Saturday, June 19, 2010

Firecrackers & Vanilla Cherry Ice Cream

I woke up this morning with a longing to be in the kitchen - it’s peaceful, cool, and quiet at that time of day. The best time of day. 3.5 hours later I had…

7 cups of my favorite gazpacho to serve for lunch w/ diced avocado (and shrimp if I had any),

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8 cups of cooked chickpeas,

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10 ears of shucked corn, thanks to Andy + a beautifully manicured lawn,

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(We even saw a red cardinal perched on our fence, he left before I could grab a photo, but a few moments later he swooped back through the yard.)

Male red cardinal (northern cardinal) - click to see all state birds


3 jars of Firecrackers (aka pickled green beans),

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Makes 1 quart (I doubled the recipe to get 1 quart & 2 pints)

  • 1/2 pound green beans, mini carrots, cauliflower, or beets
  • 2 springs thyme
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes

Place vegetables in a spring-top glass jar. Bring the water, sugar, cider vinegar, onion powder, mustard seeds, salt, and chili flakes to a boil in a non-reactive saucepan. Boil for 4 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

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Slowly pour the hot pickling liquid over the carrots, filling the jar to the top. Allow the vegetables to completely cool before sealing. Refrigerate for 2 days up to 2 months.

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown

and a quart of Vanilla Cherry (Chocolate Chip) Ice Cream!

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Makes 1 quart

  • 3 cups heavy cream, or 2 cups heavy cream + 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, optional
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cherries (stones removed)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips, optional

1. In the medium sauce pan, pour 1 cup of the cream and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the pan and add the pod. Stir the mixture over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves.

2. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extra and the rest of the cream or cream + milk.

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3. Chill the mixture thoroughly in a covered plastic container. Remove the vanilla bean before churning, just rinse it and reserve for another use. Follow the manufacturers directions for your ice cream freezer. (Cuisinart: Turn machine on, pour mixture into freezer bowl through ingredient spout and let mix until thickened, 25-30 minutes. Add cherries and chocolate, if using, during the last 5 minutes of mixing.)

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Recipe courtesy of Andrea’s Recipes

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