Yellow Peach Sorbet

How do you capture a bit of summer and make it last? This, my friends. This is the way.

Peaches from the Hollywood Farmers Market – Ken’s Top Notch Produce

Peach Sorbet

Yellow Peach Sorbet

Yield: Approximately 3 pints

 

2 pounds yellow peaches, approximately 7 to 8 medium peaches, pitted

¾ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 

Place peaches in the blender and blend until smooth. Measure out 4 cups. Return 4 cups pureed peaches to the blender (reserve any leftover for adding to sparkling wine!). Add sugar, juices and vanilla extract. Blend on low for 3 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, until mixture is chilled.

Pour half of the chilled mixture into your ice cream machine and churn until a soft-serve consistency is achieved.

Transfer to a large container, cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap to the surface of the sorbet, and freeze until very firm, at least 5 hours.

Repeat with remaining mixture or put remaining peach mixture into ice pop molds.

Mint Ginger Watermelon Ice Pops

After using 1 cup of watermelon for the ice pops, grab a spoon and eat watermelon until you consume it all. Yup. This pretty much sums up my summer so far!

Mint Ginger Watermelon Ice Pop

Mint Ginger Watermelon Ice Pop

Yield: 6 ice pops

 

1 cup watermelon, deseeded

1 ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger

8 mint leaves, finely chopped

¾ cup water

6 tablespoons granulated or cane sugar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1 minute.

Pour into ice pop molds and freeze.

Wild Dungeness Crab Stew

It’s a one pot wonder, it’s delicious, healthy, sustainable and it’ll serve a family, dinner party or just yourself – for many meals. What more could you ask for?

Wild Dungeness Crab Stew

Wild Dungeness Crab Stew

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced small

1 fennel bulb, cored and diced medium

4 celery stalks, cut into thirds lengthwise and diced small

6 carrots, peeled and chopped roughly

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

3 cups corn kernels

2 ½ cups lima beans

2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, spots or greening removed and diced medium

4 cups vegetable stock

5 sprigs thyme, tied together with the bay leaves (use butcher’s twine)

2 bay leaves, tied together with the thyme sprigs (use butcher’s twine)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 pound Dungeness crab meat

Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, for garnish

In a 5.5 quart pot, set over medium heat, add the olive oil and the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are soft, translucent, and lightly caramelized.

Add the fennel and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the celery and fennel begin to soften.

Add the carrots, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for 6 to 8 minutes until the carrots begin to soften.

Add the garlic and the Old Bay seasoning and cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.

Add the corn, lima beans, tomatoes, potatoes, stock, and herb bundle. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just cooked through.

Turn off the heat. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.

Add the crab, gently stir to combine and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper.

Remove and discard herb bundle and serve stew in bowls garnished with some hand torn parsley.

Crispy Vanilla Meringues

I’ve been making so much ice cream lately that I have quite an excess of egg whites. What to do, what to do, what to do…. How about these light and crispy sweet delights?!

Vanilla Meringues

 

Crispy Vanilla Meringues

Yield: approximately 50 meringues

 

¾ cup granulated sugar, processed in a food processor until very fine, 1 minute

1½ teaspoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

¾ cup egg whites / 5-ounces (approximately 5 egg whites)

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

 

Adjust two oven racks to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 210ºF.

Whisk to combine the sugar, cornstarch and cream of tartar in a small bowl.

Place the egg whites, vanilla extract and salt in a clean and dry large bowl and whisk on medium speed with an electric mixer (or use your stand mixer with the whisk attachment) until very soft peaks are formed.

Very slowly add the sugar mixture. Continue to beat until stiff peaks are formed.

Dot the four corners of each of two sheet pans with some of the meringue batter.

Line the sheet pans with parchment paper. The dots of meringue batter will help to keep the parchment paper from curling up.

Using a piping bag with a medium star tip, or a good, old-fashioned tablespoon, pipe or spoon 1-inch to 1½-inch circles of meringue batter onto the parchment paper-lined sheet pans. Unlike cookies, meringues won’t spread when baked, so less space is needed between them.

Place the sheet pans in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 2½ hours. After 2½ hours, do not remove the meringues. Rather, turn off the oven and let the meringues cool for 1 hour, just to be sure the meringues are crunchy.

Store meringues in an airtight container, layered between sheets of wax or parchment paper.

Note: After whipping the meringues, bake them right away or else they may begin to deflate and the texture may be compromised. Also, make meringues on a dry, sunny day, not a wet, rainy one. Too much moisture in the air will result in a sticky or tacky meringue, because sugar attracts moisture.

Roasted Eggplant Meatballs

I’m not usually one for a faux meatball: the texture is usually all wrong and flavor bland. That said, this little puppy is darn good. In fact, I wouldn’t even classify it as faux. It stands on its own. Meaty from the mushrooms and eggplant and deliciously herby. And with the added Parmigiano-Reggiano, it’s a mouthful of umami. No meat required.

eggplantmeatballoverhead eggplantmeatballside

Eggplant Meatballs

Yields 8 meatballs

1 large Italian eggplant, peeled and diced medium (1.25 pounds diced)

8-ounces cremini mushrooms, diced medium

6 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided

3 packed tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, not pre-grated, grated on a Microplane

1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano

¾ teaspoon ground fennel

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 large egg, whisked

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

Adjust 2 oven racks to the middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put eggplant and mushrooms in a medium bowl and mix in olive oil. Toss or stir to combine. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to combine.

Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Spread eggplant mushroom mixture onto sheet pans.

