Day before yesterday’s paper had a lengthy piece, containing recipes by chef and food stylist, Rori Trovato, on the front page of the Life section entitled:
Turning Up the Temperature on Summer Ice Cream,
which focused on the current trend favored by chefs (and others) of creating adult desserts that blend ice cream and booze. The article (available sadly only to subscribers of the Santa Barbara NewsPress and to my best perusal, not yet picked up elsewhere) includes four ice cream recipes with such tempting names as: Lime and Tequila Ice Cream with Salt-Rimmed Sugar Cones; Dark Chocolate Kahlua Ice Cream; Creamy Vanilla with Champagne-Soaked Peaches; Bananas Foster [Ice Cream] with Bourbon. Mmmmmmm.
I found it particularly amusing to contemplate the idea of creating tipsy ice cream treats, since I’d laughingly said to Mike a while back that my faithful readers were going to think I didn’t have anything to say about anything except ice cream and alcohol. And here, in a single treat they both were. My observation , I must hasten to add, preceded Mike’s mother’s recently saying, “It sure seems like you guys drink a lot.” Which we don’t, especially, but enjoy when we do.
Anyway, if I have been stuck in one gear (or two, I guess) this summer, blame it on the heat that seems to beset everybody everywhere this year and keeps my mind on things that keep me cool. To wit: ice cream and alcohol.
Which explains the menu for a little casual backyard dinner we’re hosting tonight: Chilled Watermelon and Berry Gazpacho, Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs (cooked outside, of course, since we don’t want to heat up the kitchen,) Tomato, Cucumber, and Green Onion Salad, and Home-churned Low-Carb Vanilla Ice Cream with Chambord Soaked Berries for dessert.
The soaked berries are nothing special. Just stem and quarter a couple of pints of fresh organic strawberries and mix them with an equal portion of organic blueberries, douse the whole bunch with about 1/3 cup of raspberry liquer (Chambord or Framboise) give them a good stir, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Give them a stir occasionally in the interim.
(It’s important that the strawberries, especially, be organic, since the non-organic type is heavily heavily sprayed with toxic pesticides that don’t wash away completely, see previous blog.)
I’ve got the vanilla ice cream custard base chilliing in the fridge right now and in a bit I’ll churn it to within a few minutes of completion, then add about a cup of the soaked berry mixture and finish the churn, just to incorporate them evenly. Then I’ll scoop the ice cream out into a freezer container and let it ‘cure’ in the freezer for an hour or so to set. To get it to a good dipping consistency for serving, I’ll move it from the freezer to the fridge when we sit down to our soup.
For serving, I think I’ll drizzle a bit more of the soaked berry mixture on top. Or maybe settle a scoop of ice cream on top of the soaked berries in a bowl and put a sprig of fresh mint on top. It should make a cool and refreshing finish to our meal.
And with that, I vow not to write another blog about either ice cream or booze until at least Labor Day.