Category Archives: gelato

A little something for your summer

Toasted Sesame Seed Gelato
1.5 cups whole milk
1.5 cups heavy cream
7 tablespoons sugar
3 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
2.5 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Method:
In small bowl, beat the egg yolks.
In a smallish pot put the milk, sugar and salt over a moderate flame, stirring until bubbles start to form around the edges, indicating a simmer.
Temper the egg yolks by stirring some of the hot milk mixture into them, then add the egg mixture to the milk pan and stir over the heat until it starts to thicken. It will lightly coat the back of a spoon when ready. Remove from heat.
Combine the milk mixture and the cold cream. Chill for several hours. It must be very cold.
Pour the very cold mixture into an ice cream freezer and add the sesame oil. It will sit on top at first but will incorporate as it churns. Churn according to your ice cream freezer’s directions, and once frozen, remove the tub/container and freeze for about two hours. You must remove it a little before you plan to serve it so that it softens to a scoopable texture.
Alone it’s delicious but it’s even more elegant when served with a quickly made sauce of seasonal fruit or berries. To make one, weigh the cleaned and prepped fruit. Finely chop or process it. Weigh sugar in the amount of 50% of the fruit weight. Cook over medium-high heat until it reaches a full boil, then cook five minutes. Cool to serving temperature, which may be warm but not hot. Drizzle over the servings of gelato. Nectarines and peaches were great, I’m looking forward to trying tangerine sections

Leftover eggwhites?

When you make Zabaglione, there are eggwhites leftover.  An ambitious person can make any number of things from them, including many beautiful silver or white cakes.  A lazy person can make meringues.  I am actually not the meringue person in this family.  eg whips them up as easily as other people scramble an egg.

This is what I made when I stumbled over that bowl of three eggwhites a while back.

meringue

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (or a single drop of lemon juice)
a few grains of salt
1 cup/210 g sugar

You can make as much or as little as you want, just keep the ratios correct. Make sure your bowl and beaters are scrupulously clean because a tiniest bit of oil or fat, even if it is from the atmosphere, will prevent your meringue from rising up and astounding you.

Everything should be at room temperature. Beat the eggs with the salt and cream of tartar (or drop of lemon) until foamy, then slowly add the sugar while continuing to beat. It will grow and grow and mound up like a veritable Alp. You have to stop occasionally once it is really mounding to see if when you pull the beaters up a peak forms. If it does, does the top stay pointed, or does it flop over? Beat until it stays pointed.

It’s easiest by far to use baking paper or parchment to bake these. Lay it on a baking sheet and using a spoon (or a pastry bag if you like) form little nests. Depending on the size you will be able to make 6-8 of them from 3 eggwhites.

Slide them into an oven heated to 275°F/135°C and bake for an hour. Turn the heat off and leave them at least 2 more hours.

What you see above is simply strawberries spooned into a meringue shell do that the juices seep into it, then whipped cream on top of that anf more strawberries used to garnish the top. Simple but pretty and an easy to make ahead summer dessert. It’s equally good using any of summer’s soft fruits. It’s the tart for he who doesn’t want to make pastry.

Perhaps even more astounding is using the shell to hold ice cream, homemade usually preferred, and then covering it with a fruit coulis or sauce. I recall having such a day dream in Georgetown with French vanilla ice cream and warm rhubarb sauce. Yes.

Montalbano: the coolest cop on Italian TV

Tonight, Montalbano returns to Raiuno for some summer reruns.  Montalbano is the most successful thing Rai ever did.  The shows are translated into 12 languages and sold around the world. There aren’t that many of them, either.

Montalbano was created by Camilleri, an Italian writer who has threatened even to kill him off, which suggestion caused moans of despair among women worldwide.  There must be many men who also like Montalbano, but it’s the women who talk about it.  I have read every single one of the books that has been translated by the extremely skillful Stephen Sartarelli, who is a poet and that really shows in these translations.

Montalbans favoprite: recipe from Camillieri.
Montalbano's favorite: recipe from Camilleri.

Montalbano is “un uomo vero” or a real man.  He isn’t pretty, he isn’t thin, he’s bald as a billiard ball and he is the sexiest thing on TV.  It’s really Luca Zingaretti, whose work is always good, but in this case must be called genius.  There’s a scene in the current promos for the opening of the series (tonight raiuno 21:20) in which he is lying on his messy bed wearing ridiculous knee length undershorts, the like of which have not been seen since 1948, fanning his armpits with a sheaf of papers.  And that, believe it or not is dead sexy.

Montalbano sono from his Facebook page

This photo comes from his Facebook page.  Everybody in Italy does Facebook.  Probably even the priests.  Must see if Benedetto XVI is on there.

What has all this to do with the small pile of lemon ice in the big photo?  I made it to celebrate Montalbano’s return to TV and I made it using the recipe provided by Camilleri in one of the books.  It’s as simple as 1, 2, 4.  I put a pan on the scale, tare it, then squeeze a lemon into it.  Whatever that weighs, I add double the weight of sugar, then 4 times the weight in water.  I heat it slightly to melt the sugar and then chill it.  I like it best frozen in my tiny Donvier ice cream maker, but it is more traditionally Sicilian to freeze it and then scrape across the frozen surface with a spoon.  Pick your method and give it a try while it’s almost unbearably hot, like right now.  If you buy a Montalbano DVD or watch the new season starting tonight, you’ll need the extra super-cooling power anyway.

Sex bomb, sex bomb, you’re my sex bomb…

Ciao folks, I have a date tonight.

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eg: something to eat as well

Well, it turns out that eg is not nearly as normal as I thought. She sometimes does photograph her food. She sent a picture of her peppers.

[photopress:ERIN__S_PEPPERS.JPG,full,pp_image]

She did not send the recipe.

She also sent this one of zucchine frying, a photo in which you can admire her unusual choice in kitchen color. Yay, eg!

[photopress:ERIN__S_COOKERY.JPG,full,pp_image]

I appreciate boldness. I especially appreciate boldness in relatives.

Anybody else have photos of their food that they are proud of?

Today is the first day that I help Alex a bit with Food and Wine Friday at Blog from Italy. We are hoping to have something different to say from the usual about Italian food and wine, who eats it, what they think of it and where to get it. Today he is all over gelato. Go slobber on your monitor!