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I work at an amazing little New Zealand Style ice cream shop in the beautiful Denver Colorado. I was hoping to get a little help on the subject of adding fruit into ice cream after extracting it and ensuring that, when the ice cream is frozen, the fruity bits don't turn into rock hard shards. I am planning on doing a cherry chocolate ice cream and I was going to soak some dried cherries that we're no longer using for something else. I was planning on using some brandy and a ton of sugar, but I was really hoping someone had a tried and true method they could send my way so that I KNOW that the fruit will be luscious as it's frozen. If you have a certain sugar ratio. I know there is the brix test, but to be honest it's been many years since pastry school and I am very rusty. Would love to hear from some of my fellow sugar-heads.
~175g matzo (5 matzo), broken into rough pieces 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly slices 4-5 scallions, chopped 5 eggs 250g milk 150g kashkaval cheese (or similar), grated 100g feta, crumbled 1 tbsp lemon juice, or a little vinegar 1/2 tsp baking powder A pinch of MSG (skip it if you avoid it) Plenty of black pepper Chili pepper, to taste Salt to taste (depends on the saltiness of the cheese, apx 1 tsp)
The mixture can be made a day ahead. Place broken matzo in a large bowl. Heat the milk and pour over the matzo. This allowes for faster soaking, don't bother heating it if your making the mixture a day ahead. - Meanwhile, saute the leek until very tender. Mix into the matzo. - Make sure the matzo are not hot before mixing in the eggs and other ingredients. Pour into a well battered casserole dish. Lightly flatten. Bake in 200 C for 30-40 minutes, until nicely browned. Brush/top with butter mid-way baking for added crispness. - I find the dish to taste better, and be more crisp, once reheated. If you wish to, let it chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight before baking it again just until hot and crisp.
Yesterday, an old friend sent me a picture of her family dinner, which she prepared. She was never much of a cook, so I was a bit surprised. It's the first I've seen her cook in 25 years. Here is the spread.
I immediately zoomed in on one dish - the okra.
For the first 20-odd years I lived in China, I never saw okra - no one knew what it was. I managed to find its Chinese name ( 秋葵 - qiū kuí) in a scientific dictionary, but that didn't help. I just got the same blank looks.
Then about 3 years ago, it started to creep into a few supermarkets. At first, they stocked the biggest pods they could find - stringy and inedible - but they worked it out eventually. Now okra is everywhere.
I cook okra often, but have never seen it served in China before (had it down the road in Vietnam, though) and there are zero recipes in any of my Chinese language cookbooks. So, I did the sensible thing and asked my friend how she prepared it. Here is her method.
1. First bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the washed okra and boil for two minutes. Drain.
2. Top and tail the pods. Her technique for that is interesting.
3. Finely mince garlic, ginger, red chilli and green onion in equal quantities. Heat oil and pour over the prepared garlic mix. Add a little soy sauce.
4. Place garlic mix over the okra and serve.
When I heard step one, I thought she was merely blanching the vegetable, but she assures me that is all the cooking it gets or needs, but she did say she doesn't like it too soft.
Also, I should have mentioned that she is from Hunan province so the red chilli is inevitable.
Anyway, I plan to make this tomorrow. I'm not convinced, but we'll see.
to be continued
This style of kugel is called "Jerusalem kugel".
Egg noodles in caramel, cinnamon, ginger, plenty of black pepper. Baked, in a low oven all night long in order to give it this signature brown color and flavor.
Traditionally made on Friday night and served on Saturday morning. The kugel is best served warm as a warming wintery breakfast, but it can also be served at room temp during warmer months.
Most kugels are cooked with no dairy for kosher reasons, but I much prefer the taste of butter. Sub it with natural oil if desired.
Raisins can be added if you like.
Feeds 8 as a hearty breakfast or much more as a first/last course.
It's usually made much larger, and you can scale the recipe both up and down with no adjustments.
400g good quality dry egg noodles or dry egg pasta. I prefer thin noodles, slightly thinner the spaghetti (~3mm). 50g cold butter, cut into pieces 4 eggs 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 flat teaspoon dry ginger, or a full teaspoon if you like more ginger flavor 2 to 3 teaspoons black pepper, ground finely (make sure to use freshly ground pepper) 1 tablespoon milk, cream or water 50g walnuts, roughly chopped 200-250g white sugar (I use about 225g, preferring my kugel not too sweet. you can use up to 300g for a really sweet kugel)
Pick a somewhat narrow and tall pot that can just hold the cooked noodles/pasta. A cake pan can be used instead, as long as it can be tightly sealed.
Make sure to slice the butter and keep it cool. Heat oven to 200 degC. Mix together eggs, milk (or cream/water) salt, spices and almonds. Keep refrigerated. Cook noodles in slightly salted water until almost al-dente, drain well. You can cook the pasta in the pot used later for baking. Meanwhile, in a good, wide pan, cook sugar to very dark caramel. I prefer the dry caramel method, but do use wet method if you like it better. When very dark, immediately remove from heat and add butter to cool the caramel and stop it from burning. Add cooked noodles and mix well to coat in caramel. If caramel starts to harden, place pot on medium heat and push the chunks to the bottom until they melt. Let the noodles chill slightly then add egg and nuts mixture. Mix until well combined. if your pot or pan used for baking is not non-stick, then grease it. Pour noodles into pot or pan and slightly flatten the top to look even. If you see any nuts poking above, push them down slightly so that they don't burn. Tightly cover the pot or pan with aluminium foil to keep moisture inside. Cover with a lid and place in hot oven for about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 100 degC (210 degF) and bake overnight, about 10 hours. To serve, remove foil and invert kugel on a tray. Serve with pickled cucumbers (not everyone likes this combination, but try). Leftovers can be chilled and reheated later (microwave or oven both works, the later might dry it too much if you are not careful). You can also pan fry leftover slices.
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