Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Potatoes and Ice Cream, a Meal to Heal

Well gentle readers, here at Cooking the Seasons we are feeling pretty sorry for ourselves. For technological reasons beyond our understanding, our entry for the Morel Challenge was not received. To ease our troubles, we made the ultimate comfort foods: French fries and ice cream. You can't vote for our mushroom recipe (though you can make it) so instead, let us know what you think about these two recipes!

French-Baked Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, and Beets

3 medium potatoes sliced into French fry size. Put into cold water for 10 to 30 minutes.
1 large sweet potato, slice same as potatoes
1 large beet, sliced same as potatoes

Put potatoes, sweet potato, and beet sticks on a cookie sheet. Toss in 1 to 2 TBSP olive oil, 1 teas. salt, and 1 teas. pepper. Spread them out evenly.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through.

Vanilla ice cream with burnt caramel sauce and strawberries

3 vanilla beans
1 quart half and half
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks, stirred until smooth

Split vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Scrape seeds out with a spoon and put seeds and beans into a heavy sauce pan. 

Add half and half and heat over medium-low heat until warm. Add sugar and stir frequently until sugar has dissolved and mixture is hot but not boiling.

Very slowly, drizzle egg yolks into mixture while whisking constantly. (It helps to have another person assist with this step.)

Cook for ~ 15 minutes until mixture is thickening (test by dipping a wooden spoon into mix; when you draw your finger across the spoon, it should leave a line).

Place in a cold water bath (we stopped up the sink and added ice but a large bowl works well, too). When the mix is luke warm to cool, put in the refrigerator and chill until cold, ~ 1 to 2 hours.

Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

Burnt Caramel Sauce

When the ice cream is completely frozen, begin the caramel sauce. This is not the gooey, thick caramel you might think of, but instead a liquidy sauce that thickens as it hits the cold ice cream.

In a heavy sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt 1/4 cup demerara or white sugar (demerara will give it a darker color and flavor), stirring frequently.

When sugar is completely liquid and starting to bubble, drop in 3 TBSP of butter, broken up into chunks. Stir until melted completely, ~ 30 to 45 seconds.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream.  Pout into a pitcher and serve over ice cream, with fresh strawberries.