Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cappucino Ice Cream

Naughty, naughty, naughty post! I tried to stop it and it just wrote itself.

This is what happens when you combine free time with an  ice cream maker and the need to clear out your pantry because you are moving.

This recipe comes from Marcella's book called Marcella's Italian Kitchen. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I love Marcella. Her ingredient lists are so simple. This ice cream is just coffee grinds, milk, sugar, and egg yolks. Since there are so few ingredients, it is important that they are good ingredients. For example, be sure that you are using fresh coffee ginds(unbrewed) that would make a coffee you would want to drink. Don't go grabbing at any old preground, flavoured, canned business you find at the store or you'll regret it.

Cappuccino Ice Cream
Adapted from Marcella's Italian Kitchen
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh, usused coffee grinds
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder

Combine milk and coffee grinds in a pan and bring to a gentle simmer for 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks until pale yellow and slightly frothy. Beat in sugar and cocoa if you are using it. When the milk is done, strain out the coffee grinds. In a thin stream, whisking constantly, add the hot milk to the egg yolks. Whisk thouroughly. Let cool and then place in the fridge to get completely (completely!) cool. Add to ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions, or you can follow David Leovitz's version of ice cream without the maker!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Everyday Sushi

I could eat sushi everyday. That's right. I said everyday. You could eat sushi all the time if you wanted to. It is waaay easier than you think. And the best part? It is blazing outside, and sushi is cool as a cucumber. In fact, cucumber is actually a cooling vegetable according to Ayurveda. (So is celery, in case you need some insurance.)

I would love to go buy sashimi grade fish, and eat raw salmon all the time, but that is a little hard, budget-wise. So instead, i keep it simple. Trader Joe's has a can of crab for 2 dollars. I get avocados at the farmer's market. And i try to buy organic cucumbers there, too. Cucumbers are high on the list of foods found with a lot of pesticides. I bought a giant bag of nori, which i am trying to use quick, because nori can go bad if you keep it too long, or in a humid place.

Then there is the rice.I get short grain brown rice. I used the rice specifically for sushi, also. But the reasons I don't buy it all the time are related to lack of nutrients and price. Although the brown is not as sticky, I think it works nicely and adds a little chewiness, which I like.

Everyday Sushi
For 2

6 or more sheets nori
1 cup short grain brown or sushi rice
1 1/2 cups water (just 1 cup for sushi rice)
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt or soy sauce
1 cucumber
1 carrot(optional)
1 apple(optional)
Horseradish or scallions(optional)
6 oz can crab meat
1-2 avocados
Sesame seeds

Wash your rice until the water is no longer cloudy. Combine water and rice, and bring to a boil Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until rice is tender. Turn off heat, and let rice sit for 10 minutes, covered. Pour rice into a very large and wide bowl, or onto a flat, clean area, like a cutting board.

Combine vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce or salt. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the rice. With something to fan the rice, begin to fan and fluff or toss the rice with a fork. Do this for several minutes until the rice hascooled down quite a bit.

Slice the cucumber, avocado, carrots, and apple into thin sticks. Place the first sheet of nori shiny side down, and spread a thin layer of rice over about two thirds of the sheet. Lay the vegetables and crab meat along the edge of the nori with the rice, and begin the tightly roll the sheet away from you. Allow it to sit seam side down for several minutes for the nori to soften, and it will be easier to cut. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Slice the nori log with a serrated knife, into small bites. Do not press down with the knife, or you will squish your sushi. Just saw. :)

Add a little sriracha and soy sauce to a small bowl to dip your sushi. Enjoy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Broccoli and Noodles with Peanut or Cashew Sauce

I have one of Lorna Sass's vegetarian cookbooks called Complete Vegetarian Kitchen. I stole this from my sister a few years ago. Really, I prefer the term indefinite borrowing. And I am infamous for it. Well, when it comes to cookbooks. Think of it as a compliment. I just couldn't part with this book. She discusses all of the interesting grains you might ever want to try in your life: quionoa millet, teff, bulghur, amaranth, etc. I don't think I have made a recipe out of this book that I am not in love with; this broccoli and noodle dish was the first.

Alright, I have something I need to tell you. This  book is not just vegetarian; it's vegan. Stop scrunching your nose at me! You eat vegan all the time, and don't even notice: chips and salsa, beans and rice, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, even Bacon Bits!!

Let's discuss the anatomy of this dish, shall we? Well, it has noodles, and broccoli... uh-huh. You can cook those in your sleep. But, I don't advise it. They might get all mushy and overcooked. Then there is our peanut sauce. Delicious: check. Protein: check. Flavour: double check! There is no added fat; just the fat from the nuts you use. I made cashew butter from cashews this time around, because I didn't have any peanut butter in the house, and it was a wonderful substitute!

 Peanut or Cashew Sauce
Adapted from Complete Vegetarian Kitchen

1/2 cup of peanut butter or cashew butter
2 cloves garlic, fresh or roasted
2 inches fresh ginger
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoons Rice vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
Dash Cayenne

Blend it all in the food processor with just eough water to get it moving.

Broccoli and Noodles with Peanut or Cashew sauce
1/2 or 1 recipe peanut sauce
1-2 large heads of broccoli
8 ounces pasta (noodles, especially buckwheat soba work best, but any kind will do)
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain pasta, saving some water to cook the broccoli. Chop the broccoli into bite size peices. Toss in with the water and cover over medium heat, turning the broccoli over in the pan a few times to cook evenly. Cook for just a few minutes, but don't let it get mushy.  Toss with the broccoli. Toss the sauce over the noodles and broccoli. You can use half the recipe, here, is what Lorna says, but I usually use the whole thing and double the broccoli in the dish. Happy Eats!

