting on a biscuit is a cocktail snippet.

How easy is that! Now that the food is out of the way lets look at drinks:

Any party stands and falls, as much as anything, by the nature and excellence of its drinks. To sum up: For all cocktails economy is fatal.

Spare the gin and spoil the party.

Ethelind Fearon will tell you:

Admittedly entertaining entails work, but if it’s a life of unrelieved sloth you are after, you’ll bore yourself and everyone else to death and kill off all your friendships at such a rate that there will be no need to entertain.

Entertaining isn’t just ordering a gargantuan meal and the writing a proportionate cheque. It is planning the most pleasure fro the most people with the least pain to yourself.
Wow, if everybody followed these simple rules, life would be a party! So stop being reluctant -- grab the gin, mangle up something on a cracker and get to it.

To check out Ethelind Fearon’s "reluctant cooking", head over to the Cookbook Of The Day blog and find her bold recipe for Leftover Rice Pudding Salad.

19 July 2009

Nobody Here But Us Chickens...

My chickens have adopted a kitten.

Yesterday when I returned from the grocery store, the chickens appeared to be a bit different. Then I noticed their addition. When it noticed me it took off.

I fed the chickens a gigantic zucchini that was inedible for humans and watched out the window as the kitten tried to manage raw zucchini.

It jumped right in for the stale goldfish crackers.

I don't want another cat! But look at it....

16 July 2009

Italian Stuffed Squash

We have been growing a lot of small round hybrid squash. They are variations on the French round squash, the ronde de nice. There is a hybrid often called an eight-ball and now there are several varieties ranging from yellow to a dark green.

They are the perfect squash for a leftover/planned over meal. They are beyond easy to core and stuff with the dregs of the refrigerator, turning little bits and pieces into a gorgeous meal. All you have to do is cut off the top of the squash, remove the seeds, stuff the squash with a filling, and bake. You can use the same technique with an oblong squash or zucchini. Simply slice in half, scoop out the seeds and stuff.

The best mixture for the filling includes following combination. If you are a vegetarian, leave out the meat and add an extra vegetable. There are some crossovers, onions can be aromatics or vegetables. Cheese works as a protein or a binder. It is basically a little casserole stuffed into an edible bowl. One from each group works fine.

Any aromatics to flavor the filling such as onions, garlic, shallots, olives, anchovies, lemon, rosemary, thyme, sage, cilantro or any other spices you have handy.

What ever veggie you might have tucked in the crisper, including onions, mushrooms, squash, tomato, potatoes, carrots, celery, broccoli and on and on

This is a great way to use a leftover chicken breast, roast beef, ham or shrimp. Ground meats like hamburger, sausage, lamb are quick additions. Even tofu or cheese.

Leftover rice, potatoes, tabbouleh, quinoa, bread, or cornbread.

You don’t want the stuffing to be dry, so you need a little something to bind the stuffing. Tomato paste, pesto, broth, milk, an egg, cheese, leftover gravy or sauce.

Each squash, when hollowed out, will hold about 1/2 cup of filling. So if you are cooking 4 squash, you need 2 cups of stuffing. If you have a lot of extra stuffing, you can always cook it in the bottom of the pan, thought the squash ball won’t look quite as “Food & Wine."

After the weekend, I had a bit of extra hamburger, part of an onion, some olives and some little balls of mozzarella. I made a little orzo, added some hot red pepper and some tomato paste. I picked some lovely squash ball and made an Italian Stuffed Squash.

Italian Stuffed Squash

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
6 olives, chopped
1 cup hamburger, fried and drained
3/4 cup cooked orzo
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup mozzarella

Cut the top off the squash and scoop out the seeds.

Salt and pepper the inside of the squash and add 1/2 teaspoon olive oil.

Sauté onions until translucent and set aside.

Fry the hamburger in a skillet about 5 minutes, drain fat.

Add the onions, olives, red pepper, cooked orzo, tomato paste and mozzarella to the hamburger and mix.

Spoon the hamburger mixture into the squash and replace the top.

Set the filled squash into a baking pan, add a 1/4 cup water into the bottom of the pan.

Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes.

Here’s another favorite. I always have leftover chicken. If I have leftover chicken, there is usually leftover rice. Add some onions, cheese, some chopped celery, maybe a few peas and you are good to go.

Chicken and Rice Stuffed Squash

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 sprig thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped onions
1 stalk chopped celery
3 mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chopped chicken
3/4 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Cut the top off the squash and scoop out the seeds.

Salt and pepper the inside of the squash and add 1/2 teaspoon olive oil.

Sauté the onions, celery, thyme, and mushrooms in 1 teaspoon olive oil about 5 minutes.

Add the chopped chicken, leftover rice, broth and cheese to the sautéed vegetables.

Mix well.

Stuff into the prepared squash.

Set the filled squash into a baking pan, add a 1/4 cup water into the bottom of the pan.

Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes.

