Archive | January, 2014

David Lebovitz’s Guinness Milk Chocolate Ice Cream & Vanilla Ice Cream

28 Jan

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I really owe it to my co-worker, Shannon, for building my confidence about making ice cream. A conversation a few weeks ago about how she makes homemade ice cream for a family gathering in Maine, opened my eyes to how easy it could be. Easy, only thanks to a KitchenAid attachment, which spoke to my feng shui attitude towards kitchen gadgets: the fewer, the better. I had no interest in procuring an ice cream maker, per se, but this attachment just gave my mixer more versatility.  It’s kind of ridiculous to post an ice cream recipe in the dead of winter, I realize. I’m just using the excuse that I’m perfecting the technique, so come summertime, I’ll be a pro. Click here to view a great YouTube video about how to use the KitchenAid attachment that I used.

IMG_8194Guinness in ice cream? Yes! The velvety, silky mouthfeel of the Guinness matches perfectly with the creaminess of the ice cream. It goes so well together, without being overly heavy. And, including the beer cuts down on the heavy cream – if you’re looking for a virtuous reason to make this.

Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
makes about one quart

7 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped (I used Guittard)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup Guinness Stout
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the chocolate pieces in a large bowl and set aside.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Slowly pour the custard over the milk chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Once the mixture is smooth, whisk in the cream, then the Guinness and vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Vanilla Ice Cream

makes about one quart

1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice bath until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly (overnight, helps).

Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Vanilla Ice Cream served with French Chocolate Bark

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For more recipes like this, check out David Lebovitz’s blog and book, The Perfect Scoop.

{Recipe Redux} Arugula, Bacon, Onion and Ricotta Pizza

21 Jan

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I know that the title is long and cumbersome, but I felt like I had to get your attention! This month’s Recipe Redux‘s task was to blog a pizza recipe ~ everyone’s favorite! This comes at perfect timing during award-show season, and of course, football. This recipe was born from my love of pizza and salad, together. I absolutely love the bacon, ricotta, herb pizza from OTTO Pizzeria, so that was the inspiration for this! It’s a nice break from regular ‘ol margherita pizza.

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Arugula, Bacon, Onion and Ricotta Pizza

For the pizza dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour (Note: you can replace up to 1.5 cups whole wheat flour)
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (100 degrees F/45 degrees C)

For the topping:
1 large white or yellow onion, sliced thinly
5-6 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
1 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt to taste

For the arugula salad:
1 6-oz bag arugula
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or balsamic vinegar)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Crisp bacon in saute pan. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper-towel lined plate. In the same pan, saute onion in the bacon fat for 10-15 minutes, until soft and caramelized. Season with salt, to taste. Add fresh thyme. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile make the crust: Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water until combined. Spread out on a large pizza stone or baking sheet. Pierce with a fork. Pre-bake crust for 5 minutes.

Assemble pizza by topping pre-baked crust with onions and bacon. Scatter shredded mozzarella cheese. Top with dollops of ricotta cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until desired crispness. Cut into slices.

While the pizza is baking, make the salad. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice (or vinegar), salt and pepper in a salad bowl. Add arugula and toss well.

To serve: top slices of pizza with handful of arugula.

Kale & Sausage Ribollita

14 Jan

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There is nothing better than a bone-warming soup or stew during the winter months. I had intended to make a sausage and kale WHITE BEAN ribollita. However, as I rifled through my pantry, only to find 2 cans of chickpeas. Side-note: I had about 30 cans of black beans. The beauty of stews is that you can kind of alter them to what you have, right? So I did just that.

The secret ingredient that I use for my soups, chilis and stews is a Parmesan-cheese rind. Don’t ever throw out the rind when you are done with the block, because it imparts the most fantastic flavor into soups and stews. The rind literally disintegrates into the liquid, so there’s nothing to fish out. This is delicious and satisfying –  it’s a great make-ahead, freezer-worthy staple.

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Kale & Sausage Ribollita Stew (Makes 6 servings)

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 Tablespoons garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano, chopped
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes (preferably no-added salt)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 16-oz cans chickpeas (or other bean of choice)
2 cups water
1, 3″ Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
1lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 lb kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

Garnish (optional):
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Lemon
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions
Heat large dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onions, carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and herbs; sauté until aromatic. Next, make a well and add in sausage, crumble; allow to brown for 5 minutes Add tomatoes and chicken stock; cook for 10 minutes. Add beans and water. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 60 minutes covered. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add kale and stir until combined (it will wilt). Season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve with fresh parsley, freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and drizzle of fresh lemon juice.

Note: If using dried beans/legumes, replace canned beans with 1-lb dried. Rinse and soak them overnight. Increase water (in recipe) to 9 cups, adding the water and soaked beans with the tomatoes and chicken stock. Cook soup for at least 1 1/2 hours at on low heat.

Brunch-worthy Breakfast Scramble

2 Jan

Happy New Year! It always feels good to start the year out right by eating real, wholesome food. This all-star dish is easy enough for an unpretentious, leisurely weekend breakfast, but fancy enough to feel like you went the extra mile. It is full of color, and crosses off all the food groups that breakfast could ask for. And as you know, I love a dish that you don’t have to follow exactly – this one is no exception. Take the “recipe” as a guide, but feel free to add your own flair (aka whatever you happen to have in the fridge).

As I write this, the snow is cascading down, ushering in our first “blizzard” of 2014 – it’s going to be a lonnnnnng winter. I suspect it will be recipes like this one that help get us through these blustery days ahead.

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Breakfast Scramble (Serves 4)

5-6 slices bacon (8 oz), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium yukon gold or sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
5 ounces dry salami, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Zest of 1/2 medium orange
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions

Cook the bacon over medium-high heat in a  nonstick skillet, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Add the potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pan juices. Cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crisp, about 25 minutes. Remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Add the oil, onion, bell pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, salami (if using), nutmeg, orange zest, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes. Add the bacon and potatoes back in.

Make 4 wells in the hash and break an egg into each one. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook 5-6 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through. Serve immediately.

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