Tuesday, August 25, 2009

mango-coconut ice cream ~

After getting an ice cream maker at Wallyworld on clearance, I couldn't wait to make some. I had a few nice ripe mangoes, and hmm, yep, it sounded good to me! Got some recipes online, and just tweaked and played and decided as I went. The result? YUM!

Very strong in the mango flavor, to tell the truth, but that's fine with me and the kids; coconut milk adds some flavor but not so much that I know I need to use it next time. In fact, I'm going to make this again with regular milk and see how it goes.

At any rate, it's very good the way I did it, and it's a pretty color, too. :)

Mango-Coconut Ice Cream

1 1/3 cups mango puree (2 large ripe mangoes, peeled, deseeded, and pureed in blender)
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup half & half
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup 2% milk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Stir together thoroughly in a bowl: mango puree, coconut milk, half & half, corn syrup, lemon juice and vanilla and set aside.

Place milk in a heavy 2 quart saucepan and bring just to a boil. Whisk together in another bowl or in a mixer the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Add the hot milk in a thin stream, whisking constantly until well blended. Pour back into saucepan and cook the custard on medium low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until the temperature registers 170 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer (approx. 2-4 minutes). Pour into mango mixture, mix well, and place in refrigerator, covered, to chill for 3-4 hours. You can run it through a sieve but I didn't do this, I didn't mind the texture of the mangoes.

When custard is chilled, freeze in ice cream freezer according to manufacturer directions. Place ice cream into an airtight container and freeze in the freezer overnight to harden.

Look at this - I could hardly keep from eating it before it was pureed, mmm! I love mangoes.


Mango mixture, waiting patiently.


Eggs, sugar and salt, whisked and ready.


Hot milk/egg mixture, ready to add to the custard.


Custard, cooked and about to be chilled.


Freezer running, packed with ice and rock salt.


This isn't the best picture, but I was trying to capture the motion of the bucket spinning.


I'm so coldhearted... :D


This is the way it looked when it was done. It was already pretty firm, I think I over froze it, if that's possible, lol.


Oh yum! Transferring it to the plastic tub (an old sherbet container was perfect); and yes, I did taste - we all did, teehee!


Here it is the next day, in all it's mango-ey glory. Wonderful taste!


Friday, August 21, 2009

you took the words right out of my mouth ~

Now THAT'S my favorite Meatloaf...I have always loved his music. teehee!

I experimented with a different kind of meatloaf tonight, the eating kind. lol. Meatloaf has never been a fav meal for me but ya know, I think it's because if it's dry, I just don't like it. Other than that, I like the combination of good flavors.

I went kinda wild this time - pork sausage and venison rather than beef, and I made my own sauce for it. The whole thing is loosely based on Alton Brown's meatloaf recipe from foodnetwork.com and I took quite a few liberties with it.


Meatloaf Sis Style

1 pound ground pork sausage
1 pound ground venison
1 stalk celery, cut into pieces
1 medium onion, cut in to wedges or sliced thick
5 or 6 cloves garlic, peeled
about 8 baby carrots
1 large or 2 small jalapeno peppers (remove seeds if you don't want the heat)
about 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
about a cup bread crumbs (seasoned, if you like)
2 eggs

1 can tomato sauce
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
about 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
freshly ground sea salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the sausage and venison in a large bowl. Mix it around a little. In a food processor, place the celery, onion, garlic, carrots, and jalapenos. Pulse until chopped very small but be careful not to puree. Add this to the meat in the bowl. Add salt and pepper. Pour in the bread crumbs and drop the eggs in. I use a potato masher to get things fairly mixed, and then use my hands to finish it out.

For the sauce: pour the tomato sauce into a medium bowl, and add the cumin, Worcestershire, hot sauce, honey, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well with a whisk and taste. Make adjustments to suit your tastes.

Pour about a half cup of the sauce into the meat mixture and blend well. Add more bread crumbs if the meat mixture seems too 'wet' and doesn't stick together well; however, don't go overboard, you don't want it too dry or full of bread crumbs.

Place meat in a greased 9x10 dish, and shape into a long, even loaf, or a round one if you want to use a round baking dish. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Pour on enough sauce to cover the loaf entirely, spreading it with a basting brush or a large spoon (however, do not dip the brush or spoon into the sauce, because you don't want to contaminate it with raw meat juices - just pour it out of the bowl or use a measuring cup to scoop it out). Use about a half cup at a time so you don't get too much and waste it. Continue baking until meatloaf is done. Alton Brown's recipe says until a meat thermometer reaches 155 degrees. I don't have one, so I just baked it 40 more minutes (total of 1 hour, 10 minutes) and checked in the middle to see if it was done. Let meatloaf sit for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with some of the remaining sauce.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

#1 best EVER cheesecake ~

When I first saw this recipe on 17andbaking, I just knew I was going to try it. Since then, I've made three cheesecakes, LOL. That's just how much I like it, because the first one was just a couple weeks ago. :)

Here is the original recipe, by Elissa, the author of that wonderful blog. The following recipe is my version of it, with a couple of changes that resulted in a cheesecake more to my personal tastes - meaning, a bit more dense, and with stronger lime flavor.

