Try This: Fresh Mint & Chip Ice Cream

 Fresh Mint & Chip Ice Cream
 Ingredients
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
3/4 cup (150 gr) sugar
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
pinch of salt
2 cups packed (80 gr) fresh mint leaves
6 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
5 ounces (140 gr) semisweet or milk chocolate, chopped
In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream, salt, vanilla and mint.
Once the mixture is hot and steaming, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour to infuse the mint flavor.
Remove the mint and vanilla bean with a strainer, then press down with a spatula firmly to extract as much mint flavor and color as possible. Once the flavor is squeezed out, discard.
Pour the remaining heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer over the top.
Rewarm the infused milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then slowly pour some of the warm mint mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.
Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant read thermometer, it should read around 170ºF.
Immediately strain the mixture into the cream, then stir the mixture over an ice bath until cool.
When mixture is thoroughly cold, churn using your method of choice. Add chocolate chips to the ice cream when there are about 5 minutes left in the churning process. Transfer to a freezer safer container and freeze for several hours before serving.
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Beef and Guinness Stew

Still no word from Anca about the recipe but I feel I’ve got it in the bag!  I even decided to make things easier on her by asking permission to cook for her family.  By asking I mean, waving my arms and saying each word 50 times before we finally understood each other.  She accepted giving me a curious look and went on her way.

I dug out an old recipe called Beef and Guinness Stew.  It’s exactly what it sounds like but with vegetables as well. If seasoned right, the flavors are quite brilliant.

It was pretty amazing cooking without a microwave or stove. The iron grates they cook on outside heat up quickly and dare I say, make the food taste better?  Maybe it only tasted better because I was sore and tired from cooking for 19 people. Yes…19.

I hope you enjoy this as much as they did.

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Ingredients
2 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, or extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed, plus 1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 to 2 ½ pounds boneless beef chuck or round, trimmed of surface fat and cut into 1- to 1 ½-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large or 3 medium onions, cut into eighths
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, water, wine, or a combination, or more as needed*
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
4 medium to large waxy or all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish 
 
Directions
Heat a large pot with a lid or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes; add the oil and the crushed garlic clove; cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then remove and discard the garlic.
 
Add the meat to the skillet a few minutes at a time, turning to brown well on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Do not crowd or the cubes will not brown properly; cook in batches if necessary. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper as it cooks.
2. When the meat is brown, remove it with a slotted spoon. Pour or spoon off most of the fat and turn the heat down to medium. Add the onions. Cook, stirring until softened, about 10 minutes.
 
Add the flour and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the stock, bay leaf, thyme, and meat and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cover. Cook, undisturbed, for 30 minutes.
3. Uncover the pot; the mixture should be wet (if not, add a little more liquid). Add the potatoes and carrots, turn the heat up for a minute or so to bring the liquid back to a boil, then lower the heat and cover again. Cook for 30 to 60 minutes, until the meat and vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
 
(At this point, you may remove the meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and refrigerate them and the stock separately. Skim the fat from the stock before combining it with the meat and vegetables, reheating, and proceeding with the recipe from this point.)
4. Add the minced garlic and the peas; if you’re pleased with the stew’s consistency, continue to cook, covered, over low heat. If it’s too soupy, remve the cover and raise the heat to high.
 
In either case, cook for an additional 5 minutes or so, until the peas have heated through and the garlic has flavored the stew. Garnish with parsley and serve.
*Beef and Guinness Stew. In Step 2, omit the flour. Use 2 cups Guinness and 1- to 1 ½-cups beef broth for the liquid (add more beer, broth or water as needed during the cooking process).

 

Guilty Pleasure No Longer Guilty

Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Bark

I’m quite sure I am not alone in this confession of  intense love for any combination of peanut butter and chocolate.  I’m surprised I’m not grotesquely overweight by now but with the food I eat on a regular basis. But anywho, the treat shown above is a healthier version of the classic Reese’s Cup though I still advise against gorging, as tempting as that may sound. This is a lengthy process so make a lot and as always enjoy!

