Friday, May 26, 2006

Ginger Love... SHF 19

You know, there are times we all have in the kitchen when we stumble up on a recipe that sounds so good. And we make that recipe and damn, it's oh so good. Better than expected, delicious to the point of obsession, different and fresh.... and this, my friends, is one of those times and definatley one of those recipes.

I would love to thank Ruth at Once Upon a Feast for making me use ginger. I like ginger but don't use it very often and dear Lord... I dont know why! But all that will change.. because I have here a fine ginger recipe...... that you MUST try... especially since summer is upon us.

Ginger Ice Cream with Vanilla Bean and Maple Rum Bananas

Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger
1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
8 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar

1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup dark rum
5 bananas sliced

For Ice Cream
Bring first 4 ingredients to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover and let steep 20 minutes or more. Bring mixture back to simmer over medium heat again. Strain into medium bowl.

Whisk egg yolks and sugar in large bowl until pale yellow. Gradually, whisk in hot milk mixture. Return mixture to same saucepan and stir over medium heat... pay close attention here and DO NOT, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LET THIS BOIL! Stir until mixture thickens and leaves a path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 4 minutes. Strain custard into bowl and let chill for at least 2 hours. Process custard in ice cream machine. Transfer to covered container and freeze until firm.

For Bananas
Stir syrup and rum in skillet over medium heat. Add sliced bananas to mixture and heat through. Spoon over ginger ice cream and freak out at how good it all is.....

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mommy Dearest

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mommies I know and love....

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Strawberry Fields Forever

Summer is officially here! The local strawberry man has his beautiful fresh strawberries for sale... $10.00 gets you a HUGE bucket of the red beauties to do with as you please. And I please a tart, please.

This insanely good tart is in the May '06 Everyday Food. There is not much to it, which is why I choose to make it. With all the buttercream lately I was craving something clean and naturally sweet. Somthing uncomplicated and easy.... I definatley found what I was looking for with this little beauty. This is such a fabulous summer dessert and I give a big "Hell Yeah" to the Everyday Food chef who came up with it (because we know Martha can't think of everything...).

Strawberry Tart
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt


1 bar (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved
1/4 cup seedless red currant jelly

1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350°. In a food processor, blend flour, butter, sugar, and salt until moist crumbs form (this may take up to 1 minute). Transfer dough to a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom.

2. With floured fingers, press dough evenly into pan and up sides. Dip a dry-measuring cup in flour, and use it to press dough firmly into bottom and against sides of pan. Freeze crust until firm, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Using a fork, prick crust all over. Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes, pressing down gently once or twice with a spoon during baking if crust puffs up. Cool completely in pan.

4. Make the filling: In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth; spread mixture evenly in bottom of baked crust (still in tart pan).

5. Starting from outside edge, arrange strawberry halves, stemmed side down, in tight concentric circles on cream cheese.

6. In a small saucepan, heat jelly on medium-low until liquefied. Gently brush strawberries with jelly; let set at least 20 minutes. Chill in pan at least 1 hour (and up to 6 hours); remove from pan just before serving.

I am telling ya.. this one you have got to try. It's easy, quick and so freaking good.... We all had it after a dinner of fried chicken and mashed potatos. We finished off half of it between the 4 of us... then I accidently ate the rest of it around 2am.... DAMN IT! But each bite was one of those eye rolling, groaning with pleasure bites.... so so good.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mixing Things Up

So with all these food events, Darcy over at The Art of Drink decided it was time for a little drinkie drink. She has come up with a super cool drink related blogging event called Mixology Monday....because if there was ever a day that needed a drink related event it is Monday. Check her out and see if you can come up with a cool drink for May 8th....