15 July 2009

Etiquette Wednesday -- Elsie de Wolfe

When you hear that Lady Mendl, standing up
Now turns a handspring landing up
On her toes
Anything goes!

Cole Porter

Today’s etiquette tips are legendary. They come in the form of entertaining advice from the legendary Elsie de Wolfe, a.k.a. Lady Mendl. Her advice is passed on to us from the legendary Ludwig Bemelmans. There is so much legend in this post, one might just turn a handspring.

Elsie de Wolfe was one of the great figures of design. Many consider her to be the first interior decorator, crediting her 1913 book, A House in Good Taste, as being the first true tome on decorating. (A lot of people give that credit to Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman whose book, The Decoration of Houses was published in 1897.) For many years, de Wolfe shared her life with Elisabeth Marbury, a theatrical producer. She shocked her friends, including Marbury, by marring Sir Charles Mendl when she was 60. Maybe she was 61, so hard to tell with "women of a certain age."

Elisabeth Marbury and Elsie de Wolfe

Unlike Wharton, Elsie de Wolfe was named the Best-Dressed Woman in the World, in 1935. Both Irving Berlin and Cole Porter wrote of her in song. Cole Porter's lyric makes reference to Lady Mendl's dramatic entrance to a rather formal diplomatic ball. She entered doing handsprings and she was over 60, not to mention married to a diplomat!

The other "legend" in our story, Ludwig Bemelmans, invented one of the most famous characters in literature, Madeline. He was as famous for eating as he was for inventing Madeline.

In the early 50’s Ludwig Bemelmans went to California and Lady Mendl invited him for a visit -- he moved in. She called him "Stevie", he believed because “Ludwig” was a tad Teutonic after the war. He called her “Mother.”

Bemelmans wrote of their relationship in his book, To The One I Love The Best. In Bemelmans notoriously wicked humor, the title of this work was taken from Lady Mendl's pet cemetery in France. She buried her beloved dogs there and each of them had their own headstone that read: The One I Love The Best.

Bemelmans wrote of Elsie, “I have never known any hostess, hotel manager, chef, or maître d’hôtel who gave the attention to a party that Lady Mendl did.”

His description of a party offers sage advice to today's hostess.
The dinners were exemplary and simple, and the rules laid down for the serving of meals were sensible. The basic laws were a cold room and hot plates, the floral decorations low, so that one could look across at the other people and talk to anyone without bending around a vase or candlesticks. Her love of things green and white went so far that the place cards were tropical leaves on which the names were written in white ink. The lighting was indirect and the service the ancient Russian, which is the most convenient for the guest at table as well as the help. It consists of a small rolling table, or, in the case of larger parties, of several of them. The food and the plates are placed thereon, and the servitors arrange the food on the plate and set it before the guest.
Since there was always a small green and white menu at the table the people new what was coming, and they could choose more of the first course, if they liked that, or more of the second, if that course had more appeal to them.

One day Lady Mendl received a package of twelve quarts of cointreau. The liquor was featured in a drink named for her.

Lady Mendl gasped, "What will I do with twelve quarts of cointreau?"

"Have a party," replied her maid.

And she did! I’m sure they served her signature cocktail.

Lady Mendl Cocktail

1/3 gin
1/3 grapefruit juice
1 jigger cointreau

Today is great afternoon to make yourself a Lady Mendl Cocktail and listen to the legendary Cole Porter sing her praises because as you know, Anything Goes.

12 July 2009

Blueberry Ice Cream

Ah. summer. I had about two cups of blueberries that needed to be used or frozen so I made ice cream.

I have an old Simac gelato machine that is roughly the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. In DC it was always more trouble to get out than it was to find ice cream. Here in West Virginia, I have some space. During the summer, the Simac sits on a box in the kitchen floor, easily accessible for ice cream making.

It is truly indestructible. It does have drawbacks. First there is that size thing. Secondly, it does not have a removable basket. It takes longer to clean the machine than it does to eat the ice cream. Owners of this machine, however, are rabid about them. If you can find a way to make the blades, you will have a thriving business as many owners desperately need replacement blades.

I admit, however, that I covet the Cuisinart ICE-50BC. It has a removable bowl! And is about half the size of my Simac. Ice Cream guru David Lebovitz uses this machine and raves. I rave over his book, The Perfect Scoop.

Even with the cleaning, the ice cream was great! I mix my ice cream with an immersion blender, but a whisk or a mixer will work. Beat the eggs till they are thick and rich. Incorporate the sugar fully. Now you just want to mix in the cream,milk, and sugared fruit, giving it a quick stir. Then add to the ice cream maker.

Blueberry Ice Cream

For the fruit:
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar

Gently crush about half the berries with a fork and leave half whole.
Sprinkle the sugar on the blueberries and let them set about an hour.

For the ice cream base:
2 eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar

Beat the eggs until thick.

Add the sugar to the eggs, mix well.

Add the cream, milk, and sugared fruit, mix to combine.

