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Shrimp, Chorizo, and Pineapple Quesadillas

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When I retrieved my ice cream maker from its hiatus in the basement, I told myself that I wouldn’t post too many ice cream related recipes. I recognize that not everyone has an ice cream maker lying around and I’d rather post recipes that don’t require any special equipment. I’m not doing a very good job of limiting the ice cream recipes though. It’s summer and I’m really enjoying the novelty of my ice cream maker. I’ve been finding myself dreaming of ways to use it. Some of my ideas are inarguably fantastic; others not so much. Last weekend, after a few glasses of wine, I was ready to whip out the machine to make some sort of Swedish Fish ice cream. I got some strange looks from the crowd, so we abandoned that mission. But I recently had another idea that I just had to try and since there was no one around to talk me out of it, I did. To make up for the fact that I’m sharing my third ice cream recipe in the past two weeks, I’m going to throw in a super simple, delicious bonus recipe which makes a easy, tasty dinner and requires no special equipment.

Remember earlier in the week when I mentioned the candy-sweet local corn, which I added to my pesto pasta with salmon and tomatoes? I wasn’t joking when I said it was candy-sweet. It seriously tastes like it’s been watered in syrup and grown in a bed of brown-sugar soil. I fed some to the kids and told them it was candy. They never paused for a second to question it. I’ve been dreaming about that corn ever since, plotting other ways to take advantage of its awesomeness. I wanted to use it as a dessert. It’s really that sweet. Sweet corn frozen custard came to mind.

Truth be told, this recipe was not a complete success. I contemplated whether I should share it or not, but I figured that if you’re crazy about corn, this recipe might be right up your alley. I fed a spoonful to my husband without telling him what it was and his reaction was less than enthusiastic. Confused would be the most appropriate description of the look on his face as he tried to process what he was tasting. His sentiments were that you can’t just feed people a bowl full of corn ice cream; that it needs to go with something. I agree. So, I made a homemade caramel sauce and served it with a graham cracker…sort of a caramel corn sundae, I suppose.

This frozen custard has a definite sweet corn flavor. The only added sweetener comes from a few tablespoons of honey. I used buttermilk to make up part of the cream base, sort of a play on my sweet honey cornbread with buttermilk, but I think the buttermilk was a mistake. The final custard was not nearly as creamy as I’d hoped. It had more of a firm, icy texture. I’m no ice cream making expert, but I suspect the iciness was a result of the buttermilk…perhaps a freezing point issue? If I were to repeat the recipe, I think I’d use an all cream base. Fairly certain that would produce a creamier result. The recipe I’m sharing with you excludes the buttermilk.

Summer Corn Frozen Custard

Ingredients

  • 3 Cobs of Sweet Corn
  • 2 cups Light Cream
  • 3 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Egg Yolks, lightly beaten

Directions

Boil the corn for 8 minutes. Cool. Cut the kernels off of the cob. Save the cobs. Use a blender or food processor to blend the kernels with the cream, honey, and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture in a saucepan and add the corn cobs. You can break the cobs, if necessary, to fit in the pan. Heat the mixture, stirring often, until it begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing the mixture to remove all of the the corn-flavored cream. Add a small amount of the hot liquid to the egg yolks to temper the yolks. (Adding a small amount of the hot liquid allows the egg yolks to heat gradually and prevents them from scrambling.) Add the tempered egg yolk mixture to the hot cream. Return the mixture to a saucepan. Heat the mixture until it begins gently bubbling. Cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and refrigerate until it is completely cooled. Then, pour the mixture into your frozen ice cream bowl and freeze according to your machine’s directions. Serve with caramel, if desired.

Now, on to that super easy, super delicious, no-special-equipment-required recipe. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine sent me a message wondering if I had any ideas for how to make use of some chorizo she had on hand. Yum. Chorizo. I gave her a few general ideas at the time. And then I couldn’t get chorizo off the brain. Chorizo is a spiced pork sausage that is typically available as chorizo picante (spicy) or chorizo dulce (mild). Spanish chorizo is cured and can be eaten as is. My supermarket carries cured chorizo near the deli and cheese section. Chorizo is also available as a fresh sausage which you would probably find in the meat section of your supermarket. Fresh sausage needs to be cooked prior to eating. I love the combination of chorizo with seafood, especially shrimp. It occurred to me that both shrimp and chorizo would pair well with pineapple. So, I decided to put together some super fast Shrimp, Chorizo, and Pineapple Quesadillas. I’ll definitely be making these again.

