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September 7, 2008

SSS - Peach Ice Cream

I have two disconnected memories of Peach Ice Cream from my childhood. One, I'm not sure is real but I remember visiting cousins of my mom, at their house on a lake, and having peach ice cream. Another time, I remember our neighbors, across the street, making it in this big wooden thing you had to crank. Not much came out in the end (at least I thought for what you put into it) but what came out (considering I wasn't a peach ice cream fan - I mean c'mon peach when you can have chocolate?), was pretty darn good.

So other than those two memories, since childhood, I hadn't really given much thought to eating and/or making peach ice cream.

Of course, that was until the Sunday Slow Scoopers stepped in.

Now let me start off by stating, if you don't get good peaches, don't bother with this. Your peaches taste bland, your ice cream tastes bland - there's no way around that axiom.

So while I'm on the subject of good peaches. Let's take a moment to educate the masses on how to choose a peach. Never, ever, ever squeeze a peach. I hate to tell people, but odds are most of the peaches in the bins (especially at the supermarkets) aren't ripe. Squeezing a hard peach, only leaves bruises that won't appear until the peach actually does ripen - so that perfect peach you bought at the market, a day or two later, will be completely bruised from where you poked and prodded it (or worse yet, my perfect peach will be because some shmo before me squeezed the crap out of it - can you tell I'm passionate about my peaches?). To choose a peach, simply pick it up, gently cupping it in the palm of your hand, and sniff it around the stem. If it smells like peach, even if it's hard, it will taste like peach. When you get home, stick it in a paper bag on your counter for a day or too and voila, good peach.

So now, once you have your perfect peaches, and they've ripened, you can make the ice cream (you need four good size peaches for this recipe, 600 grams or 1 1/3 pounds).

First you peel them. Does anyone have a good method for peeling peaches? Because I gotta tell you, those suckers get slippery as your working your way around them and almost lost a couple to the sink. Once peeled, slice all the way around the peach, dividing it in half and basically pry it apart to get the pit out. Now chunk it and throw it into a non-reactive medium-sized pot, with a half a cup of water and 3/4 cup of sugar. Cook that on the stove for 10 minutes, covered, on a medium flame stirring once or twice during the process. Let it cool to room temp.

peach_ice_cream_1.jpg
Peach Mixture After Blending

Now take your peach mixture and in a blender or food processor (I used a blender), puree that with 1/2 cup of sour cream (I used full fat but may try light or no fat next time to see how it changes the consistency), 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla and a couple of drops of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. You want some chunks in this sucker, so don't puree too long. I think I did mine for a few seconds at most.

Chill the mixture in the fridge - I've taken to chilling mine overnight. Stick it in your ice cream machine and let it do it's thing. That's it - easy peasy. Oh and Dave says you can do this with nectarines too (follow guidelines above for choosing peaches), but you don't need to peel them because they soften enough during the cooking process.

peach_ice_cream_2.jpg
Peach Ice Cream w/ Blackberries from the CSA

So here's my question though: can I make that sugar-syrup peach step and can or freeze it during the summer, then use those all winter long to make fresh peach ice cream? We didn't go peach picking this summer, but if we do next summer, it may be a good way to use all those peaches!

Update: A 1/3 cup serving is 3 weight watchers points. A 1/2 cup serving is 5 WW points.

June 7, 2009

Sunday Salad Samplers #7 - Roasted Corn & Wild Rice Salad

Deborah, of Old Shoes New Trip provided this week's recipe. It sounded like a great side salad to our barbecue dinner last night (gaucho steak sandwiches) so I made it yesterday evening, not realizing the flavors were supposed to blend overnight. Oh well! It was still darn good, and am looking forward to having it again this evening with our Greek-Style Burgers.

Roasted Corn and Wild Rice Salad
Roasted Corn & Wild Rice Salad


Roasted Corn & Wild Rice Salad

The recipe is very easy. It keeps well and freezes well. You can serve it both chilled or at room temperature. Great for picnics where you don't want to worry about spoilage.

1 package - uncooked wild rice. (the original recipe called for wild rice blend, but I prefer the stronger flavors of only wild rice.)
2 cups - frozen roasted corn nibblets (Deborah uses Trader Joes. I don't know if our local shop rite carries such a thing, so I bought frozen corn kernels and then sauteed them in a non-stick pan until they were caramelized a bit).
1 cup - finely chopped celery
3/4 cup - shredded carrot
3/4 cup - Craisins
2/3 cup - toasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup - finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup - raspberry vinegar
1 tbs - olive oil
1 tbs - low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp - grated orange peel
1/2 tsp - pepper

Cook rice according to package directions: omit salt and fat. Cool.
Combine rice, corn and all other ingredients in a bowl; stir well; chill overnight to blend flavors.
Serve cold from fridge or bring to room temp if you prefer. (I like room temp., Dan likes cold)

This makes a pretty big batch, so you might want to halve it.

I have to say I was a bit leery on the orange zest addition but it really gives the salad a nice, refreshing flavor.

Oh, and for Weight Watchers out there figure 12 servings, serving size 2/3 cup and 3 points per serving.

August 1, 2010

Sunday Slow Sides - Week 2 Avocados

A few weeks ago we started doing a Sunday Slow Sides cooking group, focusing on ingredients from the summer's bounty. I've actually been making most of the recipes, just not posting. So I'll be catching up over the next few days. Unfortunately, I missed the first week which was a pea dish provided by Amy of Destination Anywhere called Petits Pois a la Francaise but someday I will get back to it.

Next up came Avocados from Shannon. She provided two recipes and gave us a choice:

Grandma's Recipe

Avocado
Hard Boiled Egg
A Little Mayo
Onion Salt (or regular salt.)

Basically, smash these four things up until it is good and mashed. You can use more egg, more avocado, whatever. I think it is probably one avocado to 2 eggs. She says you don't need to add mayo even, unless you want to.

She used to put it on HomePride Buttertop bread for me which I adored because lets face it that is not really bread, it is junk food. Use whatever kind of bread you want. A hearty wheat would be good... or sourdough. And garnish with whatever you think would be good. My childhood memories has them unadorned, of course.

Because that is so simple here is another sandwich recipe to try, along with Grandma's (or instead of.)

Open-Face Avocado and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feninger
(from Saveur Magazine)

1) Mix 1 T. lemons juice with salt and pepper to taste in a bowl - stir well.

2) While whisking constantly, drizzle in 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil to form a dressing, set aside.

3) Put 4 oz. soft goat cheese, 2 T. lemon juice, 1/8 tsp. pepper, the flesh from 4 ripe avocados, and a few dashes of Tabasco in a bowl. Lightly mash with a fork, season to taste with salt.

4) Divide avocado mixture between 12 lightly toasted small baguette halves and spread to cover each.

5) Transfer baguettes to baking sheet and broil until just warmed through, 1 - 2 minutes.

6) Top with tomato and cucumber slices, and drizzle with dressing.

I opted for the first recipe and because I'm me, and because I'm on Weight Watchers, I made some adjustments.

Grandma's Avocado Mash

First I hard boiled 3 eggs, and used all three whites but only one yolk (for you WW people that's 2.5 points). Then I only used half of the avocado (another 2 points - but I probably should have used more), a little salt and a little smart beat mayo. Then I had 1/2 of the mixture on one of the new Thomas's Bagel Thins things (1 point) for a total of 3.25 (i rounded down) - 3 point sandwich. Oh, and I didn't have tomato in the house but wanted some, so I chopped a few grape tomatoes into the mash.

Avocado Mash
Shannon's Grandma's Avocado Mash

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