Monday, October 27, 2008

Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

I had a banana that was nice and brown and on the cusp of being thrown out, and decided to try a recipe I had tucked away for a while. It comes from the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Cook Book which I have never used before (strange considering how much I love ice cream...). The recipe is different in that it is a no cook base- so yes, that means there is a raw egg in the mix.I also only made a half batch, which works out perfect, because this is not an ice cream that holds up well after a couple of days. It is best eaten on the day it is made... which is not a problem in our house! The recipe was extremely easy- it took no time at all. The only modification I made was to melt the dark chocolate and then drizzle it in the churning ice cream maker in which it freezes immediately and marbles throughout the ice cream. It is really important to have banana's that are very ripe and with brown spots as this will create that really intense banana flavor. Enjoy!!!
The Finished Product

Monday, October 13, 2008

Roasted Garlic Soup

The weather is getting slightly cooler here in perennially sunny San Diego, so it seemed natural to want to make a nice hearty soup. I looked through my cookbooks, and came across a recipe for Roasted Garlic Soup in the Emeril’s Potluck Book. It looked simple enough, and you can't go wrong with roasted garlic.

I halved the recipe as it was just for the two of us, and I served it with some Grilled Gruyere and Ham sandwiches, and a Baby Green Salad with Pecan Crusted Sautéed Goat Cheese.

The soup had wonderful flavor, a lot like a French Onion Soup, but with the added richness of roasted garlic. I made a few changes, like adding a little white wine to deglaze the pan, and instead of pureeing the soup in the blender I used my handy dandy Breville hand blender, but next time I would strain the soup through a sieve in order to have a smoother texture. Marc didn't mind the chunky bits of onion and garlic, but I wasn't all for it. The Soup worked great with the salad and sandwich and with some tweaking, this is a great recipe!

Emeril’s Roasted Garlic Soup

4-6 large Red onions (3.5 pounds)
Cloves from 2 large heads of garlic, peeled
2 shallots, peeled
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs Emerils Original Essence (I used Cayenne pepper only)
6 c. Chicken Stock
2 tsp. finely chopped sage
2 ts. finely chopped fresh thyme
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 c. Heavy Cream

1: Preheat oven to 400F. Combine onions, garlic and shallots in roasting pan (single layer). Add the olive oil and essence and toss to coat. Roast until well browned, about 1.5 hours.

2: Remove the pan from the oven and set over two burners on medium low heat. Add two cups of chicken stock, the sage, thyme and salt and cook for 10 minutes, scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

3: Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.

4: Scrape the puree into a large pot over medium low heat. Add Remaining four cups of stock and the balsamic vinegar, stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and stir in the cream. Serve.

Goat Cheese Salad

Make a vinaigrette from Dijon mustard, honey, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with Salt & pepper. Toss in mixed greens to coat.

Roll balls of goat cheese in chopped pecans and sauté in olive oil until warmed through and nuts are toasted. Serve over baby greens.

The Onions in the pot after deglazing

The Finished Soup...

And with the Grilled Ham & Cheese and Goat Cheese Salad

Friday, October 3, 2008

Banana Cupcakes

I finally found the perfect banana cake recipe.

I have tried quite a few, but most end up tasting like banana bread- which is not all together bad, but not my desired result when trying for cupcakes!

Banana bread is typically more dense and nutty- but a good banana cake should have intense banana flavor and a light and golden texture.

I can't entirely recall where I found this recipe- but I have been using it for a while now, with great results. The only issue Marc has with this recipe is that it makes A LOT, and he has a hard time refraining from just one or two- (you can halve it to make 12).

I have been using a brown sugar and Rum cream cheese frosting, but I am still working on the proportions (I melt butter with brown sugar to form a thick caramel, add dark rum, and let cool to just warm. I add that to cream cheese and beat until fluffy). I want it to have more rum flavor so I am looking into a rum extract. However, this banana cake recipe would be great with a peanut butter frosting, chocolate frosting, or whatever you think would work well.

Try it and let me know what you think!