Thursday, July 24, 2008
Gazpacho with Cilantro Lime Ice Cream
As I mentioned the other day, at least one wholesaler of avocados (Grande Produce) has voluntarily recalled their products due to salmonella. When I called Grande today to inquire about the scope of the recall, I was told that there were (or will be) other recalls of avocados that were farmed in the same area. Apparently, there are 15 or so importers/growers in that region with potentially unsafe products. So I had to scramble to find a new recipe for you. I strongly urge you to take great care when selecting avocados from the market.
I had been looking forward to the combination of gazpacho and ice cream. Bruce Weinstein has a recipe for gazpacho with avocado ice cream in his book The Ultimate Ice Cream Book. I really liked the idea of a more savory ice cream as component of a main meal. Who made the rule that ice cream is only a sweet treat?
For those of you who don’t know, Mrs. Fellow is a trained chef with two culinary degrees. Although she is now a Wall Street tycoon, I still get the benefit of having a well trained chef cook my dinner every night. This is great for my mouth and horrible for my belt line. So naturally, upon receiving a great recipe from Mrs. Fellow-in-law, my wife instantly rewrote it to suit her needs. I was given very little direction about how to approach this ice cream other than the instruction that I must be able to compliment cilantro and that it should be savory. Well, as savory as ice cream can get.
Lime and cilantro are great combination. Don’t let the amount of sugar in this recipe fool you. 1/3 of a cup is plenty to keep things in balance and provide a light sweetness. When it is warm, the custard is very sweet and taste of the lime is overwhelming. Once frozen the cilantro flavor is fully exposed and although you can taste the sweetness, it is not even close to the center of attention.
Here is the worksheet for this ice cream:
The soup is rather spicy. It is excellent on its own, but the ice cream tempers the heat nicely and gives a soothing creaminess to the dish. This gazpacho is left fairly chunky. It certainly isn’t as glamorous to look at, but the texture is more satisfying. Serve this with a salad and a nice piece of fish for a great and easy weeknight meal. What do you do with the leftover ice cream? Eat it. Although it works its magic with the soup, it is good on its own. The flavor is surprisingly light and refreshing.
Cilantro – Lime Ice Cream
1 cup packed cilantro (leaves and stems are ok)
¾ cup whole milk
Grated zest from two limes
1/3 cup of sugar
2 egg yolks
¾ cup cream
Up to 2 grams of salt
1. Put 4 cups of water on the stove and bring to a boil. In the meantime, wash the cilantro well (it is a very dirty vegetable). Once the water is at a full boil, toss in the cilantro. After 10 seconds remove the cilantro and soak it in cold water. This will help to preserve the color. Squeeze out as much of the excess water as possible.
2. Put the cilantro, lime zest, and milk in a blender. Blend on high for about 45 seconds to really break down the cilantro. The milk should turn bright green.
3. In a small saucepan, put the cream, cilantro infused milk, and about half of the sugar and heat to a bare simmer.
4. As the saucepan heats, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and salt.
5. Once the saucepan contents come to temperature, remove the pan from the heat and slowly temper the eggs by adding in small quantities of the hot milk/cream to the eggs. Put all the contents back into the saucepan and return the pan to the heat.
6. Cook, stirring constantly until a candy thermometer reads 175 degrees F.
7. Remove the pan from the stove, strain through a fine mesh sieve (optional). Cool, chill, than freeze.
About 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
½ small sweet onion, rough chopped
2 red bell peppers, rough chopped
1 pound cucumbers
3 ½ ounces of lime juice
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 cup corn kernels
3 tablespoons, chopped cilantro
1. Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, 1 pepper, ½ pound of cucumber in a food processor and puree until smooth
2. Stir in the lime juice and cayenne pepper
3. Add the remaining vegetables, season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a scoop of Cilantro-Lime Ice Cream.