Pour into the ice cream maker following the manufacturers instructions.

It should take about 30-40 minutes.


08 July 2009

Etiquette Wednesday --Lady Troubridge

Lady Troubridge, known as Laura Troubridge, Laura Hope and Mrs. Adrian Hope wrote a full two volumes on the proper etiquette of the proper English. She was so proper that when the cast of Robert Altman's Gosford Park was being assembled and needed guidance as to how one might behave at a weekend shooting party in the early 1930's, Lady Troubridge's volumes on etiquette were excerpted for the cast.

I feel the cast did a bang up job.

As a young girl, Laura Troubridge lost her parents and was trundled off to stay at North Runcton Hall, the home of her grandfather. There, like many Victorian's, she became an avid keeper of journals. Her account of these early years was the basis for a memoir, Life Amongst the Troubridges.

Laura Troubridge had a jam-packed life. In the incestuous world of the Victorian upper class she knew the famous and infamous. As a child, she was photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron, whom she found to be quite frightening. After her marriage to Adrian Hope, Laura became an illustrator, drawing respectable, if modest pastels of famous friends and illustrating an occasional children's book. There is speculation that she fell very much in love with Oscar Wilde and after his trial, Laura and Adrian became the guardians of the Wilde children. In the realm of further scandal, she was related by marriage to Una Troubridge who left husband and child to take up residence with Radcliffe Hall. It's hard to believe she had the time to fill two full volumes with etiquette!

"Etiquette may be defined as the technique of the art of social life."

So begins Lady Troubridge. As August is just around the corner and we all know that the shooting season begins 12 August with our grouse shooting in Scotland, let us review a few things one needs to remember when headed off to the shooting party.

"Invitations to country houses for parties are generally for three to five day."
During these days one finds a strict gender divide.
"The ladies at a shooting party are expected to amuse themselves during the morning after the men have gone off shooting. In the afternoon the hostess generally arranges a drive or some other interest, but it is always open to the guest to do exactly as she pleases. As a general rule, however, the hostess and the ladies of the party join the shooters for a picnic luncheon out of doors. If a lady cares to go out with the men in the morning and watch the shooting it is permissible for her to do so if she is sure that she will be welcome. Some ladies walk with guns after luncheon. If a lady goes out with the guns she must not talk during the shooting or wear brightly colored clothes."

And for the men:

"A man who is going to shoot must provide his own cartridges. He is not expected to bring a loader other than his own valet, who will act in that capacity. A loader is provided by the host for a man who does not bring a valet.
A loader is not need unless a man uses two guns. A man is expected to have a pair of guns if he accepts an invitation to a large shoot."

Confused? Just remember, pack your valet and make sure he brings the ammo. Pack your wife but don't let her bring the fuschia frock. You'll be fine.

06 July 2009

Pressed and Starched Kitchen Towels

I received a lot of flack (OK, merciless teasing) from some people about my neatly bundled kitchen towels. Well, everyone needs a fresh and clean kitchen towel every day. That is seven for the week. Frankly, they are just easier to keep together if you wash, starch, mangle, and tie them into neat little bundles of seven towels.

Trust me, you are washing and ironing them anyway... so just tie them together and you are ready for a new week in the kitchen.

02 July 2009

Pimm's Cup Ice Cream

Recently I mentioned my Pimm's Cup Ice Cream and I had request for the recipe. In February over at Cookbook Of The Day we featured Serena Bass' Pimm's Cup recipe. This takes a similar recipe and turns it into ice cream.

A few general ice cream thoughts.

We use an uncooked sweet cream base. This is an issue if you are afraid of raw eggs. Since our eggs come fresh from our chickens, we don't have an issue with eggs.

An uncooked base doesn't hold up well for an length of time. Frankly, we never need to keep our ice cream for weeks, actually it is gone within a few hours.

This recipe has alcohol and therefore it needs to be processed a bit longer as it doesn't freeze quite as hard.

Pimm's Cup Ice Cream

2 eggs
3/4 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups half & half
1 large cucumber, peeled and seeds
1/4 cup 7- up
1/2 cup Pimm's
Fresh mint for garnish

Beat the eggs about a minute till they form thick ribbons.

Add the sugar a little at a time incorporating fully

Add the cream and the half & half

Chop the cucumber in a food processor, add the 7-up and Pimm's

Add the cucumber mixture to the cream mixture

Process in ice cream maker about 45 minutes

I tried serving it in cucumber cups. I hollowed out sections of cucumbers, and dredged them in a mixture of sugar and lemon zest, then piped in a bite of ice cream and garnished with a mint leaf. It looks nice but it is one of those ideas that needs to be served immediately. The moisture in the cucumber melts the sugar quickly. I tried to make the cups in advance, but they ended up being cucumbers sitting in puddle of sugar.

Another option is to slice cucumbers and at the last minute, dredge them in the sugar and simply garnish the ice cream.
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