Sunday, July 20, 2008

David Lebovitz in my kitchen

Recently, I found myself with time on my hands for a whole day on a Sunday. I volunteered at church, grocery shopped, took a Bikram yoga class, swam, sun bathed and began to think about what I could get up to in my kitchen (and avoid having to get a handle on my papers overflowing).

While searching food blogs midday, I came across David Lebovitz's Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet (from his book, The Perfect Scoop) as well as recipe for Confit Of Tomatoes. No, he wasn't really in my kitchen, just his recipes. David's tomato dish reminded me of similar recipes I've made by Ina Garten and Tyler Florence. I just happened to have a carton of cherry tomatoes I was planning on using with tuna for kebabs. I changed my plans (wonder if Rev. Tudor's sermon on "Change Of Heart" had anything to do with it?)

Before going to yoga, I made the sherbet. While I could die happy only have chocolate for sweets, Doug loves anything cold and he's partial to tart as well. This sherbet is a healthy, homemade alternative to the usual sherbets we buy.

The recipe is super simple. I assembled all my ingredients. I substituted Xylitol for 1/2 of the sugar and will add blueberries to Lebovitz's recipe.

Here I have made the syrup and allowed it to cool. I also have juiced 2 lemons. The final mixture is the buttermilk, heavy cream, syrup with zest and lemon juice (and a splash of vodka).

The ice cream is setting up. I have reduced the buttermilk to add two oz of heavy cream to the mix. I also added about one oz of vodka (limoncello would be my choice when making for company and I'd use more than a splash). As I found out with the Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet I made a couple of weeks back, frozen treats made with low fat dairy on non dairy become hard and icy if not consumed within a few hours. Great if your entertaining, but we want a quart to last for the week. A tiny bit of vodka will do the trick, apparently.

The last 5 minutes, I have added 1/2 carton of fresh berries that I froze. Doug eats frozen blueberries on his commercial sherbets so this wasn't a far reach. I added the berries frozen to prevent the berries from bursting in the mix and turning the whole think purple, which might be desirable on another occasion.

Here you have it! No a bad replacement for the commercial stuff...even that at Whole Foods or our GucciB. And I already had all these ingredients! If you haven't ran out and bought yourself an ice cream maker and you love frozen treats, it's time to do so. Consider Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop your ice cream bible.

Later, I turned my attention to the what I would have for dinner. While I sun bathed, I started roasting tomatoes. To the tomatoes, I added a generous portion of Umbrian olive oil, salt and pepper, quartered garlic cloves, green onions, basil and oregano leaves that came from my garden. I'm using my paella pan, which I can also use later on the stove top over the flame burner.

I slightly browned cubes of 8 oz tuna in the liquid from the tomatoes. Once the fish was browned, I added the tomatoes back in to the pan along with 1/4 c kalamata olives that were pitted and halved, 1 tbsp capers, 1/4 c diced feta cheese, the juice of 1/2 lemon, lemon slices, black pepper to taste and torn oregano leaves. Red pepper flakes would be a good addition.

This sauce is reminiscent of the Italian Puttanesca sauce or the popular sauce Greeks cook shrimp in. I can think of several pastas this would be good served over. Let me tell you - this was easy and tasty.

Did you know that Puttanesca translates to Harlot's Sauce? It seems ladies of the night in Napoli would use this sauce to entice their customers. Doug's gonna love this one!

Well, I still had some blueberries. I put together this Blueberry Crostata with a refrigerated pie crust I had on hand in mere minutes.

Thank goodness Doug came home this evening! It has been a good day - Thanks to Mr. Lebovitz. And I'm all seductive and delicious as a result of my Tuna Puttenesca.

Tips for making homemade ice cream softer by David Lebovitz

"Alcohol doesn't freeze, which you know if you're anything like me and keep a bottle of Zubróvka vodka chilled and ready in your freezer. You can add up to 3 tablespoons of 40 proof liquor to 1 quart (1 liter) of your frozen dessert mixture prior to churning."

"In my recipes, I indicate where low-fat products can be used without sacrificing the results. You could theoretically use non-fat products but your ice cream or frozen yogurt will be grainy and icy and most likely you won't be thrilled with the results."

"Like alcohol, sugar doesn't freeze which is why you shouldn't futz around with recipes and just reduce the sugar willy-nilly. Almost all frozen dessert recipes use white granulated sugar, however you can replace some or all of the sugar with another liquid sweetener, namely honey or light corn syrup.

Either one will give the ice cream a smoother, less-icy texture but the drawback is that honey has a taste that may not be compatible with your other flavors and corn syrup has its own detractors."

1 comment:

Kim said...

Carol, thanks for coming by my site. I do hope your birthday wish comes true and you receive David's book. I hope to make some ice cream over the weekend, and his ice cream book is my favorite on the subject. Enjoyed.