Bake for 20 minutes. Stir, rotate pans and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove sheet pans from oven and let eggplant and mushrooms cool to room temperature.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Place eggplant mushroom mixture and all additional ingredients in a food processor.

Pulse to combine. The mixture should be well combined and still have some texture (not blended into a paste). Season with additional 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Roll the meatball mixture into equal sized 1.75-inch balls.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until cooked through and beginning to firm up.

Remove sheet pan from the oven and let meatballs rest at room temperature for 5-8 minutes.

Serve with your favorite pasta, marinara sauce and/or pesto in addition to some fresh basil and grated parmigiano-reggiano.

Toasted Almonds – Your Way

It’s not a particularly sexy recipe, but it makes a world of difference in terms of taste, texture and freshness when you toast your own nuts (heyyyy-o – who said this post wasn’t sexy?!).

Toasted Almonds

 

Toasted Almonds

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spread out raw nuts on a sheet pan in a single layer.

Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 17 minutes, stirring occasionally for even cooking, until lightly colored. Be sure to set your timer. To test for doneness, break one nut in half and check for color. It should be a light golden brown color on the inside.

Remove from the oven and transfer the toasted nuts to a plate to cool, or toss in a bowl with a very light drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a good sized pinch (or two) of kosher salt.

 

 

 

Peach Rosemary Ice Pop

What to do with your peaches this season? Enjoy them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert! Here’s a recipe for dessert (or a snack).

Peach Rosemary Ice Pop

Peach Rosemary Ice Pop

Yield: 6 ice pops

 

10-ounces of cut peaches or 1 10-ounce bag frozen peaches

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

¾ cup water

6 tablespoons granulated or cane sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

 

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1 minute.

Pour into ice pop molds and freeze.

 

Heirloom Tomato Sandwich with Basil Lemon Ricotta

Summer means sweet, ripe tomatoes in abundance and I just love when they start going off like wildfire in the garden and at farmers markets. This is usually the signal for me to start making big batches of  tomato sauce, freezing in abundance and roasting and snacking endlessly on cherry and grape tomatoes. And, of course, there’s one of my favorite tomato stand outs – the tomato sandwich. Bright, sweet, acidic, of the earth – it’s truly a summer delight – and here’s my take on it.

 

Heirloom Tomatoes Heirloom Tomato Sandwich with Basil Lemon Ricotta

 

Heirloom Tomato Sandwich with Basil Lemon Ricotta

Yield: 4 servings

 

For Basil Lemon Ricotta

1 cup whole milk ricotta, drained (I use Angelo and Franco brand ricotta)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Zest from one lemon

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil

2 small garlic cloves, minced

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Whisk all ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

For Sandwich

1 small ciabatta loaf or sourdough boule, cut in half widthwise and lengthwise, seasoned and toasted in the oven with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and rubbed with a peeled garlic clove

2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, different colors if possible, cut into ¼- and ½ -inch slices

16 medium basil leaves, hand torn

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

 

Season tomatoes with salt and pepper.

Spread basil lemon ricotta over toasted ciabatta and arrange 1 layer of heirloom tomatoes on top.

Put some of the hand torn basil on top of the first layer of tomatoes and then add another layer of tomatoes.

Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil on top.

Roll up your sleeves and dive in.

 

 

Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. This ice cream is dangerously good. Equally refreshing (the fresh mint does the trick) and delicious at the same time. And when you put it between two of my chocolate chocolate chip cookies?! Game over, my friend. Yes, you’ve been warned.

Oh, and get the good chocolate for this recipe. It’s gonna make all the difference. 

Mint Choc TCHO

TCHO 70% Chocolate

Mint Choc Chip Mixing

Mixing in the chocolatey goodness

mint choc chip4

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. The real stuff.

Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Sammy

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich with Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. Oh. My. Latte.

 

Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Yield: Approximately 2 pints

 

¾ cup sugar, divided

1 tablespoon organic corn syrup

3 cups half-and-half

2 very packed cups fresh mint leaves

6 egg yolks

8-ounces good quality dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, chopped roughly

 

Place ½ cup sugar, corn syrup, half-and-half and mint leaves in a medium saucepan over medium heat and heat, stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and let mint continue to steep for 5 minutes. Pour contents of saucepan into a blender and blend on low for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing the mint leaves with the back of a spatula to strain as much liquid as possible. Discard mint leaves.

Pour liquid back into the medium saucepan over medium heat. Using a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom of the saucepan, stir continuously until the liquid reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar on medium speed until the mixture is canary yellow in color, thick, and doubled in volume.

Reduce the speed to medium-low and very slowly stream in 1 cup of the hot, sweetened half-and-half mixture to the whisked egg yolks.

Pour the mixture into the original medium saucepan with the rest of the warm sweetened half-and-half. Pressing a spatula gently against the bottom of the pan, stir slowly and continuously and cook over medium-low heat until the custard thickens slightly and just reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Take your time.

Immediately remove from the heat and pour liquid into a wide medium bowl.

Place this bowl into a slightly larger bowl that is filled ⅓ of the way up with ice and water. Slowly stir until it is cool to the touch. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 8 hours. Cooling the mix before churning will give a smoother texture.

Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream machine and churn until a soft-serve consistency is achieved.

Transfer to a large container and stir in the chopped chocolate.

Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap to the surface of the ice cream, and freeze until very firm, at least 5 hours.

Scoop and serve or sandwich between 2 chocolate chocolate chip cookies and savor each bite!