Shrimp, Chorizo, and Pineapple Quesadillas

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Spanish Chorizo, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked salad-size Shrimp
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Mexican Blend Cheese
  • 8 Flour Tortillas

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the chorizo in a pan over medium heat until it begins to release its oil. Add the shrimp and pineapple. Stir to combine. When the shrimp and pineapple are warm, remove from heat. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup cheese onto each of four tortillas. Evenly distribute the chorizo, shrimp, pineapple mixture over the four tortillas. Top with another 1/4 cup cheese on each. Cover with the remaining four tortillas. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until the insides are hot and melty and the tortillas feel slightly crisp. Press down on the quesadillas about halfway through to help them melt together. Allow the quesadillas to cool for a minute or two before cutting.

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Oreo Ice Cream

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Gotta show the ice cream maker a little love. We don’t want it to become angry again.

I asked my visiting niece what her favorite ice cream flavor was. Mint Chocolate Chip was her reply. For good measure, we decided to throw in some crumbled Oreo cookies too. Hard to go wrong with that combination!

All of the kids enjoyed mixing up this tasty batch of homemade ice cream. My niece was especially intrigued. She intently watched the ice cream churn for several minutes before finally asking when it would turn green. She was visibly disappointed when I explained that it would not be turning green. So, we added a few drops of food coloring. The ice cream turned a lovely pale green, which delighted my niece. The color was lost after we added the cookies, but by that point, the color didn’t seem to matter as much.

All of the kids enjoyed taste testing the ice cream. They were also quite willing to take care of the extra cookies. Our labrosaurus rex would’ve helped too, if given the chance.

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Oreo Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 1/2 cup Light Cream
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Peppermint Extract
  • 1/2 cup Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 10 Oreo Cookies, crushed

Directions

Combine milk and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add cream and peppermint extract. Stir. Pour into your frozen ice cream bowl and freeze according to your machine’s directions. Once the ice cream begins to thicken, add the chocolate chips and cookies. Allow the ice cream to continue mixing in the ice cream maker until the chocolate and cookies are well blended and the ice cream is thick.

What a Watermelon Roll!

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My ice cream maker hates me. Honestly, I don’t blame it. It’s been sitting in my basement, neglected for years. My husband bought it for me several years ago. I was thrilled at the time. I opened the box and tenderly caressed my new toy. I had big plans. I was going to be an ice cream maker extraordinaire, put Ben and Jerry’s to shame, give Mr. Baskin and Mr. Robbins a run for their money. And you know what? In all the years I’ve had the ice cream maker, I haven’t made even one single batch of ice cream.

Sort of reminds me of the summer my dad decided he was going to become an amateur fisherman. He went out and bought all of the supplies; a couple rods, lures, and a box to keep it all in. He fished for a summer, which is more than I can say about me and my ice cream maker. But then the fishing supplies got packed away alongside the abandoned bread machine and juicer. My sister blames Price Club for all of their tantalizing deals, which repeatedly sold our father on new hobbies alongside large tubs of mayonnaise and 100-packs of toilet paper.

But this post isn’t about fishing, juice-making, or other neglected hobbies. It’s about ice cream. I was inspired to give my ice cream maker its maiden whirl by a friend of mine, who recently started a wonderful blog with her sister, www.weknowstuff.us.com. They write about all sorts of interesting topics, including childcare, healthy eating, caring for an elderly relative, and my favorite topic, recipes! In one of their recent posts, they shared a step-by-step recipe for Watermelon Ice Cream, slightly modified from an Emeril Lagasse recipe. The little chocolate chip seeds are what really sold me. I was instantly reminded of the delicious Friendly’s Wattamelon Roll, which my husband goes gaga for, and set my mind on making one.

There’s a long story here, involving the mutilation of multiple innocent watermelons, an angry and uncooperative ice cream maker, and four (yes, four) batches of watermelon ice cream/sherbert and one batch of lemon sherbert. There are tales of too icy, too creamy, and too sweet. There are tales of repentance and forgiveness. I could regale you with stories of watermelon water content, ice-crystallization, cream vs. milk, and no-sugar added. I could explain why I chose to make a sherbert instead of an ice cream. But, I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say, the ice cream maker and I are now the best of friends and I mastered two beautiful, melt-in-your-mouth sherbert recipes.

