Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Avocado Ice Cream

No ice cream maker needed here!!

But if you have an ice cream maker...

Did you guys know that avocados were packed with at least 20 different nutrients like fiber, potassium, vitamin E...and the list goes on?!! There are 13 vitamins that are essential to the human body and those are: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins((thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). And the best part is...AVOCADOS NATURALLY CONTAIN ALL OF THESE ELEMENTS!!

The recipe that I'm posting here, contains sugar and uses heavy whipping cream but if you're a health nut or are making these for your kids, you can sub the sugar in this recipe for splenda, equal, stevia powder, or whatever you wish. You can also sub the heavy whipping cream and half and half for ALL fat free half and half, and it will still turn out great! But keep in mind that when making ice cream, the higher the fat content, the more creamier your ice cream will be, so skimming on some of the fat will affect the overall texture by just a tad bit. Also the type of ice cream mold matters! I use Orka Ice Pop Molds that I purchased from Amazon for about 15 bucks for a set of 4. They are made of silicone and are the best ice cream molds that I have ever used!!

You will need:

A blender

Silicone Ice Pop Molds(I recommend Orka)

6 RIPENED avocados(you may cut recipe in half)

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 cup of half and half

2 tsp of vanilla extract

1 and 1/4 cup of sugar

1 1/2 T of MATCHA green tea powder(optional)

The juice from half of a lemon(to prevent browning while chilling)

Step 1: Cut avocados in half, remove the pit, and using a spoon, scoop out the avocado and place in blender.

Step 2: Place all of the other ingredients into the blender and puree until smooth. If you try to taste the mixture now, it will probably be super sweet but don't fret my friend, because it's SUPPOSED TO BE, DUH!! One of the many rules of ice cream making, is that you have to add a little bit more sugar then you normally would because when you freeze it, it will lose some of it's sweetness.

Step3: Take a large ziplock freezer bag and add the avocado mixture into it. Cut about half of an inch off of the corner of the bag and pipe into the ice cream molds. After you've filled them all in, place the tops on, lift the ice cream molds 2-3 inches off of the counter, and drop them back down quickly, giving them a few good wacks on the counter(this step helps get rid of most of the air bubbles and pushes the ice cream further down into the mold). Check to see if you need to add in more of the mixture into the molds after you have wacked the tray a few times.

Aren't these adorable??

Step 4: Freeze for at least 6-8 hrs. If you are using your ice cream maker, follow instructions for your own ice cream maker which most will require that you chill the mixture in the fridge first before starting the freezing process. If you chill in fridge first, the tops of the avocado mixture may start to turn a brownish/green shade but that's normal. You can either just scoop that part out or just give it a quick mix with a spatula(it hasn't spoiled and you won't die if you eat it I promise).

Okay, so I felt a little wacky and decided to try...


I used bittersweet chocolate mixed with a splash of vanilla and some shortening(no substitution)and melted them using the double broiler method. I don't remember how much chocolate I actually used but the general rule is 1/2 T of shortening per ounce of chocolate.

Step 1:Melt chocolate and shortening in a metal or glass bowl fitted over a pot of simmering water. Keep heat on low and make sure that the water DOES NOT TOUCH THE BOTTOM OF YOUR BOWL. Chocolate is very temperamental, so I don't recommend that you go and put a load of laundry in the wash or anything, while you're waiting for it to melt.

Double broiler method

Step 2:Stir the chocolate mixture and right before it looks like everything is about to be melted down completely, remove from heat and continue to stir, until mixture is smooth and silky.

Step 3:Once your avocado ice cream pops have been in the freezer for a couple of hours, take a large spoon and quickly coat the ice cream pops, spinning them as you go along trying to make an even coat. You must work quickly here, because the chocolate will begin to harden. Once you are done, place on wax paper and put back into the fridge for 1 hr.

Mmmmm...crazy is, as crazy does

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Asian pickled mustard greens(Chrouk Spey)

Usually when I'm craving something that I've never made before, I would resort to the internet, research numerous recipes online, and then attempt to recreate them my own way, at home. Let me tell you this much, I could NOT find a recipe on this stuff at all!! It seems like a pretty easy and breezy thing to figure out, but if you don't put the right amount of salt in the mustard greens with the right amount of water, it can definitely result in DISASTER. TRUST ME, I WOULD KNOW! :) It took about half a dozen different times for me to get this right!!

Growing up, we usually ate this as a side dish with baked fish and my parents would slice up some chili peppers,add some sugar,and dare I say it....?? MSG. There, I said it...and you know what??? It was DAMN GOOD TOO. So try this super dee duper, easy recipe, if you like all things sour... and no doubt, this one will surely tickle your pickle in all the right places!! :)

You will need:

2.5 pds of Chinese mustard greens(cleaned and cut into 2-3 inch pieces)

8 cps of water

3 T of salt

2 T of sugar

1 T of vinegar

A container big enough to pickle your mustard greens

A large pot to blanch the greens before pickeling them

Step 1: Bring to a quick rolling boil, 8 cups of water along with the salt and sugar. Stir, making sure that the salt and sugar have fully dissolved. Set this aside and allow to COOL COMPLETELY.

Step 2: Add water into another large pot and bring to a boil while you chop up your greens(this step is for blanching)

Step 3: Cut up the mustard greens into 2-3 inch pieces. Place them in large bowl and clean THOROUGHLY. Mustard greens can carry a lot of dirt so I usually chop them up, place them in water and let them sit for a little bit so that all the dirt can fall into the bottom of the large bowl. Repeat process.

Step 4: Once your pot has come to a boil, turn the heat off. Dump in all of the greens all at once and gently stir to make sure they are all immersed in the water. Remove and drain. They are ready to be removed when they look like this:

Step 5: When they have turned a bright green color, remove from heat and carefully drain under cold water,making sure that all the pieces get hit with some cold water to prevent further cooking.

Step 6:
Once the greens have cooled down completely, put them in some kind of container with a tight lid. Pour the cooled salt water mixture into the container. Add in 1 T of vinegar and then line the top with saran wrap before screwing the lid on. It should look like this:

Your pickled greens should be ready when they have turned a dark green color. The water will look slightly cloudy from the salt floating around in it(but that doesn't mean the greens itself will be overly salty). On warmer days, it will only take 1 to 2 days for it to turn sour. On cooler days, it can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days. This particular batch took about 4 days so I would definitely recommend that you put it somewhere out of sight, to keep you from taste checking it so frequently. Once it's sour to your liking, keep it tightly covered and refrigerated. You can eat as a side dish or even make a delicious chicken and mustard green soup using chicken stock as the base. Here's what it looks like fully pickled:

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