Ingredients

1 cup raw almonds

1/8 cup honey

Dash of sea salt

1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 tbsp honey

1 bar of 70% dark chocolate

Directions

Melt the chocolate in a saucepan. Once melted, pour half the chocolate onto parchment paper, spreading it out into a 1/4-inch thick layer. It should as thin as the bar was before melting, which means it had enough thickness to hold its own when hardened.

Put the chocolate spread into the freezer. While the chocolate hardens, it’s time to roast the almonds. Spread the almonds over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.Massage 1/8 cup of honey and a dash of sea salt into the almonds until each one is evenly coated.

Spread the almonds so that each has its own place on the parchment paper. This will ensure equal roasting. Broil the almonds in the oven on medium (or low), keeping an eye. This process will only take under 5 minutes, so don’t go anywhere.

Keep an eye on the almonds and move them around with spatula so they wont burn. Once finished, they should golden brown. Along with 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1/2 tablespoon of honey, food process the cooled almonds until the mixture sticks together. At first it will become mealy but will soon clump.

Form an almond “patty” with your hand, placing it on the frozen chocolate to cover its area, leaving about 1/2 – 1 inch width from the almond mixture to the edge of the frozen chocolate. Warm up the rest of the melted chocolate so that it spreads easily, topping the almond layer evenly, making sure to “seal” the edges so that the melted chocolate meets the frozen chocolate.

Pop back into the freezer until hardened – about 30 minutes.

Food For All: Dinner & A Cemetery

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Ever had dinner around a bunch of dead bodies? Unless you’re a serial killer the answer is probably no.  So for all you murder free people with an itch for something unique and delicious, come to the Bonaventure Cemetery  for a Feast of Flesh! I mean food!

When: May 18, 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.

Where: Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah, GA

Price: Tour- $20; Dinner- $15

Contact: (912) 816-4460 

Age limit: None Specified

This tour is complete with morbidly curious exhibitions, along with Q&A session over dinner, with storyist and event host, Shannon Scott! Still includes group photo & official event poster!

The Tour: An opportunity to see Bonaventure Cemetery, in a legal way, after the sun sets and after the gatekeeper jangles the lock & chains behind us! Then the real show begins! If you’ve never seen Bonaventure during her “enchantment hours,” then you’ve not experienced the whole spectrum of colors, sights and sounds of this place so loved by history and the world!

So bring a flashlight, bring a camera, bring your nerves & no worries, this tour will give you an appetite for food & more stories!

Event info courtesy Savannah Now

Food For All: 12th Annual Gourmet Soiree

The 12th Annual Gourmet Soirée is a signature event that benefits the American Red Cross of Southeast Georgia Chapters.  There is much talk of delectable dishes from the most talented chefs the “Host city of the South” has to offer.  Good food, great silent and live auctions and dancing to top off the evening.
There is nothing like eating good food for a great cause so come support the Savannah Chapter of the American at their 12th Annual Gourmet Soiree!
Where: Marriott Savannah Riverfront, Savannah,GA
When: Thursday, May 10 6:00pto 10:00p
Costs: $125/person/ Early Bird Special $85

Food For All: 5th Annual Chef’s Potluck

For the food enthusiast in the South Carolina area or Savannah (if you don’t mind burning up some gas on the open road), you will want to check out this event!

It’s a world class experience that gives the average Joe the opportunity to taste first class cuisine from top notch chefs (see what I did there?).

In a nutshell, high-profile chefs from the Charleston area are partnering with growers and producers to prepare local ingredient dishes to taste. There will also be live music by the Garage Cuban Band, local Beer, wine and food demos. Participating restaurant include: FIG,EVO,The Glass Onion,SNOB,The Fat Hen,Social Restaurant + Wine Bar,Husk,Two Boroughs Larder,Poogan’s Porch, Cru Café,the Daniel Island Club,Duvall Catering and The Grocery.

When: Sunday, April 22 4:00-7:00pm

Where: Middleton Place Plantation Pavilion, 4300 Ashley River Rd. Charleston,SC

Cost: $65

Visit: http://lowcountrylocalfirst.org/