The recipes on this blog are a combination of things I've learned over the years and meals inherited through generations of adoration for good food. They are a cherished property, so please be good to them.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

We're going to the beach!

Much like last year, I'm leaving for the beach in 2 hours and I am happy to say that while I will be cooking, I won't be able to post a thing!

Here is where I'm going tomorrow. It's got all the charm of the beach without the traffic and hotels and insane crowds, similar to it's neighbor, Ocean City Maryland. Oh and they have a THIS, which is where I will be when I'm not looking at the views of the ocean, eating "Marsh Mud" ice cream which is possibly the best ice cream ever made. Complete and total vacation indulgence.

Now that I've got my own ice cream maker, I'm totally going to have to eat at least 4 servings of Marsh Mud as research, in order to recreate it here, at home.

This place is famous for it's wild ponies (that's right, wild ponies) and oysters. Good thing for Chincoteague, I love ponies, oysters...I'll pass on, though I know lots of people who would spend their days eating oysters instead of Marsh Mud ice cream.

Have a great week bloggers and readers... and a great Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lemon Sorbet

My husband bought me the ice cream bowl attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer for my birthday as I've been dreaming of making icy treats for a very long time. If you have this model or are considering it, keep in mind the bowl has to be frozen for at least 8 hours before using it, but if you're like me, you can just store the bowl in your freezer for anytime use! I thought I'd start out simply, and with confidence, in making a simple sorbet. This is a very strong flavored sorbet, and if you want to omit the zest for less intensity, please do.

A sorbet is really just a mix of sweetened water and fruit puree or juice. Unlike it's icy cousin, sherbet or gelato, sorbet does not include dairy and is a vegan product. In Italy, a Granita like the one I made here, is the closest thing to sorbet, but has a more crystallized texture.

Often a sorbet is used as a palate cleanser in between courses of meals, but is also perfect for a light dessert. For pregnant women or cancer patients, sorbet can also be used to ignite the palate to encourage eating during a queasy moment.

The recipe for this lemon sorbet is quite simple.
Equal Parts each: lemon juice, water and sugar. I used 1 c of each. Additionally I added the zest of each of the lemons needed to create 1 c of lemon juice.

Bring the water and sugar to boil in a pan (we are creating simple syrup here), remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Combine the syrup with the lemon juice and zest. Pour contents into a container and allow to cool in your refrigerator for about 4 hours.

(***Cooks note: This is entirely up to you. The nature of my ice cream maker requires properly cooled liquids before being churned. Some models don't require this additional wait time.***)

Once the mixture is cooled, process in your machine per instructions. For the Kitchen Aid model, add mixture to bowl and mix on speed 2, for about 20 minutes. Return sorbet to container and freeze for about an hour.

For an adult dinner party, add about 3 tbsp of your favorite Limoncello to the mixture before chilling in the refrigerator.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Murphy's Turkey Burger

The burger is the grill staple in the summer but sometimes I get bored with the same old recipe and ingredients. I am a red meat eater, but I really love ground turkey as much, and often use it for meals like burgers, tacos and meatballs. Turkey is a great substitute for ground beef, and this is my favorite recipe for a turkey burger. This is one of those recipes that just happened and worked really well. My only real hurdle in cooking a meal specifically for my husband is that he doesn't like cheese. (Insert GASPS of horror now..who hates cheese?) He'll eat cheese melted on a pizza or in lasagna, maybe a grilled cheese sandwich, but not much more than that. I might have added a thin slice of fresh mozzarella cheese to these burgers (had I not married this bizarre, yet wonderful person) but instead, I opted for a Parmesan crisp (which he ended up not eating; fruitless effort) which also turned out to be really nice!

For the burger:
1lb ground turkey
2 roasted red bell peppers
2 cloves garlic
1/2 c sweet basil
2 tbsp fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 c breadcrumbs
1 egg

In a food processor, add the roasted peppers, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and process until smooth. Add mixture to ground turkey in a bowl, and mix in breadcrumbs and egg, mixing with your hands. If the mixture is a little wet, add another 1/8 c breadcrumbs and mix again, finding the right consistency. Shape the turkey mixture into 4 patties around 1 inch thick and grill on a lightly oiled rack over medium-high heat until they are cooked through, usually 6-7 minutes each side. Remove from grill and rest for 5 minutes.

For the Parmesan Crisp:
Preheat oven to 400*F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat and pour several heaping teaspoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese onto sheet, about 1 inch apart from each other. Sprinkle lightly with black pepper. Bake about 5 minutes until golden and slightly crisp. (I found they weren't as crisp as I thought they should be, but after about 1 minute out of the oven, the crispiness was achieved)

Basil Mayonnaise:

This mayo is simple... puree 1/4 c fresh sweet basil in food processor with 1/2 c store bought mayonnaise. And....Done! (You can and I would try making homemade mayonnaise, but I didn't for this)

Serve turkey burger on a nice roll, topped with the Parmesan crisp and basil mayo.