11 June 2011

What’s Worse: Egg Yolks or Heavy Whipping Cream?

This Saturday morning, Sam finished making another batch of homemade ice cream.  On this occasion, he tried a Philadelphia-style recipe.  It’s distinguishing feature is that this batter is egg-free.  Most ice creams, indeed any that we’ve concocted, start with a lovely and delicate egg-custard.  Philadelphia-style is known for its simplistic, yet rich, base: heavy cream, sugar, and desired flavorings.  Sam decided on Madagascar vanilla beans…sophisticated, eh?  Did you know that you can rinse and reuse vanilla beans?  Bizarre…

We have decided to use an alliterative dog-breed name for each of Sam’s ice cream creations, which I then illustrate in Sharpie on our little containers.  This time, we created Vizsla Vanilla and Silky Terrier Swirl

06 June 2011

Portabellos for My Fellow!

April_May2011 358Tonight, we continue with the theme of, “Using ingredients new to my kitchen but somewhat ordinary to everyone else makes me feel lame.” Portabello mushrooms – nope, never cooked with ‘em. Polenta – nope, never cooked the stuff. However, I have partaken in both ingredients outside of said abode, with mixed response.

Firstly, the mushrooms. Best Portobello experience ever encountered is credited to Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I think I ate that beautiful Portabello sandwich at least once a week for five months while employed at DAK in the spring of 2000. There really wasn’t much available for a vegetarian at the Disney parks back then (besides Dole whip at the Tiki Room), and this sammich could really hit the spot after a long day of conservation education chats with many a guest.

Nextly, the polenta. I have only had this once before tonight – in PB (Pacific Beach – here in Sandy Eggo) at Ghort’s old pad. Peggy G. had stewed up a bunch of polenta with some tomato sauce, and other found objects, to be served to a number of random gents hanging out at Ghort’s apartment. I was frightened, Aunt Em. Tonight’s polenta fared about the same with me, as I accidentally purchased the pre-cooked variety rather than quick-cooked. Note to readers: boiling ten (10!) cups of water is unnecessary for pre-cooked, as you promptly drown the polenta. One-fourth of a cup would have sufficed. I’m still not a fan, but Sam seemed to enjoy it. Wait until he has some homemade grits! If he liked this mush, he’ll adore some well-cooked southern breakfast charm.

The Portobellos and polenta were accompanied by some roasted sugar snap peas. These green friends were super tasty after a drizzling of olive oil, salt and pepper before snuggling up to the mushrooms (already roasting for 9 minutes) in a 400° oven for about 7 more minutes.

For dessert, Sam brought out a present that I promptly unwrapped only to find…

(to be continued in an upcoming post from a galaxy far, far away…)

05 June 2011

Tomatillo-tastic Enchiladas!

Swiss Chard.  It's a Beautiful Thing.  Seriously.  Beautiful!!  However, it's the tomatillo that has a special place in my culinary heart.  *Sigh*

This evening, I was super jazzed to work with two ingredients that I had not yet previously brought into my kitchen: Swiss chard & tomatillos!  The first is a bit understandable, as I've only recently become a fan of greens, but tomatillos?!  Good golly, what is wrong with me?  I loved peeling these little friends, and was tickled to find how easy this recipe was to prepare.  However, I should *not* have promised Sam that we would eat an early dinner because, albeit simplistic in its process, it took almost 2 hours to prep and cook.  Yikes!  At least I got in a quick jog while these bad boys were baking!  

The enchilada sauce is comprised of fresh garlic, tomatillos (yes!), jalapeƱos, Mexican crema (i.e. sour cream), salt, and sugar.  The fabulous filling is comprised of the diced stems of Swiss chard, chiffonade-cut leaves (literally translated, to cut "in rags"), onions, cheese, salt and pepper, veggie broth...yowza!  The recipe was lifted from one of my fave veggie blogs, Herbivoracious.  Genius!  It was super satisfying to create our own enchilada sauce, and my new BFF is the tomatillo.

...and Have Buttered Scones for Tea!

"I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK
I sleep all night and I work all day
(He's a lumberjack and he's OK
He sleeps all night and he works all day)
I cut down trees, I eat my lunch
I go to the lavat'ry
On Wednesdays I go shopping
And have buttered scones for tea..."

Ah yes, The Lumberjack Song.  We decided to partake in homemade 'buttered scones' this morning in honor of Python's lumberjack.  Ours were of the fresh orange and poppy seed variety, from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food 'zine.  Super easy and the freshly-squeezed OJ added a nice fresh twist to a light and sweet breakfast treat.  I realized, just prior to popping these little lovelies in the oven, that I only had horrible, grey-green sanding sugar (insert sad trombone here!), but luckily the color faded away during the magical baking process.  Yum!!