If you love cheesecake, give this a try. Don't be scared by the "strange" combination of flavors. They are absolutely divine. And cheesecakes aren't hard to make at all.


Chocolate Marble Cheesecake with Coconut, Lemongrass,
and Kaffir Lime
(adapted from a recipe by Elissa at 17andbaking)

**This version makes 2 cheesecakes: one 9-inch and one 10-inch**

4 cups chocolate layer cookie crumbs (pulsed to crumb texture in food processor)
1 1/4 sticks butter, melted
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine in a large bowl and mix well; press firmly into bottom of non-stick (or greased) 9- and 10-inch springform pans (approximately 40%, 60% respectively). Set aside.

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup coconut cream (NOT coconut milk)
1 large stalk lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces (including leaves)
3 dried or frozen Kaffir lime leaves, cut into strips
6 eight-ounce containers cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
juice and pulp of one medium size lime
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate squares, melted and slightly cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; boil large pot of water for waterbath. Wrap springform pans in double layer of heavy aluminum foil; prepare crusts as described above and set aside.

Mix cream and coconut cream in saucepan, and add lemongrass pieces and kaffir lime leaf strips. Heat on medium-high heat until the mixture just begins to boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cover. Steep for a half-hour, then strain cream mixture into a bowl and let it cool completely. Discard the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.

Place cream cheese and sugar into a large mixer bowl. Cream until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well with each egg, and scraping the sides frequently. Add the cream mixture, vanilla extract, and the lime juice/pulp and blend until smooth and creamy.

Take about 2 cups of the cream cheese mixture and blend with the melted chocolate. Pour some white batter into the prepared crusts, and dollop with several spoonfuls of chocolate cheesecake mixture. Repeat layers (white batter, chocolate dollops) until batters are gone. Run a sharp thin knife through the batter to swirl. Tap the pans on the counter to help remove air bubbles.


Place the pans inside one large pan (big enough for both springforms) or inside 2 smaller pans. Pour boiling water 1 inch deep into the larger pan, being careful not to pour water between the springform pans and the foil.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until almost done - cheesecake will hold together, but still have jiggle in the center. Close the oven door after checking, turn off the heat, and leave the cheesecakes in the cooling oven for at least 40 minutes, preferably an hour. Place cheesecakes on the counter on a rack, and let them cool completely before removing springform pan sides (couple hours). Chill at least 5 or 6 hours in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap or foil. When chilled fully, it is ready to serve. Enjoy!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Vietnamese: Shaking Beef and Vinegared Onions ~

Oh. My. Goodness.

I have a new favorite. TWO new favorites. This was the most awesome meal EVER.

I got the recipe from Wandering Chopsticks' blog, and please click on the name to see her great photos and commentary, as well as her original recipes (click "Wandering" for the onions, "Chopsticks" for the beef dish ~ aren't I clever? LOL). Lots of times I change a little here, little there, but this time, I pretty much left things alone. :) I did double things a little, and noted it in the recipe.

So - no need for lotsa words, here goes - an easy and delish salad meal.


Hanh Dam (Vietnamese Vinegared Onions)
(doubled due to large size of the onion)

1 large onion, sliced thin and placed in a bowl
1 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons white sugar

Sprinkle the sugar over the onions as they sit in the bowl; pour the vinegar over everything, then stir/toss well. Let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes, at least, tossing and mixing frequently and making sure the onions stay covered by the vinegar. Enjoy! Store the remainder covered in the fridge.

Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef)
(marinade doubled according to amount of meat)

1 1/2 pounds beef (or venison round steak, which is what I used), cubed small
4 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons salt (next time, I'll reduce this to 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

Mix fish sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar, and pour over meat cubes, mixing well. Sit aside to marinate at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the dish. I actually let the meat marinate while I went to the store, so it was very well marinated for about an hour.

To cook, mince a couple of garlic cloves and stir fry briefly in a little hot oil in a wok or skillet. Add the beef, reserving any juice you may have for later. Cook the meat, without stirring very much, so it will char a bit. When I did this, at first the beef released a lot of liquid and I was wondering if it would ever char. I turned the heat up a bit higher and in a few minutes, the liquid cooked down and the meat started charring satisfactorily. When it's done like you want it, add any remaining meat/marinade juices and cook for a minute more.

1 bunch greens of your choice (I used spinach leaves)
1 or 2 large tomatoes, sliced into bite size chunks
Hanh Dam (vinegared onions)

Place washed greens in a 'wreath' on a plate, and top with sliced tomatoes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, place some onions in the center. Grind a little salt and pepper over the whole thing, and drizzle a little of the onion vinegar over the spinach and tomatoes. Top the whole salad with some of the warm shaking beef, and dig in.

Simply amazing. My new favorite.