Posts tagged ‘wholesome’

August 20th, 2010

Saffron Maple Ice Cream Studded With Honey Roasted Sunflower Seeds

A few years ago I was watching one of those Rachel Ray traveling shows. This was when I was obsessed with Food Network. She was at Mount Rushmore, I think, and found a cute little ice cream shop with tons of flavors. She got one with honey roasted sunflower seeds (if I do recall correctly). It sounded so right, and I’ve been waiting on my favorite local ice cream shop to make this flavor after many hints. I’m still waiting!

So, I took the ice cream into my own hands. I wanted to make the ice cream interesting, even though the honey roasted sun flower seeds would be the star. I thought saffron would get the party started without being intrusive. Maple syrup would also do the same, without fighting with any other flavor and just adding harmony.

I used sucanat sugar and I think this was the dominent flavor of the ice cream. If you use regular sugar, you would probably be able to taste the saffron and maple a little better. But I liked the warm carmel notes the sugar provided. It married well with the sunflower seeds.

I was quite satisfied with my creation. The sunflower seeds are ridiculously addictive so you better make more to munch on. It’s a perfect finish to a light summer dinner.

Saffron maple ice cream

16 oz heavy cream organic
2 1/2 C whole organic milk (reserve 1/4 C for tapioca)
1/2 C sucanat sugar
1/4 C granulated sugar (regular)
1/4 t salt (I use fleur de sal)
1 T +1 t tapioca starch
1 T maple syrup
1 t vanilla bean paste
aprox. 5 threads of saffron

-add the milk and cream in a medium size sauce pan.
-on medium/high heat gently boil them together.
-add the sugars and stir until dissolved.
-continue to gently boil to reduce the liquid mixture by at least a 1/4. *this will foam quite a bit so do yourself a favor and take a set at the stove, or else you will be cleaning a burnt on, milky mess.
-add the maple syrup, saffron, vanilla bean paste and salt, stir and turn off the heat.
-cover the cream and let all the ingredients steep for at least one hour.
-strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and add back into the pot.
-add the reserved (cold) milk to the tapioca starch and mix with your clean fingers until it dissolves and add to the cream.
stir until it thickens, about 3 minutes.
store in a lidded container and refrigerate over night. This is necessary so it is completely cool.
-prepare your ice cream maker according to the manufactures directions, ie freeze the container.
-add the cold custard to your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturers directions. It took me about 20 minutes. Once the ice cream is finished you can fold in the honey roasted sunflower seeds and store in a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 2-3 hours.

Honey roasted sunflower seeds

1/2 Raw sunflower seeds
1 T water
1T honey
1 t virgin coconut oil
1 T sugar
1 t fine sea salt

-spread out, on a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment, the sunflower seeds so they are in an even layer.
-roast at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. After 8 minutes stir and roast for another 4- 8 minutes. Once they have a golden brown color take them out to cool.
-in a small sautee pan, add the honey, water and coconut oil and bring to a light boil.
-add the seeds and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed
-in a separate bowl stir together the sugar and salt
-immediately toss in the seeds and coat with the sugar and salt
-once coated, spread out on a parchment lined cookie sheet and cool completely.

August 14th, 2010

Guests for breakfast

Black bean cakes topped with poached eggs with roasted jalapeno hollandaise sauce

I don’t know how she did it with such grace. My mom never dashed around the kitchen, but floated with intention and calm, when we had guests over for brunch. It must come with years of practice.

I, on the other hand, am a dasher, dropper, sweater, occasional cusser, rushed, wanna-be-Martha-Stewart type. I try to invite my guest in, make them feel like they are part of the cooking experience and hopefully present the food, on time, perfectly cooked and hot. I think that’s every hostess’ desire, right? It’s not unreasonable to think this can happen. Maybe I think that so I can strive for it.

We had great friends, and their sweet baby girl, over for breakfast the other day. I had been talkin’ a big game about my breakfasts, so this was where I had to put my money where my mouth was! I had prepared some things the night before, thinking this would give me a head start. In the morning, I juiced the oranges, warmed the maple and hickory syrups, sauteed the black bean cakes warmed the hollandaise sauce, and then it was all down to the eggs. I had watched Julia Child make poached eggs for her “English Muffins Brunch” show and I was confident in my skills.

As I was chatting away and cutting some fresh peaches, brought by my friend E, my poached eggs, to my dismay, hard boiled. I tried again and finally got it as I burnt my fingers and dropped the hot pans, one after another. I had hungry guests, and I didn’t want to disappoint.

I think everyone enjoyed the black bean cakes. We were all satisfied, with full bellies, and continued with conversation at the dining room table.

I love big breakfasts because it seems like if you could have one meal all day, it fills you up and you don’t want to eat the rest of the day. People seem happier to see each other in the morning. There’s something about being with other people, over food, and hot coffee in the morning that brings on a good day.

I love these black bean cakes because they are a nice alternative to an English Muffin , for Eggs Benedict and they are filling with very little grain. These are flavorful and hearty and perfect, topped with a slice of fresh tomato, topped with a fresh poached egg and slathered in buttery hollandaise sauce. Yum!

black bean cakes
1 can rinsed and drained organic black beans
1 jalapeno diced
1 egg
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t garlic granules
chopped red onion (to your taste)
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 T organic corn meal
1 t seasoning salt

With the back of a fork, mash the beans until some are paste-y but you can still tell they are black beans. Add all the other ingredients and combine well. On a hot griddle (I had mine on high), coat with butter or evoo, and drop a spoon full of the mix and form a patty. The thicker they are the more wet and moist they will be. If they are too thin, they dry out fast. Cook both sides until golden brown. Top with a sliced tomato and poached egg, with the Jalapeno hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with more seasoning salt or paprika. Makes 4 patties.

roasted jalapeno hollandaise sauce
1 jalapeno
2 egg yolks
1/2 stick butter melted
juice of half a lemon
1/4 t seasoning salt
4 T hot water
pepper to taste

Roast the jalapeno, dry, over a flame until the skin is black. De-seed the jalapeno and add to a small food processor along with the yolks, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Pulse until well combined. Melt the butter and add this to the food processor and combine all ingredients until creamy and thick.