In which I recommend David Lebovitz for sainthood and have a food filled weekend…

Oh boy. So on Saturday night I was having dinner at my cousins Jed and Sarah’s house. They are two of my most favorites, and they were the ones that gave me the opportunity to make this.
the cake

the cake

Incidentally, I now have the opportunity to make another wedding cake (yay Mols and Lar!!) and at some point I will be revisiting my experience from the first one right here on this little blog. It will be an epic tale of eggs, sugar and a little bit of Toots. So there is something for you to look forward to…

Anyway, Saturday, dinner on the roof with Jed and Sarah. I thought I would make World Peace Cookies again. You might remember those from the reception for Grampie. They are tasty and pretty easy.

Cookies to save the world...

Cookies to save the world...

I wanted to make something to go with them. I thought of ice cream and I went to the source. David Leibovitz is the king of ice cream. He has a book The Perfect Scoop that is fantastic. He also has a blog. The blog is where I found the recipe for Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Dudes, this is mind blowing. David Leibovitz is a genius. The process is a little bit more labor intensive than regular ice cream, because you have to make a caramel praline, and then you have to make a caramel base for the custard, but it wasn’t too difficult.

First, I laid out all my ingredients, because melting sugar goes from caramely deliciousness to burnt and gross in about a half a second:

ready to go

ready to go

Then comes the praline. Sugar in a saute pan, over medium heat until it starts to melt and darken in color…

sugar

sugar

Once the sugar has caramelized, I added fleur de sel and quickly poured it on to an oiled cookie sheet. The instructions are for a silpat covered cookie sheet or a sparingly oiled cookie sheet. I have a silpat mat, or I did have one, but I seem to have misplaced it. I have searched the kitchen to no avail. So oiled it was. 

praline

praline

Then, as I listened to the sweet sound of the praline cooling and cracking, I started the ice cream custard. The first steps were the same. Sugar melted in the saute pan until it caramelized.

sugar

sugar

 

caramel

caramel

But then you add butter…

plus butter

plus butter

And the cream…

creamy...

creamy...

And then I added half the milk and the egg yolks, and cooked the custard until it thickens. It goes through a fine mesh sieve into the rest of milk, which is resting in an ice bath…

the final steps

the final steps

Then it thoroughly cools before it goes into the ice cream maker. While it was chilling, I made the cookie dough…

World Peace

World Peace

I also crushed up the praline into little confetti to add to the ice cream at the end.

stick in your teeth goodness

stick in your teeth goodness

This was a hit. It is sweet and salty and creamy and delicious. The little bits of praline were crunchy and salty and awesome. It didn’t set as firmly as I would have liked. I am not sure what that was about. I will have to figure it out for next time. And there will be a next time. This was unbelievable.

pure bliss...

pure bliss...

There was a fair amount of cooking this weekend. Long weekends are good like that…

I made spaghetti sauce.

remember these?

remember these?

They became sauce, which was simmering away as I was making the ice cream, and I made myself some pasta for lunch.

lunch.

lunch.

I like a light chunky sauce, rather than a heavier more wintery sauce. My sauce is just olive oil, onion, garlic, oregano and red wine. I cook that down, then add the tomatoes and simmer the water out of it. It is a multi-purpose sauce. I will freeze the rest and use it for lasagna and fried eggplant and such. It is always nice to have it on hand.

Friday night, I made a chicken and udon noodle stir fry. Onions, ginger, garlic, scallions and chicken. Some udon noodles and a soy sauce stir fry sauce. It was good, I love love love udon noodles. This was such an easy dinner and I will make it again. Even without the chicken this would be great. I think I will use a bit more soy sauce next time, but it was quick and tasty and pretty.

weekend dinner

weekend dinner

Lastly, I decided to try something new yesterday. We were going out on the boat, and I thought sushi rolls might be an easy dinner to pack. I decided to make spicy tuna rolls and lobster, avocado and mango rolls. I have never made sushi before. It was pretty fun. I made the rice, but then ran out and had to order more from my local sushi place. I was able to get sushi -grade tuna from the local fishmarket. It needs a lot of set up, and can be kind of a messy process, but it was a lot of fun, and I will most definitely be doing it again. Maybe for a girls night…

mis en place...

mis en place...

The final product was a little heavy on the rice, which wasn’t necessarily bad, because they were filling. But the flavors were good. I made the spicy tuna with a little bit of mayo and some siracha, and then I added avocado and scallions. The others were lobster, mango and more avocado.

the rolls

the rolls

This weekend was a big old adventure. It was loads of fun. And tonight I think I might experiment with pasta and all the sage my aunt brought over. I want to see if I can roll the sage right into the pasta dough so it looks pretty.

And just because it was so pretty, I am leaving you with this…

more confetti...

more confetti...

 

 

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