Wednesday, July 20, 2011

scapes

If you’re not familiar with these long green ropes, let me introduce you. Scapes meet blogger friends, blogger friends meet scapes. These are the flowering shoots of the garlic bulb. When I received them from a friend recently, I wasn’t sure whether to eat them raw, put them into a vase, or wear them.

Garlic grows underground, as you probably already know. As the bulb hardens, a shoot pokes its way through the ground. The shoot is long, thin, pliable and bright green before it turns papery and white. This green stage of growth is the garlic scape.

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To grill scapes, cut the ends off (a few inches above the bulging bud) and give them a quick cold water bath. Drain.

Drizzle them with olive oil.

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Sprinkle with sea salt.

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Throw them onto a hot grill.

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Turn occasionally and grill until they look slightly blackened and a bit crispy.

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Enjoy.

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Hurry. They go fast.

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My daughter told me these are her new favorite vegetables next to edamame.

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I served them with other grilled veggies and chicken.

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Get them while they’re hot. Before your kids eat them all.

The garlic flavor of scapes is fresh and light, and its even mellower when grilled. I’ve also heard that when used in place of basil, they make an awesome pesto. You could also cut them up and use them in soups, or use them in a dip, or saut√© them with other veggies.

They’re as addicting as potato chips.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lavender Honey Ice Cream

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Some of you might be saying, “lavender? in ice cream?”

If you are in fact skeptical, let me assure you this is pure heaven. The delicate, subtle flavors of lavender and honey make this cold, creamy dessert a perfect summer treat.

The grocery list: whole milk; heavy whipping cream; honey; dried lavender; granulated sugar; eggs; and an ice cream maker (I have an older model Cuisinart, but any type will do).

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Grab a medium sized saucepan and pour in 2 cups of whole milk.

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I could not figure out why the milk wouldn’t come out, so I stuck my finger in it. There was a thick layer of cream on top.

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I removed the cream and discarded it... yum.

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Then add 1/3 cup of honey

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and 1/4 cup dried lavender (a bit less if you’re using fresh).

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Make sure the lavender you use is edible. To be safe, I purchased mine at Williams-Sonoma, but you can find it fresh at many farmer’s markets for a brief period of time. Just make sure it’s organic English or French lavender grown specifically for culinary purposes.

Bring the milk, honey and lavender mixture to a gentle boil, then cover and remove it from the heat source. Let this mixture steep for about five minutes, as you would your tea.

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Now strain the lavender mix, reserving the milk and honey and discarding the lavender (for real this time).

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I used cheesecloth, but any small screened strainer will do the trick.

Now separate five eggs and dump the yolks into an electric mixer.

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Add 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar to the yolks

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Beat on medium-high speed until they’re very thick and pale yellow. About 3-5 minutes.

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Meanwhile, back at your stove top... return milk to a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

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Add half the milk to egg-yolk mixture, and whisk until blended. Stir mixture into remaining milk, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

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Remove from heat, pour mixture into a medium sized bowl and immediately stir in one cup of cream.

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Place bowl into an ice-water bath until chilled. Give it an occasional stir.

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Place chilled mixture in an ice cream maker for about 20-30 minutes, or until it’s the consistency of soft ice cream.

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Remove its loveliness from the ice cream maker and pour it into a sealable freezer container. Put it in the freezer for several hours.

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Yummmmmmmm

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Lavender Honey Ice Cream
(from Martha Stewart)
PRINTABLE RECIPE


Makes 1 quart

INGREDIENTS

2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup dried lavender
1/3 cup honey
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, lavender, and honey. Bring to a boil, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for 15 minutes. Strain mixture, reserving liquid and discarding lavender.

Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow, about 3 to 5 minutes. Return milk to a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

Add half the milk to egg-yolk mixture, and whisk until blended. Stir mixture into remaining milk, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove from heat, and stir in one cup heavy cream. Strain mixture into a mixing bowl and set it in an ice-water bath. Let stand until chilled, stirring occasionally. Transfer to an ice cream maker and turn it on for about 25 minutes. Store in an airtight container up to two weeks.