My homegrown broccoli!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Easy Rhubarb Jam

Sean is obsessed with rhubarb. He won't even let me put strawberries or cherries with it. It has to be alone.

I don't remember the first time Sean had rhubarb, but it must have been at my house. I don't imagine many Mexican homes having a lot of rhubarb. In the Pennsylvania Dutch home, however, it is synonymous with pie. That is why it is also called pie plant. Although very tart tasting right out of the ground, when cooked down with a little sugar, rhubarb is quite delicious. I think anyone could like it. It doesn't have a strange flavor at all, so I find it odd when people say they don't like it. Of course when I hear "I don't like that," what I really hear is "I could like it if you would just make it for me." This inevitably leads me into all kinds of trouble between me and Sean, where I cook up the offending food in every tasty manner possible, and insist he try it. And you know what? It usually works, but he is pretty easy. (I am still working on coconut flakes.)

I can remember saying I didn't like green olives, and then I had them in Spain. I remember saying I didin't like collards, and then I bought some and cooked them for a brief period of time. I didn't like brussels sprouts either, until I had them roasted! Here is my philosophy on this matter: if there are entire cultures of people enjoying the food you loathe, do you really think they are the crazy ones? The trick is to try, try, try again.

What foods do you love to hate???

Easy Rhubarb Jam
6 cups or 2 pounds of rhubarb, chopped fine (remember to remove the leaves as they are very poisonous!)
2 cups of sugar
2 tablespoons honey
Juice from half of a big lemon
Zest from half a lemon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Stir all the ingredient together in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge. Liquid will seep from the rhubarb.

Transfer the contents of the bowl to a big pot. Turn on the heat to medium and allow to simmer stirring occasionally, until it has thickened like the picture above. Don't wander, this will happen quickly. Pour into jars. (I usually do not can things because I am lazy, so just throw these in the refrigerator after they have cooled. It will last quite a while in there.) 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rose Petal Beads

When you are into DIY, it can be fun. And then you can be halfway through somehing and wonder "what the heck am I doing?" I guess I just really love rose petals. I like their smell, and the way they taste. Not many rose blooms get by me without a good sniff.

The white roses in the front house are shedding their petals all over the ground, and I saw this recipe and couldn't resist. So what is the deal? Well, you gather up enough rose petals to pack into your food processor. Add enough water to get is whizzing, and it will start to look like this:

So you throw them in your cast iron pan, and cook them for just a bit. I have read that boiling is bad, but I do not really understand why. Mine boiled a bit, just to get out a little water.

Each day for 2 or three days, you heat up the pan, stir the mush around, and it starts to look like clay.

 And when it is dry enough, and acts like clay in your hand, form little pieces into beads. They will shrink as they dry, and they will crack too, so be sure that they are rolled compactly. Push a pin through them.

I used my dehydrator because I am terribly impatient, but I bet you could just let them sit around or stick them in a cork board, or even heat them gently in the oven. It is hard to know when they are completely dry. I would estimate several weeks. Mine are dry on the outside, but I can tell they are still squishy inside.

And if you are thinking I am crazy. Well . . . I am.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Overnight Oats

Happy 4th of July!!

I learned about overnight oats from a fellow intern. Since then, I can't tell you how many times I have made it. I know you might have made crockpot oats overnight. They are hot and ready in the morning. Well, these are cold. Cold? Yes, cold!

Well, who would want to eat cold oatmeal? Me. And you too, if you have the guts to try it.

This simple preparation has saved me a few times when I am headed out the door 20 minutes late with no food for luch and zero prospects.It is ready in just a few hours.

What I really like about this, it that sometimes you want a cold breakfast that fills you up. Not that air popped cereal, where even the fourth bowl makes it seem like you just sat down to eat. And when the city is ablaze at 8:00 in the morning (Thank you Las Vegas) this really hits the spot.

KP's Version of Overnight Oats

1 part rolled or steel cut oats
2 parts milk
1 part yogurt
A few spoonfuls of chia seeds or ground flaxseed
Honey or Maple syrup to taste
Fresh fruit and/or dried fruit

You can  put all the ingredients together, including the fruit, stir it up, and leave in the fridge overnight. Or you can just leave out the fruit and sweetener and do that in the morning. The flaxseed helps to thicken it up but is optional, and is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, as are chia seeds. 

Friday, July 1, 2011


Oh, Canelé! Right when you think that you have heard of all the variations on butter, sugar, eggs, and flour that could possibly have been created, out comes another. I came across these when I was looking for ideas to use my vanilla beans, and my interest was piqued. Of course, it was a fine fiasco making them. They have a shatteringly crisp exterior that just looks burnt. So, if you are baker, you can see the dilemma. You have to be a bit of a hawk the first few times you make them. The inside is slightly cakey, but more custard-like. They are wonderful little treats.

Here is a video from Chow about Canelé made in San Francisco. The restaurant mentioned in the video became a bit of a mecca for me yesterday, when we made the pilgrimage to the ferry building. It is not often that we get to San Francisco, even though we live a short 4 hours away.

Here it is!!

If you want to try the recipe out, here is Paula Wolfert's, the one I used. I know you can buy the silicon or copper molds for this treat, but I think that muffin tins work fine, and give the pastry an interesting shape, albeit not the pretty one they are known for.

If you try to make them, let me know how it goes! And if you ever have enjoyed one, tell me about it!