But Sugar is Sweeter

Archive for August, 2011

Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

IMG_1731
I have been wanting an ice cream maker all summer (or maybe even all my life), but I faithfully waited until my birthday hoping to get one.  I did get some really wonderful presents, but an ice cream maker wasn’t one of them.  I may or may not have had a slight freak out about this incident which may or may not have precipitated an emergency run to the store on my birthday to pick one up.  Basically you don’t want to mess with me and ice cream.  Needless to say, now I have an ice cream maker ;-).

My first order of business with my new toy was a raspberry ice cream with large chocolate chunks.  While the recipe stated that it made about one quart, about 5 minutes into churning there was ice cream pouring out of the top of the 1 1/2 quart machine.  It really didn’t freeze and while it didn’t taste awful, I ended up having to throw it out.

However once we got back from vacation I was determined to tackle the infamous French ice cream.  I poured through “The Perfect Scoop”, looking for the perfect ice cream, an I finally decided on coffee ice cream because it’s John’s favorite and I liked that it would perfectly complement some large chocolate chunks.   I will warn you in advance that this ice cream is VERY coffee flavored.  This is in part due to the fact that I ended up steeping the coffee beans with the milk for several hours while I was running errands, so if you want a milder flavor, steep the beans for a shorter period of time.  With the chocolate chunks, I was trying to replicate the famous Grater’s ice cream, but I found that they were slightly more hard than I would’ve liked.  If you are brave enough you can add extra oil to the chocolate, which will keep it softer in the ice cream.  You could also try making truffles and adding them to the ice cream, but I was trying to keep it simple.

Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

– Makes about 1 quart

  • 1 -1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 -1/2 cups whole coffee beans
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1- 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coffee

For the Chocolate chunks

  • 4 oz dark chocolate (60% cacoa)
  • 1 T. vegetable oil

1. Begin by warming milk, sugar, coffee beans, salt and 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a saucepan.  Once warmed through, cover, remove from heat and let steep at room temperature for about 1 hour.  If you’d like a stronger flavor, continue to steep in the refrigerator for 2-4 more hours.
DSC02002

2. Rewarm the coffee bean-milk mixture.  Pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream in a large bowl and set a large fine mess sieve over top.
DSC02012

3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. DSC02013

4. Slowly pour the warm coffee bean-milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly in order to temper the yolks.  Then scrape the warmed egg yolk mixture with coffee beans back into the saucepan.
DSC02014DSC02015

5. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir.  The mixture should thicken and coat the spatula.  If you have a reliable thermometer, the temperature should be 170-175° when the custard is done.
DSC02016

6. Once the custard is thick, pour it through the strainer into the cream and stir.  Press on the coffee beans to extract as much flavor as possible, then you can discard the beans.  Mix in vanilla and finely ground coffee and stir until cool. To cool the ice cream more quickly, you can place the bowl in an ice bath in the sink and continue to stir.
DSC02017DSC02018
7.  To make the chocolate chunks, melt chocolate and oil in the microwave.  Stir to mix and then poor mixture onto a rimmed plate.  Cool in the freezer until hard.  Break the chocolate into chunks and keep cold until ready to use in the ice cream.

8.  Chill the milk mixture in the refrigerator and then freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.  When there are about 5 minutes left of freezing time, add the cold chocolate chunks and allow them to mix in.  Make sure to chill the bowl adequately before churning the ice cream (most machines required 20+ hours of chilling time).  Store ice cream in an air tight container in the freezer.
IMG_1732
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz


Shrimp and Grits

IMG_1447
Wow, it’s been way to long since I posted!  I have a few (debatably good) excuses though.  First I finished up my family medicine rotation with a pretty tough standardized test, then John and I went on vacation to San Fran, wine country and point reyes, and this week I started a rotation in Dermatology in Bryan, OH.  It’s been a busy but fun couple of weeks!

I think my favorite part about vacation had to be Sonoma.  It was a beautiful but relaxed town and if it wasn’t clear across the country I could totally see myself living there someday.  (I checked residency programs, and unfortunately there are none in wine country. boo.)  We also had a lot of fun biking all around San Francisco and across the golden gate bridge, as well as hiking in point reyes national seashore.

Kunde winery

Now that I’m in Bryan, I haven’t really been cooking much since it would require me to fill a whole new pantry with ingredients and transport my favorite pots and pans an hour and a half; however I do have the weekends off so my goal for the rest of the year is to post one time per week.  I’ll start with this recipe for Shrimp and Grits.
IMG_1409

We had this for dinner before we left for vacation, and I have been thinking about it off and on since then.  I made this thinking it would be a nice treat for the butter, cheese and generally southern food loving member of our family, but as it turns out I ended up being the one who was head over heels for this dinner.  Not to say that John didn’t love it as well, I just surprised myself by how much I could love something made with grits and bacon.  The parsley and green onions really help to cut down on the heavy feeling of this dish and I think I might even add more next time.  I was also surprised by how quickly this dish came together and how few unusual ingredients it required.  Now that I have grits in the pantry, I think this is going to become one of my go to weeknight meals because 1) I really loved it and 2) I generally have all these ingredients around and 3) it’s pretty easy to put together.  I know that you’re probably starting to think I must work for Costco or something, but I did want to mention that I found the best large, individually frozen shrimp there for the best price.  Now that I have a costco sized bag of jumbo shrimp in the freezer, I have even more excuses to make this delicious dish again.

Shrimp and Grits

Serves about 4  (I made about half this recipe for the 2 of us)

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup grits (regular or quick cooking but NOT instant)
  • 3 T. butter
  • 1 heaping cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 5 slices bacon
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon (about  2 T.)
  • 2 T. coarsely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Hot sauce if desired

1. Bring water to a boil.  Add grits to the boiling water and stir.   Add salt and a bit of pepper.  Lower heat, bring to simmer and cover until water is absorbed.  Follow the directions on your box of grits because  cooking times vary.

2. Once thick, remove from heat and stir in butter and shredded cheese. (Feel free to add more butter or shredded cheese – (John would’ve if he was making this…)
IMG_1406

3. Rinse and pat shrimp dry. You don’t want them dripping water when you add them to hot oil.

4. Fry the bacon in a large skillet.  When cooked through remove from the pan and crumble.

5. Add shrimp into the bacon grease pan.  Cook until shrimp turn pink.  Add lemon juice, bacon, scallions, garlic and parsley.  Cook for another three minutes.
IMG_1403

6. Spoon the grits into a serving bowl and top with shrimp mixture.  Add extra scallions and parsley.   Serve immediately.
IMG_1411Adapted from Our Best Bites and Joy the Baker