Enjoy either recipe on its own or use the two recipes together to make your own watermelon sherbert roll with all the same flavor of the original Wattamelon Roll, minus the Disodium Phosphate, Red 40, and Blue 1.

But first a few tips from my weekend of ice cream making:

  • Make sure your ice cream bowl is completely and thoroughly frozen. I turned the temperature down on my freezer to get the bowl to get the bowl cold enough.
  • Leave the ice cream bowl in the freezer until the last minute. It will begin defrosting quickly once you remove it.
  • Chill your ice cream mixture before pouring it into the ice cream maker.
  • You can make ice cream or sherbert with milk or cream, but what you use will affect the texture. Choose wisely. The recipes I have provided are what I found to be the best balance of texture and taste, while keeping waistlines in mind.
  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make a decent sherbert by allowing the mixture to freeze for 30 minutes or so, then blending the partially frozen mixture in a blender. Allow it to partially freeze again. Blend again. Then, allow it to completely freeze. This process will introduce some air into the mix as it freezes and breaks up some of the ice crystal formation. It will produce a tasty sherbert but the end result won’t be as creamy or smooth as with using an ice cream maker.

Lemon Sherbert

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Light Cream
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed, if possible)

Directions

Combine the cream, milk and sugar until completely dissolved. Add the lemon juice. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your machine’s directions.

Watermelon Sherbert

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Seedless Watermelon, chopped
  • 1 cup Light Cream
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 cup Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Directions

Puree the watermelon until it’s liquid. You should have about 3 cups of watermelon liquid. Pour the liquid in a saucepan and simmer until the liquid reduced to about 1 cup. It will appear thick and syrupy. Cool the liquid completely. In bowl, combine the milk, cream, and sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the watermelon mixture to the cream mixture. Add the lemon juice. Stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your machine’s directions. When the mixture has thickened, add the chocolate chips to the machine.

To create a watermelon roll, press lemon sherbert onto the bottom and sides of a round bowl. Fill the center with watermelon sherbert and freeze. If desired, paint the exterior with green food coloring.

Another alternative is to create watermelon pops.

Father’s Day Ice Cream Pizza

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Earlier in the week, I asked my three year old if he’d like to make something special for his daddy on Father’s Day. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when his response was Ice Cream Pizza!

Here’s the version of Ice Cream Pizza we came up with…

First, we crushed vanilla wafer cookies.

To make our pizza crust, we combined 2 cups of vanilla wafer crumbs with 1 stick of melted butter. Then, we pressed the mixture into a tart pan and placed it in the refrigerator.

We softened ice cream and spread it onto the cookie crust, then placed it in the freezer.  Once frozen, we spread a layer of strawberry sundae topping on the ice cream as our pizza sauce.

We sprinkled shredded coconut cheese onto the sauce.

We topped our pizza with fudge and candy pepperoni.

Slice and enjoy!

The Challenge

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I’m going after my arch nemesis. That’s right! The Baked Alaska.

I’m gonna take you down, Baked Alaska! Take. You. Down.

A Baked Alaska is essentially ice cream on top of a sponge cake, coated with meringue and baked just long enough to brown the exterior of the meringue. You may remember the story I told about my first and only Baked Alaska attempt, which resulted in a tray of melted ice cream. That was too long ago to identify my misstep. But I’m going after it again!

So, who’s with me?  Anyone else got an itch to battle the big baked frozen treat?

Here’s the deal…

Whip up any version of a Baked Alaska sometime in the next week. Use any recipe, any ice cream flavor(s), any flavor sponge (or pound) cake.  Make your own sponge cake or buy one.  The only requirement is that you have a cake base, ice cream, and meringue.

There are several recipes for Baked Alaska at www.foodnetwork.com or www.epicurious.com Use one of those recipes or create your own version.

For better or worse, I’ll be writing about my showdown with the Baked Alaska a week from today. I’d love to hear how your attempts go! Remember, what’s the worst that can happen?  It melts?  Big whoop.  Take a picture and laugh at it.

I’m coming for you, Baked Alaska!  You, me, a mound of ice cream, and an extremely hot oven. Let’s do this.

Who’s with me??

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